This week’s issue of Green Lantern Corps cranks up the drama as Guy Gardner crash lands from the nosedive of his cosmic cop career, John Stewart and Fatality find themselves allies in the quest to help Mogo and the Guardians Third Army plans are discovered. This title continues to lead the charge when it come to the “Rise of the Third Army” and issue fifteen gives us the best of what the Green Lantern mythology has to offer.
The Story –
Following his forced resignation from the Green Lantern Corps last month
, Guy Gardner is left shell shocked, still trying to understand just how he went from the peak of his career to its end so abruptly. Lashing out in anger he sees another potential future for himself when his gaze falls on his motorcycle helmet.
In deep space John and Fatality exchange some harsh words before finding some common ground – and that ground is the remnants of Mogo. Fatality reveals that Mogo is somewhat of a cosmic hermaphrodite, containing both a male and female side. Fatality perhaps unravels a bit of the Guardians’ plans for John by discovering that the essential core of Mogo’s essence is being held somewhere and that is preventing the largest member of the Corps from putting itself back together. The two former adversaries decide to work together and set off to find out where the missing pieces are being held.
|John’s continuing interaction with Fatality is a high point in an issue filled with high points.
In the Guardians’ citadel on Oa the Guardians discover that they are being monitored by Salaak which leads to a dramatic confrontation between the Green Lantern and his masters. Despite Salaak’s pleading Ganthet takes the beloved Slyggian off the playing field before he can share his findings with the rest of the Corps.
Back on Earth Guy reaches out to his brother and father to make sure all is well after he had them whisked away to the Justice League satellite. Guy’s father is abrupt as expected and perhaps on that Guy is subconsciously pushed a little farther in his plan to pull a Batman than he might have originally set out to. Guys spends the night scouring the underbelly of Baltimore until he makes his way to an arms deal which he proceeds to foil with a great deal of zeal.
|Despite the high drama of this issue, Tomasi manages to insert some levity to help balance the narrative.
The whole backfires on Guy when the police arrive, the federal undercover operation ruined by Gardner’s assault on the agents waiting for the bad guys to arrive. As the issue closes Guy is escorted to a police cruiser by his arresting officer, his sister Gloria.
The Writing –
Just ask Peter Tomasi and he’ll tell you that he was born to write Guy Gardner and with each passing issue any doubters have to question their stance. Guy’s reaction to what’s happened to him is on spot with how one would expect he’d respond and his predicament is entirely relatable to any of us who have experienced a fall from grace. In typical Guy fashion is his tactics to use his reputation to pull a stunt in order to validate himself and perhaps in the dark recesses of his id there’s a notion that getting killed without his ring on and trying to be the person his father expects is just the fitting end to their relationship. More than anything he wants that approval and no matter how hard he tries he’s not going to get it unless his father has an epiphany. On a side note I wonder if the arms deal has anything to do with Baz’s predicament in the main Green Lantern book and their upcoming introductions might be tied to Baz’s focus on finding out who put the bomb in the vehicle he stole.
I’ll fully admit to having a cold chill when Gathet discovered Salaak’s ploy and really felt for his life in a dramatically powerful set of pages. We’ve seen the creative team for the Green Lantern family willing to go to great lengths to make sure that the risk is real and the thought that Salaak might be permanently put out of the picture was a very sobering thought. I’m not sure why Ganthet handled the situation quite like he did, but it does support the notion I share with Salaak that there might be more going on with the Guardians than what we see on the surface level. Like the Slyggian I deeply want to think that there is redemption for the Guardians and I felt like Tomasi gave that thought a voice in Salaak’s pleading.
|Salaak speaks for many fans who hope that the Guardians are not without redemption.
The Mogo subplot continues to evolve and remain interesting with Fatality’s revelations spurring their story along with the loss she and John share together. Theirs is an interesting dynamic tempered by Fatality’s role as a Star Sapphire and I find it utterly captivating when they share panel time together. Her transition from wanting retribution on John Stewart to actually trying to heal him is compelling and it’s a smart decision to pair them together for an extended bit of bonding time.
The Art –
Fernando Pasarin continues to do a wonderful job telling the story visually. I particularly found his work with Salaak to help greatly is setting the emotional tone for his dialogue. Likewise we can feel Guy’s anguish and empathize with him in large part due to the marriage of Tomasi’s script with Pasarin’s pencils.
What Do I Think?
This issue joins last months as two shining examples of what I love about Green Lantern’s mythology. Both cosmic and very personal stories unfold in a well paced dramatic story which isn’t weighed down in too much hand wringing. I respect that the reader is left to discover the layers of emotion and psychology rather than laying it out there in black and white. There’s always the risk that the work will only be looked at on the surface layer, but even then the book is crafted so that even that experience is gratifying. Five out of five lanterns.