After seven issues the John Stewart plot finally makes a real move forward in Green Lantern #8. As Lonar tells John Stewart in this issue, his future depends on the fork in the road he now faces since he has “ascended”.
The entire first half of the issue revolves around the nebulous dialogue of Lonar and John’s rebuttal of the notion that John’s best destiny lies in not necessarily being a Green Lantern, but in embracing whatever state he has ascended to. This takes place over the surface-level events of John and the team rescuing Kilowog and Hannu on the planet Anacitus. In the end, John embraces the mission that Lonar lays before him and John leaves what’s left of his mission behind.
There are a couple of things about this first half that doesn’t sit right in with this first half. One is that writer Geoffrey Throne poses the notion that the Guardians tried to divert John from his future. Unless Lonar is speaking of something besides John’s ascension to the rank of Guardian, this doesn’t jibe with the history as we know it. The second is what looks like a swipe at the “chosen one” trope. John is just as much a “chosen one” as anybody, whether it’s from being chosen by the Guardians to be a Green Lantern, being chosen to be a Guardian, or being chosen to be what he’s ascended to this time. I think what I find the most detrimental to John’s story is the characterization of Stewart himself. His “don’t bother me I’m busy” attitude has become tiresome at this point – and if John were being told something by a New God I think he’s more likely to stop and take notice than what we’re seeing.
The biggest problem with the John Stewart half of this series though is the pace of the story itself. Here we are, two-thirds of the way through the story and we’re just now getting to the real story. Readers are $40 deep into this book and there’s so little meat on the bones of this book that I can’t fathom how anyone would think it’s been money well spent.
As for the Jo Mullein half of the book, there’s the “revelation” that the events which led to the dismantling of the central battery were an inside job. If you thought that the destruction of the battery was an overused plot mechanism then learning that it seems to have been caused by Guardians gone bad will barely be worthy of a raised eyebrow. I did like that Thorne connected the Young Guardians from the Grant Morrison run with the current set of Guardians rather than ignore that plot point. What did raise an eyebrow is how poorly Jo Mullein managed her relationship with the surviving members of the Green Lantern Corps.
For her to lecture the Corps on their behavior while bemoaning the fact that she’s been put in the position of managing things was extremely distasteful. These are beings who’ve put more on the line than Jo has, and no one has bothered to debrief them. Would these galactic guardians be looking to pick up whatever they can to make a difference and get back in the game – you bet your ass they would! It all underscores a major problem with this half of the story. Simon Baz and others know that Hal Jordan was sent to Earth – why hasn’t anyone brought up that one of the most decorated and experienced members (and former leaders) should be able to be contacted even if he has no ring at this point. Regardless of what Thorne thinks of Hal, the omission is a glaring one that makes a lot of people look stupid.
Art wise Marco Santucci has been the one consistent part of this series from a visual standpoint. ChrisCross steps in for this issue and his work is a step up from Tom Raney’s in my opinion.
The cover of Green Lantern #8 poses the question of “Who is John Stewart?”. Sadly, eight issues into this series we are only now getting our first glimpses of the answer to this question. Unfortunately, this book has squandered too much time dancing around what the main story is and at this point it’s hard to be interested in it. Four out of ten lanterns.