Today, Patrick and Peter are discussing Green Lantern 10, originally released June 13th, 2012.
Patrick: Before the relaunch, Blackest Night and Brightest Day cast a enormous shadows over the entire DC Universe. While much of that shadow receded in September, with most of the lingering vestigages hanging around the Green Lantern books. Understanding the existence of any non-green, non-yellow lantern corps requires knowledge of the Night and Day but writers have been cagey to reveal how much of that old mythology remained canon. With the events of Green Lantern 10, it would appear that we’re heading for a big exploration of those events as the universe makes the same mistakes over and over again.
The second Sinestro is freed from his indigo chains, Hal grabs his hand and the two of them run like hell from the murderous former-Indigos. They can’t whip up forcefields – or even fly – because both of their rings are running on fumes. Hal evidently has enough juice to create a Jeep, and they tear through the jungle until they stumble on Natromo (oh what luck!). Both lanterns try to talk Natromo into rebuilding the Indigo tribesmen, which would theoretically transform them back into paragons of compassion. Sinestro, being Sinestro, employs FEAR, threatening the little dude. He’s not very successful.
But before this plan has a chance to not work, the criminals-that-used-to-be-Indigo-lanterns catch up with them and DEMAND SATISFACTION. Totally unarmed, but looking to hurt something Sinestro engages the Indigoons in unarmed combat. So Hal engages Natromo, oddly enough employing HOPE to get him to try to repair the central Indigo battery. Natromo agrees to give it a shot but – like the hyperdrive on the Millenium Falcon – it’s just not working. He needs a spark of real Compassion (capital C). Enter Iroque, formerly Indigo-1. She begs Natromo to restore the battery: she understands herself to be a better person under the influence of the ring. That’s good enough to get Natromo started and the he’s able to instantly reconstruct the battery, sending out rings to all the grateful members of the Indigo tribe.
Except for one. William Hand is probably the longest shot at redemption the Indigo light has ever attempted (he did try to wipe out all life in the universe – just sayin’). The second he was free of the ring, he started to plot his escape from Planet Nok (wait, really?). When the Indigo rings sprang back to life and attempted to reclaim their hosts, Black Hand heroically launched himself off a cliff! But rather than soaring through the air, he plummeted to the earth and shattered his head on a rock. But smashed-headedness is no big deal when a body is equipped with a Black Ring. The issue closes on the image of a re-re-animated Black Lantern Black Hand.
As a fan of modern Lantern mythology, I nearly fucking screamed twice right at the end of this issue. First when Black Hand’s superman-move didn’t work out so well for him AND THEN AGAIN, at the return of BLACK LANTERN BLACK HAND. I know we’ve got like a billion different prophecies to cash in on, but this is huge – that other shit can wait. If even one black ring is active, then it means the Neckron is out there, and all he needs is some sort of powersource to reboot his Black Lantern Battery and re-unleash the Blackest Night on the universe. Now, it would be PAINFULLY lame for such a thing to actually come to fruition again, but the fact that some of those same pieces are in-play tickles me in just the right way.
While I generally liked this issue, it’s sorta weird that most of what happened within was basically un-doing what happened last month. “Oh no!” we said last month, “the indigo power battery has been destroyed and now they’re all killers!” But by the close of business today, that’s all basically reversed. Black Hand’s escape it notable, as is the knowledge that Iroque has been permanently changed by her ring, but it’s hard to shake the notion that the last two issues average out to zero. In a title as plot-driven as Green Lantern, that can be a problem.
Fortunately, there’s also some interesting character-work at play here. Hal usually fluctuates between being a dismissive jackass and a kind of a sentimental sap, but we get a look at the more hopeful side of him in this issue. While Hal’s worn every color ring at one point or another, Blue (hope) is probably the secondary ring he’s worn most. I had always read that as Hal’s faith in his own sheer will: a kind of perversion of ‘hope.’ But not only does Hal give a weird little pep-talk about living up to the expectations set by Abin Sur, he stands up for Sinestro. He asks the Indigos to let him go, and they ask if Hal believes Sinestro to be capable of redemption.
Up until this point, I thought Hal was being dragged across the universe because Sinestro was making him. But the idea that Hal sees something in his former mentor/nemesis is really interesting. It’s further cool that we don’t get to see how this conversation resolves – whether that’s good enough for Indigo-1 or not will have to wait until July.
The art is pretty standard Doug Mahnke stuff. Which isn’t meant as a slight. The man delivers clean characters dukin’ it out on alien worlds and it’s all very clear and a lot of fun. Sorta neat to see an issue of GL with so few constructs, though, right? Normally these things are packed to the gills with green/yellow/indigo/whatever auras and beams and weapons. Only a few of those this month. Oh, I do really like the staging when Sinestro squares off against the former Indigos.
It’s just cool. A simple, iconic pre-battle image – complete a crash of lightning.
Peter: I cannot describe how insane this all is. SO FUCKING INSANE. Earlier in this series I thought it was moving really slow, and not doing too well overall, but now, I find I cannot get enough. Johns is throwing us curveball after curveball.
Obviously, the Black Hand reveal is quite the surprise to everyone. Between his suicide, and subsequent resurrection/zombification, this is in my top 5 most insane things to happen in the New 52 – for sure. Here’s my theory: Remember back to Blackest Night and how Black Hand was Nekron’s link to the universe? Well he was also the Black Entity, Death. Once he was brought back to life by the White Entity, no more Black Lanterns. Now that he is dead again, the Black Lantern Entity is back, thus more Black Lanterns. But I’m not sure if that means that the Black Corps will be coming back. We have seen that entities can exist without a Corps before, there isn’t any real reason why the same can’t be true for Hand. Only time will tell here. Needless to say, this is the biggest thing to happen to Green Lantern comics since Hal killed Krona and got drummed out of the Corps.
One of the things that you didn’t touch on Patrick, is this cryptic image here.
William Hand’s Indigo Ring is on the loose. It can’t go back to him, because he’s technically still dead. Where will it go? Who will it find? I always just assume in my head that Earth is the only planet in Sector 2814, which is not true, but where else could it go? Really? I am assuming we will see it again, probably on Earth. Back on Hand when Hal and Sinestro probably kick his butt at the end of the next arc? Or someone new? Ray Palmer? John Stewart? I only say these names because they are the only other Earthlings to have worn an Indigo Ring. But could there be someone else who is deserving of this ring? Or someone who is a horrible person enough to need the ring? We also still don’t know if Sinestro is going to get his off, but I’m assuming so.
Hal’s faith has been mentioned, but it deserves mentioning again. He wants to believe that Sinestro will reform. Sinestro and Hal have a nice chat in the construct-Hummer showing how Sinestro has faith in Hal’s abilities as a Lantern. Sinestro essentially calls Hal “The Lantern.” This leads Hal to really believe in himself. He is taking Abin Sur’s charge to uphold his ideals a step further, taking his place as a believer in the power of Indigo. Will the Indigo Oath change to include Hal’s name? Maybe.
As we move onto the Third Army, I believe that other Corps will begin to play a larger part, especially if the Guardians are going to be beaten, or have their minds changed about the Green Lantern Corps. Since the Black Lanterns are back, and we don’t know where Life Entity/White Lantern are right now, (I doubt Swamp Thing still has that power, and we haven’t seen Deadman show any white-ness) the universe is going to need Green Lanterns in order to combine the light to form the White Light against the Black.
I am sooooo pumped for this story. Also, with Green Lantern Corps and New Guardians escalating in story all leading up to the Green Lantern Annual, these books are one of my favorite universe books right now. While it’s no Night of Owls right now, it very well be the next best thing.
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?