Green Lantern #21 Review

Green Lantern Sinestro Corps #1 was the best comic book that The Revolution has read this year. Johns was absolutely brilliant. Green Lantern #21 is the beginning of the Sinestro Corps story arc which should be one insanely good read. Let’s go ahead and do this review for Green Lantern #21.

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Ivan Reis
Inker: Oclair Albert

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

Synopsis: We begin with Hal reflecting on how he was once called the greatest of all the Green Lanterns. But, that being controlled by Parallax changed forever how many of his fellow Green Lanterns would view him. In particular the Lost Lanterns that Parallax left for dead in deep space.

We see some of the Lost Lanterns insulting Hal, Guy and John and saying that they will never trust or like them. That they are just hairless apes. More reports of Green Lanterns being hunted down and killed by Sinestro Corps members come flowing into Oa. The deaths are up into 50’s.

We cut to the Guardians meeting and deciding to destroy the hidden chapter of the Book of Oa: The Blackest Night prophecy. Ganthet and Sayd argue that the Guardians must heed the Blackest Night prophecy. That the Guardians made a mistake of trying to erase the truth behind the yellow impurity and that they made a mistake when they abandoned emotions. And now they are making a mistake by destroying the chapter of the Book of Oa containing The Blackest Night prophecy.

The Guardians respond that the prophecy is nothing more than lies. That Abin Sur believed those lies and it led to his death. The Guardians then destroy the chapter containing The Blackest Night prophecy.

We cut to Karu-Sil killing a Green Lantern. Karu-Sil then uses a Manhunter robot to re-charge her yellow power ring.

We shift to Ganthet and Sayd telepathically contact Hal Jordan and tell him that their conversation must be a secret. That the Guardians would exile them for contacting Jordan. Ganthet tells Hal that he was the greatest of all the Lanterns. Hal responds that that was a long time ago. Hal says that many of the Green Lanterns don’t trust him. Ganthet responds that Hal must do what comes naturally to him. That Hal must regain the trust of the Green Lanterns. That they need Hal’s light to shine brighter than the rest. That Hal must be their beacon.

Hal responds that they put this burden to recruit and rebuild the Corps on Hal’s shoulders before. And that they did the same to Sinestro also. And it broke both Hal and Sinestro. That Hal became Parallax. Ganthet responds that Hal has overcome all his fears except for one. Ganthet tells Hal that he and Sayd will try and help him, but that they must go before the other Guardians become suspicious.

Hal, John and Guy then go to the main power battery to re-charge before heading off to Qward to rescue Kyle. While they are re-charging their rings, yellow energy springs forth from the power battery. Hal says that the Sinestro Corps must have booby-trapped their power battery.

Parallax appears and asks Hal what is he afraid of? Hal gets enveloped in yellow energy. We then see Hal watching himself as a little boy watching his father fly a test plane for Ferris. We see Hal’s father begin to have plane trouble. Hal futilely tries to power up his ring to save his father. Hal’s father decides to crash land the plane somewhere where no one will get hurt. Hal’s father then says something that we can’t hear. Hal screams out to his father and asks him what he said.

Parallax states that Hal will never know his father’s last words. That Hal is afraid that his father died in fear. Parallax says that Hal’s father did die in fear. Parallax tells Hal to share that fear.

Suddenly, Kyle appears in front of Hal. Kyle says he is the new Parallax. That Kyle always takes what Hal has done and makes it better. Kyle tells Hal welcome to Qward. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Green Lantern #21 was another excellent read. Johns is white hot on this title. At this point, Johns just can’t seem to do any wrong. This Sinestro Corps story arc is going to be nothing short of brilliant.

Green Lantern #21 was well paced as Johns slows things down a bit from the fast paced Green Lantern Sinestro Corps #1. Johns lets the reader catch their breath after all the huge events that went on in Green Lantern Sinestro Corps #1. Johns takes the time to step back and lay a proper and sound foundation to this Sinestro Corps story arc.

Green Lantern #21 is also well plotted. Johns has excellent long term vision and is an absolute master at constructing a complex and long multiple issue story arcs. Johns even wisely uses the beginning of this issue to give just enough background on Hal and Parallax in order to make this Sinestro Corps story arc new reader friendly.

However, the back story is kept to a minimum and done in such a nice natural fashion that it doesn’t bore long time readers. This is a very smart move. With a story arc as huge as the Sinestro Corps that is going to impact the entire DCU, it is important to make it new reader friendly in order to boost sales numbers.

Johns delivers his usual well crafted dialogue. Each of the Lanterns has their own distinct personalities. The good dialogue allows for plenty of good chemistry between the various characters.

Johns sets the stage for an eventual schism within the Guardians. Johns pits Ganthet and Sayd against the rest of the Guardians as the differ on how to handle The Blackest Night prophecy. It appears that the Guardians foolishly destroying The Blackest Night chapter which may doom the Green Lantern Corps. I am totally intrigued by The Blackest Night prophecy. This has all the makings of one wild ride.

Johns pulls off more outstanding character work on Hal. Johns has been the best thing to happen to Hal Jordan in forever. Johns has an unbelievable feel for Hal’s character like no other writer I have seen. And the way that Johns writes Hal it is quite evident that Johns absolutely loves this character.

We are beginning to see Hal come to the end of his long road to redemption. Hal has continually beaten himself up over his actions as Parallax. At no point does Hal ever begrudge the Lost Lanterns for their hatred and distrust of him. Hal is serving self-imposes penance for his actions as Parallax. Hal believes that he deserves the distrust and hate from the Lost Lanterns. Hal believes that he has no business being a leader to the other Lanterns. Hal believes that he is no longer the greatest Green Lantern. Hal is extremely hard on himself and is punishing himself.

Johns uses Ganthet in order to point out how Hal is fighting his own natural instinct to be a leader. That Hal is the one restricting himself out of his feelings of guilt for what he did as Parallax. The scene between Ganthet and Hal is the beginning of Hal’s final leg on this long road to redemption. Hal is going to have to once again ascend to the status of being the beacon for the Green Lantern Corps.

Hal is going to have to once again become the greatest Green Lantern and put the entire Corps on his shoulders and lead them to victory. Hal is going to have to make the other Lanterns respect and follow him no matter their hard feelings from Hal’s role as Parallax. Ganthet’s stern talk with Hal lays out the course that Hal must take in order to complete his journey to total redemption.

I’m glad that Johns is finally going to finish the reconstruction of Hal Jordan back to the true hero that he is. Johns started this long endeavor back in 2004/05 with Green Lantern: Rebirth. It has been more than two years and it is time for Hal to finish his journey to redemption. I hated how DC perverted Hal’s character with morphing him into Parallax. I love seeing DC return Hal to his proper status of one of the greatest heroes in the DCU.

The scene where Hal faces his one remaining fear was wonderfully written. Johns turns in a very dramatic and emotional scene as Hal powerlessly watches his father die again. I dig that Hal’s final remaining fear is not knowing what his father said before he died. That Hal is afraid that his father’s final moments on Earth were full of fear. I really enjoyed how Johns constructed this powerful scene.

We didn’t see a lot of the Sinestro Corps in this issue. But, the short seen with Karu-Sil was pretty cool. I totally dig the use of the Manhunters as portable power batteries for the Sinestro Corps members. That was a neat and unexpected twist.

Johns gives us an excellent hook ending with Kyle coming face to face with Hal. Kyle is now playing the heel as Parallax as Hal gets to be the knight in shining armor. Johns is going out of his way to purposely use an evil Kyle as a plot tool to cement Hal’s assuming the role as the greatest Green Lantern ever.

Reis and Albert serve up plenty of fantastic artwork. Reis knows how to draw incredible looking Green Lanterns. Green Lantern is one of the best looking books on the market.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: Green Lantern #21 was another fantastic read. Johns just keeps crushing them out of the park on this title each and every month. The Sinestro Corps story arc is going to be nothing short of brilliant. Green Lantern is most certainly the best title that DC currently has on the market. If you haven’t given this title a try then you really need to. And this is the perfect time to hop onto this title.

3 Comments

  1. I’m worried that Johns is digging himself into a hole with all this. the sinestro corp is no doubt awesome, but a little too awesome. They have Ion as paralax, plus super boy prime and the anti-moniter. Eiter one of these three would make for a massive brawl that would easily wipe out half of the corps. I don’t see how they can have all three together, plus eveyone eles, and still have the corps win in a way that is all belivable. Rememeber, Superboy and the anti-moniter both took crises to be put down. I know the end result will be Hla rallieing the troops and becomeign a beacon as he leads the final charge into battle, his stuatus resorted as the greatest Latern, but I just wonder if it will work as well on paper as Johns has it working in theory.

  2. Looking at the opening page, which features Katma Tui; given that Johns has a penchant for ridiculously contrived resurrections of dead GL characters (the height of which was the “Revenge of the Green Lanterns” arc), why is she still dead, especially since her death was so appallingly gratuitous and undignified? Is it because she never had sex with Hal?

    A good issue, although coming off the Special it feels kind of slow.

    The Kyle-Parallax strikes me as a sort of parody of the most superficial aspects of Kyle (especially early on, when he was first introduced): ie, he’s “cool” and keeps describing everything he does as such.

  3. (Re: Kyle) Honestly, if that’s the case, Johns (and the fans) really, really need to grow up.

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