Sterling Gates continues his intimate look into the past of the former Lost Lantern turned Alpha Lantern, Boodikka. Apparently, her name is spelled with two “o’s” and not one as in Bodikka. For some reason, I think this is a newer change to make the pronunciation of her name easier, I could be wrong, but I also believe the same think was done with Kilowog. It could just be my imagination, being that my full comic collection with the bulk of my '90s Green Lantern issues are safely tucked away in my parent’s basement; I can’t really do my research on the matter. Alas, even the all-knowing Google search is inconclusive. However, that’s not super-important in regards to this issue. Last issue, Boodikka was given the task of finding a disobedient Green Lantern who is stationed in her former sector, from her homeworld, and who just so happens to be her sister, Zale. The real point of this story-arc is to highlight the emotional toll that being an Alpha Lantern actually brings to the bearer, and Boodikka is a perfect character to use given her detailed past.
Last issue, Sterling Gates covered the downfall of Boodikka’s role as a member of the Bellatrix Bombers. She was chosen to become a Green Lantern and was banished by her “sisters”, i.e. the Bombers, for what they considered to be betrayal. This issue opens up with the same type of scenario, except it’s a throwback to the mid-'90s when Hal Jordan, possessed by Parallax, went on his rampage during “Emerald Twilight”. It’s a bit more detailed than it was as featured in Green Lantern Vol. 3 and the dialogue is quite different. Parallax Hal’s dialogue has an impact on her, regardless of the demon’s influence; Hal gives Boodikka a lesson on being a leader and being an individual who is willing to change things. Granted Hal’s speech was completely out of context, it still resonates with Boodikka.
Gates once again highlights the blurred line between man and machine when considering the Alpha Lanterns. They are part Manhunter and part Green Lantern, very little of their actual soul still exists, but in Boodikka’s case it would appear that certain memories trigger their small bit of soul to surface. However, the machine takes over and Boodikka’s mission takes precedence over all things. One thing this issue really showcases is the abilities of the Alpha Lanterns in combat. They have the Manhunter like ability to “open their face” and drain a power ring, the ability to absorb an attack from a power ring and the ability to wield a power ring. However, I do notice a weakness in Boodikka, she uses her power ring only once to create a battleaxe in defense. I’m not sure if it’s because she is fighting her sister and she’s holding back, or if it’s because the Alphas are more machine than they are Green Lantern and the ring is no longer instinctual. It’s really quite interesting, she can drain a power ring, but when it comes down to actual physical combat, Boodikka pretty much gets her ass handed to her.
The fight scene is pretty well done and does indeed highlight the aforementioned qualities of the Alpha Lantern. Boodikka battles her former allies and there’s almost a sense of “quiet reluctance” on her part. Of course, the true intentions of the leader of the Bombers comes out when, in classic antagonist fashion, she reveals why she doesn’t want Boodikka to take Zale’s ring. Zale ultimately saves her sister and then the Guardians intervene. When the Guardians show up and Boodikka and Zale return to Oa, a new level of emotional exploration begins for the Alpha Lantern. The Guardians assign Boodikka and Zale to be partners and to work together. It should add a level of certain intrigue as Zale realizes that Boodikka is more machine than anything else. This issue ends with an interesting look at the Alpha Lanterns oath followed by the story picking up where Green Lantern #28 left-off, Laira is now a Red Lantern.
Nelson’s artwork is definitely once again a true highlight of this issue. It really does have a bit of a “John Byrne” quality and it is really clear, consistent and fairly detailed. Not to mention, I love Guy Major’s color work. It’s always vivid, it’s always distinct and it really pops off the page. He’s been doing most of the Green Lantern work and it really is phenomenal. Sometimes bad coloring can ruin otherwise great artwork, but here it only adds to the quality.
Overall this is a fairly decent issue. It’s got some good story to it and it definitely puts Boodikka on a higher level of importance than the other Alpha Lanterns. It will be interesting to see how everything plays out especially with Final Crisis on the horizon. While the past two issues of this series are a bit different than what we have seen previously, they get the job done and add a level of intrigue to the Alphas.
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