Saturday, 16 March 2013

Green Lanterns Light Part Three

Green Lantern: Revenge of the Green Lanterns

‘Revenge of the Green Lanterns’ has three main story arcs.  The first story deals with Hal Jordan and Green Arrow Oliver Queen going up against the villain Mongul.  Despite being the son of the original Mongul, Hal finds himself facing someone who looks just like the man that set him down the road to the worst period of his life.  With Ollie along as backup the two of them fight the alien powerhouse until they are eventually overpowered and put under the control of his Black Mercy plants.

Hal and Ollie find themselves in their apparent ideal lives until their fantasies turn sour and they are forced to live their worst nightmares.  Finally able to break their way out of the control of the Black Mercy the two of them fight Mongul into submission and fore him to leave earth.  The experience leaves the two of them battered and bruised but with a new outlook on their lives and re-evaluate what is really important to them.
Hal and Ollie fall victim to the Black Mercy.
The second story sees Hal and Batman team up to fight the villain The Tattooed Man.  The two of them have a rocky relationship playing over from Green Lantern: Rebirth but manage to co-operate long enough to bring the villain to justice.  The main heart of the story, however, is Hal and Bruce learning to become friends again.  The story even features a scene where Bruce uses Hal's ring to conjure a construct of his parents.  The experience and the fact that the two of them both witnessed loved ones die when they were young helps to mend the bridges between the two of them.

The third story picks up on story threads left hanging at the end of the previous book when the Green Lantern Tomar Tu rash lands on Earth, something that disturbs Hal to the core as Tomar Tu was one of the Green Lanterns Hal murdered when possessed by Parallax.
Batman uses Hal's ring, briefly becoming a Green Lantern.
Tracing Tomar Tu’s point of origin to the Manhunter controlled sector of space Hal pleads with the Guardians to let him investigate, but they refuse his request.  As a result Hal and Guy Gardner disregard orders and go in search of other Lanterns that might be held captive by the Manhunters.

Travelling to the Manhunter planet the two of them find several long thought dead Green Lanterns held captive by the Manhunters and their master, Cyborg Superman.  Cyborg Superman and he Manhunters have been using the captured Lanterns to power their latest form of Manhunter machines and Hal and Guy must find a way of freeing their comrades.

The ‘Lost Lanterns’ have to work alongside the man that once tried to kill them in order to defeat Cyborg Superman and his Manhunters, something which is hard on both sides especially as they are unaware that Hal was not in control of his actions when they last aced him.  Hal and Guy eventualy manage return the ‘Lost Lanterns’ to Oa where they are welcomed back into the corps.
The Lost Lanterns strike out at Hal.
‘Green Lantern: Revenge of the Green Lanterns’ is definitely a book of two halves, with the first two stories focusing on Hal teaming up with other earthbound heroes in the form of his best friend Green Arrow and Batman.  The two stories take the time to have a closer look at Hal’s relationships and how they have changed since he returned from the dead and how people treat him now that his actions have been vindicated.

The second half of the book takes us in a very different direction by making Hal face up to what Parallax did whilst in possession of his body.  Despite being forgiven by many of his peers the ‘Lost Lanterns’ only view him with contempt as from their point of view he recently tried to kill them.  Not only does this allow Johns to re-introduce a number of the classic Green Lantern Corps, but also gives added depth and conflict within the Green Lantern Corps as a whole.

The book also returns the Green Lantern villains Mongul and Cyborg Superman to the front lines, two characters that have many negative connotations for Hal Jordan and have caused some of the worst events of his life.  Initially Superman villains the two of them are now firmly amongst Green Lanterns greatest foes.  Along with the returning threat of two of the worst villains Hal has ever faced we are given a brief look at the formation of the Sinestro Corps and the first appearance of Arkillo, who will go on to become one of the main Lanterns in the Sinestro Corps and the Lantern universe as a whole.

Green Lantern Corps: To Be a Lantern

‘To Be a Lantern’ follows suit from ‘Revenge of the Green Lanterns’ and contains three stories.  The first story follows Soranik Natu and her sector partner Myrrt as they travel to the planet Betrassus and become involved in a plot to assassinate the royal family.  However, when Lantern Myrrt is killed Guy Gardner joins Soranik to get to the bottom of things.

Together the two of them discover a plot by one of the princes of Betrassus to try and become a Green Lantern, even if that means killing his family and any Green Lanterns that stand in his way.  Once brought to justice and facing execution Soranik presents Myrrts ring to Princess Iolande, making her Soraniks new sector partner.
'To Be a Lantern' marks the first appearance of Princess Iolande.
The Second, short story follows Guy Gardner as he takes some shore leave on the holiday planet Restoria.   Long time Lantern villain Bolphunga arrives on Restoria looking to end his grudge against Gardner.  What ensues is a brilliantly fun, sometimes over the top, run around Restoria as Guy searches desperately for his stolen Power Ring whilst battling Bolphunga.

The third story follows Guy and a Lantern called Thos as they investigate a kidnapping plot that leads them to Ranx, the sentient city.  The two of them must contend with various criminals, the Children of the White Lobe and Ranx itself to save the young woman from a terrible fate.
Bolphunga returns to ruin Guys holiday.
Three interesting and engaging stories that offers a wide variety of Lantern adventures intermixed with some great character elements, we also get to see how Soranik is dealing with being a Green Lantern, something her people hate, and how it has effected her life as a surgeon on her home world of Korugar.  There is also a subplot throughout all three stories that follows Vath Sarn and Isamot Kol as the two of them have to learn to work together and trust each other after years of fighting each other in planetary war.

A great first volume to the ongoing Green Lantern Corps series that continues to build upon the characters introduced in ‘Green Lantern Corps: Recharge’ as well as introducing more new characters and bringing back older elements from the Green Lantern mythos.

Green Lantern: Wanted: Hal Jordan

‘Wanted: Hal Jordan’ follows Hal as he attempts to bring the justice of the Guardians of the Universe to Earth, specifically to the Chechnya rebels that recently held him and his friends hostage.  However, the world does not see him as the intergalactic police officer he actually is but rather just another costumed hero and applies their own laws to him.  When Hal enters restricted airspace in his pursuit of justice and is subsequently framed for murder Hal becomes a fugitive from the Global Guardians and the Justice League of America.

As Hal battles to prove his innocence it is revealed that it has all been a plot by the crazed Amon Sur, son of Hals predecessor Abin Sur, to take Hals ring and follow in his fathers footsteps as a Green Lantern. 
Amon Sur joins the Sinestro Corps.
During the battle against Amon one of Sinestros yellow power rings arrives on Earth searching for a wearer.  Initially choosing Batman to become a member of the Corps Batman rejects the ring, sending it searching for another bearer, which it finds in the form of Amon Sur.  Hal battles the newly powered Amon Sur until the ring transports him away, leaving Hal to wonder about the implications of what has just happened.

In the second story the Star Sapphire gem returns to Earth searching for a host to possess that Hal Jordan will desire, leading to it taking control of both Carol Farris and Cowgirl.  As Hal fights to survive against the Star Sapphire and free his friends from its grip the leaders of the Star Sapphires, the Zamarons, come to realise that things cannot carry on as they are.
The Star Sapphire possesses Hal's friend Cowgirl.
Taking the gem back to Zamaron they forge their own power battery and power rings, deciding instead to form their own Star Sapphire Corps to save love within the universe.

‘Wanted: Hal Jordan’ takes the time to look at how Hal differs from a number of other super heroes by taking the time to look at the fact that he does not do what he does as a ‘choice’ but because it’s his job.  At his core he is a police officer, though with a precinct that covers dozens of planets.  This is where much of the conflict comes from in this story, where Hal has to fight against local law in order to do his job.
The Zamarons collect the various powers, hinting at more to come.
The second story also takes the time to examine the history of the Star Sapphires, of how the gem possessed its host compared to the power rings of the Green Lantern Corps.  Changing the Star Sapphires to reflect the Green Lantern Corps, changing them to ring wearers instead of people possessed by the Star Sapphire gem allows the writers the free reign to create more interesting characters and engaging stories.

Green Lantern Corps: The Dark Side of Green

In the first story ac of ‘The Dark Side of Green’ Guy Gardner and new recruit R’Amey Holl are sent to assist the veteran Lantern Von Daggle to perform what can only be described as a black-ops mission.  Leaving behind their Power Rings and their uniforms the trio don all black and use powered discs that they must swallow in order to complete their mission.

The three of them travel to the Dominion home world in order to stop a deadly new threat that will destroy not only the Dominators but threaten life though out the galaxy.  Forced to wok in the shadows and employ tactics that even Guy hesitates to do the three of them enter a deadly battle that tests each of them to their limits.
The beautiful R'Amey Holl teams up with Guy Gardner.
In the second story the Corps comes under apparent attack from within as Lanterns that visit the Lantern planet Mogo start to act out of character and even become murderous. 

When Guy Gardner is believed to be guilty of murdering fellow Corps members he heads to Mogo for help but finds more trouble when he is pursued by Soranik, Iolande, Vath and Isamot and further attacked by the mysterious force that is targeting Lanterns that visit Mogo.  Realising that a greater threat is present the other Lanterns trust Guy Gardner enough to believe his innocence long enough to combat the menace.
Mogo's partner, the amazing Bzzd.
‘The Dark Side of Green’ gives us two amazing stories that, as the title suggests, shows us a darker side to life in the Green Lantern Corps.  The first story is filled with action an intrigue whilst the second shows us what can happen when the Lanterns themselves come under attack from within.

The best part of the book, however, has to be the introduction of Mogo’s sector partner Bzzd.  A sentient talking fly Bzzd is a great match to the planet Lantern Mogo and quickly went on to become one of the breakout characters of the new Green Lantern era.

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