Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Green Lantern Corps 11, originally released August 15th, 2012.
Patrick: “Don’t trust the authority.” It’s a theme that runs rich through the Green Lanterns mythos. And it’s not just the Guardians you can’t trust. Your mentors (Sinestro, to a lesser extent Abin Sur), your peace keeping force (the Alphas), even your greatest heroes (“Halallax” – which is what Shelby and I like to call Hal when he was infected with the yellow): everyone’s out to get you. For a series with such anarchist underpinnings, Green Lantern Corps has an unshakable belief in the fundamental goodness of their group. This issue kicks both of these conflicting ideas into high-gear.
Last we saw our heroes, they were cobbling together a Frankenstein monster of old Guardian technology to battle the Alpha Lanterns. And while this Megamanhunter (Megaman Hunter?) is a terrifying mess of flesh and machine, that’s basically all the Alphas are anyway. So they burrow into the mecha-beast and blow it up from the inside. Empowered by their victory over the Amalgamation, the Alphas slap all the rebelling Lanterns in construct cuffs and it seems like The End. But Alpha Lantern Varix has a change of heart and flattens his fellow Alphas. And before you can say “thank you for saving us from the tyrannical peacekeeping force,” Varix turns his ring on himself and blasts his own head off.
In the aftermath, the survivors throw and old fashioned Lantern funeral in the crypt. Noticeably absent from this ceremony? The Guardians. In fact, they’re back in their citadel, chuckling about how well their plan to eliminate the Alpha Lanterns worked. They ceremoniously destroy the rings of the Alpha Lanterns – clearly illustrating what they truly value.
So that’s it: the end of the Alpha Lanterns. Thank GOD. The whole ‘Alpha’ thing has only served to rob me of characters that I’ve otherwise enjoyed; I really liked both Boodika and Green Man before their transformation. And now that they’re dead, I mostly feel a sense of relief – I don’t have to see the bastardized versions of these characters zipping around my universe. Is this a sign of a successful narrative or an unsuccessful one? The emotional beat in the crypt remains the same, but I sure did hate the ride those characters were on. It wasn’t as though I was empathizing with these lost Lanterns, I just hated seeing these cyborg versions of them. Shelby, what do you think?
Though… he’s a confusing question: how was this the Guardian’s plan all along? Did they just luck out with John killing that dude back in issue 8? I know they play the long, confusing con, but that’s a convoluted plot even for the Guardians.
Maybe I just hadn’t been paying attention, but who the fuck is that centaur Alpha Lantern? It’s an oddly uninspired design – especially considering how inventive the character designs usually are in the Green Lantern universe. Further, I’m not totally convinced Fernando Parasin knows how to draw a centaur. He can draw half a man, and he can draw half a horse, but it seldom looks like a single continuous body.
There’s one last little detail that one our readers pointed out in our Green Lantern 12 write-up (thanks Jack!). There’s a voice crying out for help from… within Guy’s ring? Let’s take a look at it.
The voice clicks on seconds before the Green Lantern power blinks out. But just for a second. It’s literally one panel of no power. What’s that about? Is it a malevolent voice inside the rings? Does it have anything to do with this mysterious new Lantern? The editor’s note promises more information in the Green Lantern Annual – and seeing as that’s like 10 days away from now, I’m gonna take it easy on the speculation.
Oh! Maybe it’s the real Ganthet trapped inside the rings while some kind of faux-Ganthet has supplanted him in Guardians’ citadel. Oh! OH! What if somehow Krona has infiltrated the Guardians and is influencing them to make another bid at taking out the Corps. OH OH OH!!! Maybe that’s why Atrocitus has been experiencing weird shit with what he thinks are Krona’s remains AND MAYBE IT ALL TIES IN TO SAYD’S TRICKERY. (That was me ignoring my own advice about speculation… more in the comments.)
I kinda feel like we lost the focus on John and Guy in this issue. Which is a shame because it’s not as though the characters have been all that well developed throughout the course of this series. Most of my goodwill toward these guys is leftover from pre-New 52 continuity. I don’t know, Shelby, what do you think? Has there been enough of an emotional core to this story to make all the outer space wankery a compelling read?
Shelby: There have certainly been a lot of attempts at an emotional core to the Corps. Now that this particular arc is finally finished (it feels like John killed that guy YEARS ago), it all feels a little…hollow. Guy is being his cocky self, John is being his upright citizen self, and I don’t know that I feel we’ve gotten anywhere.
I did have a reaction to the death of the Alphas, but I just felt bummed out by it. You were right to call them bastardizations; I really liked the Green Man before he became an Alpha, and while Boodika was never a favorite, she was really interesting. I, however, was hoping they could be saved somehow. To see them all withered and falling apart was sad.
What is more upsetting to me is seeing Lanterns kill. I know, they’ve been able to do it since the Sinestro Corps War, but even then it made me uneasy. Not killing a villain makes for a more complex character interaction. Plus, I just want my Corps to be the good guys! I want to see them as the noble and loyal group set to enforce peace and justice across the galaxy. I know it’s corny, but I don’t care!
Enough of that, I want to talk some about Patrick’s wildly interesting speculations. If Ganthet had somehow trapped his essence in Guy’s ring right before he was brainwashed into the Ganthetmonster he is today, I would be so happy. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I miss Ganthet, I would love to see him restored to his old hopeful, feeling self. I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll see him duke it out with Sayd before this Third Army business is concluded, some sort of “you are not the Ganthet I remember” sort of deal.
I have mixed feelings about this title, really about all the whole upcoming Third Army. I think I’ve just grown weary of this extremely loooooooooong con the Guardians have been playing, and I’m just ready for it to be over. Maybe if I wasn’t seeing this in three titles at once I’d have more patience for it. I also worry there will be changes made to the Corps that I am not going to like; they hold such a place in my heart! I just want everything to be like how I want it to be! I am very much looking forward to the annual to see how this all will finally mesh together.
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?