Does anybody remember the last time John Stewart actually had any good luck befall him? It certainly wasn't in DC's New 52. Over the previous 9 issues John has been overrun by genocidal will powered Keepers, left behind by the subsequent rescue-party, captured and tortured, forced to kill a fellow Green Lantern to protect Oa and the Corps, and then arrested, tried and sentenced to death by the Alpha-Lanterns. It is safe to say he is not having a good re-boot.
Issue 10 opens with a manacled John cutting a desolate figure as his final judgement is passed. This, of course, is not a popular decision with the rest of his Corps and so the Alpha Lanterns cart John off to their Alpha Tower to ensure he is imprisoned securely. Given that he is mere hours away from his final breath the Green Lantern of Earth is taking his situation very calmly as he negotiates a last request and meal.
The scene then switches for a single page that is sure to have repercussions in upcoming issues. The ring belonging to Stewart's victim has been scanning sector 2541 for a suitable replacement and seems to select a university professor to wield it's light. It attaches itself to his finger as he is conducts a lecture and begins to clothe him in the famous emerald uniform. Suddenly, and without explanation, the initiation is interrupted and the ring flies of into space again. I loved this little scene. It was fun to see the professor mostly but not quite fully attired in the Green Lantern uniform. I have no idea why the ring quit in it's recruitment mission but I am certainly going to be picking up the next issue to find out!
Back on Oa John uses his last request to apologise to the family of the man he killed. Elsewhere the Alpha Lanterns are meeting with the Guardians and the recently promoted Guy Gardner to decide on what form his execution will take. The Alpha's do not come across particularly well in the exchange, suggesting first that the Guardians should mete out their punishment. When this idea is rejected they try to nominate a squad of John's lantern peers and then a hired executioner to carry out the dirty deed. Guy quite rightly takes offence at these suggestions and the Guardians agree that it is the responsibility of the Alpha Lanterns to enforce their own death sentence.
The weird thing about all of this is that the Guardians come across as very reasonable and sympathetic individuals. This is not in keeping with how they have been written in any of the GL books lately and my suspicions are firmly aroused...
The next few pages have a touch of déjà vu as Guy mounts a rescue operation to set his friend free (GL Corps #6 anyone?). John has other ideas however and won't charge up his ring because he wants his death to to symbolise some noble message for future generations, or something... blah, blah. Anyway, the upshot of all this is that we are treated to a lovely panel of Garden delivering a right cross to Stewart's jaw and knocking him clean out. He charges the unconscious lantern's ring against the Central Power Battery in his own special brand of "customer service".
Needless to say the Alpha's are pretty cheesed off with Guy's brass neck cheek. The final splash page shows them depowering the would be rescuers in what appears to be an exceedingly painful process. The art is great on this page. The Alpha's ring beams are angular and uniform in keeping with their robotic nature. It also reminds me of the depiction of John Stewart's own ring power early in Geoff Johns' Green Lantern run, enhanced as it was by his architectural skills.
All in all this was another solid issue of Green Lantern Corps. It suffered a little bit in reworking ideas from previous issues and could, perhaps, be seen as bridge between two bigger stories. But, for all that, the scripting is tight, the art is sumptuous and the characterisation is top notch across the board.