Green Lantern #5 starts off at Mach 5 and doesn’t let go as the creative team of Jeremy Adam and Xermanico deliver a high octane thriller. Sinestro’s schemes at Ferris Air last issue are revealed and Hal Jordan tests the limits of his new ring as he tries to prevent acts of cosmic terrorism designed to fuel Sinestro’s impotent ring. The second chapter of “Wayward Son” also gives us a little bit more information on the background of Korg and how he came to find a home on Xela.
Right from the get go, this issue goes for the action and maintains a frenetic pace, throwing ever increasing threats at Hal and challenging him in ways we haven’t seen in awhile. Sinestro reveals himself to the world, talking down to the people of Earth and how weak we all are. There’s some pointed observations about the apparent downfall of the human race in the 21st Century, some of it hard to disagree with to be frank, but Adams does a nice job of making Sinestro’s commentary pointed at everyone rather targeting a particular audience. Sinestro and his alien counterparts are in control of the Ferris Air drones, and they are very effective at showing just how formidable they are for our military to overcome.
It’s Hal to the rescue to project people from the attacks of the drones and trying to salvage the future of Ferris Air despite Sinestro trying to use them to start World War 3. Hal taking on the drones is thrilling adventure, and when Sinestro realizes that Hal is trying to thwart his plans, he ups the ante by engaging stealth tactics. Hal realizes what Sinestro’s endgame is, and it’s really to do what he’s always done…instilling fear. This time, though, he needs the fear in order to hopefully jumpstart his ring, and Hal isn’t having it.
Adams really shows what makes Hal Jordan the greatest Green Lantern of all time as he addresses the planet and inspiring people to stand strong in the face of terror. It’s as timely as ever, and I absolutely adore that Adams shows why Hal is such a tremendous character rather than tell us. I got the same feeling at the end of the “Sinestro Corps War” when Coast City earned the moniker “The City Without Fear” for not leaving when the Sinestro Corps came to town, instead lighting up the night in emerald green to show solidarity with the Green Lanterns. I’m getting the same chills now just recalling it. All the better is that Hal gets in a great dig at Sinestro while he’s doing it!
The height of the issue is Hal really pushing the power ring to the limit, trying to deal with two threats taking place continents away. I loved this scene because people sometimes like to characterize Hal and somehow being less creative, or having less finesse with his ring. What Hal does requires a rare level of precision that blows that misperception out the window, rendered amazingly by Xermanico, who delivers some absolutely beautiful visuals all throughout this issue. He and Adams are on fire this issue and I think this is the best issue of the series thus far.
There is, of course, a reveal at the end of the issue, underscoring what a tactical genius Sinestro is. Simply put, if Sinestro’s gambit paid off, he’d get his yellow ring back, if not, well maybe that triggers something else that also helps him achieve his goal. It’s a typical “heads I win, tails you lose” strategy that seems to pay off, and would have been quite a shocking turn if DC Comics hadn’t spoiled it for anyone who’s keeping tabs on what’s coming up in the series. That aside, it’s a creative idea that also reveals a little bit about what else might be going on in the universe. As Sinestro is monologuing he points out that there is something amiss with the Emotional Spectrum, something that Sinestro can sense but that has yet to be unveiled. Now my curiosity is really piqued!
“Wayward Son” part two still doesn’t grab me liked I hoped it would. Korg draws some inspiration from Sinestro and manages to get the upper hand, getting some spoils for his effort that should get him in the good graces of Nagaf. Nagaf gives Korg a few crumbs about his past that reveals how Korg came to be on Xela, having been left there as an unnamed infant by an as yet unrevealed woman. Nagaf tells Korg that she didn’t provide a name for the baby, so Nagaf drew inspiration from Korugar to name the infant himself. No other clues are provided, but wouldn’t it be a kicker if Korg wasn’t Sinestro’s son, but his grandson! As in maybe the woman who brought him to Xela was really Soranik Natu – and it’s hers and Kyle’s baby! I don’t think that it’s true for a moment, but it’s fun to consider!
I do think some of the enjoyment of the backup story is just the art style. Again, it’s not bad, but it’s just not appealing to me. It underscores how important the art is to the reading experience for me and how it takes both elements to provide a good experience. I can’t say any more about it other than it’s just not for me.
Green Lantern #5 is a perfect example of a creative team complementing each other and delivering a fantastic end product for the reader. The story is a rollercoaster ride filled with action, inspiring heroics and an uplifting message that resonates. Sinestro is back, but this time the games is going to be a little different, but we know that Hal will rise above once again. Jeremy Adams and Xermanico show us what’s so great about Green Lantern, delivering the strongest issue yet. Ten out of ten lanterns.