Life continues to be extremely difficult for John Stewart and as a Green Lantern fan I wouldn’t have it any other way. That John and the other Earth Lanterns continue to push ahead despite the overwhelming odds is one of the many things I take away from the Green Lantern universe and Green Lantern Corps #23 is a great example of persevering when things look their worst.
Writer Van Jensen (with co-plotting continuing to be done by Robert Venditti) has used the unreliability of the power rings to good use by having the Khunds take advantage of their predicament and overtake them rather than the Green Lantern trope of the ring wearer either forgetting to charge the ring or it running out of juice at just the wrong moment. This time it’s Feska’s turn to shine as we learn a little more about her character when she is the one who manages to escape from their captors. I really like that Jensen and Venditti have taken the time to show readers why the new recruits were chosen by the rings and by their actions proving to John that they are more than the simple raw initiates that he took them for. With Maro saving his skin later the point is proven to John and, in keeping with his character, by the issue’s end he’s admitted his mistake in judging them prematurely.
Jruk and the new recruits get ample opportunity to show their mettle against the Khunds.
Yrra manages to elude the Durlans until she gets the Wrath of Khan treatment and is felled by the shapeshifters, illustrating aptly why they are perhaps the most dangerous beings in the universe. With the upcoming Lights Out and Forever Evil events one has to assume that the Durlan threat is a plot that’s going to advance slowly and blossom fully once they are both concluded. It’s a nice buildup and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the creative team plans to utilize them once the time is right.
Not forgetting Oa we see more of the rising anxiety by the Green Lanterns with the notion that Hal Jordan is in charge. Kilowog wisely seeks out Salaak not only to check in on his mental state but to bring him back in the fold. With the uneasiness increasing in the ranks a sign of stability like Salaak could go some distance in easing the rest of the Corps. In these moments we get to see more members of the Corps like Isamot Kol, Iolande and Vath Sarn; a nice treat for readers and a reminder that Jensen and Venditti haven’t forgotten them, either.
Ion really looks like a fish out of water.
All the pieces come back together this issue with Fatality breaking free and managing to find John and help in the form of Soranik Natu. Salaak and Kilowog make the discovery that the central power battery isn’t fully powered and when Ion cries out for help the revelation that all of the emotional entities are dying with the end of the issue shocking the reader about their seeming fatal state.
There’s a lot to this issue and the whole issue is executed to near perfection with all the right notes being hit with the script. Bernard Chang does a wonderful job overall, although I do hope he gets a better grip on Kilowog soon. Not only is he too short in stature, his face really needs a lot more work to get it closer to model for the much loved Green Lantern. All in all though this is a superb issue with a great little cliffhanger. Four out of five lanterns.