Green Lantern Corps #42 Review

While the Revolution has been unimpressed with Blackest Night itself, we have found Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps to be quite solid. In fact, Green Lantern Corps has been consistently outperforming Blackest Night itself ever since the beginning of this big event. I am certain that Green Lantern Corps #42 will be another entertaining read. Let’s go ahead and do this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Pencils: Patrick Gleason
Inks: Rebecca Buchman and Tom Nguyen

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 with Munk, an Indigo Lantern, arriving at Oa and helping the Green Lanterns battle the Black Lanterns. Munk explains that the Indigo light embodies compassion. Munk explains that his indigo light combined with the green light is able to kill the Black Lanterns.

Munk explains how the Violet Main Power Battery on Zamora has already fallen to the Black Lanterns. Munk says that the Green Main Power Battery is the Black Lanterns’ next target. Munk says that with each emotion filled heart that the Black Lanterns consume, their rings channel and send this emotional energy somewhere else. At the same time, the Black Lanterns are building their own Corps with another particular mission in mind.

We see with Munk’s help, the Green Lanterns begin to turn the tide of the battle as they start killing Black Lanterns left and right. Unfortunately, a massive amount of Black Lanterns arrive on the scene.

One of the Green Lanterns asks Munk to transport them out of this location. Munk says that he cannot do a long range teleport since it will drain his ring of much of its power and then they will not be able to kill the Black Lanterns.

Suddenly, all of the Black Lanterns become stop attacking our heroes. The Black Lanterns become inert as we hear the voice of the Black Power Battery saying “100%. Power level exceeded.”

We cut to elsewhere on Oa with Kilowog battling with Black Lantern Ermey. Ermey trash talks Kilowog about Kilowog being responsible for the deaths of all the newbie Green Lanterns. Suddenly, Ermey stops attacking Kilowog. We hear the voice saying “100%. Power level exceeded.” Ermey then flies off into the air.

All of the other Black Lantern Green Lantern Newbies stare at Kilowog and then fly off as well. Kilowog screams “What are you staring at?” Kilowog yells that he never hid the fact that death was a part of the Green Lantern Corps. That all the newbies knew that when they joined the Corps.

Kilowog yells that he drilled that into their heads. But, that everyone always thinks that they are immune to death. That it won’t be them who dies. That it will be the other person.

Kilowog yells “You were all Lanterns. And Lanterns die…” Kilowog then softly whispers “Lanterns die.”

We cut to Kyle and Soranik standing over Black Lantern Jade. Soranik has her fist shoved in Zombie Jade’s mouth. We hear the voice saying “100%. Power level exceeded.” “Devour Will.” Jade then takes off into the air pulling Soranik with her.

Soranik manages to pull her fist from Jade’s mouth. Kyle says that this is crazy. One minute the Black Lanterns are trying to kill them and the next moment they are all flying past the Green Lanterns and totally ignoring the Green Lanterns.

We then see all of the Black Lanterns surrounding the Green Main Power Battery on Oa. We hear the voice commanding “Power levels 100%. Devour Will.”

The Green Lanterns then all regroup and then attack the Black Lanterns. Salaak informs all the Green Lanterns that the Black Lanterns’ objective has changed. That the Black Lanterns are all combining together to destroy the Main Power Battery. Salaak commands all Green Lanterns to gather at the Main Power Battery.

We then hear the black voice say “Construct dark matter.” All the Black Lanterns combine their black energy from their power rings together in order to construct a massive black demon creature that grabs the Green Main Power Battery. The dark construct begins to rip the Main Power Battery from its base.

Kyle says that he has idea. That they need to attack the source of the black construct. Kyle radios Salaak and asks him to release Red Lantern Vice from the sciencells.

We see Kyle carrying the green box that Vice has been trapped in. Kyle releases Red Lantern Vice from the box and drops Vice into the middle of the dark construct where the Black Lanterns are creating the construct.

Red Lantern Vice immediately starts killing the Black Lanterns who are creating the dark construct. The Red Lantern’s light is more destructive to the Black Lanterns and destroys them at such a rate that the Black Lanterns cannot regenerate. The dark construct begins to weaken and the Main Power Battery begins to return to its base that it was anchored to.

Suddenly, Alpha Lantern Chaselon appears on the scene. Alpha Lantern Chaselon says that no one escapes the sciencells. The Alpha Lantern says that by the authority of the Guardians that Red Lantern Vice has forfeited his existence. The Alpha Lantern then kills Red Lantern Vice.

As a result, the dark construct gets stronger once again. The Black Lanterns then attack Alpha Lantern Chaselon and begin to crack open Alpha Lantern Chaselon. Salaak commands Chaselon to retreat because Chaselon’s internal power battery is in danger of being breached.

Chaselon refuses to retreat and states that only the Alpha Lanterns are the only ones capable of rectifying the situation and preserving the Main Power Battery. The Black Lanterns then crack open Chaselon and pull out his internal power battery.

Salaak radios Kyle Rayner and tells him that Chaselon has been compromised. Salaak says that there is a fissure in the Alpha Lantern’s internal power battery and it is in danger of rupturing. Salaak reminds Kyle that the Guardians made the Alpha Lantern’s internal power batteries incredibly powerful.

Kyle says that he will handle the problem. Kyle streaks in and grabs the internal power battery from the Black Lanterns. Kyle taunts the Black Lanterns and tells them to come and get the battery from him. Kyle says that he plans to take as many Black Lanterns with him as possible.

Kyle is surrounded by a horde of Black Lanterns. Kyle creates an energy dome around himself and the Black Lanterns. Kyle then radios Soranik and says “I love you, Soranik.” Kyle then says “And you too, Guy. You have been like a brother to me.”

The Alpha Lantern’s internal battery then explodes. We see a massive and brilliant explosion that kills Kyle and all of the Black Lanterns. We see the massive explosion destroy the dark construct demon that was holding the Main Power Battery.

We then see Kyle’s corpse lying on the ground. Kyle’s power ring then flies off his finger and says that Green Lantern 2814 is deceased. The power ring then proceeds to fly to Space Sector 2261 due to the moratorium on new Green Lanterns. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Green Lantern Corps #42 was absolutely fantastic. This was by far the best Blackest Night issue out of all the Blackest Night tie-in issues and Blackest Night itself. It is not even close. Green Lantern Corps continues to blow away Blackest Night itself. Tomasi served up an absolute gem of a read. This was one of those moments where I was completely satisfied at the end of this issue.

Tomasi managed to craft a story that had something for just about every reader. Green Lantern Corps #42 was a wonderfully balanced read. This issue delivers action and drama in copious amounts.

Tomasi creates an incredible tone and mood to this story. What is particularly enjoyable about Green Lantern Corps #42 is that this story feels larger than life. For the first time it feels like we are truly dealing with a galactic wide war. Blackest Night finally feels truly massive and grand is scale and scope.

This is something that has been noticeably lacking on Blackest Night itself where the story has felt so very small. And to be sure, Tomasi packs enough furious action scenes fitting of a war story. The action was brutal at points and very well done.

Green Lantern Corps #42 was an impressively plotted and paced issue. This story takes off quickly and moves at a brisk pace. However, at no point is the story every rushed, muddled or choppy. Instead, Tomasi delivers a well-choreographed and excellently framed issue. The story has a pleasant flow as it speeds up for the furious action scenes and then effortlessly eases up at just the right moments for dramatic impact during a few introspective character heavy moments.

Of course, what I loved the most about Green Lantern Corps #42 was the excellent plotting. Tomasi moves the story along with a clear purpose in mind. Each scene builds nicely off the previous one.

Finally, we get some real plot progression in the Blackest Night story. The Black Lanterns’ mission finally evolves past them simply being zombies thirsting for the emotion soaked hearts of the living. The Black Lanterns stop eating hearts now that the Black Lanterns’ Main Power Battery has now exceeded 100% and they go to “Devour Will.”

We have already seen the Violet Main Power Battery get destroyed. Now, we see the Black Lanterns go after the Green Power Battery. If this issue had followed the type of plotting that Johns has given us in Blackest Night and Green Lantern then this issue would have ended at the dramatic double page splash shot of the Black Lanterns all converging on the green Main Power Battery.

It was so nice to see something other than “shocking” Black Lantern reveals, the same “we feed off emotion” dialogue and mindless zombie action. The cosmic side of Blackest Night appears to be kicking into gear as we see the Black Lanterns actually moving onto their real mission and trying to destroy the various colored Main Power Batteries.

I also enjoyed seeing the Black Lanterns actually using their black power rings. The dark matter construct in the shape of a demon was a very cool creation. The dark matter construct reminded me of the anti-matter demons that the Anti-Monitor created during Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Now, just because Green Lantern Corps #42 offered the reader an action packed read, that does not mean that it is a shallow read. Tomasi provides plenty of depth to the story through some excellent character work and well crafted dialogue. Each character was so well developed. Each character has a unique external voice. The dialogue and character work lend to some strong chemistry between the various characters.

Tomasi did a fine job dealing with Kilowog and his feelings of guilt toward the newbie Green Lanterns who got killed on his watch. What was particularly impressive is that Tomasi managed to deliver this quality introspective scene in an economy of panels and with minimum dialogue. Tomasi shows that a powerful character heavy scene does not necessitate a long drawn out scene with an avalanche of dialogue or narration.

Instead, Tomasi gives a concise and raw look into Kilowog as he struggles with the losses that the Green Lantern Corps has suffered at the hands of the Black Lanterns. I enjoyed this moment of vulnerability and insecurity to a character who is normally the ultimate tough guy. This scene effectively conveys the psychological impact of the war with the Black Lanterns along with more obvious and overt physical aspect of the attack.

Tomasi did a good job using Red Lantern Vice in this issue. This allowed Tomasi to remind the reader that the Black Lanterns are more susceptible to the power of the Red Lanterns than they are the other colors. It also simply served to deliver some cool action scenes as well.

I also liked the fact that Tomasi had several different colored ring slingers involved in the same battle as we had an Indigo Lantern, a Red Lantern as well as the Green Lanterns involved in the battle against the Black Lanterns.

Of course, the obvious strength of Green Lantern Corps #42 was the absolutely fantastic ending. Tomasi just blew me away with a wonderfully powerful and incredibly heroic death of Kyle Rayner. Tomasi did a fine job setting up this dramatic death scene.

Now, I will openly admit that I have always been a Hal Jordan fan. Kyle Rayner’s character has never done anything for me at all in the slightest. Having said that, I really liked Kyle’s death and this excellent death scene made me like Kyle’s character more than I ever had when he was alive.

The use of Alpha Lantern Chaselon as the catalyst was perfect. Johns has been hinting since the very first time the Alpha Lanterns were introduced that they were going to be much more trouble than they were worth. Johns pointed out their hubris and immense power on several occasions. Johns has also pointed out how the Alpha Lanterns mindlessly enforce the exact letter of the law without thinking independently and examining each specific situation.

Tomasi builds off these themes as he has Alpha Lantern Chaselon mindlessly enforcing the Guardians’ law about the sciencells and killing Red Lantern Vice despite the fact that Vice was helping to weak the Black Lantern’s dark construct. Chaselon also disregarded Salaak’s pleas for him to retreat lest the Black Lanterns gain control and damage his internal power battery. This sets the stage for Kyle Rayner to perform the ultimate sacrifice that a soldier can deliver during a battle.

Death scenes are incredibly hard to write. Often they come across as cheesy and predictable. Most of the time, the characters are placed in contrived situations that require one of the characters to perform the obligatory act of self sacrifice. Other comic book deaths are massively anti-climactic or they involve the character going out like a bitch. Ted Kord’s death and Vic Sage’s death would be two examples of those styles of death.

Tomasi eschews the common pitfalls of the comic book death and delivers a truly beautiful, dramatic and heroic death for Kyle. This final scene had excellent psychology and the threat that required Kyle to sacrifice himself was organically grown and a natural result of the plotlines that had been put into place for several issues.

Best of all, Kyle’s death is by far the biggest death that we have gotten during Blackest Night. Kyle’s death truly makes Blackest Night feel like a big event. This is a massive galactic war and it would not make sense if our heroes did not suffer at least a few major casualties. Kyle’s death reminds the reader that beneath the zombie horror, Sci-Fi and super hero elements that Blackest Night is simply a war story. And in all wars soldiers die.

Of course, I am still maintaining the position that Johns is going to give us mass resurrections at the end of Blackest Night. So, I do not think that Kyle Rayner is permanently dead.

Patrick Gleason, Rebecca Buchman and Tom Nguyen do an excellent job with the artwork in Green Lantern Corps #42. This is quite an attractive looking issue. Gleason is equally adept at the more subdued and emotional scenes as he is with the extremely dynamic battle scenes.

There is a huge roster of characters in this issue and it is difficult on an artist to properly choreograph such massive battle scenes. Gleason is able to convey the frenzied feel of a battle scene without ever making this issue too choppy or hard to follow.

I particularly loved the gorgeous cinematic double page splash shot of the Black Lanterns converging on the Main Power Battery.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: Green Lantern Corps #42 was an absolutely fantastic read. This is hands down the best Blackest Night issue that we have gotten so far during this big event. Tomasi deserves so much praise for his incredibly strong and consistent work on this title. Tomasi has managed to show the reader the potential that Blackest Night possesses that is lacking on so many of the other Blackest Night issues. I definitely recommend picking up this issue. Green Lantern Crops #42 is a must have for Green Lantern fans and readers who are only reading Blackest Night itself.
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Rokk

9 Comments

  1. I'm never good at guessing how story arcs will turn out, but Kyle's and Damage's deaths do look to me like the deaths that say "they're all coming back." The fact that resurrections are supposed to be more rare after this event makes that seem even more likely. Why get rid of characters that have some kind of on-going story to them if you can't get them back and finish it? Kyle is dating Sinestro's daughter, something has to come from that. I don't think Damage's character arc was completely finished either.

  2. Would you feel differently if a character who you cared more about (say, your next favorite GL after Hal Jordan) went out like Kyle and you didn't think there would be mass resurrections?

  3. Excellent review my brother. Once again all the important action is taking place outside of the Blackest Night main title. I almost dropped corps but I'll stay w/ it a little longer. Now only if I could drop the
    BL main title…

  4. I don't know where you get the info that Green Lantern Corps is outperforming blackest night but blackest night has topped the sales charts the past few months (other than issue 2 which was beat out by captain america)

  5. Anonymous Jones said…

    Hey Rokk, have you ever considered the possibility of writing comic books for one of the major publishers or perhaps work as an editorial consultant?

    I think that you could be of great help in these troublesome times for the industry.

    I personally would like to see you working for DC because I think that they really need to bring back some of the heroes they butchered and flesh out the current titles.

    Take care.

  6. So now e get so see Hal vs Kyle in an up cumming issue.

  7. I have to disagree that Kyle is coming back. I think Jones wants him dead. While I do think that those who are killed by Black Lanterns and especially those that are Black Lanterns will be coming back, Kyle dies differently. He has not been shown as a Black Lantern yet. He is not killed by a black Lantern. I think he will stay dead. And just for a record I think Firestorm's girl is not coming back either. She suffers a similarly irreversable death.

  8. Anonymous Jones said…

    You are welcome Rokk!

    Being a comic book editor does not sound impossible, all you have to do is show the your reviews, after all this blogg counts as a very good resume.

    I say go for it and knock on their doors.

    I would personally prefer if you become a DC editor because I think that company really needs it. Let us imagine that you actually became an editor for this publisher and you where given a lot of freedom and power to decide, taking that under consideration then please tell us which team based titles would you take under your wing, what characters would you flesh out and which heroes (living or deceased) would you promote and why?

    Thank you in advance.

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