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After last month’s pause in the action and the emotional story of Kirrt’s family in issue seven, the eighth issue of Green Lantern Corps launches into the “Alpha War” as John Stewart begins to face the consequences of his actions during the Keeper battle.  Writer Peter Tomasi takes this first issue of his next arc to lay the foundation for a story that is likely to be filled with all the drama and action we’ve come to expect from him.

The Story –
Boodikka and the some of the Alpha Lanterns are called to their chamber on Oa to review the data logged by the power rings of the Keeper captive during the events of the sixth issue when John snapped Kirrt’s neck to prevent him from divulging vital information about the security around Oa.  Knowing that going after a well respected officer will not sit well with the rest of the Corps the Alpha Lanterns briefly consider the ramifications of pursuing the human, but in the end their duty outweighs all other factors.

The Alphas briefly consider the fallout of going after John, but who tipped them off?

Elsewhere on Oa John and Guy Gardner are working on putting Sinestro’s central power battery under ground, but Guy sees issues with having both the main battery and captured members of the Sinestro Corps so close together.  As the team of Lanterns prepare the main battery for lowering underground Gardner decides that his sensibilites overrule the Guardians and he causes the giant yellow battery to land on its side, creating more work for the rest of the Corps to right it.

Salaak and John confront Guy and the outspoken member of the Corps reinforces his position that they shouldn’t be trusting Sinestro and that the Guardians are wrong despite Salaak’s reassurance that they have a plan, which we know they do, just one that bodes will for the Green Lanterns.  Guy is summoned to the citadel presumably to get reprimanded, but instead the Guardians catch Gardner by surprise and not only agree with Guy’s actions but want to appoint him to a new position that elevates him above Salaak and answering soley to the Guardians.

Guy questions the actions being taken with the Sinestro Corps.
You know this isn’t going to end well

The hitch to the offer being a challenge to Guy to demonstrate a better sense of constraint and Guy, seeing this as his chance to be officially recognized for his contributions, jumps at the offer and heads to Warriors to celebrate with John, new attitude intact.  But when Gardner can’t reason with the unruly patrons a brawl breaks out and the fists start flying.  The issue ends when the Alpha Lanterns burst onto the scene and pronounce their intentions to arrest John Stewart for murder.

The Writing –
Tomasi does a wonderful job of not only setting up this new story but also in perhaps laying some groundwork for the larger story unfolding in the Green Lantern universe.  While on the surface it appears like the Alpha Lanterns are just doing their job, one has to wonder who uncovered John’s actions and the conspiracy theorist in me wants to think that this is the Guardians’ way of getting Stewart out of the way for the coming of the Third Army. 
Likewise the turn of events for Guy and the way in which the Guardians play into Gardner’s personality allow them to separate him “from the herd” and gain a way to manipulate him when the time is right.  Guy will likely not go against the Guardians when the nature of John’s actions come to light and the fact that doing so would undermine his new position will likely be the motivation that tips the scales for him.  In a way one could feel sorry for Guy because despite his character he has always been willing to go to great lengths to do the right thing even when it’s not the popular thing to do and discovering that this is not a sincere recognition of his accomplishments might well make him more bitter when all of this is said and done.

The Guardians move another pawn on their galactic chess board

In my mind this plays towards the Guardians’ greater plans of getting the four most dangerous members of the Corps off stage when they make their next major move.  The creative teams have found ways to accomplish this that seem very natural and fit into the stories playing out in each of the three Green titles and I applaud them for all the behind the scenes collaborating that must be going on.

If I had to pick anything to criticize it might be the statment that the Alpha Corps make about being chosen since some of them were in fact forcibly transformed by Cyborg Superman but in the grand scheme of things that’s picking nits and in fact those events might very well have been one of the minor elements of continuity changes by the DC relaunch.
The Art –
I remember at one time being critical of Fernando Pasarin’s work but he’s only gotten better in my mind as time has passed.  I think some of this is due to him getting more familiarity with the characters and he’s doing a great job of telling us a lot about the story from the emotions on the characters’ faces from the blank emotionless Alpha Lanterns to the Guy’s stubborness to the troubled look on John’s face that closes out the issue.
What Do I Think?
Green Lantern Corps #8 does a great job of setting up the next major chapter in the lives of John and Guy plus it deftly puts the series neatly alongside New Guardians and Green Lantern as well crafted pieces of a much larger puzzle.  Four out of five lanterns.

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