Green Lantern is a favorite here at The Revolution. Johns has this title on a hot streak as we head toward the Blackest Night event. I fully expect Green Lantern #38 to be another exciting read. The prelude to the Blackest Night has been quite enjoyable and I do not envision Johns dropping the ball at this point in the game. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for Green Lantern #38.
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Ivan Reis
Inks: Oclair Albert
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Carol Ferris in her office. She picks up the phone and calls Hal. Cowgirl answers the phone. Carol says that she must have the wrong number and that she was trying to reach Hal Jordan. Cowgirl recognizes Carol’s voice and answers that “Highball” has not gotten back from space yet. Cowgirl asks if Carol wants to leave a message. Carol says no. Carol hangs up the phone and looks at a picture of her and Hal as kids standing next to their fathers.
We cut to Ysmault and see Hal Jordan as a Red Lantern. We see Sinestro strapped into a red energy electric chair constructed by the Red Lanterns. Rage courses through Hal’s veins as he lashes out at the two Blue Lanterns. Atrocitus notices that the Blue Lanterns hesitate to use their power rings. Saint Walker retorts that the blue light is the most powerful light. Atrocitus then challenges Saint Walker to unleash his blue power on the Red Lanterns.
Atrocitus then breaks Saint Walker’s wrist. Atrocitus says that he knows the secret of the blue light. That hope is nothing without willpower to enact it. We see Hal then throw the switch on the red energy eclectic chair that Sinestro is hooked into. Sinestro fries.
Atrocitus states that Hal’s green power ring is inactive and that without an active Green Lantern by the Blue Lanterns’ side that their blue power rings will not work. Saint Walker admits that his blue power ring does rely on the aura of green to function. However, that does not make Saint Walker hopeless. Saint Walker says that all will be well.
Saint Walker lunges for Hal and says that he does not know if Hal has great hope in his heart. But, that Saint Walker welcomes Hal to the Blue Lantern Corps. Saint Walker slips a blue power ring onto Hal’s finger. The blue ring immediately begins to purge Hal of the infection of the red power ring.
While the red and the blue lights are battling inside of Hal we cut back to Sinestro training Hal and telling him how Green Lanterns are trained to overcome fear. But, when it comes to guilt, regret and loss that Green Lanterns struggle with those emotions. We see Hal flashing back to meeting Cowgirl and Hal thinking “Yellow. My one weakness.”
We hear the Blue Lantern Corps oath as Hal rips off his Red Lantern outfit and reveals a combination Blue Lantern and Green Lantern costume. Hal then attacks Atrocitus and blasts him. Atrocitus falls to the ground and mumbles in disbelief that the blue power ring destroyed the red power ring. Atrocitus exclaims “Impossible.”
Atrocitus and his Red Lanterns retreat. Sinestro and his Yellow Lanterns retreat. Hal then asks Saint Walker what did Saint Walker to do him. Saint Walker replies that he does not know.
We shift to Carol walking to the hangar. Carol tells Tom that she is thinking of taking a quick flight in Hal’s plane. Tom says that he will tell the tower to clear the runway. We cut to the Star Sapphire Corps. They mention how Carol’s heart yearns for Hal. They say that Carol will not need Hal. That Carol will only need the Star Sapphire Corps.
We cut to Sinestro and his Yellow Lanterns arriving at the Qward in the anti-matter universe. Sinestro is informed about Mongul taking over the Sinestro Corps and stationing himself on Daxam. Sinestro unearths the Sinestro Corps main power battery. Sinestro recharges his power ring. Sinestro swears that Mongul will suffer just like Hal and Atrocitus will suffer.
Sinestro tells his Yellow Lanterns to go gather up the other Sinestro Corps members who have rejected Mongul’s lies, to go free Karu-Sil and the others from the Star Sapphire Corps and then gather on the dark side of Daxam’s moon and wait for Sinestro. Sinestro says that thanks to Atrocitus that he has a family matter to attend to. Sinestro flies off to Korugar.
We shift to the planet Okaara in the Vega system. The Controllers arrive on the planet and say that “the power” is buried here on this planet. They arrive to a vault that houses the orange power battery. We cut to a shadowy figure wearing an orange power ring. The figure cries out “No! Go away!” The figure screams that the Guardians promised that “it” would be his. We see Scar listening to the shadowy figure. Scar says “Yes, Larfleeze. Cry out. Join the others.”
We cut to Atrocitus asking the red light to show him the location of the new Corps. We cut to the Blue Lanterns inducting another member. We slide to Carol in Hal’s plane. The Star Sapphires appear on the scene and tell Carol that she has great loss in her heart. Scar walks down into a cave and says that the light of life shines brighter. Scar then says “And the dead hunger.” End of story.
We then get an Origins and Omens back-up story. It focuses on Hal Jordan and John Stewart. We see John back at the location where Xanshi used to be. John sees Fatality in her Star Sapphire form sitting on an asteroid. John is about to blast her and then decides not to and flies away.
We cut to Hal Jordan back on Earth at Ferris Air. Tom tells Hal that Carol took his plane flying. Tom says that when she landed she was not smiling. Tom says that Carol spends all of her time alone. We cut to Carol in all her Star Sapphire glory.
Scar talks about the dark times ahead. We see John badly injured. We see Hal and Sinestro having to team up to fight a bunch of shadowy figures. We see the Black Hand. We also see three Green Lanterns in energy bonds and before a tribunal of Guardians. One of the Green Lanterns is Alan Scott. Scar says let there be light so that it may be consumed by the darkness. End of issue.
The Good: Green Lantern #38 was another good read. This issue was nicely paced as Johns creates the proper chaotic feel of a galactic war that is about to erupt. This issue was not rushed, but it moved with a purpose as Johns seamlessly shifted from slower paced dramatic scenes to faster paced fight scenes. Green Lantern #38 offers a great balance of action and drama.
This issue was strongly plotted. Johns continues to impress me with his master plotting skills on this title. Johns is juggling so many interesting plotlines. And they all have plenty of substance to them. Johns has managed to set the stage for a big event in Blackest Night that is going to feel grand and epic in scope. Johns is masterfully sliding all the various players into place for the Blackest Night. And I appreciate how Johns has managed to find a role, no matter how small or large, for just about every supporting character in the Green Lantern mythos.
The dialogue was nicely crafted and had a pleasant flow. The character work was also well done. Johns has presented the reader with an interesting collection of characters for the Blackest Night event. I know that some people dislike the “rainbow” Corps aspect to the lead-in to Blackest Night. I actually dig all of the different colored Lantern Corps and it works for me. Each one has a specific purpose and lends to a deeper and more interesting story. And, for the most part, each Corps has been nicely developed. The Red Lantern Corps still remains the only Corps that I find uninteresting.
I enjoyed the scene on Ysmault. This scene was dramatic and action packed and moved at a frenzied pace. This was a well framed and delivered scene and served as the centerpiece of Green Lantern #38. Johns did a fine job with the battle between the red light and the green light that raged inside of Hal’s soul. Hal certainly has plenty of anger and rage inside of him.
And this is a theme that Johns has been playing with ever since he brought Hal Jordan back to the Green Lantern Corps. Hal has been battling feelings of guilt, remorse and anger ever since returning from the dead. The battle between the red and the green was a logical extension of that long running theme.
It is clear that Johns has had his eye on Blackest Night for quite some time and that this big event would play the pivotal role in Hal finally sorting through his unaddressed emotions stemming from his return to the DCU and his past as Parallax. By experiencing the various ranges of emotions, Hal will be able to come to grips with his own personal issues and become a more grounded person who is at peace with himself and his role in the DCU.
The best part of the scene on Ysmault was the surprise secret of the Blue Lanterns. I loved the twist that the Blue Lanterns need the willpower of a Green Lantern’s aura in order to activate their blue power rings. This was a brilliant twist. Hope is powerful, but hope by itself is passive and useless. Hope always needs some type of will or action to bring it into being in order for it to have any impact in reality. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that a Blue Lantern would require a Green Lantern in order to activate their blue power rings.
I liked the surprise of having Hal morph into a hybrid Green and Blue Lantern. I was not expecting this move at all. And this surprise change was only made more interesting by the fact that even Saint Walker had no idea what was going on with Hal suddenly turning into a hybrid Lantern.
I dig that Johns has Sinestro back on the loose and ready to wrest control of the Sinestro Corps from Mongul. I am certainly looking forward to the moment when Sinestro locks horns with Mongul. That should be highly entertaining. But, before we get to that climactic showdown, Sinestro has the immediate task of saving his daughter from being killed by the Red Lantern Corps. I am interested in seeing this little family reunion. It is hard to imagine Sinestro as a daddy.
Johns continues to do a nice job handling Sinestro’s character. Usually, Johns fails to impress me with his normally one dimensional villains. Sinestro is a rather textured villain and I find him incredibly intriguing. It is nice that Johns has been giving Sinestro as much panel time as Hal. A strong villain always makes a story a much more engrossing read.
Johns continues to move along the plotline involving the Controllers and the new Orange Lantern Corps. The Controllers are finally about to assume control over the orange power battery. Johns also introduces a character named Larfleeze into the Orange Lantern Corps plotline. Evidently, Larfleeze is upset with the Controllers getting the orange power since the Guardians promised him the orange light. I am curious to learn more about Larfleez and what his role is going to be in this story.
Johns does a good job with Carol and mixing her back into the story. The reader gets a nice sense of Carol’s feelings of loneliness and loss that weigh heavily on her heart. It is clear that Carol has little else in her life outside of her company. I liked the scene with Carol on the phone with Cowgirl. Johns manages to contrast the two women in just a few panels.
Carol is an obvious choice for the Star Sapphires. Carol has a long history with the Star Sapphire and her loss of love fits with the theme of the Star Sapphire Corps. Adding Carol into the mix only makes the impending battle between the Corps that much more interesting. Poor Hal is going to have a rough time ahead of him. It is going to be tough knowing who is friend and who is foe in this impending war.
I appreciate the details that Johns places into this story. There were some nice little subtle moments like during the scene on Ysmault when the red and blue lights are battling inside of Hal. Hal thinks about how yellow has always been his one weakness. In that panel we see Cowgirl. Hal’s traditional weakness to yellow is symbolized in Cowgirl’s blonde hair. This adds another layer to this love triangle between Hal, Cowgirl and Carol. I am curious to see how this all plays out.
I found the final page of the Origins and Omens back-up story with the teaser scenes to be interesting. It appears that Hal and Sinestro are going to have to team-up once again. The other teaser scene that interested me was the one involving Alan Scott. I am curious to see how Alan gets worked into the mix and why he would be shackled before the Guardians. And one of the followers astutely pointed out that Mordru is one of the other two men shackled next to Alan. I always like it when a classic Legion villain makes an appearance.
Green Lantern #38 was packed full of gorgeous artwork. Reis and Oclair are amazing art team that has made Green Lantern one of the nicest looking titles on the market.
The Bad: The Origins and Omens back-up story nowhere near as good as the main story. I found the back-up story to be a bit slow and dull. The back-up story was mostly fluff that failed to live up to the intensity of the main story.
Overall: Green Lantern #38 was a good read. Johns continues to craft balanced issues that offer up an enjoyable blend of action, adventure, drama and mystery. This title is part super hero and part cosmic Sci-Fi. Green Lantern #38 should appeal to a wide range of comic book readers no matter what style of comic you prefer. I would definitely recommend giving Green Lantern a try. This is a consistent and dependable comic book that is worth the cover price.