Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Ethan van Sciver (p), Prentis Rollins (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
Plot: As Kyle Rayner lies in the wreckage of the ship that brought him to Earth, suffering from a number of injuries, we see he refuses to make use of his power ring. Meanwhile the J.L.A. have decided the number of recent odd developments are all tied to Hal Jordan, and as such the group moves in to confront their former team-mate. We then get a pretty good idea why Kyle is avoiding the use of his power ring, as John Stewart falls under the mental control of his power ring.
Comments: Okay, before I go any further I want to get this out of the way. I am a huge Guy Gardner fan, and I've spent the better part of the past decade lamenting the idea that the whole Guy Gardner: Warrior premise was one of the silliest moves that couldíve ever been taken with the character. So the fact that Geoff Johns has exorcised the alien DNA and brought back the overly confident, arrogant jerk that I was a devoted fan of, currently ranks as my moment of the year. Better yet, Guyís got his power ring back, and that one page spread has made my year. Happy days are here again. As for the rest of the issue, the scenes where Kyle Rayner refuses to use his power ring made for a genuinely compelling mystery, and the issue also offers up a couple nice little twists. For example, the scene where John Stewart attacks the J.L.A. is a great display of how powerful a Green Lantern can be, with the scene where he takes down Superman being a highlight moment. Thereís also a couple fun surprises in the final pages as another member of the Corps makes his return to the DCU, and discovering whatís inside that coffin made for a great cliffhanger moment. The issue also manages to build a nice sense of impending danger, as it becomes pretty clear that something truly wicked is descending on the DCU, and that Hal Jordan is right at the centre of this building crisis. Thereís also a solid flashback scene as we see the first meeting between Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris.
While part of my general excitement involves seeing Guy Gardner with a power ring and back in his old costume, I have to say what really got me excited when I got a look at this one page spread was the expression on Guyís face, as Ethan van Sciver perfectly captures the arrogant personality that I want to see Guy sporting. The rest of the issue isnít too shabby either, as Ethan van Sciver brings a level of detail to the page that is truly impressive, and he does a fantastic job when it comes to conveying the sheer power level that the power rings provide, with the panel where John Stewart slams the J.L.A. with a blast of power being a great big impact moment. The final pages of the issue are also quite impressive, as Kilowog makes a powerful entrance, and the last page makes for a memorable image to carry us into the next issue. The symbolism of this issueís cover is also worth a mention, as itís a very powerful display that perfectly captures the magnitude of Halís villainous behaviour.
The thing thatís been chasing Kyle Rayner is Parallax, Hal Jordanís villainous identity. Itís warping the minds of other ring-wearers. Jon Stewart lashes out at his teammates. Guy Gardner is turned back into his old arrogant self. And Green Lantern Corps trainer Kilowog is back from the dead. Itís up to Kyle and the Guardian Ganthet to protect whatís in the green coffin: Hal Jordanís body.
So all the fear and anger Jordan felt as Parallax has tainted the Green Lanternís power. Kyle was the first to feel it because heís the only one to really know fear. Works for me.
Geoff Johns turns in another great script. Jordan and Carol Ferris talk over old times, good and bad. I like how Jordan comes across. He acknowledges he was a cad, (ďMarriage. It was never even an option in my head.Ē), and shows how a little of the Green Arrow rubbed off on him (ďSometimes you have to question authorityĒ). Johns writes Jordan as a good man haunted by some bad decisions. His JLA members are spot-on, although I donít see why Alan Scott and the JSA members appear in this issue. Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern, only has a minimal connection to Jordan and the Guardians. If he has a larger role to play in this story, Iíve yet to see it.
Ethan Van Sciverís art is wonderful. His work does tend to look ominous, but that complements the seriesí theme. This is the return of one of the most powerful and unstable characters in recent DCU history. And bad things are happening around him.
Iím definitely staying onboard for the whole story.
The event of the year: the return of Guy Gardner! Bwa ha ha!
What, three printings and you still didnít get a copy? Youíre probably not going to read issue 2, then.
Green Lantern Kyle Rayner lies broken, bloody, and dyingÖ and employs all his will to not use his ring! Meanwhile, former Green Lantern and current Spectre Hal Jordan enjoys a touching reunion with old flame Carol Ferris at the magically reconstructed Ferris Airstrip. The Justice League tends to an exploded and mangled Guy Gardner/Warrior, while Green Arrow contemplates using the ring Hal gave him years ago. Then, hell breaks loose.
Why you should read it:
Any fan of Green Lantern, past or present, needs to be reading this--the most epic GL story since Emerald Twilight! While many will be happy to see Hal Jordan back in the tights, this miniseries also marks some defining moments for Kyle Rayner, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner, as well. In many ways, the series looks to restore old glories, but given that everyone involved has had at least ten years of character development, they are not the same as before. John became the JLAís Green Lantern some time ago, but his unresolved personal issues are coming to a head here. Guy hasnít worn the ring since he lost a fight with Hal in issue #25 of the recently-defunct Lantern series, but heís played other heroic roles in the interim. And Kyle, well--it looks like Kyle might not survive this one. Bet heís wishing he kept those godlike Ion powers about now.
Of course, this is Halís series, and already strong hints suggest that there was more to his fall from grace than meets the eye, and his long-sought absolution may be at hand. ďParallax is coming,Ē but Hal has other concerns. The long-fabled necessary impurity has a name, and even the greatest GL may be susceptible during the hour of his greatest weakness.
Donít wait for the trade:
No doubt there will be an eventual collected edition of this miniseries, but with DC the lag time is never certain. And since the publisher has gone out of its way to make sure you can get these early issues, the least you can do is buy them. Wouldnít want to be left behind once the ongoing starts, right?
Some comics are just to good for words. This is one of them.
Everything I said about the first issue of this series applies here; it is clearly a work of love for the character of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps by Geoff Johns. Ethan Van Sciverís art is simply amazing, and the cover is as interesting as it is gruesome.
The only reason this doesnít get full marks is because I donít like what seems to be going on with Kyle Rayner Ė a character I still think has a lot of potential. And to think I wasnít going to bother buying this mini series. Well, Iím glad I did because it is shaping up to be a classic!!
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