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The Secret of the Indigo Tribe is a story arc I’ve really be looking forward to since Geoff Johns first mentioned it a while ago.  Of all the groups making use of the power of the emotional spectrum the enigmatic Indigo Tribe has really sparked my curiosity with their unusual language and the way in which they are chosen and, well, perhaps indoctrinated into the group.  Plus there’s the intriguing connection between the Tribe and Abin Sur that  sparks a bit of creative speculation about how Hal’s predecessor might connect to them which fuels me between issues.  This week the seventh issue of the post relaunch Green Lantern title kicks off the new story arc and it looks like we are in for another spectacular journey.

The Story – 
Far off in deep space Indigo-1 sees images of Abin Sur and Sinestro and while we cannot tell what she’s saying there is something about Black Hand mentioned and the scene ends with the Indigo Tribe all saying “Nok” with the final panel showing Black Hand’s face.

Back on Earth we re-join Hal, Carol and Sinestro seconds after Sinestro interrupted them at the end of issue six and Hal wants nothing to do with helping the Korgarian.  After a humorous discussion about Hal’s unwillingness to work for the Guardians again Sinestro takes the old fashioned route and pulls a ring constructed pistol out of thin air, threatening to blow Carol’s brains out.

Hal states his position clearly, okay maybe not too clearly!
Why they want Sinestro remains a mystery

Hal lunges at Sinestro and the two resort to physical tactics until Sinestro binds Hal and explains what the Guardians have in store for the Green Lantern Corps and that Hal has to help him for the good of the galaxy.  The Indigo Tribe arrive in force and as Carol looks on she makes the decision to put the Star Sapphire ring back on to help Hal deal with the situation.  The Indigo Tribe have come to take Sinestro away to atone for his actions, proclaiming that the Guardians made a mistake in letting him keep the Green Lantern ring.  Knocking Hal aside the Tribe prepare to leave with Sinestro, but Hal manages to get inside their bubble before they teleport away, leaving the newly arrived Star Sapphire alone wondering where Hal has gone once again.

On Oa the Guardians interrogate Lyssa Drak while Voz tries to use his chance to interact with the Guardians to learn more about why Sinestro is once again among their ranks.  However the Guardians dismiss him before giving him an answer and then turn their attention to the “story witch”.  The Guardians are after the Book of the Black but she no longer is in possession of it and out of desperation offers to trade information about its whereabouts for the Book of Parallax, or even the Book of Rage if that will get her anything to latch onto.

We see just how far the Guardians have changed in recent months as not only do they consider killing Drak, but Voz as well to prevent questioning should they dispose of Drak.  In a chilling comment Ganthet tells his fellow Guardian that striking down the Corps cannot happen until they have all their preparation made.

The Guardians’ plans are a far cry from the altruistic goals of years past.

For the second time Hal Jordan comes to in a cell, only this time he has a creepy neighbor who offers to do pretty much anything to be set free.  A bolt of energy knocks the being away when he threatens to rip off Jordan’s limb and it’s reveled that Black Hand has come to Hal’s aid.  Black Hand clearly has a different air about him and he tells Hal that everyone is saved, including Sinestro.  The issue ends with Black Hand telling Hal that Sinestro will be reborn in the same way he was while we see Sinestro regaining consciousness in chains, surrounded by the rest of the Indigo Tribe.

Sinestro is in for a rude awakening

The Writing –
There’s been some complaining on the Internet that Hal has lost his way since the relaunch, but I think myself that he’s very human in the way he’s dealt with the loss of the ring and the chance he now has with Carol.  While he’s wrestling with his addiction to the ring and fighting that craving for action he’s finally found  the closest thing has to peace with Carol.  We all know it’s not going to last but Hal’s certainly earned a bit of a reprieve.  As Geoff pointed out during last year’s convention circuit, you have to wonder what these guys are fighting for when they don’t have lives outside of the Corps and Hal has been through a great deal since putting the ring back on.  I also had to chuckle during the conversation about Hal no working for anyone with Carol standing beside him and how she inserts herself into the conversation only to have Hal echo her.

The mystery of the Indigo Tribe is keep alive by Geoff’s use of their strange language, allowing them to say things that we cannot understand to mask intentions that would be far clearer if we knew what they meant.  Johns also pushes the Guardians further down that slippery slope they are on with their comments about how far their agenda goes with regards to the Corps.  While I’m enjoying the plot I do hope that this is the result of some tampering by Krona during the War of the Green Lanterns and not a shift in the Guardians’ true intentions.

The Art –
After a one issue respite Doug Mahnke is back and while I still find problems with his drawing of Hal Jordan in his civies he’s still far better than Mike Choi’s work last month.  I like his work on the Indigo Tribe in particular and Indigo-1’s use of the jet construct against Hal when she took on the power of his ring.  That may have been called for in Geoff’s script but not knowing that for a certainty I’ll credit Mahnke with the creative decision.

What Do I Think?
Like many of Geoff’s stories this issue starts off with enough action and intrigue to pull the reader into the story quickly.  I’m all in for the ride on the Secret of the Indigo Tribe, not that it would have taken much.  This issue has a good balance between action, plot and character that made it a fun, if quick, read.  The only bad part is having to wait another month to see what happens next.  Four Lanterns.

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