Green Lantern #22 Review

Johns has been nothing short of spectacular on Green Lantern. This Sinestro Corps story is simply brilliant. Forget Civil War and the Initiative. Forget World War Hulk. Forget Countdown. Forget Amazons Attack. Sinestro Corp is THE big event of the year that no reader should miss. I’m positive that Green Lantern #22 will be another phenomenal read. Let’s hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciler: 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 the Guardians deciding to send Green Lanterns to aide Mogo since the Sinestro Corps is going to want to take down Mogo who is the soul of the Green lantern Corps. The rest of the Green Lanterns are called back to Oa to prepare for another attack by the Sinestro Corps.

We cut to Qward where Parallax is taunting Hal Jordan. The rest of the Sinestro Corp arrives to back-up Parallax. Amon tells Hal that it is hopeless for him. That Hal is despised and abandoned by the Green Lantern Corps. Hal answers that he may be despised, but not abandoned. That is not how the Green Lantern Corp rolls. We suddenly see the Lost Lanterns streaking in and plowing their way through the Sinestro Corps members.

We cut to Superboy Prime sitting on the moon staring at Earth. Superboy Prime smiles and says “Stupid Earth.” We hop over to New Warworld, the home of the Manhunters. Cyborg Superman informs his master, the Anti-Monitor, that the planet Ranx is in position to confront Mogo and that New Warworld will be completed and ready in two hours for assimilation. Anti-Monitor responds that soon they can leave Qward and claimed their new homeworld.

Cyborg Superman then talks about how over the years he has been blown up, burned and disintegrated, yet he continues to live. That the cosmic accident that cursed him with immortality murdered his friends and forever his wife mad. But, at least his wife was able to kill herself. Cyborg Superman cannot. Anti-Monitor responds that when Cyborg Superman has finished his tasks then the Anti-Monitor will kill him. Cyborg Superman begins to cry and thanks Anti-Monitor for his promise.

We shift back to the Lost Lanterns and Hal Jordan brawling with Parallax and the Sinestro Corps members. The Lost Lanterns tells Hal that they are here for Ion. They scan the area and discover that Ion is prisoner a thousand feet below them while Parallax simply has taken Kyle Rayner. That Ion and Rayner are two separate beings.

Parallax then says he will kill the Lost Lanterns. Parallax gets into Chance’s mind and brings out his innermost fear. Chance gives into the fear which makes him vulnerable to the color yellow. Parallax then fires multiple yellow energy beams through Chance’s green shield and kills him. Parallax then grabs Chance’s power ring.

Boodikka snaps and yells that Kyle Rayner killed Chance. Hal responds that it wasn’t Kyle; it was Parallax who killed Chance. Hal tells the Lost Lanterns that they are dead meat if they stay out in the open and that they need to go underground. The Lanterns head into the catacombs under the surface of Qward. The walls of the catacombs are carved with scriptures that say “Fear infects” over and over. It is the mantra of the Sinestro Corp.

Hal uses his ring to locate Guy and John Stewart. The Lost Lanterns use their rings to locate Ion. Hal tells Ke’Haan and the other Lost Lanterns that the Corps doesn’t’ abandon its own. That Ke’Haan said that himself. Tomar and Graf decide to join Hal to rescue Guy and John. Ke’Haan and the other Lost Lanterns refuse to help saying that their duty is to go save Ion.

We see Mogo and the Lanterns fighting Ranx and the Sinestro Corps members. We see Sinestro arriving on Qward and asking Parallax where is Jordan. We see New Warworld full finished and in flight.

We cut to Hal, Tomar and Graf arriving where John and Guy are being held captive. Out steps Lyssa Drak, the keeper of the Book of Parallax. Lyssa says that she knows fear like no other and that this is going to make a wonderful story. End of issue.

The Good: Green Lantern #22 was yet another incredible read. Johns is white hot and keeps cranking out excellent reads every month as this Sinestro Corps story arc just keeps getting better and better. Green Lantern #22 was a nicely paced issue. It moves fast, but at no point does it seem hurried. Johns also does a good job mixing in a couple of dialogue heavy scenes in between the massive brawl on Qward to keep this a balanced issue. The fact that this story arc is so amazingly well plotted shows off Johns’ excellent long term vision and his talent to construct an enjoyably complex story arc.

Johns is talented enough to know how to deliver a kick-ass fight scene as well as serve up strongly written dialogue. The big brawl on Qward was awesome. The double page splash shot of the Lost Lanterns arriving on the scene to give support to a badly outnumbered Hal Jordan was fantastic. It got me all excited and pumped up.

But, Johns isn’t a one-dimensional writer and also knows that good dialogue and well developed characters are what make a story an exceptional read. And Johns provides us with plenty of well crafted dialogue along with nicely developed characters who each have their own unique personality.

And Johns also understands that for a story arc to be truly exceptional that you must have truly exceptional villains to test your heroes. And in addition to a delightfully complex Sinestro, we get three nicely developed villains in Super-Boy Prime, Cyborg Superman and Parallax.

The short scene with Superboy-Prime was well done. We get practically no dialogue or narration. However, the reader gets a wonderful sense of Superboy-Prime’s smirky, cocky and hateful personality. Superboy-Prime is a bit of an oddball who is definitely a wildcard in this mix of villains.

We all clearly know what goals Anti-Monitor, Cyborg Superman, Parallax and Sinestro have in mind. Superboy-Prime, however is a different story. He just seems bent on destruction pure and simple and you don’t know what he is going to do next. I could easily see Superboy-Prime turning on his fellow villains if they get in his way.

I loved the scene with Cyborg Superman and Anti-Monitor. Johns is doing a wonderful job getting me really interested in a character that I never really was impressed with in Cyborg Superman. Johns writes Cyborg Superman as a truly tragic character. Johns manages to convey the immense pain that burdens Cyborg Superman’s heart that is the catalyst for his rage and hatred for all life around him. The reader is able to sympathize with Cyborg Superman and it is always more enjoyable when you can sympathize with the villain.

I dig the New Warworld that Cyborg Superman has constructed to help the Anti-Monitor in his plan for a new homeworld. Ranx and the New Warworld versus Mogo should definitely be a rather spectacular battle. The Green Lantern Corps better pray that Mogo doesn’t fall.

Johns continues to do a nice job writing Parallax. Johns gives Kyle the same treatment that Hal’s character got when DC had him turn into a killer that was totally opposite what his character had always been. Now Kyle is a Green Lantern killer. Now, at first blush, it might appear that Johns, being a Jordan fan, is simply smearing Kyle’s character the same way that Hal’s character was totally perverted. But, I think that would be unfair and short sighted to view it that way.

I see Johns having Kyle kill a Green Lantern as establishing Parallax as his own person separate from the host that he inhabits. The reader no longer views Hal as Parallax. The reader now views Parallax as a separate character who simply inhabits various hosts in order to carry out his villainous plans. This move lessens the perversion of Hal’s character and emphasizes that Parallax is the villain responsible for the murders he commits and not the hapless host that he inhabits.

This move also lessens the stigma of Hal being viewed as Parallax by the other Lanterns and viewing the claim of being possessed by Parallax as a mere excuse. Now that Parallax has taken over Kyle’s body and killed a Lantern, it shows to the other characters that it is Parallax who is to blame and not the host body. Characters can no longer disregard Hal’s claim that he was possessed by Parallax as just an excuse.

Johns also clearly distinguishes both Parallax and Ion from their host bodies that they inhabit. Johns makes sure that the reader understands that Kyle is not Ion. That Kyle simply provided a physical host for the entity known as Ion. That Kyle is just a regular man. This move by Johns clearly establishes the presence and unique personas of both Parallax and Ion separate from the hosts they inhabit.

I also liked how Johns incorporates the old Green Lantern weakness to the color yellow. We haven’t seen that weakness in a long time and I dig how Johns re-incorporates it back into the Lantern mythos. The concept that a Green Lantern is immune to the color yellow unless he gives into fear is pretty cool. Chance’s fear allowed his weakness to the color yellow to manifest himself. I dig it and it explains how the Sinestro Corps members will be able to use their yellow power ring blasts to kill Green Lanterns who succumb to fear.

Johns also does a great job with the relationship between Hal and the Lost Lanterns. I dig that even though the Lost Lanterns hate Hal, that the concept of loyalty to the Green Lantern Corps is bigger than their hatred for Hal and that they still rush to Hal’s aid in combat.

Johns also exposes Ke’Haan’s hypocrisy by having him choose retrieving Ion over not abandoning Guy and John the same way that Ke’Haan and the other Lost Lanterns were abandoned. It appears that Johns is building toward finally going to put to rest the Lost Lantern’s hatred for Hal Jordan. And it is about time. While I have enjoyed Hal’s struggle with the guilt over what Parallax did while inhabiting Hal’s body as well as the hate and distrust from some of the fellow Lanterns, I do think that this plotline is beginning to get a bit old and needs to be wrapped up soon.

And it appears that Hal my finally resolve his issues of guilt by the end of this Sinestro Corps story arc. Johns has Graf mention how he has no hate for Hal Jordan because Graf does not look at the past with pain and anger. Graf astutely points out that even Hal hasn’t been able to do that with his past. Hal is still dealing with his pain and guilt from being possessed by Parallax. Hopefully, the events of this war with the Sinestro Corps will allow Hal to move past what happened when he was possessed by Parallax.

Johns ends Green Lantern #22 with a fantastic hook ending with Lyssa Drak, the keeper of the Book of Parallax, holding Guy and John captive. We haven’t seen Lyssa in action yet and don’t know much about her. But, it definitely appears that she is one of the strongest members of the Sinestro Corps. I am excited to learn more about her and watch her take on the Lanterns in what should be a great fight.

Reis and Albert supply plenty of phenomenal artwork. Green Lantern is definitely one of the nicest looking comic books on the market. Reis does a wonderful job breathing life into Johns’ story. And there is no doubt that few people can draw Green Lanterns as well as Reis.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: Green Lantern #22 was awesome. This Sinestro Corps storyline continue to impress me and only gets better and better with each issue. For me, this is the big event of the year between everything else that Marvel and DC has going on. If you haven’t hopped onto this train then do yourself a favor and get on as soon as possible. I don’t think you will be disappointed. Green Lantern is worth every penny of its cover price and right now is hotter than anything else on the market.

2 thoughts on “Green Lantern #22 Review

  1. I can’t wait until #24. I saw the cover art on DC’s website and it looks like the war finally hits Earth. I just can’t wait to see what happens when other heroes get involved.

  2. Another good issue.

    I have some problems with the way the Lost Lanterns and Hal are essentially able to escape Parallax and a massive detachment of the Corps on their own damn planet (indeed, their own complex); for all their numbers, they seem pretty useless in battle. Even Parallax only manages to kill one of them (although the scenes with various Lost Lanterns shrugging off Parallax’s attempts to weaken them were cool).

    There’s a notable inconsistency between how the ring works in this issue and what it did in GLC #14; in said issue, the ring stopped Soranik Natu from killing Sinestro, but it didn’t completely shut down on her in the middle of a fight.

    On a minor art complaint (the art is otherwise very good), I really wish they wouldn’t do those sideways two-page spreads that you have to turn the book around to read; they take me out of the reading experience.

    When Blue Vampire Bondage Queen first appeared, I was momentarily thrown off by her not being drawn by Dave Gibbons.

    The good use of Henshaw aside, I have some concerns that the sheer number of villains in this story is kind of crowding everyone out and preventing them from standing out; we’ve got Sinestro, Cyborg Superman, the Anti-Monitor, [We’re afraid of the Siegels’ lawyers] Prime, Kyle-Parallax, and all those Sinestro Corpsmen they gave origins to, from Karu-Sil, Bedovian, Amon Sur, Arkillo, Despotellis, etc. So far, Johns has juggled them fairly well.

Comments are closed.