All the Green Lantern books continue their collision course for what will be a very eventful August and the coming arrival of the Third Army. For Green Lantern Corps part, John Stewart stands guilty of murder and ready to face the harshest of punishments for actions shown be taken out of the context which might show his justification. John has seemingly accepted the verdict and waits in the gallows, but the big question going into issue ten is whether Guy Gardner will stand by and do nothing to protect his new found status in the Corps, or will he stand defiant against the Alpha Lanterns and provide the Guardians with the reason they need to get him off the playing board?
As the rest of the Green Lanterns watch in shock at the punishment being handed down by the Alpha Lanterns, John Stewart accepts his fate with the honor one would expect from him. Boodikka and the rest of the Alpha Corps whisk John away to their tower after determining that location will provide enough of a deterrent to the rest of the Corps to prevent anyone from taking action against them. Taking his place in a holding cell, John requests that the old Earth custom of a last request and a choice of final meal be honored, leading to the summonging of Kirrt's family. Meanwhile Kirrt's ring is still in search of a new bearer and temporarilly chooses Lig Enak (Gil Kane backwards!) before leaving his hand rather abruptly to take to the sky once again.
|Guy underscores the sense of foreboding this issue creates.|
In the citadel the Guardians put on a good show of having some concern for the decision in front of Guy Gardner and the Alphas, but when the conversation turns to how John's execution will be carried out Guy is pushed beyond his limits and lashes out, telling the Alphas that they'd better be the ones doing the dirty work before he leaves in a huff. Returning to the Alpha Tower to deliver John's last meal, Guy's decision to not stand idly by any longer comes to full realization as Kilowog, Isamot Kol, Sherrif Mardin, Vandor and Brik lead and assault on the Alpha Tower, allowing Guy to free John against his own will. The battle lasts only a few moments before the issue comes to a close with the Alpha Lanterns drawing on their connection to the Central Battery and shut down the rings of the attackers.
If it seems like not much went on in this issue, you'd be correct from a plot standpoint, however what did happen is pretty monumental when you look at the bigger picture. The revolt of the Green Lantern Corps provides fodder for the Guardians's plan to replace them with the Third Army and it creates the perfect situation for them to deal with Guy Gardner and get him out of the picture just as they've done with the rest of the Earth Lanterns. But where issue ten didn't have a great deal of plot it had a lot of time spent on characterization and adding depth to the cast and supporting cast of the series. Seeing John lose his bid for forgiveness was a poignant moment that not only adds another layer to John, but the Kallak's as well. Seeing the moment where the ring leaves the new bearer's hand juxtaposed against this moment has me wondering if one of Kirrt's family will ultimately be the new Green Lantern of that sector. It was great,too, to see Gil Kane, the artistic force behind the Silver Age relaunch of Green Lantern given a nice little easter egg this issue.
While Peter Tomasi's script has all the emotions on the page, Fernando Pasarin and the art team do a great job breathing life into the characters. The artwork during the scene between the Kallaks and John really play up the feelings of the characters and add to the words on the page. I thought it was a little strange to see that the Alphas would allow John to craddle Birrt's head in his hands knowing how Kirrt died, but that could just be me looking for faults. It could very well be a subtle indication that the Alphas know the truth or it could be just as easilly a sign of respect to John, knowing he's not the kind of person who would just kill in cold blood like that. While I was underwhelmed by the design of the Alpha Tower, seeing epic image of the team of Green Lantern cleaving it wide open made my misgivings disappear in a heartbeat. The battle between the Corps and the Alpha, while brief, played out as a momentous confrontation despite the absence of any creativity on the part of the ring bearers.
Green Lantern Corps is a bit of a quick read, but the issue is filled with some great moments that more than makes up for it. As I read the book I was filled with a sense of impending doom, almost like the scene in "Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith" when we witness the fall of the Jedi. This events of this issue will likely resonate throughout the Green Lantern universe for the next couple of months as the bigger story planned by the creative forces behind the Green Lantern universe continues to unfold. Four out of five lanterns.