With the battle with the Keepers over all that's left to do is pick up the pieces and honor the dead. This is the focus of issue seven of Green Lantern Corps and the repercussions of John Stewart's decision in issue six to break Kirrt's neck start to emerge as he chooses to deliver the fallen comrade's body to his family.
The Story -
On Oa Morro delivers Kirrt's final rites in the crypts of Oa and it quickly becomes clear that John Stewart has witheld the true nature of Kirrt's last moments, painting him as the one who broke them free from their captivity and dying in the process. Guy Gardner is called before the Guardians who begin to take him to task for executing two Sinestro Corps members to gain an advantage against the Keepers but the human relates his actions to those of the United States at the end of World War II and the choice to kill thousands in order to presumably save millions.
|The Guardians question Guy's decision making....pot calling kettle black here!|
John delivers Kirrt's body and belongings to his family on the planet Lorro and his family have difficulty with the news of his death. This is particularly troubling for Kirrt's mentally challenged younger brother, Birrt, who worshipped his older brother. Birrts steals his brother's body believing that Kirrt is asleep inside and only need to be freed.
This sets the stage for John to step up and help Birrt accept what happened and perhaps in some way comes to grip himself with the decision he had to make to ensure peace.
The Writing -
I found myself of two minds about the main plot of this issue. On one hand I thought about the notion that the nature of the relationship between Kirrt and his brother and how it played out reminded me of an afternoon tv special, but the thing is that it really worked for me once I was willing to look past that. John has clearly manufactured his own history and passing it off as reality and Vandor seems to be a willing conspirator to preserve Kirrt's dignity. We know that this isn't going away based on the solicitations for next month's issue.
|John wrestles with the weight of the choices he made...and the secret he's keeping|
I think that Peter Tomasi does a wonderful job in creating a character driven issue that continues to deal with impact of recent events rather than simply move on to the next big thing. What this issue acommplishes for me is to add weight to the preceding six issues, showing us the affect of the war with the Keepers on the survivors and those who lived to fight another day. John has some great moments to talk about his outlook on his role in the Corps with Vandor and it allows us to see what is going on behind his eyes.
The two pages spent between Guy and the Guardians at first seemed a little out of place but served to at least acknowledge the Guardians are aware of what's going on with their Corps. I thought it rather ironic that they would call Guy into question here given what we little we know with the Third Army that they'd make an issue out of it, and while I'd been waiting for someone to call the Guardians themselves on the carpet for lying to Salaak about their feined ignorance of the identities of the Keepers that moment didn't come.
|John tries to help Birrt move on|
In the broader picture of what's going on it seems to me that the Guardians would want to get six people off the playing field before they move forward with their plans and since we know that Kyle is no longer a member of the Corps, Ganthet has been brought back into the fold and Hal is not in the picture it only leaves Sinestro, Guy and John as the biggest obstacles that Guardians need to be concerned with. While they don't know that Sinestro has recruited Hal it's clear that they have their sites set on dealing with him and his posession of the Book at of the Black. This only leaves Guy and John to worry about and this issue lays the groundwork for that piece of the larger story to play out.
The Art -
Claude St. Aubin is the guest penciller for this issue, substituting for Fernando Pasarin. The artwork is passable but in my opinion the faces in particular lack the emotional subleties that I think Pasarin would have brought to the issue. In an issue like this where the characterization is the meat of the book I found it brought my overall opinion of the issue down a little bit.
What Do I Think?
Green Lantern Corps number seven is a great exploration of the aftermath of war and the affect it has on the people who survive it and the families of those who don't while setting the stage for the next set of events to unfold. Some average art aside this is a solid issue getting four out of five lanterns.