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“The entire Corps is crumbling”

This week’s Green Lanterns #55 serves as the launching point in Cyborg Superman’s final assault on Mogo and the Green Lantern Corps.  Dan Jurgens is winding down his run on the series which is set to conclude next month, making way for Grant Morrison’s The Green Lantern relaunch.  Eon and the Ravagers set out on their plot of revenge just as Hank Henshaw reveals himself as the possessor of the Phantom Ring.

This issue gives us an idea of just how much of a hold over the Ravagers and Eon Henshaw has when he arrives in Sector 1355 to rally the troops.  While we still don’t know how Henshaw came to be associated with the group they do share a common hatred of the Green Lanterns.  Jurgens doesn’t really give us an idea of what motivates Henshaw and long time readers are left to connect the dots back to the Sinestro Corps War.  This doesn’t do much for those who jumped on the book with its Rebirth launch and I think that it would have been wise for there to be a little explanation one way or the other.  The scene between Henshaw and his followers is strong nonetheless and both Jurgens and artist Mike Perkins do a nice job to show how devoted the Ravagers are to their leader.

Actually Kilowog, fight like you’ve fought a LOT before!

As much as the Ravagers are working together as a unit the Green Lanterns are not faring nearly as well.  With John Stewart down for the count and suspicions against Simon Baz running high, the Corps find themselves caught off guard.  For whatever reason Mogo has seemingly gone bonkers and the resulting weather has kept everyone at bay.  Once the Ravagers arrive in Mogo’s orbit all hell breaks loose as the battle erupts in the space surrounding the largest Lantern.  This is when Henshaw finally reveals himself and (once again) lets us know just how he’s come to be in the position of power he is.

Jurgen’s script is well supported throughout by Perkins’ pencils and as the issue unfolds the reader really does get a sense that while this isn’t the biggest threat the Corps have faced, the situation is more dire than one would think.  Especially once Henshaw reveals his final strategy to deal with the Corps, leaving the Green Lanterns with only Hal Jordan in a position to deal with the threat.  One thing that kind of pulled me out of the story a bit was the thought that entered my head about Cyborg Superman’s ability to attack the Corps literally from the inside.  If Hank Henshaw had this ability all along why did he wait until now to use it?  I mean, if he’d done this back when he was partnering with Sinestro they might have actually won!  Different writers I know, but is looking at this as a realized universe I couldn’t keep the thought out of my mind.

Hank Henshaw seems to have the upper hand

An interesting choice that Jurgens makes with this issue is to exclude Simon Baz, maybe.  I do think including him in a major way would have had a negative impact on the pacing of the issue and potentially distracted the reader unnecessarily.  But I also wonder if we didn’t see Simon in one panel, the one where a shadowy figure encounters the wreckage on Mogo where he finds an unconscious John Stewart.  It might not be him, but if not I don’t know the significance of showing that image.  Time will tell, but it would make sense for Simon to have somehow found a way back to Mogo to be a part of the finale.

Perkins does a wonderful job with this issue and his cover is one of the best of the series in my opinion.  Some of the strongest work is in the aforementioned “rallying of the troops” sequence, but the art is solid throughout the book.  I like a lot of the panel layout choices made with the issue and as usual Hi-Fi’s color work is great.

Green Lanterns #55 is an action packed issue that spends a lot of energy bringing everyone together as Dan Jurgens gets ready to bring this series to a close.  While we get more reiterations of the story of how Cyborg Superman outwitted the Corps than we really need, the issue does a fine job in getting the plot where it needs to be.  The stage is being set for a showdown between Hank Henshaw and Hal Jordan and I’m looking forward to seeing how Jurgens closes out his run.  Eight out of ten lanterns.

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