With Green Lantern #25 we get the grand finale to the Sinestro War story arc. This has been the best big event that I have read in a long time. It certainly blows away the big events that Marvel and DC have given us over the past several years. There is no doubt in my mind that Green Lantern #25 is going to be another excellent read. Let’s do this review.
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver, Oclair Albert & Julio Ferreira
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with all the heroes of the DCU joining the Green Lantern Corps in the massive battle with the Sinestro Corps. We zip to Sayd and Ganthet talking with Hal, Guy, John and Kyle. The ex-Guardians mention that the Blackest Night is going to occur. That these four lanterns are from the keystone of the Multiverse, Earth, and to stop the Blackest Night from occurring, the four Earthling Lanterns must bear witness to the Blackest Night.
Ganthet reveals that the color spectrum of life has a unique emotion assigned to each color. That green is in the center of the color spectrum of life. Green is the condensation of willpower. That there are Yellow Lanterns and that yellow is the color of terror. That there are Violet Lanterns, the Zamarons. That violet is the color of love. There are Red Lanterns. That red is the color of hate and rage. There are Indigo Lanterns. Indigo is the color of compassion. There are Orange Lanterns. Orange is the color of avarice and greed. And lastly, there are Blue Lanterns. Blue is the color of hope.
That the seven Corps will be born and that they will wage war on each other. Then at the end of the war between the seven Corps the skies will darken and the Blackest Night will descend upon everyone. The seven Corps will fall as will the universe.
Ganthet and Sayd wish our four Earthling Lanterns good luck. That Ganthet and Sayd must leave and follow their hearts and do what they must. Hal then says that John and Guy should head to New York to take on the Anti-Monitor. That Hal and Kyle will go to Coast City to take on Sinestro.
We shift to Hal and Kyle arriving at Hal’s brother’s apartment. Hal uses his power ring to speak to all the residents of Coast City. Hal urges all the residents to evacuate the city. Hal’s brother, Jim, tells Hal that he is not running.
We cut to New York where the Anti-Monitor is kicking some serious ass. The Anti-Monitor rants that he will rule the Multiverse.
We hop back to Coast City, where Jim says that Hal would never run away. Jim says that he has been running away his entire life. That it ends here. That they came to Coast City because their believed in Hal. That no matter what is coming, that they are not leaving. Suddenly, Hal looks outside the window and sees that all the residents of Coast City have covered lights in their homes and flashlights with green plastic and have turned them on so the city is flowing green from every window and balcony. Kyle tells Hal that it doesn’t appear that anyone is leaving.
Hal then gets contacted by Hannu who tells Hal that despite their past, Hal stood with them back on Qward and that the Lost Lanterns are coming to return the favor. Hal and Kyle take off and Hal’s little niece yells “Kick their butts, Uncle Hal!” Hal smiles and says “Helluva family.” Kyle adds “Helluva town.” Sinestro then appears before Hal and Kyle.
We zip back to New York where Guy is deathly sick from Despotellis entering into his blood stream. Suddenly, the Guardians are on the scene and attack the Anti-Monitor.
We cut back to Coast City where the Lost Lanterns have arrived on the scene and start kicking ass on the Sinestro Corps members. Amon Sur is shocked at the sight of Green Lanterns killing. Amon, in fear, abandons his post and flees.
Sinestro watches the Green Lanterns killing Sinestro Corps members and smiles. Sinestro says that he has always been loyal to the Green Lantern Corps. That he labored for years to change the Corps and finally the Guardians have agreed with him. That Fear is the key. Now the Green Lantern Corps has the proper aggression to wield lethal force. That now the universe will fear the Green Lanterns. And that the universe will be better for it.
We shift back to New York. Guy then has an idea to take out the Anti-Monitor. That they can use Warworld and use it as a grenade to kill the Anti-Monitor.
We hop back to Coast City where Sinestro has the Manhunter robots suck up all the energy from Hal and Kyle’s power rings. Sinestro then attacks the powerless Lanterns.
We cut back to New York where the Green Lanterns combine their powers to chain up Warworld and then throw it into the Anti-Monitor and Cyborg Superman. The Lanterns then combine their powers to create a massive shield around Warworld, Anti-Monitor and Cyborg Superman. Cyborg Superman softly says “Thank you.” Warworld then explodes and kills Cyborg Superman and Ant-Monitor.
We slide back to Coast City where all the Manhunter robots suddenly stop functioning. Sinestro then corners Hal and Kyle. Hal grabs one of the suddenly defunct Manhunter robots and uses its skull to soak up all of Sinestro’s energy from his power ring. Now the playing field is level and Sinestro begins brawling hand to hand with Hal and Kyle.
We shift back to New York where a badly damaged Anti-Monitor rises from the ashes of the explosion. Superman-Prime then punches a hole through the Anti-Monitor and tells him to shut up. That Superman-Prime has been waiting to kill the Anti-Monitor. Superman-Prime throws Anti-Monitor into deep space and tells him to go finish dying somewhere else.
We hop back to Coast City where Hal and Sinestro are engaged in a bloody brawl. Sinestro comments that Hal will always know fear. That he will always be afraid if his father died in fear. Hal retorts that he knows his father died without fear and purposely crashed his plane away from the crowd. Sinestro spits that Hal and the universe will never be without fear.
We cut back to New York where Superman-Prime is battling the combined forces of the JLA, JSA and Green Lantern Corps. We see Natu treating Guy. Natu injects Guy with a Green Lantern Corp member named Leezle Pon. Pon is a super intelligent smallpox virus and he wants justice.
One of the Guardians locks horns with Superman-Prime. The Guardians states that he willingly sacrifices his own life to rid the universe of Superman-Prime. We cut to Coast City where Hal is punching away at Sinestro. Hal says that a Green Lantern is never without fear. A Green Lantern overcomes fear.
We then see the Guardian exploding and his energy incinerating Superman-Prime. We then see Guy recovering from Despotellis’ attack. We see Leezle Pon emerge from Guy victorious.
We then cut to Hal standing over a bloody and beaten Sinestro. Hal tells Sinestro that he is under arrest.
We zip forward to 36 hours later at the apartment of Hal’s brother, Jim. Hal and John talk about the new ability to use lethal force. John says that it is no different from any of the cops who protect the streets or men who serve in the armed forces. Hal says that he is not completely opposed to the allowance of lethal force, but that there is already so much death in their universe and where is it all going to leave them?
We see the news report on the television talking about how the Green Lantern Corps stayed behind after the fight to help rebuild New York. The news report then mentions Coast City and how when every other metropolis evacuated during the Sinestro War, that not a single person left Coast City. That the city stood with Green Lantern and his Corps. That Coast City used to be labeled “Ghost City.” That the city has a new nickname: The city without fear. We see Hal, John, Guy and Kyle flying through Coast City as a stream of cars and moving trucks enter into the city as people are flocking to live in Coast City.
We cut to Superman-Prime waking up lost in the Multiverse. Superman-Prime is stunned and happy that the Multiverse is back.
We shift to the Guardians meeting on Oa. The Guardians decide that it is time they must do what they deem necessary from preventing another occurrence like the Sinestro War. That they have already initiated the first of the ten new laws of the Book of Oa. That it is time to initiate the second. We see Sinestro jailed on Oa. Sinestro is smiling.
We hop over to Ganthet and Sayd talking about how Hal Jordan will have his brothers-in-light in John, Guy and Kyle to help him prevent the Blackest Night from occurring. And that Hal will have their new Blue Lantern Corps to help him as well.
We cut to Cyborg Superman’s parts being gathered by Manhunter robots. They put Cyborg Superman back together and he is reincarnated once again. Cyborg Superman opens his eye and begins to cry.
We see the Anti-Monitor landing on a rocky planet. A voice from off panel commands the Anti-Monitor to rise. We see the Anti-Monitor being transformed into a giant black lantern. It is the birth of the Black Lantern power battery.
We then get a teaser of things to come. We see that in 2005, Hal Jordan returned to the Green Lantern Corp. That in 2007, the Sinestro Corps was born. That in 2009, they will descend upon our world to claim the loved ones we have lost. We see numerous black power rings descending from the skies and landing in a graveyard. The teaser states that if the universe is to survive, willpower and fear must come together because across the universe the dead will rise. The Blackest Night happens in the summer of 2009. End of issue.
The Good: Hell yeah. That is how you end a huge event in style. And the best part about it is that Johns actually makes the Sinestro War story arc seem like a mere warm up act for what is to come over the course of the next two years. Amazing. Green Lantern #25 was a fantastic issue. The Sinestro War was an awesome story arc and certainly should go down as one of DC’s strongest efforts that I have read in quite some time. DC should be thanking their lucky stars that they have Johns, because right now he is doing the majority of the heavy lifting for DC.
Johns crafts plenty of his usual strong dialogue. Johns has an incredible feel for the various characters that make up the world of the Green Lantern Corps. We get plenty of quality chemistry between the various Green Lanterns. Johns is able to convey the sense of these Lanterns all being brothers-in-arms. Also, it is impressive how well developed the various characters are considering what a huge cast of characters Johns had to juggle with this story arc.
The Sinestro War story arc was phenomenally plotted and paced from start to finish. At no point did this story arc drag and it never seemed rushed. Johns hit the perfect tempo at the beginning and kept the pace rolling smoothly toward the finish.
The Sinestro War story arc also showed off Johns’ incredible long term vision that he possesses. There are very few writers who can pull of a detailed and complex long term story arc like Johns can. That is by far and away Johns’ greatest strength. Johns always has his eye on a year or two down the road and everything he does in the present is done to with a definite purpose to build a plotline for the future.
Johns certainly knows that you can’t end a huge story arc like the Sinestro War without serving up to the reader tons of great action. And we get plenty of action in this grand finale. It was cool seeing the Guardians get actively involved in the war by locking horns with both the Anti-Monitor and Superman-Prime. I also liked finally seeing Superman-Prime take out the Anti-Monitor. That was a long time in the coming and it actually felt satisfying to see Superman-Prime rip through Anti-Monitor.
The brawl between Hal and Sinestro was perfect. I love that it came down to a fist fight. By removing the power rings from the equation, Johns made this grudge match much more personal and intense. This was just the case of two men slugging away at each other. This was so much more satisfying than watching them duel with their power rings.
Johns delivers the Sinestro War story arc more like a Hollywood blockbuster movie than just a mere comic book story. And like any Hollywood blockbuster, you have to have a couple of “feel good” scenes. And Johns gives us three nice ones in Green Lantern #25. I loved the scene in Coast City where all the residents turn on their green lights and stand by Hal Jordan. And Hal’s family standing firmly by his side was also a great touch. Yeah, it was a bit cheesy, but it was an awesome “feel good” moment.
I also enjoyed it when the Lost Lanterns radioed Hal to tell him that he stood with them on Qward and now they will stand with him in Coast City. And then seeing the Lost Lanterns arrive on the scene and kick ass was perfect. Johns finally gives some much needed closure to this plotline. What Hal did as Parallax in the past will never be forgotten, but it will be forgiven. Hal has proven himself to be the greatest Lantern and I’m glad that Johns is finally having Hal being accepted by all of his fellow Corps members.
And then you had the ending where we saw tons of people rushing to move to Coast City which is now known as the “city without fear.” This was the final “feel good” moment and also brought some much needed closure to another long standing plotline. Coast City has been a ghost city for long enough. I’m glad to see Johns closing this chapter and moving on with the future of Coast City.
Johns has impressed me with how he has handled the villains in this story arc. Johns has gotten me to like both Cyborg Superman and Sinestro. They are both two villains that I can’t say I have ever really cared for that much. Johns has managed to make Cyborg Superman quite an intriguing and complex character. I am a total sucker for a tragic villain and Johns gives us that in Cyborg Superman.
I liked the genuine happiness that Cyborg Superman displays at the moment of his death. That he is finally going to be free from the sorrow of life. And then we see Cyborg Superman’s grief and hopelessness as his Manhunters bring him back to life at the end of Green Lantern #25. Johns does a good job getting the reader to feel truly sympathetic for Cyborg Superman’s tragic plight.
I dig how Johns handles Sinestro in this issue. Johns has done an incredible job during the Sinestro War of morphing Sinestro from a cheesy silver age villain into a truly vile, complex and menacing character. Sinestro certainly shows off his own fighting spirit when his power ring is drained of its power. Does Sinestro turn into a cowardly villain and try to run? Nope. Sinestro doesn’t blink at all and willingly takes on both Hal and Kyle at the same time. Now, that is a bad-assed villain.
I also like the debate between Hal and Sinestro concerning the Green Lanterns new authority to use lethal force. It is a delicious twist that this is exactly what Sinestro was working toward. That Sinestro is still loyal to the Green Lantern Corps and that he is thrilled that the Guardians are finally enacting the laws that Sinestro so ardently argued for back when he was a Lantern.
This scene gives the reader the sinking feeling that the Guardians are now on a path that justifies everything that Sinestro believes in. That with the ability to use lethal force, the universe will fear the Green Lanterns and that will make them even stronger.
Johns continues this debate when Hal and John talk about their new authority to employ lethal force. I understand Hal’s reservations about this new authority and that it marks a new direction for the Guardians which certainly is a slippery slope that could end in disaster. There is no doubt that some Lanterns will be more restrained and hesitant to employ lethal force, while others will abuse the new authority and use it to lord their power over people they perceive as “bad.”
However, the fact is that the Green Lantern Corps is a para-military police force. And like John points out, it is no different than the moral judgment calls that regular police and soldiers in the military have to make when performing their jobs. It simply makes sense that a group like the Green Lantern Corps would at least have the authority to use lethal force as an option to resolve problems.
I also enjoyed how Johns juxtaposed Amon Sur with Hal Jordan near the end of this issue. Johns has Hal make the point to Sinestro that it doesn’t matter that there will always be fear in the universe. All that matters is how a person does when standing in the face of fear. The Sinestro Corps members have the ability to instill great fear. The Green Lantern Corps members have the ability to overcome great fear. That is why Hal stands tall in the face of fear and vanquishes Sinestro while Amon Sur turns tail and runs when faced with the fearsome sight of Green Lanterns employing lethal force.
The Sinestro War story arc was incredible and truly felt like a huge event. In fact, the Sinestro War blew away other big events like Countdown, Infinite Crisis, Civil War, World War Hulk and House of M. I mean, Sinestro War just crushed them. Johns was able to make the Sinestro War a true big event that captivated the reader with its grand scope.
Until the end of this issue, I wondered when we would get another big event that would be able to rival the Sinestro War. Frankly, I was concerned that this story arc was so good that Johns really wouldn’t be able to follow it up with anything as good. At some point, a writer hits such a high that there is only one way to go and that is down.
Well, I was wrong. What blows my mind is that Johns manages to give us an ending to the Sinestro War story arc that actually gets me more excited than I was over the Sinestro War. I can’t believe it, but the Sinestro War was just a warm up act. Nothing more than an appetizer to whet our appetite for a much large story arc headed our way in 2009: The Blackest Night. Johns continues to amaze me on this title. This is about as white hot as I have ever seen a writer get on a single title.
I love the concept of The Blackest Night story. It actually intrigues me even more than the Sinestro Corps story arc. And I didn’t think that was possible. I totally dig the idea of having a spectrum of Lanterns populating the universe. Johns hooks me with the idea of 7 different Corps with each color connected to a specific emotion.
I cannot wait to see the different Corps in action. Obviously, it appears that the Yellow Corps, Red Corps and Orange Corps will be on the evil side while the Green Corps, Blue Corps and the Indigo Corps will be on the good side. The Violet Corps seems to be the wildcard in this mix. Having 7 Corps battling it out should make for an exciting storyline.
Johns dishes out a great ending to Green Lantern #25. Johns doesn’t slow up for a minute and drops several bombs on the reader with this ending. We see the second of the new ten laws being enacted. The reader is left wondering what the second new law is. Clearly, Sinestro is pleased with the second new law and that can’t be a good thing.
We then see Ganthet and Sayd creating the Blue Lantern Corps in order to support Hal Jordan and his fellow Earthling Lanterns. We then see that Cyborg Superman is still alive. That was a bit of a surprise. I honestly thought that this was going to be Cyborg Superman’s swan song.
Then Johns drops the biggest bomb of them all on the reader. We see the wounded and weakened Anti-Monitor being used as the power source for the Black Lantern power battery. I guess Anti-Monitor is the Black Lantern Corps version of the Sinestro Corps’ Parallax and the Green Lantern Corps’ Ion. This is an excellent use of Anti-Monitor’s character.
What a fantastic plot twist. The reader is left wondering about the identity of the mysterious person off panel who transforms the Anti-Monitor into the Black Lantern power battery. Plus, the reader was just wrapping their mind around the concept of 7 Corps. One for each color in the spectrum. And then Johns goes and stuns the reader with the creation of an eighth and incredibly mysterious Corps in the form of the Black Lantern Corps.
Johns gives the reader a pretty cool little teaser for the Blackest Night event that is to take place in the summer of 2009. I dig that the Black Lanterns are going to be the bodies of the dead brought back to life. Maybe Kon-El will become a member of the Black Lantern Corps. This teaser definitely got me pumped up for this event. Fuck the Final Crisis. I could care less. Bring on the Blackest Night, baby!
Green Lantern #25 sports plenty of gorgeous artwork. Normally, I despise artwork by committee. However, this issue is an exception. I did not mind the artwork by committee since Reis and Van Sciver have such a similar style of artwork. The reader gets treated to plenty of one page and double page splash shots in this issue. Reis and Van Sciver do an incredible job capturing the large scope of a massive war. The artwork has been a huge reason why the Sinestro War has felt like such a big event.
The Bad: I only have one very minor complaint. What is up with Starfire blasting away in the brawl in New York when she is currently on Countdown to Adventure and completely powerless? The editors for DC really have to do a better job than this.
Overall: Green Lantern #25 was an excellent read and certainly a wonderfully satisfying conclusion to the Sinestro War story arc. Johns manages to do the impossible and reveal that the Sinestro War story arc was nothing more than a warm up for much larger events to come in the next couple of years.
Johns is as hot as a writer can possibly get and Green Lantern shows no signs of letting up in the near future. It is almost impossible to definitively say that one single title is the absolute best on the market, but I’m going to make the dramatic statement that Green Lanterns is the hottest read on the market from either Marvel or DC. Right now no other title can touch the white hot story that Johns is giving us each and every month on Green Lantern.
If you missed this Sinestro War story arc then I definitely recommend you pick it up when it is released in trade paperback form. If you haven’t given Green Lantern a try then I urge you to do so. This title is without a doubt worth your hard earned money.