by Spencer Irwin
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
There’s no point in having a team book if all the characters are exactly the same. Differences create tension and provide variety — the differences in opinion and methods between the various Green Lanterns, especially the four core Earth Lanterns, is the engine that makes Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps run. They’re especially prevalent in issue 34, an installment that doesn’t just dive into the differences that define Hal, John, Guy, and Kyle, but that divide the Guardians and the Controllers as well.
From the very first page, writer Robert Venditti and artists Tom Derenick and Jack Herbert invite readers to take notice of each Lantern’s core trait, the introductory captions equating John with brains, Hal with guts, and Guy with his fists. Each of these methods proves ineffective at helping Somar-Le describe her attackers, though — that’s a mission that can only be achieved by Kyle’s big ol’ heart.
Later, Hal, Guy, and Kyle all head out to collect information on the Controllers, and each follows a very different method in doing so. Venditti, Derenick, and Herbert don’t split these scenes up, though — they make the wise choice to have all three missions play out simultaneously, one atop the other, over the course of four pages.
Thus, we’re able to see that, despite each Lantern having wildly different methods, all are useful to the Corps. The differences between these Lanterns strengthens them as a group, allowing them to succeed together where they might not have been able to individually.
If their differences unite the Green Lantern Corps, they only divide the Guardians and the Controllers further. The two groups were once, millennia ago, a single race, but since then they’ve split so severely that they have nothing in common but some deeply buried DNA. They’re contrary even down to their very will to live — the few remaining Guardians are willing to die out peacefully and quietly, while the Controllers are lashing out at the possibility of extinction with all they’ve got. These two factions will never be able to unite the way the Green Lanterns have — they’ve allowed their differences to split them apart irrevocably.
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