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“War Always Carries a Great Cost”

With Green Lantern Corps #33 comes the conclusion of Uprising and like most large, epic stories this one ends with a number of loose threads which will no doubt be the springboard for the events that will take center stage in the months to come. In this case there are things like the mysterious new Shadow Empire revealed at the issue’s end that are undoubtedly going to be a major threat for the Green Lanterns, not to mention the unresolved issue of Von Daggle’s former partner that John Stewart promised that they’d help locate.

Then of course there’s that little Yrra problem which features as the surprise twist of this issue, that is, a surprise twist for readers who didn’t see it coming.  I had my first hunch that this was going to be a kick in the gut for John back in Green Lantern Corps #30 and then I became certain of it when I read that panel in last week’s Green Lantern #33 where Fatality was interacting with the Zezzite children.  Not that being certain of events lessened their dramatic impact in any way because writer Van Jensen does a spectacular job of taking the knife of betrayal, shoving it and twisting it so expertly in John Stewart’s back that you just sadistically enjoy the ride.  
Dude looks like a lady!?
Of course John’s going to brood over this for some time but he’s now more than ever a man on a mission and I’m interested in seeing where the journey goes for him.  I have some question about how Verrat Din managed to fool the programming update that Von Daggle provided the Green Lanterns’ rings with, but for now I’m content with the notion that Din was so good at maintaining his/her/its cover that the rings were unable to tell the difference.
For me the bigger shock came from the actions that Von Daggle and Mogo took with the Durlan captives. I’ll be interested to see if there are repercussions for either of them once the dust settles and I’m hoping that we at some point get to find out who Daggle’s partner was if it wasn’t R’amey Holl.  The Shadow Empire is an intriguing new threat which I’m sure we’ll find out more about in Green Lantern #34 and the brief introduction we receive here sufficiently whets our appetites for what comes next.
Bernard Chang really shines this issue, especially when it comes to his depiction of the harsh brutality of Verrat Din’s attack.  The use of the familiar two-tone action panels is very effective and as Mogo’s tactic of  moving everyone away from the sun to weaken Din takes effect the use of shadow really helps to sell the reality of the impact of Mogo changing orbit.  
While I think I would have liked to have seen Gorin-Sunn become more involved in the final battle and would have liked to have seen Kilowog made a showing, by doing neither it allowed for some of the cast who haven’t had much to do a chance to be a bigger start of the finale.  As Mogo said, “War always carries a great cost”, and is this issue one long standing member of the Corps is dealt a cold blooded, brutal death which added a little extra weight to the conclusion of this arc.  While I never welcome the death of a character without it the threat to characters sometimes rings hollow and here it helped to remind us why Verrat Din represents a major danger for the entire universe and why Von Daggle and Mogo’s actions could easily be considered justifiable.
Love is blind
In my opinion Uprising has been a terrific story that did something we rarely see in comic “events” anymore.  Typically the “bad guy” emerges as a singular threat that calls the “good guys” into action and the threat grows until the story reaches its climax.  Uprising was different in that there was no one threat from the Durlans, it was more of a multi-layered series of threats that the Green Lanterns had to overcome with each minor victory leading to the revelation of another offensive that needed to be dealt with, sometimes with each side gaining and losing the upper hand in the same issue.  In that regard Uprising read like a very realistic depiction of major tacticians plotting and executing a very complex battle strategy designed to make the Green Lanterns feel like they had won the war with each succeeding victory.  For the Durlans each of their losses became distractions to keep the Corps from uncovering the next strategy designed to deliver the power they needed to rule the universe.  Uprising is definitely going to be a story that will read well as a collected edition and I only hope that DC sees fit to put all six parts in one edition.
 Green Lantern Corps #33 is filled with great moments as serves as a great conclusion to Uprising.  Whether you were caught in Van Jensen’s swerve or not has little bearing on whether or not you’ll enjoy the issue anyway because of how well the reveal is handled and how much more there is to like about this issue.  John Stewart is put through yet another emotional wringer and while Hal Jordan and the Corps have seemingly won the war there are wounds to heal and no time to rest with the Shadow Empire looming in the….well, the shadows!  Five out of five lanterns.
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