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It was only a matter of time before John Stewart’s decision making was going to get him in trouble, and right or wrong he has ended up on the wrong end of the Alpha Lanterns.  Green Lantern Corps #9 forces John to acknowledge what really happened to Kirrt back in issue 6.  With his actions now in question as well as his character, things are looking too good for John Stewart.

The Story –
The issue picks up right where it left off in last month’s issue, with the Alpha Lanterns arriving at Warriors to take John custody just as a massive bar brawl has broken out.  Guy Gardner throws the weight of his new position around and draws a line in the sand between the Alphas and the rest of the Corps who firmly stand behind John, but the Alphas make short work of everyone and before long the entire Corps sees the ring recording of John snapping Kirrt’s neck.

Guy’s attempt to fend off the Alpha Lanterns ends quickly

John takes ownership of his coverup and Kirrt’s failing become common knowledge amongst the rest of the Green Lanterns, some of whom go to the crypts and attempt to destroy Kirrt’s image deeming him unworthy of being honored there.  Guy appeals to the Guardians who claim that the Alpha Lanterns operate as an independent entity and informs him that he will have to abide by the results of the upcoming trial and take the opportunity to guide him towards a path of obedience.  Once Guy has left the Guardians their conversation confirms that they are finding ways to eliminate those members of the Corps who will pose the most resistance when the time comes to dismantle the Green Lantern Corps in favor of the Third Army.

At the trial John waives counsel but makes the very valid argument that the footage shown is out of context and the incomplete nature only shows John’s action and not the hours of torture which preceded it.  His questioning of how the footage could even exist when their rings were drained goes unanswered and once Guy speaks on John’s behalf it’s only a matter of time before the verdict is rendered.  John and Guy share a few moments contemplating the choices each have made and then the issue closes with the announcement of the verdict we’d expect to hear, guilty with a death sentence.

The Guardians have become the masters of manipulation
The Writing –
Will anyone pick up on John’s point?

Peter Tomasi does a great job with how John comes to terms with having to reveal the truth about the death of Kirrt as well as reinforcing the camaraderie between John and Guy.  The scene between Guy and the Guardians plays out well and we see how the Guardians are trying to herd Guy towards his own downfall and them finally admitting their manipulations to get rid of the four Earth Lanterns was well played.  There’s little doubt that the Guardians are pulling the strings behind John’s fall from grace and one has to wonder if John’s questioning about the existence of the footage will lead to some hard thinking by other members of the Corps and Guy in particular.

Speaking of Guy, it’s interesting to watch him wrestle with his allegiance to the Guardians and John and the upcoming solicitations make no assumptions that he will be put in a position to have to decide one way or the other very soon.  It’s a no-win situation for him though since siding with John will make him a renegade and provide the Guardians with the justification to put him down while siding with them will put him at odds with the rest of the Corps when the time comes and once again he’ll fall victim to the situation and end up off the field of play.  The creative team had done a great job of creating situations in each book in the Green Lantern family that position the four Earth men right where they need to be in the bigger picture without compromising the stories they are telling in their own books. 

The Art –
Fernando Pasarin does a great job capturing the emotion on Johns face and this issue in particular has created a wonderful opportunity for him to show that he can do a lot more than do action sequences.  Although I thought the pencils looked really good I think the coloring may be a little overdone as I found myself distracted at just how overpowering the amount of green seemed to be.

What Do I Think?
It’s no surprise that John Stewart is found guilty but despite the lack of shock value one the last panel Green Lantern Corps #9 plays out like a taut legal drama complete with manipulations of the judicial system and evidence tampering.  Well balanced with that is the human drama of seeing a man who many rally behind having their choices used to compromise them all for the sake of a larger agenda by those who have the power to control the outcome.  Despite an overpowering coloring job this is a great issue.  Four out of five lanterns.

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