Plot: Laira gets sentenced. The second law is written and Red Lanterns rise.
Commentary: Brrrrrrr. I sound like a broken record but Johns and McKone continue to deliver on all the promises made by this past summer’s "Sinestro Corps War". I’m starting to think there is no argument that this is the best continuing series in mainstream comics bar none. It’s tradition at DC that after the first dozen or so issues of a series the excitement peters out and stories become run of the mill. Writing and art teams change and the magic is lost. Here we are 28 issues into the Green Lantern re-launch and the series has yet to jump the shark. Johns has already given us the set up that he has stories planned well into 2009 for Hal and the rest of this emerald police squad. Every new issue has brought us startling and new developments while resting firmly on the foundation of Green Lantern history gone before. This issue is no different. We open to a red haze of fury that goes all the way back to the revelation to Abin Sur about "The Blackest Night" and no sooner do we turn to page two than we are confronted with a blood spattered red lantern lying on the hard stone of Ysmault. Page 3 is a lesson in recap as Johns an Mckone present the basic history of the Corps leading up to current events with the Alpha Lanterns in just three panels and thirteen captions. I keep saying this and I’ll say it again. Johns should teach comic pacing and storytelling 101. He knows where these characters have been, sticks firmly to his plotted outline for them today and knows where he wants them to go in the future. Rarely has such care and respect been given to a comic book universe within a universe.
The next segment of the book presents Laira’s trial, What stands out here is McKone’s mastery of the art form with nice varied perspectives and an almost uncanny grasp of the planet OA and it’s alien residents. Witness the Prosecutor Malet Dasim who could easily look ridiculous in his horned, floating “octopoidedness” (trust me, the term fits) but McKone makes him and the other aliens present powerful and believable presences. The Alpha Lanterns look as emotionless and imposing as they should. Finally, even the giant what could be goofy Book of OA is drawn nicely. We finally get the second law of OA and let's just say it is a very literal expansion of the first law and echoes of the Corp War to come. We switch gears in the next few pages from the ensemble cast to another meeting of Hal and Sinestro in the Scienccells of OA. Sinestro sits calm and satisfied with all that’s going on around him in all his sardonic glory. He is confident that his actions and imprisonment have only advanced his agenda for the Corps and the Universe and for now he is very pleased. He’s the serpent in this not so perfect Eden.
Johns never leaves a plot thread hanging and so the scarred female Guardian returns just in time to announce portents for another color in the emotional spectrum; orange the color of greed. This is the perfect transition point to bring a certain group of other would be universal protectors into the mix. Remember the Controllers and the Darkstars? Well, the Controllers are not going to stand for being outdone by the Guardians and are “orange” with envy. The last pages ratchet up the tension as Laira is transported back to her homeworld only to be stopped in her and Hannu’s tracks by a...well, that would be telling. Suffice to say all the chess pieces and dominoes are being put in place leading up to the promised "Blackest Night" and thankfully there is a lot of time and story to tell in between.
Final Word: Johns, McKone and company continue to build something great and legendary in their run on the sleeper hit of this past summer and what looks to be the continuing hit of the future.
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