-A Nine-Year Retrospect, One Story At A Time-
Green Lantern Volume 1: No Fear
Issue 1 - Jordan finds himself back in Coast City as it tries to rebuild itself from being destroyed, which turns out isn't very easy. Not many people want to live in a city that was once blown up by super-powers. How does Hal try to remake himself? by going back into the Force again and flying jets around. Meanwhile, we get a flash to an alien/robot looking thing that is killing anybody that gets in the way of it's mission of locating it's primary target. What's it's target? probably that military truck and it's hidden cargo. But that's just a guess. Back to Jordan and things don't wait in his world long as he gets right back in the Lantern business again, saving a crashing jet. Turns out this thing has two surprises for Hal
1) A Gorgeous, blond named Jillian Pearlman who goes by the name Cowgirl and
B) Some specious looking tech in that jet that looks an awful lot like the color scheme of the Manhunters. Which by the issues last page, seems to be what that military cargo is moving.
Issue 2 - 2 begins with that alien/robot thing killing more people, looking for that cargo of alien/robot things. Seeing the picture yet? We then go back to GL as he helps take the alien jet back to base and he meets back up with his old general Jonathan Stone, whom he decked before being kicked out way back in the day. Shortly after, Hal is back in his Coast apartment with his little brother, trying to figure their shit out. He wants him to move back, he says "no way in hell". typical brother talk. Hal later goes back to the base as the truck with the mystery cargo pulls up to where they also too the jet. And it turns out that, yup, it's a Manhunter and wouldn't ya know it? It attacks. All is well, though, as the alien/robot thing shows up to fight the Manhunter. Things don't give Hal a break for long, sadly, as we find out by issue's end that the alien/robot thing is just a new model of Manhunter and it's his job to destroy the other. And maybe kill himself a Green Lantern in the process.
Issue 3 - In which we get a sweet fight to end the first story. Hal and the Manhunter duke it out for most of the issue, with the Manhunter draining Hal's ring for a bit before Hal then used the Manhunter's face to recharge his ring. After enough damage, Hal takes the robot (and it's self-destruct program) up to the sun to dispose of it. Before it "dies". the Manhunter seemingly begins to feel. Foreboding a bit is that what it feels is fear. Some small points are made in this issue: 1) General Stone, after being punched by Lantern is able to deduce that it's the same punch Jordan gave him years before, thus finding his identity. B) Hal's brother decides it best to move to Coast with Hal, though he doesn't seem very happy about it.
And as a final epilogue, a cloaked figure on the last page revels that his Manhunter was just the beginning and that he has other Lanterns captive. Dun dun dun...
Issue 4 - Hector Hammond makes a strong return here as his mental powers have grown and he is making things pretty hard for Hal to ignore. It turns out that something is responsible for turning a man into what looks like an alien and it also responsible for furthering Hammond's powers. Hal tries to get answers from him but it's sorta hard to get clear answers from a giant head that doesn't talk with words anymore. What he does get is that "they" are back and "they're checking on their other experiment". As the issue closes, we get a nice looking couple swimming in the ocean (I assume it's an ocean) as they are attacked. Adding to Hammond's rants, we get Shark back in the mix as he/it eats the nice looking couple.
Issue 5 - Black Hand just can't catch a break. This issue starts our him the one-handed menace being taken by little, yellow gremlins in what looks like a scene strait form The Twilight Zone. Cut to Hal as he gets wind of Shark killing people and we all know that's a no-no so Hal flies right over. After some sweet fighting (drawn by the amazing Ethan Van Sciver), it turns out that the German-speaking gremlins also want Hal, Shark and Hector as we see Hal and Shark being nabbed by them mid fight with Shark. Meanwhile, not in the Hall of Justice, Black Hand awakens to find himself in costume and laying in the grass. He also finds that he can absorb the life from plant life and it makes his hand grow back. He heads to the nearby hospital to test it's limits and you'll never guess what happens: turns out people life works too (also, this is the obvious seed leading to Blackest Night, a whopping 4 years early!
Issue 6 - Everybody fight everybody in the story's finale. Black Hand shows up at the spaceship of the Yellow, German Gremlins and begins to fight Hal as he claims nobody escapes death and that Hal needs to die again to make things right. Hector's head is cut open as the Gremlins try to dissect his brain. Shark is broken out and begins to try to fight/eat the Gremlins because that's what sharks do. Back to Hal, he shows Hand just how ironic his name is as he cuts the hand right off Hand once again and he is them thrown into a grave (cuz the fight made it's way to a graveyard, naturally). Hand mentions that death is the "true color of the universe", setting up the Black Lanterns even further. Hal turns over the Gremlins and all to the Corps for safe keeping and we're left with Hector Hammond telling the head of the Manhunter (the old one, not the newer one) that he knew all this was coming and that the experiments performed opened him more, making him even more dangerous (which so far only means that he can talk again).
In looking back, you can definitely see all the plans that Johns had in store begin to take root in the Lantern mythos. Best of all is that it doesn't take away form the story that he's telling now. You know it's setting something up but he does it while telling a great, complete story now and it only makes you more excited for what's to come.