It doesn’t take a
genius to know that something big is about to explode across the Green Lantern
universe. The comic press has been full
of titbits exposing earth’s new Green Lantern and the Rise of the Third Army
for weeks. But even if you have had your
head buried in the sand or you’ve turned your back on the mighty god that is
internet, the creators behind the Green Lantern titles have been waving a
pretty hefty signpost in the comic books themselves.
I decided not to do individual reviews for Green Lantern
#12, Green Lantern Corps #12 or Green Lantern: New Guardians #12. Not because they weren’t of sufficient
quality to warrant personal attention – they absolutely were. But more importantly, what we have seen in all
three titles (and to a lesser extent in the runt of the litter, Red Lanterns
#12) is a carefully orchestrated coming together of themes and ideas in
readiness for the Green Lantern crossover event touted for October. All roads lead to the Third Army.
As ever, it is the Guardians of the Universe who are to
be found at the core of all things GL. As the founders and legislators of the Corps
they have been central to a huge number of lantern stories since the early
1960s. Immortal beings who had set
themselves up as the protectors of life everywhere. Their actions have often appeared
questionable but, baring the work of a few renegades, they have always been
more or less just. Enigmatic and manipulative, for sure, but with the noblest
of intentions. The Guardians appear only
fairly briefly in all three GL titles this month and yet in a few panels they
steal the show over and over again.
In Green Lantern: New Guardians #12 Kyle wraps up a
storyline that has been 12 months in the telling. He defeats an extremely power enemy in
Invictus and does not even get 30 seconds to revel in victory before his entire
world is undone with the revelation that the Guardian Sayd had murdered their
fellow Corps members in order to bring the New Guardians together. A response to her brethren lobotomizing the
Guardian Ganthet in the first step of whatever dastardly future is about to be
unleashed on us.
And in Green Lantern Corps #12 another arc is wrapped as
the Alpha Lanterns are literally obliterated out of existence. John and Guy’s victory is at best
bittersweet. As with Ganthet, the Alpha’s fate was sealed
at the machinations of the Guardians.
They appear to have taken another powerful player off the board to avoid
any possible contest of their plans. The
final splash page of the book shows a suitably melodramatic and somewhat
chilling Ganthet confirm our suspicions that no character’s future is safe in
the months ahead.
Green Lantern #12 is not quite the final issue of the
current Black Hand narrative. That comes
later this week in Green Lantern Annual #1.
The book has a very final feel to it nevertheless. Hal Jordan takes down Black Hand briefly by
frying his synapses and, together with Sinestro, he defeats a zombie hoard
several hundred strong. Sinestro sacrifices
his final tie to his old life when he uses his yellow lantern as a light bomb
against the undead mob. It is here in
the main Green Lantern title that the Guardians are most explicit. At the whim of Geoff Johns‘ scripting we learn
from them that Sinestro was not chosen to be a Green Lantern by the power of
his ring. The Guardians secretly forced
the ring on him to neutralise his position as leader of the Sinestro Corps. Their mission is to replace the lanterns of
every Corps with the Third Army and then, ominously, to “replace everyone”.
Meanwhile, never short of a prophecy to throw a spanner
in the works, the Book of Black delivers Black Hand the news he definitely didn’t
want to receive… Hal Jordan will be greatest
Black Lantern of them all !!
The stage is set.
Battle lines have been drawn (even if it’s only the Guardians who know
where exactly those lines are).
Wednesday’s annual and DC Comics’ forthcoming zero month promise to make
tremendous opening salvos for what lies ahead.
And I do meaning opening. For
make no mistake about it, by the time #13 issues roll around the stories told
in the Lantern books up to this point will be done and dusted. Finito.
The Green Lantern universe is about to turn a corner. A brand new tale from the Corps is just beginning
and I am suggesting you grab your power rings and hold tight because we are in
for one hell of a ride.