The Revolution rarely likes origin stories. The previous parts of “Secret Origin” did not change our minds. The best hope we have for a sign of improvement is the focus on the relationship between Hal Jordan and Sinestro. This issue has the opportunity to rise about the earlier parts of the story. The other thing to keep in mind is that even a poor Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern story is better than most other comic books.
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Ivan Reis
Inks: Oclair Albert
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Our story begins in Room 5 of the Hand Mortuary in Coast City. William Hand is looking at a corpse in a body bag. He approaches it, unzips the bag, and starts to reach for it. His mother stops him. She tells him that his father had just finished cleaning the body. She asks how many times has she told him to stay out of the morgue. William tells her that he just wanted to look at it. Mother asks him why he can’t be a good Christian like his brothers. William’s reply is that he does not know.
The story switches to Hal Jordan bent over on the ground. Carol Ferris is on her knees. Others are unconcious. Hector Hammond is floating in the air, looking down on them. Hector is dressed in blood stained robes. He was a scientific consultant for Ferris Aircraft and the United States Air Force. After being exposed to the meteorite core of Abin Sur’s(the previous Green Lantern for the sector Earth is located in) ship, Hector’s sick mind became telekinetic and telepathic. He is reading Hal’s memories and sees that Hal became the new Green Lantern for our sector.
Hector “sees” that Hal has met aliens who gave him a power ring. They called it the greatest weapon in the universe. He mentally orders Hal to give him the ring. Hal looks at Carol. Hector becomes mad. He tells Hal that he can never have her. Carol Ferris belongs to Hector. Hal tells him that he does not want her. Hector mentally yells “Liar!”. Hal is telekinetically thrown across the runway. Hector “sees” in Hal’s mind that he has lived his life trying to prove to everyone that his father’s death did not make him afraid.
Hal looks at his ring. He tries to will the ring to stay on his finger but Hal feels it slipping off. The best he could do is a burst of green light to blind Hammond. Hal takes hold of Carol and helps her to her feet. Hector uses his powers to throw a fighter jet at Hal and Carol. Green Lantern’s energy appears around them, saving their lives.
A voice from off-panel tells Hammond that he has broken “thirty-four terrestial and intergalactic laws”. He has also attacked an officer of the Green Lantern Corps, even if he uses the term “officer” loosely. The voice uses one simple command to encase Hammond head in a ball of green energy. This cuts off his oxygen. Hammond passes out. Hal and Carol look up into the sky and see a Green Lantern descending to Earth. The Green Lantern calls Hal a rookie and disappears with him.
At a local gun store, Atrocitus has trashed the building. He is assembling a device. Atrocitus is talking to the device. He tells it to take him to the host of the black power, William Hand.
The new Green Lantern on the scene, Sinestro, is lecturing Hal as they fly across the desert. Sinestro is telling him that Hal is not properly trained or Hammond would not have been such a problem. When Hal says that he does not understand why yellow is a weakness of the rings, Sinestro sees that they are more alike than he thought. Sinestro was suspended for accusing the Guardians of puting the weakness in the rings.
They land at Abin Sur’s burial site. Hal asks if Sinestro knew Abin. Sinestro tells him that Abin Sur was his mentor. Thinking back, he sees many similarities between Hal’s reaction to him and his treatment of Abin Sur. Abin taught Sinestro to trust the other members of the Corps. Of course, Sinestro kept his individuality and his drive to seek the truth. Hal’s ring activates with a message for Sinestro.
An image of Abin Sur appears with a recording for Sinestro. Abin hopes that Sinestro will surpass him someday. He has learned of the greatest tragedy to befall the universe. Abin explains how the Guardians created the Manhunter robot corps before the Green Lanterns. For eons, the Manhunters kept peace in the universe. Until the Massacre of Sector 666. Because of a glitch in their programming, the Manhunters determined that the only way to maintain order in the universe was to eradicate life. They proceeded to kill everyone in kill everyone in the sector. Five beings survived.
Those five became known as the Five Inversions, a terrorist group dedicated to the destruction of the Guardians. Atrocitus was their leader. By using rituals, they peered into the future and saw darkness. Even the Guardians could not penetrate this darkness. The Five Inversions plan on using the darkness to defeat the Guardians. And the source of the power is on a planet called Earth. Abin asks Sinestro to stop the Five. Sinestro asks if Hal saw another body on Abin’s ship. He did not. This tells Sinestro that Atrocitus is on Earth. And they need to find him.
Back at the funeral home, William Hand sneaks off to take a look at a corpse. As he reaches into the casket, the monstrous Atrocitus crashes through the wall. He throws the casket at William’s mother. William is thrown out of the building. Atrocitus tells William that his insides hold the doorway to absolute darkness. Sinestro and Hal appear and place Atrocitus under arrest. Atrocitus tells them that they are as guilty as their masters(the Guardians). He breaks free. Next he steals the energy from the Green Lantern rings with the device he made. The story ends with the now powerless Sinestro and Hal facing Atrocitus who has the green energy.
The Good: Wow. This issue was amazing. Johns nails the characterization from the start. Hammond is a good opponent for Green Lantern. He learns Hal’s secrets by reading his mind. By controlling Hal’s mind, Hammond is able to nullify the power ring.
Hammond also likes Carol. The additional incentive of competing for Carol’s affection adds an extra layer to their conflict. Even though Carol does not like Hammond, with his powers he has the potential to take control of Carol. Carol likes to be in charge of situations so this is very frightening for her.
The ease with which Sinestro deals with Hammond is perfect. The reader realizes how good Sinestro is when they read about this very short battle. Another part I likes was his surprise that Hal had trouble with Hammond. He is so far above the other Green Lanterns that he thinks Hal’s training on Oa was very inadequate. The connection developed when Sinestro sees how similar they are develops naturally. Seeing how confident Sinestro is, you know he will find a way to beat Atrocitus even without his powers.
The message from Abin Sur makes you feel his pain. Abin’s description of what is coming sends chills down your back.
This story gives a reason as to why Atrocitus hates the Guardians. It is not hard to see his justification for what he does. It does not make it right, but it would be hard to see all of that destruction and not want revenge.
Reis and Albert are on of my favorite art teams. I like the way they depict Hammond’s reading of other’s memories. The two page spread of the massacre makes you feel the inhumanity of the Manhunters. Another great all around job of illustrating the story.
The Bad: William Hand needed fleshed out more. Hopefully, next issue shows us more of him. We know he will become a villain but I do not see it from what is shown here.
Overall: This was a great issue. The addition of Sinestro really took this story to another level. The explaination of the Massacre of Sector 666 was informative and layed more of the ground work for the Black Lantern storyline.
2 thoughts on “Green Lantern #33 Review”
I’ve never understood the purpose of trying to establish that Sinestro was a decent guy at one point.
His name is SINESTRO. He is SINISTER. Even the Silver Age GL stories didn’t waste a lot of time on Sinestro’s GL career, because it was self-evident that he was going to be the bad guy.
Needless to say, I have not bothered to collect any of this absurd six-issue origin story.
And in the Silver Age, he was lame. Giving him an understandable motive and a backstory makes him more compelling; anyway, I don’t think it’s being suggested that he’s a decent guy. He is, at this point, a ruthless dictator on Korugar; the people who don’t know about that find him personable enough on his own (as King and Chamberlain found Hitler).
Conversely, I’m not sure about giving the Empire of Tears a semi-sympathetic motive; Moore created them as embodiments of a horrific, Lovecraftian evil. Having them seek revenge on the Guardians for the massacre makes them a bit too comprehensible (albeit they’re still psychotic evil creatures).
This was the strongest issue of this arc so far, I thought; it’s a mix of somewhat generic origin material and the more interesting new mythology; I definitely think the early parts of this could have been pared down a bit to its benefit.
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