Thursday, February 26, 2009

Green Lantern #38 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis

Review by Chris Clow

If you've been in the shop at all recently, a lot of the event-buzz isn't on the Norman Osborn-led Marvel universe, but about a slowly erupting universal war of light in which the blackness of death threatens to swallow the universe whole. The fear of the Yellow, the love of the Sapphire, the hope of the Blue, the will of the Green, and the latest to receive the spotlight, the rage of the Red, threaten an epic War of Light that promises to make the Sinestro Corps War look like ramen noodles cooking on a stove. We have yet to meet the other Corps that will shine their light across the DC Universe, but we've seen the first ramifications of these soldiers devotion to their Corps clash with the devotion others have for other Corps.

Throughout Geoff Johns' volume of Green Lantern, he has consistently had the Guardians of the Universe refer to Earth not only as the center of the multiverse, but also as the most emotionally rich and diverse planet in existence. By exploring the "emotional spectrum" that gives all these Corps their powers, he drives the point of human potential out of the park by having Hal Jordan experience three vastly different power sources that have a profound effect on him.

In this closing chapter of Rage of the Red Lanterns, we pick up exactly where we left off: Hal Jordan's furious anger at Sinestro for murdering Green-turned-Red Lantern Laira cause the deceased's red ring to travel to Jordan himself, overcoming the will with pure rage. Ready to murder Sinestro for retribution, the Blue Lanterns' power is revealed to be dependent on the presence of the Green. Since Hal's rage is coursing through his red ring, Blue Lantern Saint Walker has no choice but to shove a Blue ring on Jordan's finger and induct him into the Blue Lantern Corps.

The blue ring immediately senses the corruption of the red in Hal's body and purifies his body of the rage. Jordan is able to wield the Green and Blue simultaneously, asking Walker, "What did you do to me?"

Jordan appears to represent exactly what Johns has been saying about humanity: we are capable of feeling all of these emotions, and Jordan in this issue is literally wielding three different rings for a brief amount of time. What does this mean for the impending Blackest Night? Does this symbolize a larger role for Hal when the darkness falls over the light of all the Corps? This issue reinforces the consistent quality of Green Lantern, making it one of the best books we have the honor of placing on our shelves. All this title appears to be doing is making the wait for The Blackest Night that much more painful.

If you're not reading this title, I would seriously encourage any comic fan to jump in head first. From GL: Rebirth (available as a trade paperback) on up through Rage of the Red Lanterns (Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns and GL #36-38 all available in-store), the epic that Johns and his brain-trust are weaving is one of epic proportions that's likely to be remembered in the same vein we remember the O'Neil/Adams Batman run, or the best Lee/Kirby FF stories. This is comic history in the making, and I hope you're a part of it!

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