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Taking a break for two months while DC’s “Knight Terrors” plays out across the DCU may not sound like a good thing for any new series to lean into, but with fear being so closely tied to the Green Lantern mythology there’s a great deal of sense in embracing the detour. Particularly if you can find a way to dovetail the events of the main series with the two-issue tie-in, which is exactly what Jeremy Adams has done with Knight Terrors: Green Lantern #1.

As the new villain Insomnia searches for the Nightmare Stone, he encounters Hal while he’s still thousands of feet in the air, right where we left him in the last issue of the new series. As Hal lunges back into the cockpit of the rapidly descending plan, he enters the familiar ground that Adams and Insomnia have chosen to prey on Hal, the funeral of Hal’s father. It’s an obvious starting point because Martin Jordan’s heroic, tragic death is fundamental to Hal’s post-Crisis origins. It was used to great effect by Tom King in the Justice League: The Darkseid War: Green Lantern #1 one-shot from 2015, a book which also makes sure to include Hal’s Jewish heritage. While it’s a small thing, it’s good to see that Adams is not overlooking it, although I think the creative team went a little too far since Martin himself was Catholic and it is Jessica who is Jewish. The funeral perhaps leans a little to heavy in the Jewish direction, but there’s room for interpretation here as Insomnia’s not creating an exact recreation of the past, just what he can pull from Hal’s memory.

A little is revealed about the tragic events that led to the death of *******.

Martin Jordan is of course the punchline to this first nightmare, and artist Eduardo Pansica does a nice job ensuring Martin is presented in a suitably ghoulish fashion. Hal revolts, plunging headlong through another door, only find him on the end of Carol Ferris’ pointed finger, getting chewed out in a re-creation of the day that Hal encounters Abin Sur and inherits his power ring. The turn here is Abin not dying of his injuries, but rather luring Hal to syphon off his life energy. Hal’s will comes through in the end, leading him to a third nightmare.

Here is another place where Jeremy Adams ties this story back to the main series. Hal is back on Oa, being confronted by the Guardians over the as yet unrevealed events that took place on Korugar, the events that include the death of a Green Lantern. Something here trips Insomnia up, with Hal breaking through the nightmare and realizing that his perceived reality is just an illusion. Now, if you read my review of the second issue I talked about the theory that Kilowog is the Green Lantern who died, and this sequence adds more fuel to that theory. You see, Hal only breaks out of it when the Guardians tell Hal, “Betrayed your friends….like Kilowog.” Then Hal sees Kilowog and includes his presence with the things that don’t add up.  If you’re not looking for the clues you won’t see them, but they are right there.

It’s only when Hal has seen through it all that Insomnia decides to pull out his trump card, the obvious choice of Parallax as Hal’s worst fear. That prepares us for the next issue, and while I’m not really interested in seeing Hal take on Parallax yet again, I am interested in seeing how Adams navigates it without going everywhere we’ve been before. We know that Hal can tame Parallax, and Hal shows absolutely no concern about facing it again. So count me in for the rematch with hopes of seeing a fresh angle on it.

I’ve mention Eduardo Pansica earlier, but I do want to take a moment to highlight his work on this first issue. The art is absolutely on point, supported by the excellent inking work of Julio Ferreira. I loved everything about the visuals in the front half of the book, and the art team did a great job of turning the normal moments on their heads when it’s called for, with Martin Jordan and Abin Sur both looking like they did just come out of a nightmare. I particularly enjoyed the facial work when the Guardians reveal themselves as their stoic visages transform into something much more menacing with the passing of a panel. And the closing panel with Parallax is just spectacular.

The back up feature by Alex Segura, who really has the tricky task of writing about Sinestro. We’ve only seen Sinestro in two panels of the first issue of the series, and we have no reference point to help us know what’s transpired that has led him to Earth, with no ring to inspire fear nor Sinestro Corps to lead. While we don’t know how Sinestro got here, Segura lets us know before Insomnia does his thing that the once feared Sinestro has fallen on hard times and facing his real biggest fear, irrelevance. Sinestro is in a sorry state of affairs and the wave of slumber that spreads across the Earth plunges Sinestro deeper into despair.

Insomnia confronts Sinestro with the best version of himself.

Segura and artist Mario Foccillo don’t have as many pages to tell their part of the story, so it’s somewhat abbreviated as we see flashes of Sinestro’s past before he’s confronted by Insomnia in the guise of Sinestro’s younger self. We get a glimpse at Korugar, but it’s not clear that this is a shadow of the recent events that led us here or if it’s simply a peak at how Sinestro sees Korugar in the worst of moments. I got major Liam Sharpe vibes from Foccillo’s art in that particular sequence, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. The interesting thing about this part of the book is how it ends, with a very Despero inspired fever dream version of Sinestro arriving on the scene, blasting Insomnia. It’s not clear if this is someone new, or if perhaps it’s a part of Sinestro’s psyche freed from his subconscious to drag him out of his funk.

I’m not as keen on Foccillo’s artwork in general for this back-up part of the book despite liking the comparison to Sharpe on a couple of panels. The artwork isn’t bad, and since it is its own story I have no expectations about it flowing with the art in the main part of the book. It’s just not something that resonated with me. I do think that the panels in the very beginning where you actually see Sinestro with fear on his face stood out as strong work. As I’m writing this I’m thinking that perhaps, because this is a rare occasion where Sinestro is weak and so out of sorts, I can quite process seeing him this way. All in all it’s a good first part to Sinestro’s story and I’m hoping that we get more about exactly what’s going on with Thaal Sinestro by the time we finish the next chapter.

All in all, Knight Terrors: Green Lantern #1 met my expectations about how things would play out for Hal Jordan when he’s facing a being focused on preying on someone’s fears. Despite the predictable scabs for Insomnia and Jeremy Adams to pull off of Hal, the story is still strong and provides some clues about the events preceding the new series while showing that it will take something extraordinary to break Hal’s will. Eduardo Pansica’s art shines brightly here, and the creative team of Alex Segura and Mario Foccillo do a good job of showcasing a Sinestro we haven’t really seen before. Eight out of ten lanterns.

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