We know that there a very big story on the horizon for the Green Lantern books but right now both Hal and Sinestro have a bit of a problem that goes by the name of the Indigo Tribe to deal with. When last we read in issue seven both men were being held prisoner and Sinestro looked like he was about the get indoctrinated into the Tribe. This issue takes us to the midway point in the "Secret of the Indigo Tribe" story arc and as one would expect, things are about to get a lot worse before they get any better.
The Story -
Sinestro is about to undergo "conversion" when he breaks free by biting through his chains and takes his frustration out on a four armed member of the Tribe for the way the being treated him. In his weakened state it doesn't take much for Indigo-1 to get the situation back under control and Sinestro is once again subdued.
|Sinestro is one seriously bad dude!|
Meanwhile Hal is talking to the Black Hand about what happened to him after the Blackest Night and he learns that the white light managed to bring William Hand back to life only for him to be taken away by the Indigo Tribe for "healing". As Black Hand shows Hal how he can cycle through the emotional spectrum Hal tricks him into channeling Willpower so he can recharge his ring and once recharged he makes short work of setting himself free from his jail cell.
|Hal gets the upper Hand|
|Born to be wild!|
The good news is that Hal has some emerald energy to work with, but the bad news is that it isn't stable and it isn't pure so he has to be careful not to rely on it too much. But Hal and careful don't exactly go together and he finds himself blasted into another cell with an impaled arm surrounded by beings who want Jordan dead. Hal fights his way out nearly kills himself when he tries to fly away from the approaching members of the Indigo Tribe. Jumping on a construct motorcycle Hal takes off before he can get apprehended.
Discovering that the complex he's in is over one hundred million square miles and covers half the planet Hal uses his ring to plot a course to Sinestro which takes him through a room containing a giant statue of Abin Sur, causing Hal to stop and pause for a moment and question the connection. Touching the base of the enormous statue triggers visions in Hal's head with information that implies that Abin Sur created the Indigo Tribe beginning with Indigo-1. The issue comes to an end before Hal can become any more enlightened when he is blasted from behind by the newest member of the Indigo Tribe, Sinestro.
The Writing -
Geoff Johns does a great job of showing the core of both Hal and Sinestro this issue and the opening sequence where Sinestro breaks free is pure gold as he uses his rage to power him through the situation and really put a hurting on his attacker. Likewise we see Hal Jordan take charge again and get his game face back on again. Throughout the first eight issues we've seen a lot of character defining moments for both of the lead characters and some have questioned whether Hal is in character or not. I think that Johns is showing the effect of not having a life without the ring has on Hal and it's his internal conflict of trying to have his cake and eat it too that allows us to see more sides to him than we've perhaps ever seen before.
|The crap hits the indigo fan|
Despite my inability to see how willpower is really an emotion it's hard now to understand how a writer didn't come up with some of this stuff before and how much it adds to Green Lantern lore. Quite honestly most of the rogues gallery from the Silver Age was pretty lackluster and what has been developed in the past eight years has given the creative teams a new set of tools to explore this vast mythology and redefine it for a new generation of readers. Johns continues to add more threads to the tapestry he's made and I think it's made the Green Lantern universe a much better place for it.
We see a little more connective tissue between Abin Sur and Indigo-1 and it's really last weeks Red Lanterns #8 that provides a key piece of information about their shared past. In that issue we see that there was a ship on Ysmault that is connected to Iroque, the name Indigo-1 had before she was changed. In 2009's Green Lantern #47 I commented that I felt that the connection between the two might have something to do with the Alan Moore 1986 short story "Tygers" which also included the first mention of the Blackest Night prophecy and I still think that is what we'll find out in the next issue. As much as people sometimes criticize Johns for changing past events I still maintain my position that he is honoring the past by choosing to flesh out history versus ignoring it altogether.
The Art -
Doug Mahnke does a wonderful job this issue with capturing the raw emotion on Sinestro's face in the opening moments of the issue and his pencil work throughout supports and elevates the script. There was one faux pas during the Hal/Black Hand scene of a misdirected word balloon and there's something wrong with Hal's face when he pulls Black Hand closer to recharge his ring, but otherwise issue eight was visually solid.
What Do I Think?
This issue is a great example of balancing character and action moments while advancing the overall plot, albeit that Green Lantern #8 doesn't advance the plot so much as add layers to what came before it. Even so there's plenty to like this time around with some great fist pumping moments to get behind as well as revealing just enough information to hold us at bay regarding the secret of the Indigo Tribe to hold us over until the promised revelations that are coming up in the next issue. Four out of five lanterns.