Green Lantern continues to be one of DC’s stronger performers. Johns is about as hot as the New England Patriots as it appears that he just can’t do anything wrong with this title. Green Lantern #27 continues this mini-story arc surrounding the new Alpha Lanterns. I’m confident that this should be another great read. Let’s go ahead and do this review.
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Mike McKone
Inkers: Andy Lanning & Marlo Alquiza
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with John Stewart and Hal Jordan being alerted to a Sinestro Ring arriving on Earth. John and Hal suit up and fly to Arkham Asylum. There we see the Sinestro ring arriving in front of the Scarecrow and telling him that he has been selected because of his ability to instill great fear. But, before Scarecrow can grab the ring, Hal and John appear and snag the Sinestro ring first. Hal and John then learn that this is Amon Sur’s power ring.
We zip to Oa where Laira is being charged with the crime of murdering Amon Sur. Laira claims that she acted within the new law of the Green Lantern Corps authorizing lethal force. That Amon Sur killed Keehan’s family and deserved death. Since the Lost Lanterns witnessed the killing, they are asked if Laira committed murder or if it was a justified use of lethal force. The Lost Lanterns all reluctantly admit that it was murder.
Hal Jordan then arrives on the scene. He has Amon Sur’s Sinestro ring with him. The Guardians then appear on the scene. The Guardians then state that they knew this new law allowing lethal force would create gray areas, but that lethal force should always be used as a last resort. That Laira will be tried on charges of murder.
The Guardians state that emotion can cloud judgment and distort justice. The Guardians then state that they are going to form the Alpha Lanterns who will be the most elite of all the Green Lantern Corps. That in addition to their normal duties as Green Lanterns, the Alpha Lanterns will also police the other Green Lanterns on any possible rule violations. So basically the Alpha Lanterns are like the Internal Affairs unit within police departments.
The Guardians say that the Alpha Lanterns will support the enforcement of the new law as well as the enforcement of the next nine new laws. The Guardians then offer the position of Alpha Lanterns to only a handful of Green Lanterns. Those Lanterns include Varix, Chaselon, Kraken, Green Man, Boodikka, and John Stewart. They all accept the offer except for John Stewart.
John declines based on the fact that he still doesn’t know what the other nine laws that the Guardians are going to enact are going to say. And that John won’t swear to enforce laws until he knows what they are going to be. The Guardians tell John that they are very disappointed in him.
The Guardians state that the Alpha Lanterns will have their minds mainlined directly to the Book of Oa and their bodies directly to the central power battery. That an Alpha-Lantern will never need to recharge their rings. That they will never need to sleep. And upon acceptance, they will receive an additional power ring. The Guardians then tell the other Lanterns who have agreed to become Alpha Lanterns to proceed to the surgical room for cosmic surgery
We shift to Space Sector 650 where a Guardian is meeting with Ash. The Guardian charges Ash with the duty of finding the remains of the Anti-Monitor. That the Anti-Monitor’s corpse could be exploited. The Guardian mentions that Ash is perfect for this mission since it will take him to the blackest corners of the universe much like when Ash hunted down the Starbreakers. Ash asks if the other Guardians know about this mission. The Guardian answers “Of course.”
We hop back to Oa and see the chosen Lanterns entering a room where suddenly, they are bound by mechanical arms and all sorts of bizarre surgical devices start working away on them.
We cut to Hal and the other Lanterns placing Laira in her cell. Sinestro watches it all and smiles. Laira yells that she refuses to be judged by the Guardians or the other Lanterns. Laira breaks free and tries to make an escape. Hal, John, and the other Lanterns prepare to go after Laira when suddenly their power rings are drained of all their power. The Alpha-Lanterns appear on the scene and say “No Lantern escapes the Alpha-Lanterns.” The Alpha-Lanterns capture Laira and put her in jail. The Alpha lanterns look like robots. Hal and John are horrified by what they see.
We shift to the Guardians talking about how the Alpha-Lanterns embody the best elements of each military faction they have had a hand in creating. The sentient drive and thought process of the Green Lanterns and the efficiency and logic of the Manhunters. The Guardians then state that it is time to enact the second law.
The Good: Johns doles out yet another great read with Green Lantern #27. This title continues to be the crown jewel of the DCU. Even though the Sinestro War is over, Johns shows no signs of slowing down on this title. It is clear that Johns has a detailed master plan for Green Lantern for the next two years and we can look forward to a consistently good read on this title for quite some time to come.
I dig how Johns handles Laira’s killing of Amon Sur. This was the inevitable occurrence ever since the Guardians authorized lethal force. It is tough to say when a Green Lantern should kill and when they shouldn’t. Johns makes Laira a sympathetic character which places the reader in the uncomfortable decision of choosing whether to side with Laira or the Green Lanterns who accuse her of murder.
Amon Sur is a thoroughly unlikeable scumbag. And his heinous actions of killing Ke’ Haan’s family certainly warrant Amon’s death. However, Amon had surrendered and as a space cop, Laira’s duty isn’t to mete out her own personal style of justice. If Amon is to be killed it should be after a fair trial and a conviction along with the punishment of being given the death penalty.
I feel for Laira’s character and probably would have done the exact same thing that she did. This is a cool plotline that adds some complexity and shades of gray to the current state of the Green Lantern Corps. It also allows the reader to engage in plenty of debate about the direction that the Green Lantern Corp should be headed.
Of course, the big revelation in Green Lantern #27 was the unveiling of the new Alpha Lanterns. I love the concept of an Internal Affairs unit within the Green Lantern Corps that polices the Green Lanterns. It only makes sense that as the Guardians expand the Green Lantern’s abilities and place them in more complex situations with laws like the one that allows lethal force that there will be more possibilities for Green Lanterns to abuse their newfound abilities. An Internal Affairs unit that investigates any possible infractions by the Green Lanterns is a logical next step for the Guardians as they begin to completely overhaul how the Green Lantern Corp operates.
This move to create the Alpha Lanterns should immediately spark some backlash and concern among the ranks of the Green Lantern Corps. When you are the man with the badge and the power, rarely do you like it when someone else gets to wield that same type of power over you. Many Lanterns will view this is a necessary evil while others will rankle under the constant supervision of this new rank of Lanterns. And this should lead to some internal conflict and infighting between the various Lanterns which should provide for some interesting drama.
I dig how Johns uses the Guardians’ two creations in the Manhunters and the Green Lanterns and combines them into one completely creepy and chilling package. The Alpha-Lanterns are well thought out and make for a fantastic addition to the Green Lantern Corp.
And speaking of creepy, the Guardians are beginning to creep me out more and more with each issue. I love this twist by Johns. Even though the Green Lantern Corps are clearly the heroes and the group that we are supposed to be rooting for, the reader can’t help but think that the Guardians are up to something sinister and can’t be trusted.
I dig the move of having the Guardians offer John Stewart the honor of becoming an Alpha-Lantern and not Hal Jordan. This is consistent with the personalities of the two Lanterns. John is the studious, grounded, and rule-oriented person while Hal is the rebellious and rule-breaking cowboy.
I loved seeing John declining the honor citing that he refuses to enforce any laws that he has no knowledge of. This scene shows that John has the balls in turning down this type of offer from the Guardians and doing it right to their faces. And it shows that John is a stand-up guy who never rushes into doing anything without knowing full well all of the possible consequences.
Johns is a master plotter and knows the importance of keeping several plotlines on a slow simmer in the background while the main plotline plays out. In Green Lantern #27 we see a Guardian giving Ash a special mission. This plotline should provide for some exciting reads in the future as Ash’s mission should lead to the discovery of the new Black Lantern Corp. And even though the Guardian meeting with Ash claims that the other Guardians know about this mission, I have a distinct feeling that the Guardian is lying.
McKone continues to do a fine job as the fill-in artist during this story arc. Green Lantern #27 is a pleasant-looking issue.
The Bad: I have no complaints about this issue.
Overall: Green Lantern #27 is another well-done issue. Green Lantern continues to be DC’s best and most consistent read. Johns is simply on fire with this title. There is no doubt that what Johns is doing will lead him to be the definitive Green Lantern writer as he has impacted the Green Lantern mythos in a way that few writers have. I definitely recommend giving Green Lantern a try. Even if you aren’t much of a DC fan, as long as you dig action and Science Fiction then I think you will enjoy this title.
4 thoughts on “Green Lantern #27 Review”
Awesome issue. Did you notice that the guardian that gave Ash the mission of finding the Anti-monitor’s corpse had the symbol of the Black Lantern Corps in her pupils? She’s also the same Guardian that had been burned by the Anti-monitor’s touch. Methinks these hints do not bode well.
I’m not sure why Boodika would be chosen to “enforce justice”; in the past, she’s seemed more of a fly-off-the-handle. During ‘Sinestro Corps’, she tried to kill and had her ring deactivated; that light monk guy would seem a better choice from the Lost Lanterns.
Another good issue; I generally prefer when GL focusses on Corps stories, rather than Earth-based stuff. On Earth, Hal and John are like other superheroes, but there’s more distinctive stuff out in the spaceways, with the rest of the team.
The tease of Scarecrow getting a ring was cool (really, what ring picked Amon Sur over him; Amon Sur was a loser).
I can’t help but think that we’ll get some post-9/11 symbolism that will be less ham-fisted than Civil War out of this.
Yes! I’ve been trying to figure an in-story reason that Batman would get a look in, but Scarecrow wouldn’t. The best I could rationalize was that fear gas doesn’t constitute instilling fear…
It’s great that that finally happened! (Even though I’m glad that character wasn’t dragged into space).
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