Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Green Lantern Corps 11, originally released July 18th, 2012.
Shelby: The current run of the Green Lantern Corps is largely about dissension. It’s a powerful force that any dissenter will tell you is necessary, usually to achieve freedom from oppressors. But it’s also a tool which can be wielded against the oppressed to scatter their forces and further cement the power of the oppressors. So far, the dissent Guy and John sparked has played into the hands of the Guardians, aiding them in their plans to destroy the Corps to make way for the Third Army. This issue might mark the turning point when things finally spiral out of their controlling, blue hands.
The issue opens with the Alphas’ battle against Guy and John’s conspirators. Their rings drained, they are taken to the sciencells, where the Alphas torture them for information. Guy and John, meanwhile, hang out in the ring foundry, looking for something they can use. As they fly past all the Guardians’ failed experiments, John gets an idea. Back in the sciencells, the Alphas finally get what they were looking for; John and Guy, along with a horde of unfinished Psions, Manhunters, and Alphas, all gunning for the current Alpha Lanterns. As the Alphas smash this new army apart, the pieces klak-klik-klak together, until they find themselves facing a monstrous melange of machine and meat, determined that no Alpha shall escape.
There are two points of interest in this issue. One is Salaak. As the Alphas pursue John and Guy, Boodika orders Salaak to lock down Oa so no Lantern can get to or leave the planet. Salaak, who is so often seen as a tool of the Guardians, respectfully declines. He cites regulations requiring Lanterns to always have access to HQ, but he was as shocked by the Alpha’s sentence for John as the rest of the Corps. It’s a reminder to us that in the end, Salaak doesn’t serve the Guardians, he serves the Corps. He recognizes what is happening as a danger to the Corps, and acts accordingly. Turns out, having Salaak on your side is important; he is the nerve center of Oa, practically the nerve center of the entire Corps.
The other point of interest for me in this issue is Varix. He is an Alpha, yet he recognizes what they are doing is wrong. He refuses to arrest the Lanterns they fight, puts an end to the torture, and even goes so far as to call Boodika out for twisting the law to serve their own means. Of all the Alphas, he seems to be the only one who has retained his ability to reason within the constraints of the law. Where Boodika sees only black and white, Varix recognizes the gray areas. I know know what this will mean for him when the fate of the Alphas is decided.
But what will that fate be? Guy and John inadvertently created an abomination hell-bent on destroying every Alpha Lantern. If the Alphas happen to escape, the rest of the Corps obviously isn’t going to put up with them any longer. If the Alphas aren’t serving the needs of the Guardians, they couldn’t be made to give a shit what happens. Could this ultimately be the end of the Alpha Lanterns? More importantly, once The Thing is finished with the Alphas, will it decide to destroy the rest of the Corps while it’s at it?
I continue to enjoy this title, the plot is exciting and appropriately paced, without loosing sight of key character moments. It leaves me with a satisfied “what will happen next?” attitude. It’s improved immensely since those terrible early issues setting up for this arc. Is it the smartest thing I’m reading right now? No. Am I having a good time reading it? Absolutely.
Peter: I am also enjoying this book. I agree with you Shelby, that this story arc started really slowly. Now it’s clipping right along at a great pace. I too have that “what will happen next” feeling. It is definitely a book that I am constantly wanting more. As we’ve said before, this is the book that got into the Third Army storyline first. Now it is working its way into the other Lantern series, but Corps was the torch bearer.
The most intriguing part of this issue to me is the Ring Foundry. I understand the need for the Foundry, but why do the Guardians keep their failed experiments around?
Also, John and Guy had some interesting ideas making those scary amalgam of monsters. I predict the Guardians are going to take a page out of John’s book for the Third Army. There have been a few hints dropped throughout this book that allude to the Guardians learning from their mistakes when creating the Third Army. I assume everyone has seen this image for the issue #13 promo art.
I assume that those white humanoids behind the heroes and villains is the Third Army. Their appearance looks a lot like The Guardians pulled a John Stewart and used elements from their previous creations to make them. This could be me reaching, we shall see.
The only thing that’s still hit-and-miss for this book is the art. I have liked that this issue is not as green as it could be. The background colors do a great job of complementing the ring energy. Some of the pencils are still lacking though. In your picture of Salaak Shelby, his head is HUGE and a lot fatter than I remember. Other than that however, I am really digging this book. I am excited as ever for the Third Army storyline, and the future of the Corps.
Also, no offense to John, but I am glad that this book is moving away from him being a sad emo sack all the time.
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?