Green Lantern # 51 written by Geoff Johns with art by Doug Mahnke
GLC # 45 written by Peter J. Tomasi with art by Patrick Gleason and Rebecca Buchman
One of the most enthralling aspects of Blackest Night is the chaotic nature of the heroes’ battle with the Black Lanterns. Lately, it seems that everything the heroes have tried in order to gain the upper hand has backfired in some way and has caused more problems for them to solve. For example, their induction of Mera into the Red Lanterns led to her being so overtaken by rage that she briefly turned on her teammates, and Larfleeze and Luthor are still bickering over who gets to wield the Orange Lantern and have not been too effective against the Black Lanterns yet (though their tug of war is still quite a hoot to watch). In this week’s issues of Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, the main battle takes a back seat so that some of these side problems can be dealt with, and both issues are fantastic reads.
Green Lantern #51 continues the battle between Hal Jordan and the Black Lantern Spectre from the previous issue, which ended with Hal giving himself up to Parallax again in order to gain an advantage over his foe. This is a risky move, because in addition to fighting the Black Lantern, he turns against all the other Lantern Corps as well, which Hal should have expected, knowing that Parallax does not play well with others. The ensuing battle as orchestrated by Geoff Johns and rendered by Doug Mahnke is as thrilling as always for this title. There’s not a single panel or line of dialogue that’s superfluous or out of place – it’s all action, all the time. One might argue that these specific problems get resolved a little too easily at the end of the issue, but they really needed to so our attention can be pointed back to the main menace of Blackest Night. This essential tie-in issue gets 5 Out of 5 Spectral Face Rippings.
While the Color Spectrum Battle Royale heats up on Earth, the remaining Corps members continue to deal with the fallout of their battle against the Black Lanterns in Green Lantern Corps #45. In the previous issue, the living planet Mogo dispatched of the BLs in what will surely go down as one of my favorite comic moments of the year, and the GLC now has to deal with Guy Gardner, who had fallen under the spell of the Red Lantern after witnessing Kyle Raynor’s temporary death sent his rage meter off the charts. In order to purge Guy of the Red Lantern’s influence, Mogo shines some green light on him, which basically causes his entire life to flash in front of his eyes and creates an internal battle between the green and red energy within him, while his comrades can only watch agonizingly to see which side wins out. Tomasi continues to show his love and understanding of these characters while providing a fast, exciting story for old and new readers alike, and Gleason and Buchman’s art, while a bit cartoony, is very effective in its own way in conveying the chaos of the issue’s events. Tomasi also gets major props for fleshing out the character of Guy Gardner, who is usually just typecast as the arrogant hothead. This issue continues GLC‘s tradition of excellence and gets 5 Out of 5 Disappointed Dads.