By: Geoff Johns (writer), Doug Mahnke (artist), Mark Irwin, Keith Champagne, Christian Alamy (inkers), Alex Sinclair (colorist)

The Story: When the Indigos do rehab, they definitely don’t screw around.

The Review: If there’s one lesson we’ve learned on this title, it’s that membership to a color corps—any color corps—isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Red Lanterns are rage-aholics, Orange Lanterns make prime candidates for A&E’s Hoarders, Yellow Lanterns include some of the most despicable creatures in the universe, Green Lanterns suffer constant attacks both from outside and within, and Blue Lanterns barely function without a buddy system.

As for the Indigo Tribe, the red flags about their true motives have been flapping furiously since last issue, and now it’s time to declare them officially bonkers.  By now, it should not surprise you in the least to discover Black Hand and Indigo-1 aren’t the only former psychopaths who’ve turned eerily placid with a blue-purple ring on their fingers.  The tribe members’ silhouettes on the last page merely confirm what you’ve already suspected: each and every single one of these staff-bearing individuals was once a menace of some kind.

Yet Abin Sur’s prominence in the Indigo mythos remains a baffling mystery.  About the only words we ever understood from the tribe’s nonsensical language was his name, so he clearly figures quite reverently in their existence.  They refer to him here as “savior” and “creator,” but against these benevolent epithets, we see that Indigo-1 in olden days had once been his “greatest enemy,” whom he also “saved.”  From War of the Green Lanterns, we figured her conversion was anything but voluntary, so rather than savior, Abin comes off more like enslaver.

The tradition lives on, apparently.  Since we’re talking about a corps made up entirely of former delinquents, Sinestro should fit right in, considering he established such a corps himself in his own name.  Then again, the guy doesn’t take kindly to people jerking his chain—literally.  Even so, his brutal beatdown of a tribesman despite being trapped in a cell, surrounded by enemies, and completely restrained, while impressive, only puts off the inevitable.  Given Indigo’s former self wasn’t exactly a butterfly either, the Indigo power may be too potent to resist.

Another feature of the Indigo Tribe is their ability to channel the energies of the entire emotional spectrum.  Hal discovers such diversity has its limits, of course.  Tricking Hand into channeling green energy to recharge his ring is definitely clever (which makes you wonder why Johns can’t be half that creative in some of this other ongoings), but doesn’t yield as much reward as he hopes.  The various colored energies the Indigos use are “simulated,” which, if we’re going to be all symbolic here, seems to indicate perhaps their devotion to compassion is also simulated.

Mahnke may be one of the great kings of close-ups.  He has absolutely no fear in drawing you right up to the action, as he demonstrates when Sinestro beats down an Indigo tribesman.  Just when you think it can’t get more intense, Mahnke brings you in even further, just so you can see the wild, psychotic gleam in Sinestro’s eyes, making you feel like any minute all that blue blood will spatter on you, too.  Sinclair is definitely the man you want to color in energy constructs, making them look somehow luminescent yet substantial at the same time.

Conclusion: It’s never a dull moment in this title, but it can’t be said you learn much more than all the hints you’ve gotten already.  If anything, this issue serves as an action-packed summary of the Indigo lore Johns has established already, making it a lively, useful transition to bigger things.

Grade: B

-Minhquan Nguyen

Some Musings: – Sal Cipriano, you might like to know that you totally attributed one of Black Hand’s word balloons to Hal on page eight—check out the center panel.

– Anyone catch the Mojo lookalike?  The prisoner who wants Hal’s flesh so badly?

Grade

Conclusion