Green Lantern #19 Review

The Revolution always looks forward to the newest issue of Green Lantern. Johns has made this title one of DC’s hottest books on the market. I’m glad to see that Ivan Reis returns to the art duties with Green Lantern #19. I didn’t mind Acuna’s job as guest artist last issue, but no one beat Reis when it comes to drawing Green Lanterns. This Star Sapphire storyline is heating up. I fully expect Green Lantern #19 to be another excellent read. Let’s hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Daniel Acuna

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Star Sapphire chasing Hal Jordan and Carol. Carol tells Hal that the Star Sapphire is like the green power rings and the yellow power rings. Carol doesn’t know how she knows about the yellow power rings but that there is a war coming and that the Star Sapphires are connected to it.

Carol says that the Sapphire told her that billions of years ago, when the Guardians of the universe decided to form the Green Lantern corps to protect the universe, that a tribe of women left Oa because they did not believe in the Guardians’ belief of a life without emotion. The tribe of women believed that love and compassion was necessary. The tribe searched the entire universe for billions of years for what the Guardians feared. They found it on a planet called Zamaron. There they found the first Star Sapphire. The tribe began experiments on the Sapphire.

Carroll said when she was first abducted and taken over by Star Sapphire that she saw the Zamaron tribe as they told her she had been chosen to be Star Sapphire. Carol tells Hal that the Sapphire always comes back and always goes after whoever Hal is intimate with at that point. That Hal has been able to fight it off time after time, but that other Green Lanterns have not been able to do the same.

That on the planet Xanador, there was a Green Lantern whose lover had been given a Star Sapphire. That after they mated the Star Sapphire killed the Green Lantern and the spawning began. The Sapphire invaded every living cell in the planet and crystals grew across the world. The Zamaron tribe declared Xanador a successful experiment. That the crystals placed everything on Xanador under their control. That love is under their control and that love will preserve all of life. That they will prevent the wars of the future. That they will spread loved throughout the universe.

Hal says that the Zamarons believe that love is incasing life in crystal and putting it into suspended animation. Hal comments that that isn’t love that that is just control. Carol comments that Hal doesn’t even know what love means. He never even liked to say the word “love.” Carol asks Hal if Cowgirl is someone special. Hal says yes.

Star Sapphire catches up with Hal Jordan, and they begin to brawl. Carol tells Hal to make her a suit. That when she was the Star Sapphire she saw her fight and learned how to fight. Carol asks Hal to light her up. Hal pours energy from his power ring into Carol. We then see Carol in a Green Lantern version of her old silver age Star Sapphire costume. Carol and Star Sapphire Start brawling. Hal takes down Star Sapphire.

Suddenly a high energy signature is detected by Hal’s power ring. An energy vortex opens up in the room and we hear a voice says that a new Corps is rising and so must theirs. The energy portal takes knocks out Carol. We then see four Zamaron tribe members appear out of the portal. One of the tribe members says that both Cowgirl and Carol will be the first two members of their new Corps. The tribe members tell Hal Jordan to surrender. End of story.

We get another back up story concerning details of the Sinestro Corps. We cut to the archive tower on the planet Qward. Lyssa begins to tell Amon Sur another story. It takes place on planet Graxos III, which is a jungle world of madness. All the species are carnivorous and meet is scarce. Slaughter of families competing for food is commonplace.

The young girl in the story is named Karu-Sil. Karu-Sil was left abandoned in the forest. She had to hunt and kill her food in order to survive. She was raised by a pack of very strange looking space creatures. One day, she stumbled across a young man. She approached him and then brutally attacked him. Karu-Sil and her pack feasted on the young man.

A Green Lantern that appeared on the scene and killed all of the beasts and mistakenly assumed that Karu-Sil was being attacked by the beast. The Green Lantern took her to Graxos V where she was institutionalized and ripped open by a psychologist. She remained there until her yellow power ring gave her back her freedom. Lyssa comments that Karu-Sil instills fear not through what she does but who she is just like Despotellis and Bedovian. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Green Lantern #19 is another excellent read. Johns just keeps hitting the jackpot with this title. Green Lantern #19 is a well plotted and paced issue. This issue is dominated by Carol’s running monologue explaining the Zamaron Tribe and the Star Sapphire. Green Lantern #19 is the type of issue is a necessary evil in order to give the reader enough back-story to pay a proper foundation for the upcoming story arc. Johns is wise enough to mix in enough drama between Hal and Carol as well as some action to keep Green Lantern #19 from being a boring read.

The drama between Carol and Hal was well done. Personally, I’d rather see Hal with Carol, but considering how DC has just given me back the Multiverse, I’m not going to complain. I just find Carol to be a more interesting character than Cowgirl.

As always, Johns craft some fine dialogue. Johns has such a good feel for Hal and Carol’s characters. The well done and naturally flowing dialogue also lends to nice chemistry between the characters. You can feel the emotion between these two characters. Even though Carol thought Hal died and went ahead and got married, it is obvious that Hal was and still is her one true love. And even though Hal does have feelings for Cowgirl, it is clear that Carol will always be the love of his life. Johns did a nice job touching on these emotions between these two long-time lovers.

I like how Johns writes Carol’s personality. Johns gives us a much more interesting Carol than we have gotten before. This version of Carol definitely has more inner strength and isn’t shy about locking horns with Carol. I liked Carol’s attitude as she gets a chance to smack around the woman who has her sights set on Hal.

The fight scene between Carol and Star Sapphire was pretty cool. I geeked out seeing Carol in a Green Lantern version of her Silver Age Star Sapphire outfit. That was a great touch.

I like what Johns is doing with Star Sapphire and the Zamaron Tribe. The powers of the Sapphire have always been poorly outlined and developed. Johns takes it upon himself to define what the Sapphire is and to flesh out the purpose of the Zamaron Tribe. I love the idea that the Sapphire is like a power ring. And I am digging that the Zamaron Tribe is another cosmic group competing with the Guardians for how best to save the universe.

The concept of the Zamaron’s embracing love and emotion while the Guardians shun all emotion sets up an interesting dynamic. The Zamaron’s solution to encase worlds in crystal and leave the planet in suspended animated is certainly an unusual way to view love.

I love that the Zamaron Tribe is joining in on the impending war between the Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Corps. And the concept of having a Star Sapphire Corps is pretty cool. And to have Cowgirl and Carol being the first two members of this new Star Sapphire Corps is a great twist. It certainly causes plenty of drama and placed Hal in an incredibly uncomfortable and tough situation.

I like how Johns neatly folds the Star Sapphire plotline into the Sinestro Corps plotline to make an even large and more complex storyline. A battle between the Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Corps is already interesting, but throw in a wildcard group like the Star Sapphire Corps and you get one unpredictable and entertaining storyline.

Johns gives us another back-up story about the Sinestro Corps. Personally, I don’t think that Karu-Sil is anywhere near as intriguing or creative as Despotellis, but she is still a serviceable villain that is appropriately vicious.

These back-up stories are an excellent way for Johns to introduce the various Sinestro Corps members to the reader. This way when the war between the Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Corps breaks out, the reader will already be familiar with the various Sinestro Corps members and Johns won’t have to waste time giving us any back-story.

Personally, I dig Acuna’s style of art. However, I fully understand that Acuna’s heavy lined and painted style is certainly an acquired taste. Acuna’s artwork on this issue is certainly going to be a love it or hate it situation with many fans.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: Johns has been doing a wonderful job on Green Lantern and Green Lantern #19 was no exception. This title is certainly one of DC’s better titles currently on the market. The upcoming war between the various Corps should be incredibly entertaining. I am excited about what Johns has in store for us. I definitely recommend giving Green Lantern a try.

1 Comments

  1. Between all the backstory and the backup story, this and the previous issue have been pretty slight in the “present” (Star Sapphire arrives, possesses Carol, Hal fights her, she possesses Cowgirl, Hal and Carol fight her). However, the backstory and backup stories are really interesting (particularly the backup), so that’s not such a problem. There’s some sense that this book is treading a bit of water until the Sinestro Corps proper arrives (which I can’t wait for).

    The first SC backup was a kind of inverted “Mogo Doesn’t Socialize” (down to the last-page reveal being a microscopic germ instead of a planet); this is the “Evil Jungle Book/Tarzan” (really, a more realistic look at the sort of personality that would emerge from being raised by carnivorous predators). Although I’m kind of kicking myself for having read that Wizard profile on all the Sinestro Corps members a couple of months back, since that spoils a lot of it.

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