Review: War of The Green Lanterns (1 – 2)

If the last year of Lantern-related books have left you feeling like an alcoholic trying to shake a massive “Blackest Night” hangover then rejoice my brethren… and sisteren, for the party has started anew. The double dose of Green Lantern # 64 (Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke) and Green Lantern Corps # 58 (Tony Bedard, Tyler Kirkham) are the proverbial first beer-and-shot combo of the night for the well-teased GL event of the season, “War of the Green Lanterns.” Fans can rest assured that a steady diet of ring-slinging, OA-shattering, construct-battle madness will now commence.

“War of the Green Lanterns” feels very much like a sequel to last year’s DC Universe-encompassing event Blackest Night, also brought to us by writer extraordinaire Geoff Johns. Although the massive amounts of exposition in GL # 64 attempts to bring new readers up to speed I can’t imagine anyone who hasn’t read “The Sinestro War,” “Blackest Night,” and the previous sixty three issues of Green Lantern to have any idea whatsoever of what’s happening in the book. In all honesty though, if you haven’t been reading Green Lantern then you probably deserve it. Shame, shame I say. Johns’ teaser-heavy approach to event storytelling however is good news for the rest of us as it means that he wastes little time on boring setup and proceeds to blast us right in the mouth with good old-fashioned space violence.

“War of the Green Lanterns” kicks off when old/new foe (hooray for retconned storylines) Krona, the renegade guardian, promptly bitch-slaps the actual Guardians and literally blows up the spot with the recently-captured (and way too easily controlled) entities of emotion. Krona then proceeds to reinsert Parallax the entity of Fear (no not Hal Jordan, the freaky yellow insect-thingy, remember? Retcon! Retcon!) into the Green Lantern central battery effectively putting the rest of the Green Lanterns under his control.

A few things about this issue – although I enjoyed the opening of “War” and think that Johns has again done a masterful job setting up another crazy-ass Green Lantern event, there was one thing that really bothered me. GL # 64 begins with the Guardians issuing a warrant for the arrest of Hal Jordan on charges of teaming up with Atrocitus and Sinestro behind their backs. But come on! Jordan’s done way worse than that in the past. For OA’s sake, in the 90’s he single-handedly destroyed the corps and killed the lame-ass Guardians and now they want to arrest him for what is at best a GL misdemeanor? Why are the Guardians such crusty little assholes? I actually cheered when Krona tore, previously-unnamed Guardian Hepura’s jaw off and possessed the rest of the council with his entities. In Green Lantern Corps # 58 writer Tony Bedard continues part two of “War” with the story of Kyle Rayner, John Stewart, and former lame-ass Guardian Ganthet as the rest of the Corps goes all yellow-eyed and mind-controlled. Although action-packed, I found this issue so exposition-heavy that I actually fell asleep not once but twice. HOWEVER, for the sake of dorkism, I powered through. Alas it had it’s high points, most notably when Ganthet’s power ring blows up his hand (more Guardian mutiliation please) and the increasingly-annoying Alpha Lanterns were found decommissioned and floating in space (whew at least we don’t have to listen to their boring robot-talk).

All-in-all this was a pretty good start to the “War of the Green Lanterns.” It set the stakes for the event and stacks the chips against Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, John Stewart, and presumably Guy Gardner, although we won’t find that last part out until Emerald Warriors # 8 comes out next week. I recommend Green Lantern # 64 to any GL fan, and Green Lantern Corps # 58 to John Stewart and Kyle Rayner fans only. But new fans be wary, if you are looking to jump into the Green Lantern books, then you better spend some time catching up. Or at the very least visit the Wikipedia page, yes it exists. As for the GL regulars, let’s hope the rest of “War of the Green Lanterns” lives up to the hype. And I, personally, will keep my fingers crossed that maybe, just maybe those asshole Guardians will actually die for real this time.

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