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Green Lantern #18 - Wrath of the First Lantern, Part Five: Dead or Alive, You're Coming With Me Review

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Simon Baz's encounter with Black Hand didn't go too well last month. Does his mean his tenure as a Green Lantern has reached its end?

The Good

Last month we saw Simon Baz face off against Black Hand. This resulted in Baz being sent to the Dead Zone. What we get is the first meeting between Baz and Hal Jordan and Sinestro. Baz continues to be the guy from the outside looking in. It's so refreshing to see a new character possessing an enormous amount of power and not immediately become an expert with it. Baz is still a major rookie. Despite some of the incredible things he's been able to do, he's still at the mercy of his inexperience. When he meets up with Hal and Sinestro, he has to rely on his instincts. That just further shows what he's made of and why he's a cool character. Seeing Simon use a certain accessory was great.

The verdict is still out on this Wrath of the First Lantern story. It does feel it's come too soon as its spawned directly out of Rise of the Third Army. This issue is different from last month's crossovers in all the GREEN LANTERN titles. The main reason is we have more of a focus on the characters we care about -- Hal, Simon and Sinestro. The First Lantern doesn't have a major presence here as he's busy with Kyle and Guy in their titles.

As the story progresses, you get an idea where things have to go. That doesn't mean the story is predictable but more so about the fact that we've seen premonitions from time to time in this series from the Book of the Black. You'll be on the edge of your seat as you wait for the possibilities.

The art in this issue is by Szymon Kudranski. We've grown accustomed and expect to see Doug Mahnke's art but because the issue is centered in the Dead Zone, Kudranski's art fits nicely. You can get a sense of the dreariness of where they're at. You feel as if you want to see the world explored further yet part of you doesn't want to see what might lie beyond the shadows. The way Hal and Sinestro looks is pretty cool. Issues with fill in artists can be discouraging but this is a situation where it works out just right.

The Bad

As the excitement builds in the story, there is also a sense that not a whole lot of action is taking place. It makes sense that we'd need to see some serious conversation as Simon Baz gets up to speed with what's going on in his new surrounding and his first meeting with Hal and Sinestro. I can understand and appreciate the grave nature and threat of the First Lantern but I'm not too interested in him. We're going from the major threat of the Guardians to the major threat of the First Lantern. Rise of the Third Army felt it went on too long but abruptly ended as this arc began. Knowing that Geoff Johns' run is near its end makes me not want to see an issue where the characters have to stand around talking to catch up on recent events.

The Verdict

We finally get the first meeting of Simon Baz and Hal Jordan (and Sinestro). Unfortunately it means he's 'dead.' You can feel we're on the precipice for Simon and Hal's future as its unknown how they can move forward in their given situation. Looking back at Geoff Johns' recent issues and the seeds and hints he's planted, the anticipation continues to build as you turn each page. As a Wrath of the First Lantern story, because it focuses more on Hal, Simon and Sinestro, we don't get the elements that I personally didn't care for in last month's GREEN LANTERN titles. The art is by Szymon Kudranski, which is a nice fit since the characters are in the Dead Zone. Kudranski does a great job depicting the mood and setting for the issue. Because we have the first meeting between Baz and the others, there is a bit more talking and less action. It could just be we've been getting spoiled lately. There is a cliffhanger at the end (no pun intended). Next issue is going to be spectacular.

28 Comments
Posted by TheSwampThing

It is First Lantern not White Lantern?

Posted by Mrgreenlantern

i usually dont get all up in corrections but G-man i thought they were up against the First Lantern not the white lantern =p

anyway i loved the issue and they captured sinestro and hal fighting for the right to get out perfectly. I cant wait to see what Jordan does next not to mention with Sinestro's brash attitude how long until he confronts Kyle for being the new White Lantern

Posted by -The Renegade-

Good review G-Man.

Posted by Trevel8182

he's not only the First Lantern he's also the first walking pride parade.

Man the First Lantern looks dumb.

Posted by G-Man

@TheSwampThing: @Mrgreenlantern: Hopefully you noticed I mentioned "First Lantern" a couple other times. Thanks

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Posted by DarthLydia

I just don't get where this First Lantern arc is going. I mean, it's cool what's going on with Hal and Sinestro and Simon but what exactly happened to the Guardians? I know the 3rd army is pretty much toast but what about the Guardians? What's the status of the Corps right now?

Posted by Oscars94

Finally Baz and Hal get to meet up! Any scans?

Posted by JamDamage

great issue. art was stunning

Posted by saoakden

Looking forward to reading this issue.

Posted by DustinStauffer

@TheSwampThing said:

It is First Lantern not White Lantern?

No, he is basically all the emotional spectrum. So he can use all the emotional powers, even more so than Kyle can as a white lantern.

Posted by DustinStauffer

@DarthLydia said:

I just don't get where this First Lantern arc is going. I mean, it's cool what's going on with Hal and Sinestro and Simon but what exactly happened to the Guardians? I know the 3rd army is pretty much toast but what about the Guardians? What's the status of the Corps right now?

Well the story is basically him feeding off of all the lanterns/people to recharge his powers and then his play is to unmake reality, which in turn he remakes it however he sees fit. In this issue you get a sense that Sinestro hasn't changed a whole lot (still prideful, arrogant, etc). Baz is still finding his way, and Hal seems to be on the path for the Black Book prophecy of becoming "The Greatest Black Lantern." Obviously it wont last long term since it has been confirmed that Hal will be the focus of the Green Lantern books once the new writer takes over. In the end it will all lead up to some massive battle I imagine with Hal coming out on top. I think there could be an off chance of Sinestro going out in a blaze of glory since the new writer basically avoided talking about if Sinestro would be back to being the "evil" yellow lantern.

Posted by ThanosofAtlanta

I am dropping this book when Geoff signs off. I am going to miss him on Green Lantern. It is also an opportunity to cut the comic bill down. I have had to impose a sequester on comic spending. This story is interesting so far. I wonder how Geoff is going to end it.

Posted by John Valentine

Lackluster. Seemed like nothing happened in 22 pages worth of comic. Too decompressed. It's a shame, considering Johns' only has two issues left.

Posted by bookerman20

Can't wait for issue 19

Posted by r3d_rob1n

Seems to me as though Hal will become a Black Lantern, and then Kyle will revive him using White Lantern powers. This will most likely return them both to Green Lantern state and set everything back to status quo just as Johns leaves the title. I will not be disappointed with this outcome, I just hope that something lasting comes from it.

Posted by DustinStauffer

@r3d_rob1n said:

Seems to me as though Hal will become a Black Lantern, and then Kyle will revive him using White Lantern powers. This will most likely return them both to Green Lantern state and set everything back to status quo just as Johns leaves the title. I will not be disappointed with this outcome, I just hope that something lasting comes from it.

Yeah, kind of what I was thinking will happen. I'm wondering if we will see the end of the guardians and the actual "New Guardians" become the watchers of the universe. There is also the possibility that the guardians that were guarding the First Lantern end up replacing the current guardians that have basically gone rogue. I'm curious how Johns ties everything together in the end. I'm sure it will end with a big bang.

Posted by JakeN7

@r3d_rob1n said:

Seems to me as though Hal will become a Black Lantern, and then Kyle will revive him using White Lantern powers. This will most likely return them both to Green Lantern state and set everything back to status quo just as Johns leaves the title. I will not be disappointed with this outcome, I just hope that something lasting comes from it.

It's a good prediction, but promotional art for the new Green Lantern creative team still showed Kyle as The White Lantern (which I'm ecstatic about by the way.) I think it's a strong possibility that he might revive Hal though. Simon is another contender for the possible reviving of Hal Jordan, as he was able to heal his best friend/brother-in-law and wake him up from a coma (which he wasn't supposed to be able to do.) Granted, resurrecting someone from the dead is certainly a lot different then waking someone up from a coma. But who knows? Can't wait to see how it all plays out!

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Posted by r3d_rob1n

@JakeN7: I had not seen that Kyle is expected to remain a White Lantern. That will be an interesting development. Makes me wonder if he will be involved in the Trinity War is any way?

Posted by JakeN7

@r3d_rob1n said:

@JakeN7: I had not seen that Kyle is expected to remain a White Lantern. That will be an interesting development. Makes me wonder if he will be involved in the Trinity War is any way?

I don't know. I still don't really understand what the Trinity War is and where/when it's taking place. I've read JLA #1 and that's supposed to lead in to it somehow. Is it just an all out war between DC superheroes? I figure the "Trinity" part would refer to "The Trinity of Sin" which consists of Pandora, The Question, and The Phantom Stranger and it may even refer to the "Holy Trinity" itself as in Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. That's about all I know though. Am I missing anything?

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Posted by longbowhunter

Kudranksi won me over on Penguin: Pain & Prejudice. I was thrilled to see him on this issue. It was really fitting. I find it odd that this is part five of the First Lantern story. It seems like more of a tie in centered crossover and not sequential storytelling. I'm glad it isn't though. I'm just sticking around to read Baz, Hal and Sinestro and see Geoff Johns off. I couldn't really care less about the First Lantern.

Posted by sinestro_GL

Posted by DarthLydia

seems to me to be just a rehash of the whole Zero Hour thing, except it's not Hal trying to remake the universe.

Posted by irishking44

Also was glad to see B'dg kicking ass and continues to be made into much more capable and competent lantern than what he was in the past

Posted by spinningbirdcake

I don't know man. I hate to say it but Geoff John's last story on GL for now is boring me. It pains me to say that it really does.

Posted by JLDoom

Personally, I liked this issue. The interactions between Simon, Hal and Sinestro were quite interesting and that moment when Simon uses his gun was just awesome

Posted by martyyy15

I only got into green lantern comics rather recently and have only read from blackest night on, but I'm loving the teamup of Hal and Sinestro. They make a good team and thier interactions can at time be quite funny. They remind me of the relationship between goku and vegeta. I hope that the new writer keeps them a team. Its some great character development and makes for a great story

Posted by Zoch81

I enjoyed this issue can't wait for issue 19

Posted by Raw_Material

The issue was great!

Loved the conversation between Baz, Hal, & Sinestro.

Complete classic!

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