Not quite filling enough for a filler issue
Since the first arc of Green Lantern has finished by now, I thought that issue 6 would be a good point to start reviewing the series. This issue serves as a bridge between the first arc and the next one but whether Johns will make it a sturdy bridge remains to be seen.
Hal adjusts to life not being Green Lantern anymore whilst Sinestro enlists the aid of an old nemesis to help him track down Lyssa Drak, former Sinestro corpsman and keeper of the Book of the Black.
- Johns does well at placing Hal in a different situation and keeping him in typical character. One might be accustomed to see Hal fighting against cosmic threats, other ring bearers or flying planes dangerously whilst spouting cocky one liners yet seeing Hal having a successful relationship with Carol is certainly new. Nonetheless, Johns presents Hal in a not too familiar scenario (being on a successful date) well and even has him show his worth without a power ring against a group of thugs, showing that Hal is still a hero even without a ring.
- As well as nailing Hal’s character in this issue, Johns continues to make Sinestro even more endearing to the reader. His control over himself, snarky comments to former adversary Starstorm and willingness to do whatever is necessary to get his own way present the reader with a different Green Lantern, one who is not the wholly good preserver of peace and protector of the law but one who writes their own laws and carries out methods they see fit on the universe’s criminals. Johns’ interpretation of Sinestro is one that defines the character and makes him a worthy foil to Hal in this series.
- Lyssa Drak makes for a worthwhile adversary in this issue as she continues a plot point of the previous issue where Sinestro promises to hunt down the remaining Sinestro Corps members still active in the universe and shows the reader what Sinestro has been doing in his spare, not in issue time. Her obsession with stories along with the Book of the Black being in her possession provide an interesting development that allows Johns to foreshadow future stories such as the one in the next issue with the Indigo Tribe as well as the Guardian’s plan to replace the Green Lantern Corps with the Third Army. I am intrigued to see how the Guardians intend to replace their second attempt at a peace keeping organisation as it appears they are consumed with the desire to create the perfect peace keeping organisation for the universe. I can’t wait to see what the Third Army will be and what that will mean for the Corps.
- Mike Choi does a good job on art duties. His artwork is good but doesn’t quite mesh with the style that I would expect from a cosmic/sci fi comic book. Mankhe’s pencils and the various other inkers provide much more unique artwork on Green Lantern. Even so, Choi’s art is still good and that cannot be faulted.
- Despite the fact I could see Johns was attempting to make Starstorm a pitiful reflection of Sinestro and Hal, I felt that Johns was missing out on the opportunity to showcase a new, interesting character. Given that Starstorm’s powers involved being able to disrupt a power ring’s construct creation as well as being able to track energy sources, I would have liked to have seen Starstorm overcome his fears and help Sinestro take down Lyssa, becoming the hero he once was. Instead we get an anti-climatic finish where Starstorm succumbs to his despair and Sinestro rips his helmet from him. It would have been interesting to see why Starstorm was a threat to Sinestro in the past.
- The pacing of this issue feels like Johns was dawdling a bit. It switches from a short scene on Earth to Sinestro’s mission in space which progressed too quickly for my taste. Also the structure is quite simplistic with no real surprises in store
- Even though I enjoyed this issue, I got the feeling Johns was just spinning out this tale to loosely set up his next arc with the Indigo Lanterns. Every issue should have a point and this didn’t seem to have one. To me, this demonstrates Johns’ strengths in writing lie in multi part story arcs rather than in simple filler issues.
- The standard cover has nothing to do with the issue. Then again nor does the variant but that is one damn fine looking cover. Anyway, the image presented on the cover isn’t particularly striking and doesn’t capture the eye very well. Also, the colours are a bit too bright and Sinestro’s smile looks strange.
This was an alright read but nothing spectacular from Johns here. Hopefully the Indigo tribe story will be as good as the first arc. Given Johns’ past record at writing Green Lantern stories with several chapters to them, I have a strong feeling that will be the case!