I have enjoyed Tomasi’s run on Green Lantern Corps since his first issue on this title. Tomasi has consistently made Green Lantern Corps an even more compelling read than its mother title Green Lantern. I have found the Blackest Night issues of Green Lantern Corps to be the most entertaining of all the Blackest Night tie-in issues. Hopefully, Tomasi can deliver an excellent ending to this current story arc that leads into Blackest Night #7.
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils: Patrick Gleason
Inks: Rebecca Buchman, Tom Nguyen and Keith Champagne
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Guy Gardner standing off against the Green Lanterns. The red power ring and the green power ring are fighting for control of Guy’s body and mind. Guy talks like Green Lantern for a moment and says that the Green Lanterns are his friends. Then the red power ring takes back over.
Red Lantern Guy says that he is a Red Lantern and that he has only one purpose: To destroy everything and everyone in his way. Red Lantern Guy blasts the Green Lanterns.
The Green Lanterns put up shields to block the red energy. Kyle tells the Green Lanterns not to fight back. That it will only make things worse. Kyle wants to try and reason with Guy. Kyle wants to try and make contact with the good in Guy and get him to fight the control of the red power ring.
The Star Sapphire uses a Sapphire Tether to try and reconnect Guy’s heart with his humanity. The Sapphire Tether plunges into Guy’s chest. Guy then flies off trying to break free of the tether. The Star Sapphire tells the Green Lanterns to help her anchor Guy so he cannot break free. The Star Sapphire then says that it is not working and that Guy is starting to burn through her tether.
Kyle then shouts out for Mogo’s help. Mogo answers that he understands. Suddenly, Mogo’s surface opens up and a large green energy beam blasts Guy. Mogo says that the time has come for Guy to view his life through both the red and the green rings.
We see Guy viewing his entire life through green and red energy bubbles. All of the positive memories of his life are in the green energy bubbles. All the negative memories of his life are in the red bubbles.
Guy starts screaming “NOOOO!!!!” The memories then transform into red and green constructs. The red constructs start battling with the green constructs. Kyle tells the other Green Lanterns to help guy out by destroying the red constructs.
Mogo then commands Kyle to stop interfering. Mogo says that this is a battle that Guy must fight on his own. Mogo forms a large ring of mountains around Guy and his battling constructs.
Kyle screams that Green Lanterns face everything together. Even their personal demons. The Green Lanterns combine their power rings and form a giant hammer that reaches over the mountains that Mogo constructed. The giant green hammer smashes the red constructs.
The Green Lanterns then restrain Guy and use their combined energy to suppress his green ring and his red ring. Kyle says that they have to take Guy to Oa and get the red ring off of him.
Munk, the Indigo Lantern, says that they cannot remove the red ring from Guy. That the red ring has bonded with Guy. That the red ring will not let go until its host is dead.
Munk says that there is only one hope. That the light of a Blue Lantern can cleanse a corrupted soul and obliterate the red ring. Kyle tells Munk to teleport them to the Blue Lantern’s home world. Munk says that he does not have enough energy to teleport them to the Blue Lantern home world.
Kyle says that he will fly Guy to the Blue Lantern home world. Munk says that Kyle does not have the time to do so. That the Red Lantern’s power is growing inside of Guy as they speak and soon Guy will break free from the green bonds. Sorinak then does a full body scan of Guy that reveals that Guy’s heart and blood supply has been completely compromised.
Kilowog pulls Kyle aside and tells Kyle that Guy is about to break loose of the green bonds. Kyle says that he knows. Kilowog asks Kyle what Guy told Kyle the few seconds that Guy had regained control over himself.
Kyle answers that Guy said for them to get the red ring off him. That Guy said for them to not give up on him. To never give up on him.
Kilowog simply says “Kyle.” Kyle then admits that Guy said, “You gotta kill me.” Kilowog responds “Of course he did.” Kilowog continues that they all know that the last thing Guy would want to do would be to hurt or kill a fellow Green Lantern. Kyle snaps for Kilowog not to say it. For Kilowog to not even think it.
Suddenly, Mogo pulls Guy back to the surface. Mogo says that he will bear Guy’s rage. A pool of water opens up under Guy and Guy is pulled into the pool of water. Mogo explains that the nutrient bath will prevent Guy from going into shock.
Mogo explains that Guy’s entire blood supply is about to be filtered at super-speed. We see a bunch of leeches entering into Guy’s body and eating away at the red light in Guy’s blood.
Sorinak is amazed and says that the parasites are like antibodies and are attacking every corrupt cell in Guy’s body. Mogo then says that Guy’s rage filled heart and body has been cleansed.
We see the red ring fly out of the nutrient bath. Guy then jerks out of the nutrient bath and is back to his normal Green Lantern self.
Guy immediately gives Kyle a huge hug. Guy has a big smile on his face. Guy says that he does not remember what he did as a Red Lantern. That it was all a red blur.
Guy then thanks Mogo for his help. Mogo then tells Guy that there are still trace amounts of the toxin inside of Guy. That only the light of Blue Lantern can completely eradicate the exposure to the red ring. Guy then thanks the Star Sapphire who brought Kyle back to life.
Munk then tells the Green Lanterns that they must return to Oa. That Munk senses that the Indigo Tribe has locked onto the main power battery on Oa.
We cut to Oa where the Green Lanterns arrive at the main power battery. We see the Indigo Lanterns teleporting onto the scene. The Indigo Lanterns tell the Green Lanterns that they are gathering the Lanterns from all the different Corps to go to Earth to battle Nekron. The Indigo Lanterns ask the Green Lanterns to send as many fellow Corps members that they can.
Guy responds that nobody screws with his hometown of Earth. Kyle agrees. Kyle tells all the Lanterns to charge up their rings on the main power battery before they leave for Earth.
We see the Green Lanterns in front of the main power battery reciting the Green Lantern Oath. The Indigo Lanterns then teleport themselves and the Green Lanterns to Earth. End of issue.
The Good: Green Lantern Corps #45 was a disappointing read. This issue was an anti-climactic and weak ending to this story arc. That is a real shame since Green Lantern Corps has been the best Blackest Night tie-in title on the market. I have found Green Lantern Corps to actually be a superior read to its mother title in Green Lantern for quite some time.
Having said that, there are still several positive aspects to Green Lantern Corps #45. Peter Tomasi constructs plenty of solid dialogue. There were plenty of feel-good lines concerning camaraderie, loyalty and brotherhood peppered throughout this issue. This is the type of dialogue often found in war movies. It also helped to underscore the never-say-die attitude of the Green Lanterns and their willingness to stand by their fellow Corpsmen.
Tomasi also pulls off some nice character work. Most of the character work was focused on Guy and Kyle. Tomasi has a good feel for the various Lanterns and is able to give each character their own unique personality.
That is a much easier said than done on a title with a roster as large as what Tomasi must juggle on Green Lantern Corps. Usually, large rosters lend to the writer delivering characters that are more interchangeable and generic. That is certainly not the case with Tomasi as he has made great efforts to give each Green Lantern member their own flavor.
I enjoyed the scene where Guy is forced to look at the good, the bad and the ugly of his life through the red and green bubbles. This was an interesting look into Guy’s psyche. Tomasi was able to effectively show the reader the complexity to Guy’s character. This scene actually made me more interested in Guy’s character. That is saying something since I have largely viewed Guy as nothing more than a relatively shallow and one-dimensional character.
Tomasi continues to do a great job with Kyle’s character. I will openly admit that I never liked Kyle from the very moment that he replaced Hal Jordan as Green Lantern. However, Tomasi has gotten me to enjoy Kyle’s character.
I loved Kyle’s undying loyalty to Guy. Kyle’s refusal to give up and concede defeat with regard to saving Guy effectively emphasized the incredible will power inside of Kyle that makes him such a good Green Lantern.
Tomasi also gave the reader a bit more information about the Red Lantern Corps and the Blue Lantern Corps. The red light and the blue light counter-balance each other. The red light effectively poisons the entire circulatory system of its host while the blue light can cleanse that poison. As Blackest Night progresses it becomes more apparent how powerful and vital the Blue Lantern Corps is.
I actually enjoyed the ending to this issue. Was it a bit cheesy? Sure. But, it works with this type of story. This ending reminded me of the moment in an action movie just prior to the climactic battle scene. The scene where we see the protagonist(s) arming up with all of his various weapons. The viewer sees the various rounds of ammunition and the various weapons getting loaded up and placed into position. Arnold Schwarzenegger did this in so many of his movies.
That is what Tomasi did with this ending and it fit nicely with the blockbuster action movie feel of this story. This ending succeeds in getting the reader all pumped up to see our Green Lanterns rush into battle against Nekron.
Patrick Gleason, Rebecca Buchman, Tom Nguyen and Keith Champagne all combined to deliver a beautiful looking issue. Once again, the inkers should be commended for being able to blend their styles in order to give Green Lantern Corps #45 a consistent look.
I continue to be more and more impressed with Gleason’s work with each issue of Green Lantern Corps. Gleason demonstrates the ability to properly frame a story and is a good storyteller. Of course, Gleason can also deliver the gorgeous single and double page splash shots. The double page splash shot of Guy overwhelmed by the red and green bubbles was absolutely stunning.
The Bad: Green Lantern Corps #45 suffered from several defects. This was a slow paced issue. There is also very little plot progression. There was also a lack of action. Sure, there was a lot of screaming and Guy blasting at his own red and green constructs, but there was no real action like what we have been getting in the previous issues.
Nothing really happened in this issue. All this issue presented was the Green Lanterns standing around and watching Guy foam at the mouth and then get cleansed by leeches. It all seemed rather perfunctory as the reader knew that Guy was going to be returned to normal by the end of the issue.
It seemed that Tomasi was in full stall mode. Tomasi had to kill some time in order to line up the story in this title with the story in Blackest Night #7. Therefore, Tomasi gave the reader more of the same scenes of Guy struggling with the red ring that we have already gotten in the previous issue.
The biggest defect to Green Lantern Corps #45 was the manner in which Tomasi resolved the plotline involving Red Lantern Guy. It was incredibly anti-climactic to simply have Mogo step in and cure Guy with great ease. It was so easy that it made the reader wonder why Mogo did not just do this from the very start.
Tomasi resolved this story in a far too convenient manner by using Mogo as a dues ex machina. Again. This story arc already had too many convenient “saves.” First, we got the incredibly convenient resurrection of Kyle within minutes of him getting killed. Next, after seeing the Green Lanterns struggle for several issues against an unstoppable horde of Black Lanterns, we had Mogo arrive on the scene and immediately take out the entire horde with relative ease.
Now, in Green Lantern #45, Tomasi used Mogo as a crutch once again in order to provide for an incredibly fast, convenient and easy way of resolving the plotline involving Red Lantern Guy. This robbed the story of much of its impact and tension on the reader. It is tough to become to invested in a story when the reader feels that the writer has employed cheats in order to resolve the problems that the protagonists encounter.
Overall: Green Lantern Corps #45 was the weakest issue that we have gotten from Tomasi in quite a long time on this title. I would certainly recommend this issue to fans of Guy Gardner. However, readers who are simply following Blackest Night do not need to bother buying this Blackest Night tie-in issue. Absolutely nothing happens of real importance in this issue. Simply pick up Blackest Night #7 and you will be just fine.