by Geoff Johns (Writer), Doug Mahnke (art)
The Story: The Black Lanterns enter the War of Light as Green Lantern Hal Jordan and his archenemy Sinestro are both confronted with faces from the past.
What’s Good: You’d think that with Johns’ handling the scripting chores on both the core Blackest Night title as well this one, he’d put out at least one issue of Green Lantern that felt a little like filler. I mean, we’re just at the halfway point and this comic marks the tenth chapter that Johns has written! Any worries of subpar storytelling should be ignored, though, as what feels like another essential component of the larger tapestry is executed here.
I have to admit, as much as I’m enjoying the story told in the parent title about the Black Lanterns, what really excited me initially about this story-line was the War of Light. That aspect of the plot has really taken center stage in Green Lantern, and I couldn’t be happier. Seeing representatives of the Green, Violet, Indigo and Yellow Lantern Corps combining their powers against the Black Lanterns was an effective moment, as was their marshaling their forces when coming to the aid of the Blue Lanterns. Johns’ also gets kudos for making Sinestro of all people a sympathetic character. Not an easy feat, but he pulls it off here.
As for artist Mahnke, he turns in his usual amazing job on the pencils. His reveal of four of the Five Inversions is suitably horrific and bizarre. He knows when to deliver the big moments in Johns’ script, such as the violence enacted upon Atrocitus, yet succeeds just as expertly on the more personal moments. Sinestro’s hesitation to deliver the killing blow to his former lover is written all over his face. No amount of text could have conveyed his anguish more powerfully than Mahnke’s depiction.
What’s Not So Good: I expected some more emotional weight in the scenes concerning Hal Jordan’s confrontation with predecessor Abin Sur. The meeting of the past and present Green Lanterns of Sector 2814 had the potential to be one of the most memorable moments in Blackest Night. A decision was made to concentrate on the Ysmault and Sinestro/Arin Sur scenes which, while successful in their own rights, served to detract from the promise of this issue’s cover. It’s hard not to feel that Johns dropped the ball somewhat here. I also need to criticize the glacial pace of the John Stewart sub-plot of the last few issues. Something needs to happen there sooner rather than later.
Conclusion: Johns and Mahnke deliver yet another superb chapter of Blackest Night. While some other titles crossing over with the event have started to feel tired when it comes to the primary gimmick, Johns uses Green Lantern to further flesh out the story in a magnificent way.