With the Third Army story just weeks away from launching itself all the books in the Green Lantern family are wrapping up their individual stories while the bigger picture begins to coalesce. For the Green Lantern Corps title in particular this means moving the chess pieces about carefully since the Guardians play a crucial role in the series and now isn’t the right time to move them too close to where they need to be when everything comes crashing down. So with issue eleven the action is cranked up to a whole new level to keep things moving.
The Story –
Continuing from the last issue
, Guy is escaping with the unconscious John Stewart over his shoulder as a major skirmish continues between the Corps and the Alpha Lanterns. When Boodikka attempts to have Salaak clamp down the security around the planet to prevent the escape the Slyggian denies her request and states his position rather succinctly, almost daring her to confront him.
Meanwhile the Guardians are closely monitoring the situation and considering when they should insert themselves into the situation, however patience is deemed the best course of action to lessen the perception that they have any involvement in the near civil war brewing around them. Some of the Alpha Lanterns disengage from the conflict to pursue the two humans but find themselves victim of a ruse and return to the surface of Oa empty handed.
|The Alphas fall for one of the oldest tricks in the book.
Upon returning to consciousness John lays a fist on Gardner and then thanks him for shaking him out of the state he was in. The two men have taken refuge below the surface of the planet, back in the foundry area we first visited during the War of the Green Lanterns back in Emerald Warriors #9
. While Shedd, the mysterious keeper of the foundry, is no where to be seen, John and Guy take the opportunity to explore the foundry further, discovering a host of power rings being prevented from finding bearers, a sampling of Psions
, Manhunters and Alpha Lanterns among the secrets stored right under the noses of the Corps. All the discarded relics give John and Guy an idea to use all the part to conduct some experiments of their own to aid them in the conflict.
|John and Guy prepare to play Frankenstein
The Alpha Lanterns interrogate the Lanterns who aided in the escape with the seeds of dissent growing between the Alphas, some of who begin to question the tactics being used. John and Guy make a big entrance, accompanied by a hodgepodge of alien tech assembled into a fighting force fueled by the liquid will energy from the foundry and programmed like the Manhunters to focus their energy solely on the Alpha Lanterns.
The battle, begun anew, captures the attention of Salaak, who calls the rest of the Corps on Oa to engage the Alpha Lanterns, and the Guardians, who appear to anxiously await the moment when they can inject themselves into the growing conflict. Surrounded by the remains of their shattered army, John and Guy are apprehended by Varix as the myriad of pieces begin to reassemble themselves into something more. As the issue comes to a close the Corps are mere moments from reaching the battle and a new threat emerges from the reassembled pieces of John and Guy’s fighting force.
The Writing –
Peter Tomasi has a difficult task trying to keep the tension at a high point while not allowing the Guardians to tip their hands just yet. It’s a balancing act he succeeds at admirably and I found myself feeling like we are being pushed right to the edge of what can happen in the book without actually starting the Third Army story. Along the way we get to see more of the mysterious foundry and the Guardian’s secret stash of failed attempts to make a perfect force to carry out their mission.
|The Guardians teeter on the edge of launching their endgame plans for the Corps
While this issue is fairly short on character narrative and heavy on action and plot the reader never feels like that’s a loss as there are several moments in this issue to advance the development of some of the cast. Salaak in particular gets a well deserved moment to shine in what would clearly be a moment where the audience would cheer if this were a motion picture. Likewise we see Varix at odds with Boodikka as the two come to a crossroads of opinions about just how far they are allowed to bend the rules so that they can enforce them. Tomasi’s strength are managing an ensemble and giving all the parts their due continue to be a strong point for the series.
The Art –
Fernando Pasarin and the art team really did a great job in keeping the visuals in line with the frantic pace of the story and provided a number of visuals in this issue that elevated Tomasi’s script. I particularly liked the Kirby Krackle style emerald energy to note the raw power being unleashed throughout this issue. The particularly creepy looking abomination that closes out this issue was a treat as well.
What Do I Think?
The creative team on this series has another great issue to add to their resumes and this one was wall to wall action. The quality of the Green Lantern family of books continues to be a bright spot in DC’s catalog and this issue really serves as a showcase of how awesome the Green Lantern mythology can be. Four out of five lanterns.