I have found most of the Blackest Night offerings to be rather average. Still, this big event has plenty of potential if Johns can simply pick up the pace and deliver some actual plot progression. Hopefully, Johns will turn his attention to the large cosmic aspect of Blackest Night involving the war between the different Lantern Corps. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for Green Lantern #46.
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Doug Mahnke
Inks: Christian Alamy, Tom Nguyen and Doug Mahnke
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 on Zamaron with the Star Sapphire Corps members battling the Black Lanterns. The Star Sapphires are ordered to not let the Predator escape Zamaron. We see Sinestro, who was on Zamaron to free his captured Sinestro Corps members, and Carol Ferris battling the Black Lanterns.
Sinestro is battling Black Lantern Amon Sur. During the battle, Sinestro thinks about how he hates cowards. Sinestro thinks how Abin Sur was the bravest man he ever knew. Sinestro thinks how Abin Sur was his friend and Abin’s sister was Sinestro’s lover. Sinestro thinks how Abin Sur was the closest thing that Sinestro had to a brother.
Sinestro continues that during Abin Sur’s final years that he became obsessed with the prophecy of the Blackest Night. The Guardians tore the pages of the Blackest Night prophecy from the Book of Oa and labeled Abin Sur a heretic. Sinestro says that he thought Abin had lost his mind. Sinestro even told Abin Sur that he was going crazy. Sinestro thinks how he does not have many regrets, but what he said to Abin Sur was one of his regrets.
Suddenly, Indigo-1, the other Indigo Lantern and Hal Jordan teleport onto the scene. Hal is pissed that Indigo-1 teleported him away from the Flash. Hal orders Indigo-1 to teleport him back to his friends on Earth so he can help them.
Indigo-1 replies that she has to conserve her energy and cannot manage to teleport Hal back to Earth. The other Indigo Lantern teleports away from Zamaron to go inform the other Green Lanterns about the Black Lanterns and to help protect Oa.
Hal and Indigo-1 combine their lights and help Sinestro and Carol destroy some Black Lanterns. Hal gives Carol with quick rundown about how the green light combined with any other light from the emotional spectrum weakens the Black Lanterns and makes them vulnerable to conventional harm.
Hal asks Carol what she is doing with the Star Sapphire Corps. Carol replies that she volunteered to join the Star Sapphire Corps. Carol says that she was told that Hal needed her help and she knew that Hal would never ask for it.
Hal and Carol then engage in some feisty banter with each other. During the back and forth, Hal comments how nice Carol looks in the Star Sapphire outfit. (Have to agree with Hal on that one.) Sinestro interrupts the two quarreling ex-lovers and tells them that their love is truly inspirational. Sinestro then attacks Hal.
Sinestro says that before he was about to be executed on Oa that Hal came to him and wanted to ask Sinestro a question but that Hal then decided against doing go. Sinestro tells Hal to tell him what that question was. Hal remarks that he just wanted to know where Sinestro got his hair cut so he could put that place on his avoid list.
Suddenly, we see two Black Lantern rings streak toward the Violet Power Battery where the bodies of Khufu and Chay-ara are locked in an eternal embrace and provide for the power to the Star Sapphires’ power battery. Khufu and Chay-ara turn into Black Lanterns and then shatter the Violet Power Battery. This causes the Predator to be able to escape its violet cage.
We cut to Oa where Scar comments that the violet light is fading, but that the Indigo light is burning brightly. Scar says that the Indigo light shall not escape them. Scar orders all unengaged Black Lanterns to follow the Indigo light.
We slide to Space Sector 1313 where we see Xanshi being reborn as a giant Black Lantern planet. John Stewart is stunned. The planet says “I can help you save them.” John replies “Yeah, I know.” John them mumbles “What the hell am I thinking?”
We shift to Korugar and see Indigo-1 teleporting herself, Sinestro, Hal and Carol onto the scene. Indigo-1 says that Zamaron has been compromised by the Black Lanterns. That the Star Sapphire members were forced to flee. Indigo-1 tells Sinestro that she empathizes with him. Indigo-1 says that she knows what Sinestro needs and that it is what they need as well. Indigo-1 says that she brought Sinestro to Korugar to battle his rival, Mongul.
Indigo-1 then transports Sinestro in front of Mongul. The two rivals square off and then begin brawling with each other. Mongul get the upper hand from the start. Mongul rants about how Sinestro has been nothing but a failure his entire life. That Sinestro failed his family, his friends, his world and ultimately himself.
Hal and Indigo-1 jump into the fight to try and help Sinestro out. Sinestro rages that this is his fight and his fight alone. Sinestro uses his power ring to push aside Hal and Indigo-1.
Sinestro and Mongul commence their brawl. Once again, Mongul gets the upper hand. Mongul grabs Sinestro’s head and holds hit between Mongul’s two massive hands. Mongul says that he will re-name the Sinestro Corps into the new Mongul Corps. Mongul says that he is going to crush Sinestro’s head.
Sinestro asks Mongul if he thinks that Sinestro would ever create something that someone else would be able to use against him. Sinestro then access control of Mongul’s ten power rings on his two hands. Sinestro says that losing his Corps to Mongul will be Sinestro’s last failure. Sinestro says that his army is now and forever the Sinestro Corps.
We see Sinestro using Mongul’s ten power rings to impale Mongul with numerous yellow energy spikes. Sinestro then commands the main yellow power battery to land on top of Mongul. The Sinestro Corps members arrive on the scene and hail Sinestro as their leader. Sinestro comments that it is good to see Arkillo and the rest of his Corpsmen.
Sinestro then tells Mongul that he will not die just yet. That Sinestro will not risk Mongul becoming a Black Lantern. Instead, Sinestro will keep Mongul trapped in the yellow power battery in a constant state of pain. Once the Black Lanterns are defeated and the dead no longer rise then Sinestro will kill Mongul.
The people of Korugar then huddle around Sinestro in amazement that he just saved all of them from Mongul.
Sinestro then tells Hal and Indigo-1 that from this point on that Sinestro will be leading this coalition against the Black Lanterns. Sinestro says that if anyone is to inherit the mission of Abin Sur to quell the darkness then it should be him.
Suddenly, Black Lantern Abin Sur and Black Lantern Arin Sur appear on the scene. Abin Sur comments that he never thought he would live to see the day when an Earthman would take his place in the Green Lantern Corps. Arin Sur retorts that Abin Sur didn’t live to see that day because of Sinestro. Arin says that because of Sinestro both Abin and Arin died.
Sinestro stammers “Abin? Arin?” Hal retorts “Arin? Who the hell is Arin?” End of issue.
The Good: Green Lantern #46 was an absolutely fantastic issue. This was by far and away the best Blackest Night story that we have gotten on Blackest Night itself of any of the various Blackest Night tie-in issues. Finally, Johns delivers in Green Lantern #46 what I have been waiting for since the very beginning of Blackest Night.
With Green Lantern #46, Johns leaves behind the relatively shallow and much less interesting Earth-bound plotline of Blackest Night and turns his focus on the much deeper, more textured and far more fascinating cosmic side of Blackest Night. The cosmic aspect of Blackest Night is where the real meat of the story is located. The cosmic side of Blackest Night is also the part of this big event that Johns has been dealing with and building toward for the past two years.
Green Lantern #46 was well paced and plotted. Without a doubt, this issue has the most plot progression that we have gotten in any Blackest Night issue. Johns moves the story forward and mixes in a few more plotlines into Blackest Night. Johns finally brings some depth and substance to what has largely been nothing more than a shallow zombie attacks story during the first three issues of Blackest Night.
This huge cosmic battle that Johns had been leading up to on Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps for the past two years has been largely ignored in the first three issues of Blackest Night. Well, Johns certainly rectifies that problem with this story by cranking up the intensity of this cosmic battle involving the different Lantern Corps by having Zamaron fall in this issue.
Johns covers quite a lot of ground in Green Lantern #46 and pushes along several plotlines. We finally have the first Lantern Corps to fall to the Black Lanterns. The Star Sapphires’ homeworld of Zamaron and their main power battery give way to the might of the Black Lanterns.
I particularly enjoy the manner in which Johns has the Star Sapphires main power battery destroyed. It was a neat twist to see the source of the violet light in Khufu and Chay-ara both turn into Black Lanterns and destroy the power battery from within. This was nice plotting and good long term vision by Johns to use two corpses as the basis for the Star Sapphires’ main power battery.
Another dangling plotline that Johns finally addresses in Green Lantern #46 is the climactic showdown between Sinestro and Mongul for control of the Sinestro Corps. Johns and Tomasi have done a masterful job building up this inevitable clash ever since Mongul first got a hold of a yellow power ring back in Green Lantern Corps #20 that came out in January, 2008. That was almost two years ago. This is further proof of Johns’ excellent and patient plotting as well as his wonderful long term vision that he has employed with the build up to Blackest Night.
Johns also gives the plotline involving John Stewart a bit of a nudge in this issue. This plotline only received one page in this issue, but that was enough to hook my interest. I am extremely curious to see what happens between Black Lantern Xanshi and John Stewart. John has been beating himself up for quite some time over the deaths of the inhabitants of Xanshi.
It appears that Johns might have an opportunity to save those innocent lives. It should be interesting to see if John works with this Black Lantern version of Xanshi or if this is all just an elaborate trap by the Black Lanterns that John is about to fall victim to.
Johns loads Green Lantern #46 with tons of awesome action. The fighting in this issue is furious and entertaining. We get plenty of brawling on Zamaron.
However, the best action scene in this issue was the titanic clash on Korugar between Sinestro and Mongul. The long awaited battle between Sinestro and Mongul has been hyped up and teased for quite some time.
Usually, these moments tend to be anti-climactic. Often the reader gets such high expectations that the writer has an almost impossible task of meeting those expectations. That is not the case in Green Lantern #46. The fight between Sinestro and Mongul was absolutely everything that I was hoping for.
I loved Sinestro’s grit and determination in this fight. I liked that no matter how much of a beating Sinestro took from Mongul that Sinestro was adamant in fighting this battle on his own and not receiving any help from Hal or Indigo-1. This showed Sinestro’s honor as a soldier in that he would not allow anyone else to fight his fight.
Sinestro also displays a rather heroic side to his character by fighting Mongul on his own with the fate of his Corps and his people of Korugar hanging in the balance. This was quite a test of character and strength that is usually reserved for the hero of the story.
Of course, Green Lantern #46 was much more than some entertaining action scenes. Johns makes this issue a nicely balanced read as he cooks up plenty of strong character work in this issue. All of the characters in this issue were well developed.
Johns also crafts some quality dialogue in this issue. The dialogue had an excellent flow and easily pulled the reader into the story. Each character had a nicely developed external voice. The chemistry between the characters was spot on.
I know that I am probably in the minority, but I really like Hal and Carol together. I certainly prefer Hal and Carol over the incredibly generic relationship between Hal and Cowgirl. I loved the banter between Carol and Hal. Johns was immediately able to create more synergy between Hal and Carol in just one page than he has been able to between Cowgirl and Hal over the course of many issues.
I dig that Hal and Carol are a feisty couple. This makes Hal and Carol a much more interesting couple than many of the other more tame and boring DC couples like Clark and Lois Kent, Ralph and Sue Dibny, Barry and Iris Allen, etc. Johns seems to understand that when Hal and Carol are together that sparks are going to fly.
I appreciate that Johns is allowing Carol to have her own personality independent of Hal. Carol certainly has plenty of love, compassion and loyalty to Hal. However, Carol is demonstrating plenty of backbone and a willingness to call her own shots and do things her way. I am looking forward to seeing Hal and Carol working together during the remainder of Blackest Night.
Of course, the star and true hero of Green Lantern #46 was Sinestro. I absolutely loved how Johns handled Sinestro’s character in this issue. It was impeccable. I was never much of a Sinestro fan until Johns took over the Green Lantern franchise. Johns quickly made Sinestro one of my favorite villains. Well, with this issue, Johns succeeds in making Sinestro into one of my favorite DC characters, hero or villain.
Johns had already made Sinestro a compelling villain. However, with this issue, Johns adds yet another layer of depth to Sinestro’s character. Johns creates even more texture to the fabric of Sinestro’s soul. Johns peels back Sinestro’s ego and bravado and reveals to the reader the compassion and love in his heart that Sinestro so desperately tries to ignore.
The moment where Sinestro reveals that regrets how he treated his close friend, Abin Sur before his death was well played. Johns reveals that Sinestro viewed Abin Sur like a brother. The love and regard that Sinestro feels for Abin Sur is evident. That makes Sinestro’s regret that much bitterer tasting.
It is fascinating to see a “villain” display love and attachment to someone else and to display regret for his past action. Johns succeeds in showing Sinestro’s human side. The result is that Sinestro seems so much more complex of a character. Sinestro is a “villain” that the reader can sympathize with and understand a bit more than before. I always prefer a multifaceted villain that engages the reader’s mind versus a one-dimensional purely evil villain.
Johns utilizes Sinestro’s fight with Mongul not only for entertainment but also for some nice character growth for Sinestro. Johns has Mongul make Sinestro face the fact that his life has been a series of failures. And we are not just talking about Sinestro’s failures in his clashes with Hal Jordan. Sinestro has suffered much deeper failures with regard to his people, his Corps, his best friend in Abin Sur and his lover in Arin Sur. Like a baptism by fire, Sinestro uses his bloody battle with Mongul to emerge a new man. Sinestro vows to put all his failures behind him and to emerge a stronger leader who will not fail again.
Johns uses Sinestro’s newfound resolve to have him address one of his few regrets that he mentioned in the beginning of the issue: his treatment of Abin Sur prior to his death. Sinestro barks that he will be leading the coalition against the Black Lanterns. At first, the reader brushes this off as just the arrogant villain refusing to follow our heroes. However, Johns shows that Sinestro is not simply being boorish. In fact, it is a sense of honor and debt that motivates Sinestro to lead the coalition against the Black Lanterns.
Johns takes Sinestro’s mentioning of regret over how he treated Abin Sur prior to Abin’s death and uses it as Sinestro’s motivation to assume the mantle of carrying out Abin Sur’s mission to vanquish the darkness. This was absolutely perfect.
The truth is that while Hal may be wearing Abin Sur’s ring and may have succeeded Abin Sur as the Lantern of Abin’s space sector, Sinestro is truly the only character worthy of carrying on Abin Sur’s crusade. This was a brilliant twist that makes Sinestro as just important of a character in Blackest Night as Hal Jordan.
This also re-enforces the fact that Johns’ run on Green Lantern from the Sinestro Wars up to the present has not been simply the tale of Hal Jordan. In fact, Johns has been giving the reader the tale of Hal and Sinestro and how these two men are connected together. Johns views Sinestro as an integral part of Blackest Night.
Johns also does a nice job teasing the reader with what Hal wanted to ask Sinestro before Sinestro was to be executed. Again, Johns is the master of detail and rarely does anything without a purpose. Johns is going to revisit this subject matter at a later date. I am curious to find out exactly what Hal wanted to ask Sinestro.
Johns ends Green Lantern #46 with an excellent hook ending. The arrival of Black Lantern Abin Sur and Black Lantern Arin Sur was a devastating one-two punch to Sinestro’s soul. It should be interesting to see how Sinestro deals with having to battle these two characters.
Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy and Tom Nguyen all combine to deliver some absolutely gorgeous artwork. Yeah, we get inks by committee, but luckily the inkers all blend their styles so that Green Lantern #46 has a pleasantly consistent look.
I am a huge fan of Mahnke’s art and he continues to amaze me with the amount of detail that he packs into each panel. Mahnke draws excellent facial expressions and is able to inject plenty of emotion into Johns’ script. Of course, Mahnke can also draw action scenes as the battle between Mongul and Sinestro was wonderfully done.
The Bad: I have no complaints about this issue. Having said that, readers who are only picking up the main Blackest Night title will be disappointed that so much happens in this issue. You really cannot just get Blackest Night and expect to get the full story. Green Lantern #46 is an important issue that should not be skipped.
Overall: Green Lantern #46 was an outstanding read. Johns finally hit his stride with this issue and delivered the type of read that I have been expecting with Blackest Night. Green Lantern #46 was a deep read that was nicely balanced. Johns treats the reader to equal amounts of adrenaline pumping action as well as some fine dialogue and character work.
Readers who were only planning on purchasing Blackest Night itself should really run out and pick up an issue of Green Lantern #46. Normally, I am not a huge fan of the endless amount of tie-in issues that inevitably accompany modern day big events. However, the fact is that most of the Blackest Night tie-in issues have been much better reads than Blackest Night itself. And that is certainly the case with Green Lantern #46. This issue offers a superior read to Blackest Night #1-3. If you are reading Blackest Night then do yourself a favor and get Green Lantern #46.