Green Lantern #11 has hit the stands, serving as the penultimate installment of Geoffrey Thorne’s initial twelve-issue arc. At this point, we don’t yet know if this series will continue considering that there are no Green Lantern comics solicited for April or May, but that could be a marketing stunt to play off of the upcoming “Dark Crisis” – or it could also be that DC didn’t make a decision on whether or not to continue with Thorne until recently and the creative team needs time to get the next issues created. Either way, this issue sets up a new status quo for next month’s denouement with a number of questions still left to answer.
With this issue both the John Stewart and Jo Mullein plots converge back into one narrative, with John leaving Esak in the hands of Lonar as he returns to Oa to deal with Koyos. The issue is what one might expect as everything has to come to a head at some point, and Thorne tries to shove some plot points in amongst the frenetic battle scenes. The issue is one big fight scene, with Yridian and the magic users using Koyos to take on the combined forces of the Guardians, the Justice League, Hal Jordan, Jo Mullein, the United Order, and the Green Iron Man Corps. The balance of the fight shifts to the good guys once John shows up all bulked up with the Godstorm energy inside him.
Koyos reaches out to a number of worlds as he combines the energies of magic, the emotional spectrum, and anti-chaos. Zamoran, Maltus, The Helix (base of the Controllers), and Odym are all targeted. Odym seems an odd choice and the creative team shows a version of Odym that seems to once again be home to the Blue Lantern Corps. Odym was lost to the Reach back in Green Lantern: New Guardians #10 with the Blue Lantern setting up a new home on the planet Elpis in Green Lantern Corps #20. Then Relix came and completely destroyed the Blue Lantern Corps and Elpis in Green Lantern: New Guardians #23. I guess DC Continuity being what it is Odym could be back, but it seems a bit lazy to ignore what was a major event for the sake of a couple of seemingly inconsequential panels. If the “Crux Worlds” are as important as Thorne made of point of back in the second issue, why not have Koyos go after them instead? Maybe that was all hopeful setup for a succeeding arc, but it reads like the whole “Crux Worlds” was just made up solely to move some characters off the stage.
It was nice to see Hal and Wally together given their history, but that’s really the only interesting use of Hal here. Thorne’s handling of Hal lives up to his personal opinion of the character as he does little here than make a suggestion on how to take down Koyos. Jo Mullein goes for Keli Quintela’s gauntlet, something Hal’s experience with Krona’s gauntlet made him a much more qualified individual to wield. Of course, Jo is the co-star of the series so it makes sense for her to have the moment, but Thorne fails to make it make sense from a character perspective. Thorne also makes the eye-rolling point of having Wally endorse Jo by saying he likes “the new kid” much in the way that Sam Humphries tried to put over Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz by having Batman give his own endorsement of the new Green Lanterns as a way trying to elevate their status.
We are left with a lot of questions, but there are some things that this issue seems to set up in terms of a new status quo. Mainly, Thorne has taken Jo and Hal’s unique rings off the table as well as Keli’s gauntlet. We learn that Jo’s ring survived the initial attack because Nemosyni forged the ring using both Oan and Qwardian technology. Likewise, Hal is no longer able to connect to the Cosmic Grail, which had allowed him to remain powered up. Keli gives up her gauntlet and Jo is not wearing it after the battle, implying that it was lost in the battle. That takes care of any of the unique rings and puts all the Green Lanterns on the same page going forward. As for how the power battery is returned, well John’s still there and still has the Godstorm inside him, so it’s likely we’ll get some sort of relighting in the final issue.
There is, of course, one other thing to consider. Esak says that the Source will exact a price from John Stewart and we don’t know what he means by that. There’s no way that Thorne is going to have John lose his life, but I can’t imagine that it was a throwaway line, either. Then there is the question of where this leaves characters like Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner in all this. Thorne did say that he had plans for Kyle in particular that involved putting him through hell, but if the series is over there are some loose ends the next writer will either have to contend with or write off with a quick gloss over.
Tom Raney and Marco Santucci, along with Maria Laura Sanapo, provide the visuals for this issue. I’ve been critical of Raney’s work in the past, and while I’m still not much of a fan of his art style I felt like this might have been his best issue of the series. The art itself serves the issue well and there is some really good imagery for this issue.
Green Lantern #11 is the best issue of this series so far, but the bar has been set pretty low throughout the rest of the run. Thorne’s writing is not nearly as fragmented as past issues despite some flat characterization and questionable narrative choices. Art wise I think this issue was probably the most solid it has been as well. While I can’t say that I enjoyed the issue, it was at least mildly entertaining. Six out of ten lanterns.