At last, the final part of the Secrets of the Indigo Tribe! Johns has delivered a shocker of a story complete with an array of twists and turns about this enigmatic Lantern Corps. Last time, Natromo had shut down the main Indigo Lantern battery, reverting its members back to their original state, that is the worst sadists and psychopaths the universe has ever known! Can Hal and Sinestro find Natromo and convince him to turn the Lantern back on? And what will happen to Black Hand?
SPOILERS! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
· My favourite thing about Green Lantern after the New 52 has to be the relationship between Hal and Sinestro. Johns has certainly played up the ‘buddy cops’ in space aspect of Hal and Sinestro’s joining forces yet both Hal and Sinestro have learnt something about themselves and developed as characters as a result of being put together. In the first arc, it was Hal who played the learner and second fiddle to Sinestro as he put his plan together to take down his own corps but this time it’s Hal who gives Sinestro a lesson as he lectures him about how Sinestro’s scare tactics are not always right. What makes it even better in this issue is the newfound respect each has for the other. Whilst heading off to delay the Indigo Tribe powerless, Sinestro mutters, It’s what you would do” and at the end, Hal begins to wonder at whether Sinestro can redeem himself. Seeing Johns develop these two characters through their relationship made for a wonderful read.
· Additionally, Johns gives a lot of the main characters stand out moments in this issue. Hal gives plenty of speeches to both Sinestro and Natromo demonstrating his resolve and willingness to follow the right course of action even at detriment to himself, Sinestro has a badass action scene holding off the entire Indigo Tribe in an all out brawl, Natromo redeems his actions last issue by reigniting the Lantern whilst Iroque or Indigo 1 whichever you prefer openly recognises her crime without the Indigo ring’s influence and shows true remorse for her actions, giving the spark of light required to reignite the main Lantern. I thought she would try and stop Hal and Natromo from igniting the Lantern but was pleasantly surprised by the plot twist
· And that’s another them Johns plays up well in this issue. By making the Indigo Tribe in reality the worst of the worst in the universe, Johns adds to the interest these Lanterns possess, particularly through the redemption of Iroque as she feels true remorse for the crime she has committed. Through this, Johns emphasises the potential for redemption all these sadists and murderers can achieve via the influence of the Indigo rings.
· Johns heightens the stakes of this entire story arc via the limitations on Hal’s ring. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I really dig how Johns has forced Hal to be inventive with his constructs. A motorbike, a jeep and what looks like a harness for toddlers are all used in this issue. If you don’t know what I mean by that, just look at the page where Hal snares Sinestro then you’ll get what I mean.
· As expertly as Johns builds up the Green Lantern mythology, he also leaves trails of future stories to come. Black Hand’s side story was short but sweet as we see William Hand’s return to the ‘dark side’ and the promise of the threat he’ll pose in the future. Also there’s a few name drops of the Guardian’s plan to replace the Green Lantern Corps with the Third Army. You know no pressure about that guys.
· Mankhe pushes the bar once again and delivers some spectacular pencils. The rain drops falling on the ground are excellently portrayed along with the intricate lines in the sequence where the Indigo Lantern is restored. The highlight has to be the gruesome death of Black Hand. Mankhe seems to have a knack for that sort of thing in Green Lantern and the inks/colours of that page are capably handled. The inkers all seem to fit in this issue and the changes are not too jarring. From deep purples to bloody reds, Green Lantern features a rainbow of light as it always should.
· The cover is more fitting this issue. The Indigo Lanterns holding Sinestro’s chains and Munk restraining Hal is a nice representation of Hal’s struggle to free Sinestro from the clutches of the Indigo Tribe. Plus the indigo colour is appropriate for the cover.
· However, there are some minor nitpicks. For instance, in Sinestro’s fight with the Indigo Tribe, there’s an awkward panel where Sinestro’s hand is behind his head in an absurd position. I know a tentacle has it but even in comic books hands don’t go that way.
· My major concern with this storyline is that it hardly focuses on the majority of the Indigo Tribe. The only actual Indigo Tribe members that have had story attention are Indigo 1 and Munk. The rest of the tribe fades into obscurity and although we get a few names like Kreaven and Slog the Slayer, we aren’t treated to the backstory of most of the Indigo Tribe members. All the other tribe members who have been given story treatment have either been existing Green Lantern characters like Black Hand and John Stewart or superhero Ray Palmer, aka the Atom. Unlike with other Lantern Corps, we don’t know much about other members of the Indigo Tribe. Johns did miss out on that though perhaps he’s saving some stories for the future.
In conclusion, the Secrets of the Indigo Tribe has been a plot twist extravaganza with Johns adding more detail to the Green Lantern mythology. Even after all his time writing for the series, Johns keeps coming up with fresh stories every arc.