Due to a recent bout of illness I have fallen behind on my Green Lantern reviews so I hope you’ll excuse the brevity of my commentary on GLC #14 while I work to get caught up. I had considered skipping a couple of titles altogether but decided against it. This issue includes several incidents that deserve to be noted.
By my count this is the sixth instalment of the ‘Rise of the Third Army’ crossover event. The difference between ‘Rise’ and previous events such as Blackest night is in the crafting of the narrative itself. The emotionless and mute Thirdites contribute very little to the actual storytelling. They don’t have discernible personalities of any kind. The story has instead been told through the impact of people whose paths they cross. We are encouraged to focus on the victims of their mission. We are made to share in the concerns and fears experienced by these people without becoming overly distracted with by the larger cosmic picture.
In the opening scene a team of Green Lanterns under Guy Gardner’s command are overpowered and assimilated into the Third Army. For the first time in many years Guy feels overwhelmed by an enemy and retreats from the battle at high speed. Fernando Pasarin’s panel layouts work well to make this whole confrontation feel very claustrophobic. It begins with the Guardian’s pawns fighting to free themselves from a contracting ring construct before quickly turning the tables on their adversaries and attacking the GLs from every possible angle. We are brought disturbingly close to dismemberings and other brutal savageries.
The next big moment is when Salaak and Kilowog discover that it was the Guardians’ deceptions that led to John Stewart’s arrest in the previous arc. And perhaps even more ominously, they have secretly halted the GL recruitment process. Hundreds of rings have been contained beneath the surface of the planet Oa to prevent them from seeking out new lanterns. This scene is only two pages long but it is pure gold for Corps fans. Two of the most popular non-earth based lanterns work together to uncover the truth behind their despotic masters’ treachery. At long last the cat is out of the bag.
Elsewhere Fatality’s Sapphire powers tether her to a rock that is reported to be the final remains of Mogo. The sentient planet was destroyed by John Stewart in the War of the Lanterns story-arc while it was under the influence of mind control. More surprising is the fact that John Stewart himself is also tethered to the rock by his green beam. He has been told by his conniving leaders that Mogo is trying to reform itself and that this debris holds the key to the planet’s resurrection. I’ve no idea what is going on here but I am very keen to find out. I am also very much looking forward to the moment Fatality realises her own mentors, the Zamarans, have allied themselves with their fellow immortals in a quest to enslave the whole universe.
The book ends with the Guardians claiming that Guy’s disobedience resulted in the slaughter of both civilians and lanterns in his care. They demand his resignation from the Corps. He hands over his ring and is instantly expelled back to earth. The normally fast talking tough guy cuts a dejected looking figure surrounded by the mundane accoutrements of everyday life. The wonders of deep space seem very, very far away.