A Slow Build Up
Now that my exams are over for many, MANY months now, I thought I’d do another review. Continuing from the previous issue, the second part of the Secrets of the Indigo Tribe is another issue of intrigue and interest. What revelations are in store this time?
Sinestro is in the process of being converted by the Indigo Tribe whilst Hal is locked up with Black Hand watching over him. Can the two lanterns break free and uncover the secrets of the tribe?
· Johns starts this issue with a brilliant scene involving Sinestro and the tribe. It highlights all of the best things that Johns has done with Sinestro such as his single minded determination, his willingness to use brutal measures whenever necessary, like slamming a four armed alien’s head against prison bars as well as his belief that he is ‘special’ and possesses the knowledge to do what must be done. It’s a short but sweet scene as Johns reinforces my love for his interpretation of Sinestro
· The Indigo Tribe’s true nature is brought into question by Johns in an awesome way. Prior to this arc, the Indigo Tribe were a major turning force in Blackest Night and a big help in the New Guardians storyline. This time though, the tribe is showing that they may not be all that they first seemed as they commit some questionable deeds. The forcible converting of Sinestro as they probably had done to others into Indigo Lanterns along with holding dangerous criminals in their headquarters and violently subduing Sinestro don’t appear to be compassionate things. Ring wielders of fear, rage and avarice have been cast as the obvious ‘bad’ side of the emotional spectrum yet Johns seems to be setting the tribe up as another potential enemy rather than ally to the Green Lantern Corps.
· Also, Johns finally has Hal taking some initiative. Sinestro overshadowed him in the first arc but in Secrets of the Indigo Tribe, Hal is bouncing back. Johns has Hal regain his ring charge in a really interesting way by tricking Black Hand into channelling willpower then charging his ring off of that. On top of this, Johns adds some interesting dynamics to this maneveur via limitations such as weakened force shields, no flight or fancy constructs. It adds to the tension of the story as Hal is not at full strength so remains at a disadvantage in a complex filled with Indigo Lanterns. Though we do get to see Hal riding a motorcycle construct. That was awesome.
· Finally Johns leaves the issue on a cliffhanger at which he is an expert at doing. I was left wondering about who the Indigo Tribe really were, the role Abin Sur had with the formation of the Indigo Tribe and whether Sinestro could be freed from the Indigo Tribe. As a result Johns pulled me into wanting to read the next issue to find out those answers.
· Despite some inconsistencies, Mankhe and the army of inkers put on a good show in the art department. Mankhe captures Sinestro’s crazed look in his eyes along with an excellent rendition of his facial features on one particular page where he is assaulting a Tribesman. The blood spatters are exquisitely inked by whoever it was that did them. And Hal’s recharging sequence culminates in an awesome page filled with a dazzling green background.
· However, the pacing of this issue was quite slow. It felt like Johns was stalling for time on the next issue’s major revelations. Most of the issue was nice padding but Johns’ deliberate tactic of delaying any huge revelations about the Indigo Tribe is quite annoying.
· As I mentioned earlier, the inconsistent number of inkers for the book is disconcerting. Why one inker is unable to do all the necessary work for one issue a month I don’t know. And whilst most inkers do a great job, sometimes the colours clash immensely.
· Finally the main cover is too simple and boring. There’s not enough drama to it and the colour scheme of the Indigo Lanterns in the background along with Hal and Sinestro up front makes it tedious to look at. I was underwhelmed when I first saw it.
So this was still a fun issue but there were flaws in it. Still Johns is building up to something big this time around. Let’s hope it’s worth the slow pace of this issue!