Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Green Lantern Corps 8, originally released April 18th, 2012.
Shelby: We talk a lot on this site about the balance of action and plot in the titles we read. Comic books have a fine line to tread, between providing enough action to keep things interesting and also creating a plot that’s deep enough to keep things interesting. Last month’s issue of Green Lantern Corps was one of those action-light issues, and I thought it was boring. More specifically, I thought the necessary plot points that were executed were done so in a overwrought and cliched way. This month we have another action-light issue, but happily Peter Tomasi has written a story that advances the plot into the next arc in a way that keeps me interested.
There are 2 things that happen in this issue. First, it’s the reappearance of The Alpha Lanterns. In case you’ve forgotten, the Alpha Lanterns are an elite, Guardian-picked group who exist to police the rest of the corps. They were created in the aftermath of the Sinestro Corps Wars, when the Guardians began rewriting the Book of Oa. They’re supposed to combine the free will of a Lantern with the infallible logic of a Manhunter, but in my opinion, they’ve proven to be more trouble than they’re worth. Anyway, the Alpha Lanterns decide that it’s obvious that John Stewart needs to be arrested and tried for the murder of kirrt. Meanwhile, a huge crew of Lanterns are working on burying the yellow power battery, which the Guardians have decided is safest on Oa. Guy is pretty crabby about it; he doesn’t trust Sinestro, doesn’t think it’s smart to keep the battery on the same planet with all the Sinestro Corps prisoners, and mostly just doesn’t like the idea of the symbol of their greatest enemy to be upright on their home base. Surprisingly, I agree with Guy on all counts. Who knows what sort of weird failsafes Sinestro put in that battery? Induced coma or no, I foresee a Sinestro Corps War II sometime in the future. So, while I think Guy is correct in his assessment of the situation, I don’t know if I totally agree with Guy’s actions. But they are definitely classic Guy.
Naturally, Guy gets called to the principal’s office, but the Guardians shock the hell out of him by agreeing with him. They tell him he acted like a dick, but they both understand and agree with his motives. On top of that, they want to PROMOTE him to some sort of new rank that’s higher than honor guard and answers only to them. Guy, of course, is ecstatic that the Guardians have finally recognized how awesome he is, and says he’s on board. He doesn’t think at all about the implications of the the Guardians creating a new position with some sort of secret high authority, or about what it will really mean to have to answer directly and only to the Guardians. We all saw how well that worked out with the Alpha Lanterns. Speaking of which, they show up again at the end of the issue. John, Guy, and a bunch of other Lanterns are in the midst of a good, ol’ fashioned bar fight with some mercenaries, when the Alpha Lanterns burst through the ceiling and arrest John.
I kind of liked this issue. Last month’s issue was a cliche-filled snoozefest of a resolution to the whole Stewart/Kirrt situation; I’m really happy Tomasi has shown us there was some sort of reason for it. I’ll be honest, I never considered the Alpha Lanterns would get called in to investigate. I’m looking forward to seeing this play out, to see what sort of effect it has on the rest of the Corps. I wasn’t kidding earlier about seeing this yellow battery situation going south in the near future. I can see the Corps being rocked by this issue with John, and when they’re at the weakest BAM! A new Sinestro Corps war. And what are the Guardians up to, promoting Guy? Are they setting him up to be a fall guy? Are they going to use him for some off-the-books, ethically questionable jobs? The only thing we know for sure is that they didn’t promote Guy because they are impressed with his work and wanted to acknowledge and reward him; they have got something up their tiny, voluminous sleeves.
On this title, Fernando Pasarin’s art hasn’t quite clicked with me, and I think I’ve figured out why. There’s just something about the way he draws people that’s a little off. I think it’s the proportions of the features to the face. Anyway, I have mixed feelings about the art on this title: while the bulk of the characters are not human and are executed just fine, the two main characters ARE human. That being said, though, Pasarin has a knack for little details that really capture the personalities of the characters in the scene. My favorite panel is a scene at the bar, right before the fight breaks out. John casually warns Guy of an incoming thrown drink, and Guy just as casually blocks it with a construct.
There’s just something really pleasing about this image. The guys aren’t even going to let an impending bar fight interrupt their beers; they’re just going to coolly and calmly finish their drinks, then they’re going to start some shit. It’s a cute little moment.
Over all, this wasn’t the strongest title I read this week, but I think it’s an interesting start to a new arc. Even though the bar fight was the only action we saw, I like what Tomasi is setting up, and I’m curious to see where it goes. What about you Peter? Any thoughts on what the trial of John Stewart will mean for the Corps?
Peter: I really liked this issue of Green Lantern Corps. Like Shelby, I really enjoyed how much this issue moves the plot along. This issue does leave us with several paths to follow. Unfortunately for us, it also leaves us with lots of unanswered questions. I have a feeling that, since see more of the Guardians in this series than in anywhere else, that Green Lantern Corps will be the jumping off point for the next major story crossover for the Green Lantern books.
We have heard about the Guardians planning a new army, the ‘Third Army.’ The Guardians have had this plan going around, and I have a feeling that they are starting to set things in motion with this most recent turn of events. Now that they are promoting Guy to a position that they have yet to create, and arresting John Stewart for murder, among what ever else those Blue-chachos are cooking up.
I think that it is important to point out the new involvement of the Alpha Lanterns. We haven’t really seen them do a whole lot in a while. It is interesting that they are going after John, since he was one of the Corpsman originally picked by the Guardians to become a member of the Alpha Lantern Corps. The most interesting part about this is that despite their direct connection to the Book of Oa, and extra Manhunter-style programming, the Alpha Lanterns are still at odds about what to do with John.
They vote to go after him, which to me, says that some of them may even agree with John. They also mention that trying John will create a division within the Corps. John has been described several times as the conscience of the Corps. I think that putting John on trial will be a big deal to the Corps, and some very interesting things will occur during the trial.
Lastly, during the scenes when the Lanterns are burying the Sinestro Corps Power Battery. Check out this image of Guy’s eye’s.
That’s the Sinestro Corps emblem in his eyes. What does this exactly mean? Does Guy feel fear about the future, and what could be coming? Who knows, but I do know that I am super excited to see what is coming.
For a complete list of what we’re reading, head on over to our Pull List page. Whenever possible, buy your comics from your local mom and pop comic bookstore. If you want to rock digital copies, head on over to DC’s website and download issues there. There’s no need to pirate, right?