In the first issue of Knight Terrors: Green Lantern, Hal proved to be more than Insomnia expected, with the antagonist of this event needing to try a little harder to break a character for whom overcoming fear is just another day at the office. In this week’s conclusion, the tables get turned and Hal goes on the hunt, driving fear into the heart of Insomnia.
This turnabout really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but given how DC Comics has a history of diminishing characters to elevate others it’s great to see that Jeremy Adams has the freedom to keep Hal from jobbing for Insomnia. In fact, Adams seems to relish in using this two-issue event to drive his overall story forward. Whether true or not, from a reader’s perspective this event feels organically woven into the bigger story being told, and by the end of the issue Hal emerges not only triumphant, but seemingly moved back on the right track psychologically.
When we last left Hal and Insomnia the later was in the form of Parallax, perhaps the greatest of all low hanging fruit on the potential weak points for Insomnia to focus his energies. But right from the start Hal is having none of it, and three pages in it’s Insomnia who realizes that he brought a knife to a ring fight. Adams does stick in a reference back to the events on Korugar, confirming that something happened to one of Hal’s friends on Korugar – and if you’ve been following along with us so far that line fits rather well into the running theory that Kilowog perished on Korugar. Indeed, one page later and Hal refers directly to Kilowog as his friend, something I feel is definitely being dropped intentionally so that, when we get to the reveal, Adams will be able to stand by the fact that the clues have been there all along and he’s not pulling a fast one on readers.
With their roles now reversed, Insomnia goes on the run from a Hal Jordan who seems reinvigorated and ready to dish out some pain. The rest of Hal’s portion of this issue is one action scene after the other, filled with creatively used constructs and Hal never once flinching from taking it to Insomnia. Here the trio of pencillers of Eduardo Pansica, Jordi, Tarragona, and Julio Ferreira get the chance to really have some fun with it, shotting from images of a panicked Parallax to Hal going all Ash Williams on him. It’s always great to see the hunter become the hunted, and eventually Hal emerges from the nightmare realm while Insomnia runs away with his tail between his legs. And not a moment too soon as Hal has to still deal with the Ferris Air jet that doesn’t have anyone flying it.
With Hal’s “This will do fine…” closing dialogue it feels as though Hal has turned a corner, gaining back some of the mojo he seemed to be lacking at the start of the series. What will be of a lot of interest is how we see Hal in the next issue – will we see a Hal who’s not quite so desperate to get approval from Carol and has the confidence to move forward with his life? I feel he owes her an explanation and I really hope we get to see it as soon as next issue, knowing that Sinestro and he are on a fast track to collide in issue three. I also liked that there’s a reference to Hal having a role in the conclusion of “Knight Terrors”, as he’s a character that should have a major part of defeating Insomnia.
The back part of the issue concludes Alex Segura’s tale of transformation for Sinestro. Sinestro’s story is very internal, with Sinestro torn between two versions of himself, both of whom feeling they are Sinestro’s first, best destiny. Like Hal, Sinestro hasn’t exactly been on his A game, with Segura giving us our first real look at where Sinestro’s head is at. We get a rare look at what’s really going on inside that big head of his, and what we learn is that Sinestro has perhaps lost his way, from a revolutionary hero to a merciless tyrant. This issue seems to set the character to something in between those extremes, and will be really interesting to see where Adams takes Sinestro in the next issue.
We get a brief appearance from Soranik Natu in this issue, albeit it’s not really her, but a visage of her. Perhaps the most intriguing part of this story is the mysterious person who helps Sinestro escape the nightmare realm, calling to him from beyond the veil. This person is someone bonded to him and refers to themself as a friend. We’re made to believe that this is Soranik, but I’m not buying that as we see him abruptly emerge from Insomnia’s manipulations without explanation moments later. I feel like this might be Lyssa Drak keeping tabs on Sinestro and assisting him in his escape. I hope that isn’t a dangling thread and we get some explanation, because Sinestro’s means of escape seems very rushed and in need of more detail.
The important thing though is that Sinestro also seems to have emerged from his experience in a better place that he was at the onset. The funk is gone and Sinestro has arisen triumphant, poised to make his presence known and to take center stage in the next issue. Segura had the task of positioning Sinestro for a major role in this new series, and he has done a great job of leaving him with a bit of clean slate so that Adams can use the character in however he sees fit.
Knight Terrors: Green Lantern #2 does a superb job of folding the “Knight Terrors” event into the overall story of the new Green Lantern series. Both Sinestro and Hal Jordan have emerged from the other end of the gauntlet rejuvenated and ready to face each other since the tragic events on Korugar. We’ve only begun to see Jeremy Adams’s vision for the series, but both he and Alex Segura have done a great job with setting the stage for something very special. Nine out of ten lanterns.