If the theme of GodHead‘s first act was establishing the superiority of the New Gods then the second act so far seems to be about making the event more personal. Last week’s Green Lantern #36 built itself around the relationship between Sinestro and Hal Jordan with the former pointing out how the latter has allowed his new role as Corps Leader to change what makes Jordan the greatest Green Lantern. This week in Green Lantern Corps #36 it gets personal for John Stewart when the New Gods bring the conflict to the Star Sapphires, forcing John to quickly come to terms with recent events between Yrra and himself when duty calls for him to intercede.
While Lady Shadowfall and her troops from New Genesis invade Zamoran the lanterns set up shop on Qward where Sinestro takes the opportunity to throw Hal under the bus for going off to enlist Black Hand into their forces. Writer Van Jensen uses the scene to good effect, having John provide a suitable response and establishing that this rag-tag group is by no means united and the seeds of distrust could lead to defeat if all involved cannot move past their checkered histories. Jensen also mines recent Green Lantern history and returns the Weaponer of Qward to the forefront, providing some great character moments for him while using his unique skill set to provide at least a momentary advantage in the coming conflict – weapons fueled by some of the energy of the White Lantern.
Sinestro baits John, but Stewart will have none of it
Jensen also uses Soranik Natu to great effect, probing beneath the surface of John’s psyche a little to elicit an emotional response from Stewart which helps to define how deeply effected he is by what he perceives as manipulation by the Star Sapphires. It sets up an emotional dilemma for John when it comes time to enter the fray and it flairs up against like and exposed nerve when Lady Shadowfall’s tactics call for a rather unique and unexpected strategy. The dialogue between John and the Zamoran Queen also reveals a glimmer of hope for John when it’s revealed that their rings don’t create love but rather they enhance a love that already exists.
This leads to the issue’s climax, with John becoming the first real male Star Sapphire and Lady Shadowfall revealing that the ring bearers are unknowingly being herded so that they can be reborn as soldiers for Highfather and the New Gods. That’s an interesting plan if it’s part of Highfather’s strategy although it may undermine a little the view of the leader of New Genesis as a benevolent ruler with the best intentions for the multiverse.
Lady Shadowfall refuses to bow under the pressure of combat
Bernard Chang’s artwork this issue is a little uneven and while the majority of the issue looks great there are some panels during the battle between the lanterns and Lady Shadowfall’s troops that are a little unclear as to what’s happening. Sinestro at one point loses the symbol from his chest as well, but for the most part the artwork is on the money. I particularly like the character design for John’s new uniform, reflecting the double edged nature of love with jagged lines that symbolize his own painful romantic history. While I don’t expect John to remain a Sapphire for long the new look is pretty interesting and I can’t wait to see the first reaction Guy Gardner will have when he encounters John next!
Green Lantern Corps #36 is an entertaining issue, tying the recent events in the series to the GodHead event in order to make this sprawling story a bit more personal. Van Jensen, Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo create the first male Star Sapphire and return a fan favorite character back to the spotlight. Despite a few artistic bumps in the road the issue is a visual treat, earning four out of five lanterns.