Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Ethan Van Sciver (p), Prentis Rollins (i)
Publisher: D.C. Comics
The book opens by establishing the idea that the Parallax aspect of Hal Jordan's personality was an ancient evil that had been sealed inside the Central Battery by the Guardians long before they formed the Green Lantern Corps. We than learn Hal Jordan's decent into villainy was largely driven by the influence of this creature which had woken up inside the battery, and managed to gain control of Hal Jordan through his power ring. We also discover who woke the Parallax entity up.
Part of me is resisting the explanation that Geoff Johns is offering up as it seems a little too much like an unseen villain who was invented solely for the sake of shouldering the blame for all of Hal Jordan's villainous actions, and that when this miniseries is over Hal Jordan will be back to being the square-jawed hero who would never have done all those evil things if not for the influence of the big, bad, and ever so convenient villain. However, I will concede Geoff Johns has put a fair bit of thought into this backstory, and while it does seem a little foolish to lock one of the greatest evils in the universe inside the central battery which powers the most powerful weapons in the known universe, it does a pretty fair job of explaining the absence of the yellow weakness in Kyle Rayner's power ring, and if nothing else the final page makes for a wonderful little surprise twist as we discover who woke up the sleeping giant inside the Central Battery. Of course one could seriously question the logic of the Guardians who appear to look at the Central Battery as a makeshift prison, but if one is willing to look past this rather dangerous, and short-sighted pattern of behaviour, one has to say this explanation does a pretty good job of addressing the central question of Hal Jordan's sudden personality change. This issue also offers up some pretty exciting big impact moments, from Kilowog's battle with Ganthet, to the ever so impressive final page development that is sure to have all Green Lantern fans counting the days until the next issue.
Ethan Van Sciver's work has always impressed me, as he offers up one of the most detail intensive styles this side of Byran Hitch, and it does seem like he's found a good method of displaying his wares, as rather than hitch his wagon to a monthly title, instead he jumps from one project to the next, and in turn he manages to deftly avoid the pitfall of missed shipping dates. Now his work in this issue is called upon to deliver some lengthy bits of exposition, as Geoff Johns covers quite a bit of ground in his bid to clear Hal Jordan's name, but the art is more than equal to the task, from the cosmic spectacle of the Parallax entity, to the scene where the Hal Jordan's decent into villainy is revisited. The art also manages to capture the surreal nature of the battle between the Spectre and Parallax entities for Hal Jordan's soul, with the final panel of this battle being particularly effective visual. The final page reveal is also a memorable piece of art, as how can one not want to read the next issue after getting a look at that final page.
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