Green Lantern #4 released this week, with Jeremy Adams and Xermanico giving us the most unusual confrontation between Hal Jordan and Sinestro I think we’ve ever seen – I mean, the two meeting over coffee and threats is a new one! Plus we get the first peak at Sinson, the supposed son of Sinestro in a new backup feature by none other than Peter Tomasi. Let’s dig in take a look – heck, grab a cup of coffee before you read on!
The issue starts out with Sinestro sitting down next to Hal and the issue’s main plot is revealed as Sinestro uses alien technology to push Hal into giving Sinestro his power ring. Little does Sinestro know that he not only won’t be able to use it to leave the planet, which is his motivation, but it’s not going to work for him at all. We get a few extra bit of information out of the exchange, mainly that Sinestro is trapped on Earth with a means to leave, and the United Planets (UP) aren’t yet aware of Hal’s power ring. Based on the events of Green Lantern: War Journal #1 we know that the UP will likely be looking for Hal in the near future, something that I think Hal is looking forward to, to be honest.
But the other, perhaps more important thing is that it seems like there’s an influx of alien technology on Earth in the wake of its quarantine by the UP. It makes sense, black markets thrive where there’s less governance and the quarantine makes Sector 2814 a breeding ground for criminal activity to be on the rise. Between the Manhunter armor worn by Steel Fury we saw back in the first issue and the tech we see used here by Sinestro and Major Disaster it seems clear that there’s a growing influx of alien tech.
I also loved the little nod to the Green Lantern film, intentional or not, of Hal creating a sword under the table. Sinestro here is a bit of a shadow of his old self, in fact he seems pretty desperate to get off of Earth, probably due to what happened on Korugar and being on the run of the UP. Desperate times call for desperate measures and this has led Sinestro to a gambit that years ago he would likely feel was beneath him. When he doesn’t get what he wants that leverage becomes his means to enable his escape, leaving Hal with a matter of three bombs about to go off. Exit Sinestro, enter the Flash.
The team up of Barry Allen and Hal Jordan is my favorite in all of comics, and Adams has such a nice grasp on their dynamic that the rest of the issue is just a pure joy to read. Watching the two, who know each other and their abilities so well, is great fun and a welcome escape from the real world. Hal struggles and is pushed to his limit managing his construct while Barry travels at such great velocity, and then we see some nice use of his imagination when it comes time to destroy the bombs. What’s great about their team up is that rather than one character having to be portrayed as less of who they are in order to prop up the other, Adams smartly uses both of their strengths to their advantage and how they compliment each, elevating them both in the process. I had to chuckle when Hal used a flash photo to distract Major Disaster before the Flash takes him out. Intentional or not I found it punny.
While the team up of Flash and Green Lantern were fun, it’s the moments where Barry and Hal are just themselves that has the most impact. The two share some great moments talking about the Carol Ferris situation, something that Hal could never do with Ollie, where it’s often quickly devolves into something less than heartfelt conversation. Here Hal doesn’t have to protect himself emotionally, and he is perhaps at his most honest with himself outwardly when he’s around Barry. We see under the veil a bit and see that despite recent actions, Hal truly loves Carol and is lost in how to deal with their relationship. Hal has looked past Carol’s time with Kyle and her own hypocrisy about being away from the planet herself for a good length of time when the bigger picture pulled her away, which shows a great depth of maturity. He’s boiled it down to the crux of the problem of their relationship and has realized that if the truly loves her he may have to face not being the one she shares the rest of her life with. But can he bear it?
The issue ends with Sinestro’s plan of last issue taking flight, namely those drone planes he sabotaged last issue. This doesn’t seem to play into Sinestro’s plans, but perhaps this is the cost of getting the alien technology he needed to try to get Hal’s ring. If so, then there is a greater story unfolding regarding some sort of alien plan. Oh, and notice there was no Kilowog this issue? Well, when you have your real life best friend around you don’t need a construct of your dead one, right? Just kidding, but that theory is still panning out!
Xermanico’s art is once again on point this issue. I like how well he and the rest of the art team were able to inject the illusion of speed into the artwork and help to show the contrast in the abilities of Green Lantern and Flash. Hal’s constructs are fun and portrayed well, as was the signs of struggle on Hal’s face as he was challenged to keep it all together. The work on facial expressions when Hal and Barry interact with Carol were also perfectly rendered, showing how uncomfortable those moments had to be for all involved. The art also helped elevate the script during those more personal moments between Hal and Barry and added some emotional depth to Adams’ dialogue.
The back half of the issue was the debut of Sinson, by the creative team of Peter Tomasi and David Lafuente. An interesting side note to this particular backup is that Tomasi was just announced as one of the founders of the new Ghost Machine publisher. The move also includes working exclusively on Ghost Machine titles, so there’s a big question on what future, if any, there is with this new character. That aside, this first outing introduces us to Korg, a Korugarian boy who believes himself to be the son of Sinestro. Whether his is or not is still in question, but in this initial appearance young Korg certainly wants the universe to see him as a chip off the old block.
A couple of interesting points right off the bat includes the setting, the planet Xela in Sector 2541. Doing a cursory search reveals this Sector was the home of the late Green Lantern Kirrt Kallack, the Green Lantern that John Stewart killed by snapping his neck back in the Tomasi penned Green Lantern Corps #6. Xela in particular is the planet that Lig Enak (Gil Kane backwards!) is from, a being who briefly held Kallack’s ring back in Green Lantern Corps #10, also written by Tomasi. While perhaps not important to this story, I’m a sucker for seeing the callbacks to Green Lantern history and felt compelled to mention it.
The other interesting point is in the Oliver Twist like existence that Korg is living out, right down to the name of his master Nagaf, which is one letter removed from being Fagin backwards. What led Korg hear is unknown, but this issue shows Korg trying to make a name for himself and satisfying Nagaf. Korg goes so far as to summon his inner Sinestro by giving himself warpaint in the shape of a mustache before making a play for enough credits to get on Nagaf’s good side.
Korg seems to need to convince everyone of his lineage, perhaps even himself. The issue closes with him in possession of a syringe of sorts, with a personal mission to get a sample of Sinestro’s blood.
I’m not sure yet what to think of the story to be honest. I’m not particularly into the juvenile characters of the DC universe, but the connection to Sinestro makes it of interest. It’s also Tomasi so I’m inclined to want to follow this where it goes to see how it plays out. I’m not a fan of Lafuente’s art style, and Bonvillain’s color work makes it look even more cartoony than it is. It’s not bad art, but it’s just not a style I’m a fan of.
Green Lantern #4 is a joyous romp of comic book adventure where two great friends get to share some time together both in uniform and as just two buddies. The Hal Jordan / Barry Allen friendship is my favorite, so I’m obviously biased on seeing them together, especially when Jeremy Adams does such a fine job in capturing their voices and making sure that neither character is diminished in order to elevate the other. Pared with the fun adventure is some great character moments and some clues about a rising threat from the stars. The Sinson backup isn’t my cup of tea, but it does make me wonder where it’s leading. Nine out of ten lanterns