Blackest Night continues on in this week’s Green Lantern #45 again written by Geoff Johns with Doug Mahnke on pencils. The issue starts out bad and it only gets worse….but in the best way! And the two page Larfleeze spread is probably the most terrifyingly hilarious two pages I’ve seen in a LOOOOONNNNGGG time!
The issue opens up with John Stewart still in space at the site of the remains of Xanshi, the planet that John wasn’t able to protect back in 1988’s Cosmic Odyssey. Black rings fly by as we see Pariah telling us that “Worlds have died. Worlds will rise” and see the black energy reassemble Xanshi piece by piece until we see Xanshi recreated in whole, complete with a Black Lantern insignia on it. Whether this is a living, er dead, er zombie planet on the scale of Mogo remains to be seen since this is the last we see of any of Earth’s Green Lantern’s for the rest of the issue
The next few pages offer some interesting and tantalizing pieces of information. Now I may be not remembering whether or not this was mentioned, but I don’t think that we got a lot of information about the origin of the Star Sapphires other than that the Zamaron’s found the first gem frozen in two crystallized skeletons in a cave somewhere. The location of that somewhere is show here as the leaders of the Star Sapphires mention that they brought those skeletons to Zamaron from Earth. I don’t know as if that’s been mentioned before, but in any case I think that this is perhaps a clue as to why the Guardians view Earth as somewhat important in the fate of the universe. Let the speculation begin!
The other interesting part of this section of the issue is in how Carol Ferris is able to resist the controlling aspect of the Star Sapphire energy. Part of Geoff Johns’ emotional spectrum is that the further away from the center you get, the more the energy controls you instead of you controlling it. So it’s interesting that Carol has been able to maintain her control over it unlike her past experiences with being possessed by the violet energy.
In fact, I think that Carol is the real star of this issue. Her inner monologue and the insight into her character really underscore her importance in the Green Lantern mythos and elevates her from simple love interest into a tragic character who’s love for Hal and need to be loved takes a back seat to Hal’s destiny. I’ve always believed that Carol is the perfect woman for Hal and that Hal is all too aware of his feelings for her, but his duty and knowing how what his father did for a living impacted Martin Jordan’s marriage kept Hal from acting on his emotion. I really believe that Hal’s love for Carol is only outweighed by his love of what he does and wanting to show his love for her by making sure that she doesn’t suffer as a result of what he does. Of course she’d be happy with that and the fact that she risks it all and takes the Star Sapphire solely because her love for Hal is so strong that she wants to help him as she’s told he would despite knowing it probably won’t result in her getting what her heart desires.
The scenes between Carol and Sinestro are great as we see the two people who probably know Hal better than any other two people in the universe engage each other. It’s really interesting that Sinestro has so much respect for Hal that he offers Carol the chance to escape harm. Carol’s response, “I’ve never been a good girl”, is an appropriate response – although the thought of any woman wearing that uniform and saying she’s not a good girl is all good!
Then it all goes south for Carol as the Sinestro is able to liberate the captured members of the Sinestro Corps that the Star Sapphires have been trying to “convert”. Again, we get a lot of insight into Carol Ferris through the resulting dialogue between her and Sinestro and we learn that Sinestro has a love of his own and, without spoiling for anyone who hasn’t read the issue yet, reveals a shocking connection between Sinestro and another Green Lantern. It perhaps explains his relationship with another Green Lantern and possible reveals the identity of Soranik Natu’s mother. Sinestro’s reaction as he breaks free from Carol’s grasp is perfectly in character as he becomes incensed over the memories that Carol has forced him to acknowledge.
Meanwhile the recovery of Laira’s body from Ysmault continues as Alpha Lantern Boodikka’s strict adherence to the Guardians’ orders results in here laying waste to a number of Red Lanterns. This all backfires on them as black rings descend and takes controls of Boodikka’s victims…..and Laira. At the same times the black rings arrive on Zamoran and Odym, although there are no dead bodies on the Blue Lantern homeworld for the rings to affect as the Blue Lanterns have been successful thus far in fending off the assault of Larfleeze’s virtual Orange Lanterns. Among the recently undead are Amon Sur and The Five Inversions.
Speaking of Larfleeze, well the black rings have also found Okaara and the myriad corpses of the people who’ve tried to take the power of Avarice for themselves. Again, the two page spread showing Larfleeze’s reaction is absolutely priceless. The issue ends with Scar and the Black Book and our mysterious big bad guy. Yeah I know his name’s been leaked already, but I believe in the sanctity of the story and don’t want to spoil it for those who don’t want to know yet. But the ending reminds us that the Black Lantern rings have infected the homeworlds of all the other Corps in the emotional spectrum, except Indigo.
As always I’m left wanting more and waiting impatiently for the next issue. We get so much from the issue, it is both a visual feast and a solid, tight piece of writing. I have to admit that I was a little concerned when it was announced that Ivan Reis was leaving Green Lantern, but Doug Mahnke has really impressed me with the work he’s done so far. Definitely a ten lantern issue.