Last month we all saw Kyle Rayner make the ultimate sacrifice in Green Lantern Corps #42 – the issue ending with Kyle’s dead body lying on OA after taking out a whole legion of Black Lanterns that were threatening to destroy the Central Power Battery. So did this week’s issue #43 give us any more information on the fate of the Torchbearer. Well, let’s just say that this issue is Red (Lantern) hot!
This issue picks up right where we left off as Guy Gardner and Soranik Natu spot Kyle Rayner’s dead body. Guy cannot accept that Kyle is gone and tries to stop his ring from heading to Mogo while Natu lands by Kyle’s side and tries to contain her emotions so that she can try to revive him. Guy simply cannot keep Rayner’s ring under control and he joins Natu, although his grief quickly turns to rage and, as so many people have speculated, Kyle’s death pushes Guy to the point that Vice’s Red Lantern ring takes over Guy.
Now Guy Gardner is not the kind of person that you want to be pissed off at you to begin with – and under the influence of his new rage-fueled ring, he is a force to be reckoned with. While Guy’s taking apart the reforming Black Lanterns left and right, Natu struggles to keep the Black Lantern rings from taking over Kyle. The action here is fast-paced and tension-filled – Natu is literally stopping the rings split seconds before they are on Rayner’s finger and Gardner’s destructive rampage keeps adding more and more black rings to the mix as he’s taking out Black Lanterns. Finally, Natu is overwhelmed and one of the rings slides onto Kyle’s hand and along comes Munk to destroy the Black Lantern ring before it can reanimate the fallen Green Lantern’s body. The Indigo Tribe member and Natu are surrounded by dozens of rings all trying to get to the fresh corpse, but Kilowog and more Green Lanterns reappear to help defend Kyle’s lifeless body.
The scene shifts to Kryb and Star Sapphire Miri dealing with all of the dead orphans. Kryb is angry that the orphans died when the Sapphires took her away in their attempt to turn her to their side, but their struggle is put on hold when Miri’s ring summons her to Soranik Natu’s side. The Red Hulk, er Guy Gardner, rips Kryb’s arm off and stuffs it down her throat – no, I’m not kidding!
Miri tells Natu that her love for Kyle summoned her and she reaches through Natu and Kyle’s chests, saying that “Your heart is his heart. His heart is your heart…and with an infusion of love and will two hearts are one!” Kyle coughs some violet energy as his ring turns tail and head back to Oa and just like that Kyle is back to the land of the living. Now aren’t all you whiners out there who bitched and moaned last month sorry for all the bad things you said about DC! I don’t want to say I told you so, but I told you so! Natu tells Kyle about Guy and just as they are about to go help him, Mogo causes an Oan eclipse and we fade to black.
There isn’t much here to advance the overall Blackest Night story, but this issue is wall to wall action and it reads really fast. Gleason’s art was okay, but it seems a little inconsistent with this issue. For example, when Natu holds Kyle’s face in her hand it almost looks like he was trying to draw Keanu Reeves instead, but one page later we have a great looking splash page. Between the two covers, I personally think the regular cover tops the Munk variant – but maybe it’s just because the Red Lantern Guy Gardner cover looks more exciting.
Eight out of ten lanterns.