Before the Sinestro Corps War and the Green Lantern franchise exploded in popularity there was the Green Lantern Corpse, a covert ops group sponsored by the Guardians to take on missions that required a little more stealth and guile. Keith Champagne created the unit on the pages of Green Lantern Corps #7-13 (of the pre-Flashpoint series) in a story called The Dark Side of Green and it became a fan favorite, but unfortunately the plans for the franchise didn’t line up with having the Corpse around leading to future planned stories being shelved and the whole concept pretty much buried. Van Jensen has mined the story for a follow up given that the main operative of the story, the shapeshifter Green Lantern Von Daggle, just happens to be Durlan and dovetails nicely into the plans that he and Robert Venditti have for the Green Lantern family of books.
Von Daggle is none to happy to see the Green Lanterns knocking on his door
In Green Lantern Corps #28 John Stewart leads a team in search of Daggle not knowing that the Durlans have the same agenda. Jensen’s script is filled with some great action sequences as the shapeshifter takes on various forms to deal with Stewart, Fatality, Bolphunga and Hunger Dog where they’ve tracked him to the planet Muz. The battle gets the best of Daggle, who’s been running on fumes since he ran out of the radioactive energy he needs to consume in order to fuel his shifting abilities. Bernard Chang has fun unleashing his creativity with some of the various aliens that Daggle turns into and showing whey the Durlans are not only a threat with their ability to infiltrate, but in their ability to take on the forms of the deadliest adversaries in the universe. Visually the art team plays with some of the action panels, choosing to use two color panels in some circumstances to illustrate the action in a way that invokes anime and manga aesthetics.
Jensen also uses this issue to deal with Soranik Natu and her feelings about being cursed to cause pain and suffering wherever she goes, finding some solace in Salaak’s multiple arms before getting attacked on the remnants of Oa. This issue marks the return of Morro as he sets up a new set of crypts deep within Mogo and there are some nice nods to fallen members of the Corps like Katma Tui and Ch’p. Jensen deftly mixes in some sequences of life on Mogo to flesh out the feeling that the Corps are slowly rebuilding while not spending so much time on them that the main plots are not overshadowed.
Another threat emerges as Soranik Natu is taken captive
By issue’s end the Durlans make their presence on Muz known leading to a showdown with John Stewart’s team next issue. But the last page reveal of Arkillo as the mastermind behind the abduction of Soranik Natu was a jawdropper. Given that the Yellow Lantern and his new comrades ditched Salaak and kept Soranik leads me to think that she was the target of their plan, which more than likely has a lot to do with her father being Sinestro. He and Arkillo have unfinished business and with his own series just on the horizon it makes sense to build towards their inevitable reunion.
Green Lantern Corps continues to be a solid read and this issue continues to follow the trend. Van Jensen has a solid grasp of the characters he’s shepherding and Bernard Chang’s art helps bring Jensen’s scripts to life. If only Chang would get his version of Kilowog more on model rather than the way he continues to draw him. With some fun action sequences and a great surprise ending Green Lantern Corps #28 gets four out of five lanterns.