This week was a great one for Green Lantern fans with 3 different Blackest Night titles hitting the shelves. Green Lantern #47 was among them, continuing to follow Hal Jordan as he attempts to draw the different corps together. Along the way John Stewart lands on the recently recreated Xanshi and we get to learn more about how the Red energy works.
We first saw the Five Inversions back in 1986 in the Tales of the Green Lantern Corps annual (#2) and at the time they really didn’t seem like they were that big of a deal. 23 years later we find that they have played a huge role behind the scenes. So to see them back as Black Lanterns taking on their murderer is really a testament to Geoff Johns’ ability to pull bits of continuity from years past and reshape them into great modern story telling.
It was the blood of the four dead members of the Five Inversions that created the Red Lantern power battery, so it’s iron that the energy they involuntarily helped harness is what prevents them from taking revenge upon Atrocitus. The power of the red energy can keep a Red Lantern alive even when they get their heart ripped out of their chest. It’s also cool to see inside Atrocitus’ head as he expounds on the different kinds of hate – with the hate born from personal pain being the strongest of them all.
That’s really kind of interesting in that there’s a certain kind of justice born out of acting out of rage over personal pain versus the rage that comes from other things like prejudice, which Atrocitus points out is hate derived from fear. The red rings literally replace their broken hearts and keep their hate alive. Kind of noble in a twisted way.
Back on Korugar Sinestro and Hal battle Black Lantern Abin Sur and his sister – and we get another glimpse into Sinestro when Black Lantern Arin tries to use her past relationship with Sinestro to get to him. Apparently Arin died in Sinestro’s arms on the streets of Korugar, but little more is revealed other than that her death is tied to Sinestro’s action on his homeworld. I hope we see more about this as we move forward, or that Geoff expands this in the not too distant future.
Abin Sur is predictable in his approach to Hal, trying to provoke him by throwing Coast City and his time as Parallax in Hal’s face. Four years since Green Lantern: Rebirth and I’ll be honest in that I’m a little tired of hearing about it at this point, but you have to expect this to be brought up in this kind of story. Hal’s response is what it should be – he acknowledges his past, but he’s not going to dwell upon it and let it keep him from doing what’s important now.
We get to see how effective four of the colors of the emotional spectrum work together as Hal, Sinestro, Carol Ferris and Indigo-1 dispatch the Black Lanterns, and then we have the anticipated fight for leadership of the group between Hal and Sinestro. Sinestro wants to get to Atrocitus, while Hal wants to team up with the Blue Lanterns. Hal’s ballsy attitude wins out in the end and Sinestro command his corps to guard Korugar in his absence and tells them that it’s no longer Green Lantern hunting season….for now.
Abin Sur made a very interesting comment as the four members of the cosmic rainbow coalition start to take out the Black Lanterns. He says, “Indigo? I know you. I….” Again, more hints of things that we do not yet know about the past of these characters that I hope we learn more about down the road. My hunch is that Indigo-1 will turn out to be the child that Abin Sur rescued in the story, “Tygers”, that is one of the stories that Geoff Johns is referring back to in the Blackest Night event and serves as an inspiration for this entire event.
In the Alan Moore story “Tygers”, Abin Sur goes to Ysmault to rescue survivors from a crashed ship, encountering the Five Inversions who foretell Sur’s death due to his ring failing him – a prophecy that in turns causes Abin Sur to question his ring and bring about the very events that Quill of the Five Inversions foretold.
John Stewart gets some face time on Xanshi, finding a mysterious green power battery on the surface. We get a teasing glimpse of who John’s been hearing, but not really enough to be able to tell who it is – but this person has both a green and black ring on. Now I’m placing money on it being Katma Tui, but I could be wrong on this and it could turn out to be someone else entirely. I cannot think of anyone else who could have the emotional connection to John and would have the impact that Katma would.
St. Walker proves why he’s a Blue Lantern, displaying enormous hope in the face of certain death at the hands of the Orange Lantern Corps. His faith is rewarded when Hal and company show up while Black Lanterns continue to chase Larfleeze back on Okaara. Just as Larfleeze is about to be overtaken, along comes Atrocitus to save his behind, telling Larfleeze that he wants the orange battery and then…fade to black. Next issue: The New Guardians? Hmmmmm……. Mysteriouser and mysteriouser.
The pace of the story is pretty frantic all the way through, so it felt like it read really fast. I’ve been really impressed with Doug Mahnke’s art so far, but I have to be honest as say that this wasn’t his best work. Most of the issue is fine, and I thought he really did a great job of creating a creepy atmosphere when John lands on Xanshi. But some of his work on Hal this issue just seemed uneven and maybe a little rushed.
This was a great issue story-wise, but the artwork’s uneven quality drops it down to a eight out of ten.