Green Lantern number ten concludes “The Secret of the Indigo Tribe” arc and while we don’t get to learn much more about the language of the Tribe in the conclusion of the story there are more than enough moments to make this one of the more memorable stories since Blackest Night. When we last left Hal Jordan and Sinestro they were surrounded by the rest of the Indigo Tribe, restored to their original sociopathic lives by the destruction of the Indigo Central Battery in issue nine.
With the Indigo Tribe no longer under the influence of their rings they surge forward after Hal and Sinestro as Black Hand makes an about face and heads into the jungle looking for a way back to Earth after throwing his ring away. Hal and Sinestro are in pursuit of Natromo and once Sinestro realizes how the Indigos have manipulated him he’s ready for some retribution. Hal, focused on getting them away from the lunatics following them and finding Natromo, uses the only working power ring on Nok to make an escape for them in a ring created vehicle and they head off into the jungle until they find Abin Sur’s old friend.
|The Hal/Sinestro pairing shines in this issue
Natromo, still feeling the despair at the loss of his old friend and wanting to see his family, fails to help them even when Sinestro threatens to kill him. Hal persuades his unlikely partner to drop his weapon and realize that fear isn’t going to work in this situation. With the Indigos quickly approaching Sinestro pulls a page from Hal’s book and leaves to head them off while Hal and Natromo make a retreat by jumping over them all in a ring created motorcycle and sidecar.
While Sinestro takes on Munk and the rest of the Indigos, Iroque notices Hal and Natromo overhead and leaves the battle in pursuit. Arriving at the shattered Indigo Central Battery Hal explains his own history with Abin Sur while convincing Natromo that the best way to honor their fallen comrade is to do as he would have, but with no spark to reignite the battery Natromo proves powerless in his efforts to rebuild what he destroyed. Iroque arrives and urges Natromo on, showing that her time wearing the ring has taught her true compassion for her misdeeds and creating the spark needed to re-start the Indigo Tribe. With the Indigo Rings back online all of the Tribe return to their compassion filled selves, except for Black Hand.
Running from the ring which pursues him through the jungle Hand either leaps off a cliff and into the air not realizing he cannot fly or commits suicide, plunging to the rocks below where he head splits open like a coconut. His Indigo ring heads off in search of a new master while the Indigo Tribe, Sinestro back in hand, catch up with Hal and Natromo. Hal argues his case for Sinestro’s release, urging that the Tribe to embrace the greater mission that led Abin Sur to create them and allow Sinestro to be of greater value against the coming crisis with the Guardians of the Universe.
As the issue comes to a close we return to the dead body of Black Hand when a familiar black ring emerges from his mouth as once again Black Hand rises to fight another day.
There are some great character moments sprinkled throughout this issue that really show why it was a great idea to pair Sinestro with Hal. For one we’ve not had much of a chance to see the relationship between the two when they are battling each other and the relaunch of Green Lantern in the new DC Universe has given Geoff Johns a wonderful opportunity to share some page time without their hands at each other’s throats and show the complexities that shape how they view each other. This has not only made the book stronger but when Hal and Sinestro once again part ways it will make those moment all the more dramatic and powerful.
There were some very telling moments that their time together has made Hal and Sinestro both stronger characters. Seeing Sinestro stand down showed that he’s not only begun to see things differently but the fact that he did something Hal told him shows the signs of a respect that he would have been hard pressed to have acknowledged before. Likewise when Sinestro takes to the jungle to confront the Indigos so that Hal and Natromo can leave his comment about it being something Jordan would do indicated some significant growth.
At the same time we see Hal start to step up as a leader more by the ways he dealt with both Sinestro and Natromo this issue, leading with his words more than his fists. And the moment when Indigo-1 asked Hal whether he believed that Sinestro could redeem himself without the Indigo influence was very telling about his true feelings toward his greatest enemy, something that he, too, would have denied not so long ago.
|Hal has come a long way since the relaunched Justice League #1
As for Black Hand and the return of the Black Lantern, whew! At the end of Blackest Night Hand was returned to life, thereby severing his connection with the black energy. The events in this issue echo the dawn of the Blackest Night when a dead William Hand regurgitates the black ring and while I really enjoyed the story I don’t think this is the start of Blackest Night 2.0 but rather the start of a new chapter in Hand’s life and an interesting way to set the stage for “The Revenge of the Black Hand” story line that takes us through the summer before the Green Lantern annual which promises to change everything right before the Guardians launch the Third Army.
Doug Mahnke’s work this issue was pretty consistent and really supported John’s script, unfortunately the same can’t be said for the coloring which wasn’t up to par in this issue. There are points where Hal’s uniform has lost the black under his arms and others where the blacks are just too heavy and dark. Coloring issues aside, though, this issue looked great.
What Do I Think?
“The Secret of the Indigo Tribe” ended in fine fashion with this issue, which was filled with some great character defining moments as well as a bit of a jaw dropping conclusion leading to the next issue. The strings woven throughout the Green Lantern universe are beginning to be drawn together as the plots in all four books are on a collision course that is sure to be a great rollercoaster ride this summer. Four out of five lanterns.