Oh Geoff Johns. You just woke up one day and said, “I don’t really love the whole Green Lantern mythos. I think I’ll completely rewrite it,” didn’t you? Had most other writers attempted this, they probably would have crashed and burned, having no idea how to finish off their own story and watching it spiral into utter nonsense. Not Johns though. Nope, instead he continues to craft a complete reimagining of the entire Green Lantern lore, taking every possible character into account and addressing how each of their lives are affected by these changes.
The story continues right where Vol. 1 left off: the Sinestro Corps is moving towards Earth, planning on attacking the center of the multiverse and completely destroy the planet. Much of the trade focuses on the battles that ensue. I thoroughly enjoyed reading those, but they were fairly cut and dry. Honestly, not much more I can add to the narrative on those. The bad guys are defeated, but none are completely gone, as the comic hints that the Anti-Monitor, Superboy-Prime, and Hank Henshaw are all still living, while Sinestro has been arrested by Hal Jordan. Clearly, their stories are not over.
What really stood out to me though was the larger mythos behind the story. The Green Lanterns finally explain the multi-colored lanterns that have been teased in previous issues.
Each lantern color represents an emotion, and a Corps for each will rise to attempt to bring stability to (or overthrow) the universe. Not only is the thought of various Lantern Corps exciting, but I loved the actual explanation given for how these Corps will rise. Green is the center of the color spectrum, and so represents the mid-point in the balance of emotions. The Guardians explain that the farther away from this balancing point you go, the more influence the power ring has on its user. It’s a minor detail in the overall story, but it really enhanced the effect for me, inplying that certain lantern colors (and by extension, emotions) are more powerful or unstable than others, overpowering the logical and forcing its user to act in a more emotionally driven matter. It just somehow feels realistic, and it’s that ability to instill realism in such a story that sets Johns above the rest.
Side note #1: I really want one of those purple lanterns. I know the people who control them are sort of loco, but they’re so pretty.
Side note #2: I really hope Geoff Johns writes a separate oath for each type of lantern. I need to read (and memorize) each and every one, because I am a bit of a psycho and like memorizing things like that.
Piled on top of this news that there will be seven separate Corps is the news that a potentially cataclysmic event will unfold as well: The Blackest Night.
The Guardians don’t really seem to know exactly what The Blackest Night is, but they know it’s bad. Given that I’ve peaked ahead on “the shelf” and seen trades titled Blackest Night, I’m willing to bet that this is not an idle concern, and that we’ll definitely be seeing some sort of major shake-up soon enough. At this point though, it wasn’t the main part of the story. Instead, the seeds have been planted to bring about a future story arc that will no doubt be as eventful as this one.
I love the overall story in this trade, as well as how all of the characters are affected by the events. What I love most of all though, are the details. One of my favorites involved Hal Jordan, in an uncharacteristic move, announcing to the residents of Coast City that they should evacuate. Rather than listen, they all shone green lights up into the sky as a sign of solidarity, and remained in their homes. As a result, Coast City’s reputation quickly changed.
Again, it’s a small detail that doesn’t really play into the larger story all that much, but it had a big impact on me. Coast City has been a ghost town for so long that it seemed it would never be back on its feet. It took such a world-shattering event as this to change people’s opinions of the city, and finally help steer it in the right direction. These small inclusions really set the comic apart from others, and I can’t imagine having the same reaction to the story if these had been left out.
This was a truly epic battle between some seriously powerful individuals. The change to the status quo doesn’t seem to be too far-reaching yet, but obviously there’s enough here to hint at even bigger events that will occur soon enough. I’m amazed that Johns has crafted such a lengthy story that he clearly played out in his mind to its conclusion. I don’t know if this saga will wrap up in 6 issues or 60, but if these past trades are any indication, I’ll be enjoying the story from start to finish.