It’s the day before Thanksgiving in the United States and Green Lantern #48 was one of the many things I was thankful for when I went to my local comic shop this afternoon. Between this issue and Blackest Night #5 we see the dark prophecy inching ever closer to becoming a reality – can the various corps put it all together before it’s too late?
As this event continues to unfold I continue to appreciate how Geoff Johns continues to create characters that have far more depth that what you initially see on the surface. We began to see in Green Lantern #47 that there’s much more to Atrocitus than just a beast full of rage, and we continue to see the layers of pain unravel in this issue. And Larfleeze continues his role as a scene stealer with several laugh out loud lines of dialogue that not only add a bit of humor, but establish that the power of avarice is so overwhelming that what appears ludicrous to us is a symptom of the irrational nature of extreme greed.
We see that Atrocitus came to Okaara to confront Larfleeze as a result of his inside knowledge about the prophecy, that “The one whose greed holds no bounds will betray them.” Whether this is really Larfleeze or not remains to be seen, as it certainly isn’t above Johns to use that as a red herring. Another great line of dialogue simply but brilliantly illustrating the pain that drives Atrocitus is sprinkled in the battle as the two form an uneasy alliance to battle the oncoming Black Lanterns, “No one knows me”.
There’s just so much depth and richness that Johns has added to the whole Green Lantern mythos since he’s taken the reigns of this franchise and the expansion and breadth of characters is a welcome gift to someone like myself who’s followed these characters for over thirty years. As cheesy and fanboy-like as it may sound – I’m very thankful for how much love and care Geoff Johns and DC have poured into the Green Lantern universe since Green Lantern: Rebirth. It’s finally cool to be a Green Lantern fan again!
With Atrocitus out of action, it’s up to Larfleeze to save them both….or not as the Hal, Sinestro, Carol, Saint Walker and Indigo-1 show up to lend a hand, working together to wipe out the Black Lantern threat. There’s some fun dialogue as Hal tries to explain Larfleeze to Carol and then Larfleeze reveals to them all that it was the Guardians who told him the location of Odym, causing an intergalactic double take.
Between Larfleeze’s avarice driven desire for everything from his own Guardian to Christmas trees the newly formed “Fellowship of the Rings” come to see that the Guardians themselves may have caused the War of Light and triggered the Blackest Night. Was it on purpose, or did the Guardians, like Abin Sur, bring about the very prophecy they feared most by trying to avoid it? The Five Inversions, back in the Alan Moore “Tygers” story, divulged Abin Sur’s fate to him only for him to bring about the very events that cause his death in his attempts to avoid them. It’s either a nice piece of irony, or perhaps it says something about the philosophical nature of trying to be the architect of our own future and believing that someone else has the key to it.
Another element to Hal and Sinestro’s relationship is revealed as Sinestro owns up to his own pain and anger of the loss of his friend Abin Sur and how that fuels his anger towards Hal. And Hal makes an ominous comment that he’ll quit the corps before he’ll ever follow the orders of the Guardians again. That may sound hollow given the legacy of the number of times this has happened before, but somehow I think this is going to be different. Given that this issue marks the second reference to “The New Guardians” I continue to believe that we’re going to have a new status quo once Blackest Night ends. As we discussed on the Raging Bullets podcast, their may very well be a new dynamic in place once the dust settles, and I’m hoping that this reference to new Guardians is an indication to this and not Geoff dusting off the characters used in the really bad Millennium event from 1988.
Hal and Sinestro both try to convince Atrocitus and Larfleeze to work with the rest of them, with mixed results. When Hal’s speech doesn’t garner immediate results, Sinestro steps in and threaten Okaara with blink bombs and tries to tempt Atrocitus with notions of teaming up when this over and destroying what’s left of the Green Lantern Corps. This is point which dovetails back into the main story as the Black Lantern power reaches 100%. Again Indigo-1 one hints that there is a history between her and Abin Sur as she calls him her savior. This adds a bit of weight to my theory that Indigo-1 is the survivor of the crash that brought Abin Sur to Ysmault in the aforementioned “Tygers” story.
Indigo-1 takes the group to sector 666 and the planet Ryut, Atrocitus’ home and where they expected to find the Black Lantern Central Power Battery, which is was transported to Earth in Blackest Night #4. Atrocitus’ layers of pain are peeled back to expose that it was the assault of the Manhunters that wiped out his people. The dialogue hints that there’s much more to this story, which I hope we learn much more about in the coming months. Not only does Atrocitus say that “we did nothing to deserve this”, but he also says “we did nothing”, perhaps alluding to his regret over not taking action to preserve their race. This again adds dimension to the whole story and it effectively explains what drives him to use his rage and pain to bring about change and seek justice from the Guardians.
Atrocitus realizes that he must help defeat the Black Lanterns because, as he sees it, they are no different than the Guardians and once this crisis is over they will once again be in his cross-hairs. Larfleeze throws his allegiance in as well, under the proviso that he gets his own Guardian as a reward. Sayd offers her services as a way to atone for what the Guardians have done and the group vows to find out where the Black Lantern Central Power Battery has gone, throwing everything they have…well almost everything according to Larfleeze….at the threat.
I of course loved this issue, although I would have liked to see what John Stewart found on Xanshi rather that have that plot thread left dangling. Mahnke’s art is very good this issue after what I considered a bit of a dip last issue. Rag Morales does the variant cover this month. It’s nice, but not my favorite of the bunch so far although either the completest in me compelled me to pick it up or my inner Larfleeze did it.
Ten out of ten lanterns.