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Since the launch of the latest Green Lantern series there have been a lot of questions, particularly with the events that connect this run to the previous one, and then with things that series writer Jeremy Adams has put in play himself. This weeks Green Lantern #9 give us some answers while also adding more to the Green Lantern mythos. And let’s not forget setting the stage for a showdown between the United Planets and the Green Lantern Corps itself.

When we last left Hal Jordan in issue 8, he was about to travel into a mysterious hole in the ground where he felt a surge of energy during his fight against Sinestro in issue 6. This issue starts right off with that, and a couple of pages later Hal is reunited with his old friend, Tom Kalmaku. We haven’t seen Tom since 2019’s The Green Lantern #3, so it’s a wonderful surprise to see him show up and play a role in Hal’s adventures once again. Jeremy Adams does a deep cut by making references to the 1988 Millennium event and the role Tom played in that story as one of the New Guardians. Adams makes the long forgotten story relevant again by redefining the mission of the New Guardians, this time to protect a hidden Oan power battery.

Without going too much more into spoiler territory, there’s a reason why the Guardians hid the battery here and it provides an explanation as to why there are so many human Green Lanterns. This makes some sense as humans have shown a propensity for being able to rise above and do the right thing in defiance of the odds. I can live with this notion, however I do hold to my point of view that there are just too many human ring bearers and that, in trying to serve those characters, we lessen what is far more interesting by having a more alien cast.

This new Central Power Battery also comes with some new rings, enough for each human lantern. Well, that is if we leave someone out. Now more can be created, but Adams makes sure to point out that what’s there is enough to equip the current roster and there are only six initial rings. My presumption is that John doesn’t count since he’s still among the ascended. The ring that Hal willed into existence melts away and is replaced by a proper Oan ring, meaning that Hal can once again take to the space ways.

The mystery of Hal’s ring is revealed

It’s interesting that we don’t see a personal power battery so there’s still a bit of mystery of how Hal is going to charge this ring once he leaves Earth. I imagine that we’ll learn that when we need to, so I don’t see a problem with this at all. I also have no problem with Tom not seeking Hal out knowing that a Lantern would arrive. Tom is a noble person, and his mission directive didn’t indicate who that Lantern would be, so I can see him being one to honor the directive and wait for someone to arrive. I did find it odd that Hal didn’t at least give Tom a lift home, though.

With a new power ring in hand, Hal is free to return to Oa to warn them of the destruction of the Central Power Batteries from the other parts of the Emotional Spectrum. I am a bit surprised that Hal isn’t more suspicious of Thaaros and company given that he’s already seen the UP Lanterns wielding parts of the emotional spectrum of those parts whose Central Power Batteries have been destroyed. I feel it would have been a bit more in character for Hal to start to piece some things together and want to seek out someone he trusts clandestinely, especially when he already knows that there’s a quarantine in place around his sector and that he’s persona non grata with the United Planets right now.

There’s a bit of character study in how getting the power ring affects Hal as well. Up until now Hal hasn’t quite been himself, dealing with grief in not the healthiest of manners and being a bit rudderless. His actions with Carol seem like acts of desperation, going to some unsavory lengths to find something to emotionally anchor himself to as he struggle to find meaning in his life. But once the ring is back he suddenly rebounds a bit, with a returned sense of purpose that propels him to jump face first into duty without a moment’s consideration for Carol. Not even a goodbye or a wish for her to find her own happiness. Closure has never been Hal’s strong suit, that’s for sure. Of course this can only mean one thing, Carol is about to dump her fiancé and head off into space to find Hal with a renewed interest in a romantic relationship. This is forever the formula for these two, who are only on the same page when it’s two different books.

Hal’s encounter with the UP Lanterns leads Hal to Oa, where he wanted to go anyways, and the issue ends with a reuniting with Jo Mullein. Now, I get it, Adams has got to do something with the human contingent, and having the other Earth Lanterns leading the charge against Thaaros lines up with what the Guardians were convinced of in putting a Central Battery on Earth as a back up plan. But I’d have been so much more thrilled if it had been Two-Six, Arisia, Salaak, or any other of the alien members of the Corps. I know I sound a bit negative about this issue, but I’m not – I actually think this is a fantastic issue. It’s just bringing to the forefront of my mind the things that I think are holding the franchise back from being even greater. Adams is doing a superb job in my opinion and I feel far more positive about the future of Green Lantern than I have been in some time.

Hal says “hello” to a UP Lantern

It’s great to see Xermanico back this issue after a short break. I love how he depicts the underground paradise where Hal finds Tom – it’s just beautiful. The sequence where Hal charges his new ring is downright inspiring, and I dig the new ring design. The look on Hal’s face when he gets to see the Earth from space once again is great and really captures the wonder of what it must be like to be a Green Lantern.

This month’s back-up feature puts the spotlight on Jessica Cruz and DC has brought back Green Lanterns writer Sam Humphries to pen a story that, like the Kyle Rayner story last month, gives us an idea of what’s going on with the rest of the Earth Lanterns and how they are dealing with the realization that Lord Premier Thaaros has a sinister agenda. Jessica is in trouble because she apparently botched a mission to destroy the Orange Central Battery, a mission that was ultimately completed by another team. Everything isn’t quite what it seems, and by the end of the story we learn what her purpose is in the greater story.

I’m not a big Jessica Cruz fan, and I’m even less of a Sam Humphries fan, so I entered this story fully prepared to not like it. And, okay, I wasn’t crazy about it but it wasn’t bad. For me it underscores the same problem that Kyle Rayner suffers from, and that’s that the qualities that define a new character and make them unique eventually fade into the background and then there’s nothing meaningful for them anymore as they become just another Green Lantern. Sure, Jessica has some mental health issues, but they don’t pose any significant obstacle for her to overcome and only serve as fodder for her inner monologue at this point.

Jessica Cruz makes inroads with Thaaros.

What I did find interesting though is the glimpse were given into Thaaros’ motivations. That’s the line that he wants to “stop the emotional spectrum from contaminating the universe.” I don’t know if that’s his real goal or not, considering that he’s got his minions using nearly every color in the rainbow. From what we’ve seen so far, the Central Batteries for red, orange, yellow, and blue have all been destroyed, with Larfleeze revealed to be imprisoned on Oa. The whole plot makes me even more suspicious about what happened on Korugar, which the notion that the whole thing was a plot by Thaaros to get Hal and Sinestro off of the playing field and destroy the Central Battery even more likely of a possibility. As for who that sniper is – well my money is on Simon Baz.

Yasmin Flores Montanez provides the art for the back-up story and while it wasn’t bad by any stretch, I don’t think it was great either. So many of the panels lack any detail and the art is just kind of flat. I know it’s all subjective, but this looks very pedestrian to me.

Green Lantern #9 checks a lot of boxes for me as a veteran Green Lantern reader, and I feel like the series so far has been like the beginning of a roller coaster ride where we are just about to hit the top of the lift hill before the ride really begins. Jeremy Adams has been laying the groundwork for a great adventure and I feel like, as good as this series has been, we are just getting started. Nine out of ten lanterns.

One Reply to “Green Lantern #9 Review”

  1. Adam’s work impressed me on The Flash so I will check this out based on your review, although I’m not the biggest Green lantern fan. The idea of new central battery for humans is very intriguing and Hal being able to fly into space could mean interesting new stories soon.

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