Friday, July 10, 2009

Green Lantern #43 by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke

Review by Chris Clow


I don't know why, but I am always surprised when Geoff Johns manages to take a previously lame villain and turn him/her into a complex psychological creature, but more importantly, into a frightening and imposing villain. Previously, my favorite example of Johns' doing this was in The Flash #218, where he spotlighted the Rogue Heatwave and made his infatuation with fire into a deeply perverse obsession that cost the character his entire family.

That favoritism, however, has shifted to Green Lantern #43 and the villain Black Hand.

There's still a lot we don't know about the Black Lantern Corps in this issue and we didn't know exactly what their full function was until we opened up Blackest Night #1 on July 15th. But that mystery, coupled with the unnerving exposition of Black Hand and the steps he ultimately takes to embrace the power of death, is a big part of why this story is so compelling. Hal Jordan and the usual suspects don't appear in this issue in any large capacity. We get introduced to William Hand in a way we never have before, as a deep psyche evaluation that dives headfirst into his obsession with death, and everything that has to do with it.

What does living in a mortuary mean for someone who's so consumed by an unhealthy and sadistic love of corpses? What does this extreme personality do when he discovers a power greater than that of a man's? And what does that mean for the Blackest Night? This issue explains thoroughly why Black Hand is the way he is currently portrayed, and why he will be a force to be reckoned with, not only against the Green Lantern Corps, but the DC Universe. With a strong debut from new ongoing artist Doug Mahnke, the aesthetics coupled with the complex look into the mind of Black Hand is a total winner.

Green Lantern #43 leads into Blackest Night #1 in the best way possible: by showing how you, the reader, will absolutely love to hate this sadistic son of a b*^$%.


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