Wednesday, May 22, 2013

NB of the Week


Green Lantern #20 - Wrath of the First Lantern: Conclusion
Written by Geoff Johns
Drawn by Doug Mahnke

With 64 pages and a hefty $7.99 price-tag, I couldn't put down Geoff Johns' last issue of Green Lantern, the giant-sized finale to the Wrath of the Green Lantern story.
The book begins "Beyond Tomorrow" with a new Lantern wanting to hear the story of Hal Jordan from the Bookkeeper, which is an excellent way to recap everything that Johns has built. The shrouded figure begins and quickly leads us to the First Lantern where they story moves to modern time. Last issue, Sinestro used Baz to escape from the Dead Zone and Hal was left with the crazy idea that in killing himself there, he could somehow get out. After
Sinestro went after Volthoom (the First Lantern), he was struck down and watched the destruction of his home-world Korugar. As Hal dies and Sinestro is beaten, both take a massive turn. In his death, Hal is able to take Black Hand's Black Lantern Ring and Sinestro cries his sacred oath, becoming a Yellow Lantern once more. Back on Oa, the rest of the Corps and Lanterns try to fight off Volthoom. He has restored the emotions back to the Guardians and nothing seems to work on him. Until Hal and SInestro join up and start to make some headway. As Volthoom fights them, he is able to find the one thing that he can use against Hal: the legacy of his father. Sensing defeat, Sinestro decides to break out his big gun. And by big gun I mean he is able to release, take possession & control of the avatar of fear, Parallax. As the new Sinestro attacks Volthoom, it gives Hal enough time to then pull out his big gun. And by big gun I mean he releases and controls the avatar of death, Nekron. Volthoom, it turns out, is the way he is because he harnesses all the emotions that the Guardians expelled from themselves. Nekron is able to remove his emotions, leaving him human. Nekron is easily able to dispel of him after that. However, no ending can end that nicely as Hal and Sinestro begin to go at each other. Surprisingly, a cooler headed SInestro stops things when Hal, trying to stop him from killing the Guardians is informed that it's already happened. While finishing Volthoom, Sinestro wasted no time and did as he promised. Sinestro disappears, leaving Akrillo in charge and vowing he'll not return, the Templar Guardians come in and Hal is left in charge of the Corps (for now). There's a few pages of epilogue where the Bookkeeper tells the new Lantern of the others and how their futures panned out and it's definitely said without words that Sinestro is the new Bookkeeper but it's hard to see happy endings for these characters when we know that the books are all continuing and those futures will probably be forgotten.
Johns took Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern mythology and turned it into something that can last much longer and be utilized to a much greater degree. Was everything perfect? Not at all but that's life and that's how it should be. It's hard to imagine that any writer will be able to bring light to a Lantern title in the way that Johns did but I hope somebody can find something because there's plenty of amazing stories still to be told.

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