"Revenge of the Green Lanterns: Part Two"
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Ivan Reis (p), Oclair Albert (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
Plot: Hal Jordan's investigation into the return of Tomar-Tu leads to Sector 3601, an area outside the Guardians' appointed jurisdiction. The Guardians refuse Hal's request to travel there, but he defies their order and takes Guy Gardner with him. When they arrive in 3601 their rings take them to Biot, the Manhunter's home world. An army of Manhunters attack when they enter the planet's airspace, and Hal and Guy rip into them before Hal discovers they are not robots but androids. The androids begin to drain their power ring energy and the two Lanterns retreat only to run into the being responsible for not only creating the new Manhunters but also the destruction of Coast City.
Commentary: The sins of the past continue to plague Hal Jordan, and I like it.
Don't get me wrong. I don't want Hal to suffer. I'm rather fond of the character. It's just that I appreciate what Geoff Johns seems to be doing in this first One Year Later arc. To me Johns is having Hal face his past, but he's not doing it in the, "Oh woe is me, I have a scarred past, I need to whine about it for hours and hours," format that some writers fall into. Hal Jordan is a man of action, so once Tomar-Tu falls into his lap he dives right into it. It's not exactly the most thought out plan, but at least Hal is trying.
The scene in the Corps' mess hall was very well done. I am not overly familiar with how the Green Lantern Corps operated before Crisis on Infinite Earths and the original Green Lantern #200, so I can't effectively compare how Geoff Johns is handling the organization to what those before him may have done. I can say I am enjoying the heck out of how he has structured the new Corps and the police force/military vibe he has given it. Watching the members interact (read: fight) and seeing the consequences of those actions gave the issue and series the extra bit of detail that makes it such a great read. Kilowog and Salaak were used very well to this end.
More than that I like the fact that Johns is showing us the tension that Hal's return and his presence in the Corps is causing. To ignore the fact that Hal was responsible, both directly and indirectly, for the deaths of a number of Green Lanterns would have been a mistake. Taking a hard look at it and building a story around it not only makes for a dramatic story arc, but it also shows that Johns respects the history of the characters and the audience that followed them.
I also enjoyed the fact that Guy Gardner had Hal's back throughout the issue. The new dynamic the two have is very entertaining and gives this particular story that whole "buddy movie" feel. From the fight in the canteen to the fight on Biot, there was a great chemistry between the two. Johns' characterization that Gardner has moved past what happened and holds no ill will towards Hal was a nice touch and a nice counterpoint to Hal's guilt. Hal thought Guy would have been the last, but looking at Guy as a character it makes sense. Guy's not an idiot. He knows that Hal was not himself when "Emerald Twilight" went down. There may be a certain bit of denial involved, but at the same time with the Corps back and his new position, Guy made peace with it. I honestly believe that Guy won't be all that put out when he finds out that Hal lied to him about the Guardians' refusal to let Hal investigate Tomar's return.
In The End: Well, that was a pretty awesome last page, which was made all the better by Ivan Reis' art. I never thought I would be glad to see Cyborg again since the character had been played out by 1999 but like it I did. If I'm reading right, Johns has revealed that the new Manhunters were created by the Cyborg. This makes perfect sense, to me at least. I can buy that the Cyborg traveled to Biot, created a new breed of Manhunter and gathered up the living former members of the Corps to do whatever it is he is doing to them. If Johns is going to play around with the destruction of the Corps then the being responsible for that (by, you know, nuking Coast City) should be a part of it. The final page was a great ending, and I can't wait for the next issue.
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