I knew the Green Lantern storyline was building up to something, but I never would have guessed it would be something this huge. Sinestro. Hank Henshaw. Parallax. Superboy-Prime. The Anti-Monitor. These heavy hitters join forces to bring down the entire Green Lantern Corp and everything it stands for.
I now see how so many previous storylines pay off, and how seemingly random plot details play into the larger story. The Sinestro Corp is waging a war against the GLs, systematically murdering all that cross their path. The Corp is fractured, spread thin across the universe, forced to fight opponents at every turn. Kyle Rayner has been taken over by Parallax, while Hal Jordan is searching for Guy Gardner and John Stewart, both of whom have been captured by the Sinestro Corps. Elsewhere, Killowag and a host of lanterns are trying to prevent the destruction of Mogo. The Lanterns are facing a host of challenges, with their victory never certain and often unlikely.
What’s great about this story is that yes, there’s plenty of action, but we also get deeper explanations into a few of the bad guys as well, particularly their motives in all of this. Sinestro’s are pretty clear, as he’s been operating under the same M.O. for quite some time. Interestingly, we learn that what Hank Henshaw hopes to gain out of all of this is death.
The Anti-Monitor (whose appearance incited a minor gasp from me just because I actually know who he is) promises to end Henshaw’s life if their mission is successful. While these scenes are brief, it helps to explain why so many threats to the universe are joining forces, making for a more believable story.
With all of this going on, we also get the privilege of seeing the Guardians sit in their citadel, arguing about whether or not they should choose to believe in the prophesy that is literally playing out all around them. Being the idiots they are, they choose to ignore it, and rather than accept the truth, they re-write the Book of Oa. Their first change? Giving all Lanterns the power to use leathal force (read: kill) members of the Sinestro Corps.
God I really hate the Guardians. Their entire schtick has always been “no killing”. Now, all of a sudden, killing is okay, all because it suits their purpose?? Somebody please knock some sense into their little blue heads, because they have wielded power for far too long.
Armed with this new ability, the Lanterns regroup to engage in battle once more. Unfortunately, they don’t realize the larger scale plan.
The Guardians realize that the Sinestro Corp wants to capture Earth, the center of the multiverse. Given that their enemy clearly knows the meaning of 52, you would think the Guardians would think it wise to share that information with their GLs as well. Nope, instead they keep them in the dark and the enemy descends on Earth with practically no defense to speak of.
Those Guardians. Ya gotta love them.
Wait…no you don’t. Punch them in the face.
The Sinestro Corps War is far from over, but this was an incredibly solid first act. Most interesting is that this story is clearly a product of its time, yet never feels like a diatribe about our current state of political affairs. The closest it ever comes is when the following observation is made:
This comic is the product of a fearful post-9/11 society, and quite honestly it’s probably one of the only trades that could get away with being such. By moving the story into space, the reader is far enough removed from these similarities to be able to overlook them should they choose, yet the observant reader can’t help but notice the similarities to our own world. Geoff Johns (seriously, this guy writes everything) crafts a story that comments on the state of our own world while still providing escapist entertainment. It’s easy to overlook this subtlety and just focus on the story at hand, but the brilliance in this piece needs to be acknowledged. It’s not preachy, but the references are definitely there to be unearthed by the astute reader. It made the comic more enjoyable for me, helping to ground this space odyssey in reality.
This was a truly solid beginning to the Sinestro Corps War. Johns’s deft hand has rebuilt the GL lore from the ground up, and while the story is not yet complete, I have no doubt in my mind that it will play out in a grand (and possibly cataclysmic) manner.
Now I’m off to go finish the story, because at this point how can I not?