Exiled on… the Read of the Week 11/11/09
|Green Lantern Corps #42
Story: Peter Tomasi
Art: Patrick Gleason & Rebecca Buchman with Tom Nguyen
Cover:Patrick Gleason, Rebecca Buchman, and Randy Mayor
The war of light rages on in this latest chapter of the Blackest Night saga. It doesn’t look good as the Black Lanterns have overrun Oa. Green Lanterns all over the planet are facing both physical and psychological horrors from undead comrades. Just as the undead army is pressing it’s advantage, they suddenly and mysteriously they disengage the fight and go straight at the Great Battery looking to “devour will”. (Of course the Green Lanterns don’t know that back on Earth, that Black Lantern Jean Lorning has just ripped the heart out of Damage, giving the Black Lanterns “100%” of the emotional power they need.)
As the Black Lanterns attack Willpower directly by going after the Central Power Battery, the GL’s need to come up with a last stand. Kyle comes up with the plan of dropping Red Lantern Vice and letting him rage into the battle, and the plan works, the Blank Lantern loses are enough to give the GL’s a chance. That is until the single minded Alpha Lantern Chaselon thinks Vice is trying to escape and he terminates him, more over, Chaselon himself is overtaken by the Black Lantern Corphans, who see him a bright shiny ball to play with (drawn to his internal power battery) and crack him, and his battery open.
The light and power in that battery is enough to take out the threat, but only if it is released directly, and not consumed by the Black Lanterns. That means someone has to crack it open. Call it the classic suicide mission. Only one Lantern is brave enough and close enough for the task. Kyle Rayner, once the last of the Green Lanterns, once the vessel of Ion, and the savior of the Oa and the Corps, sacrifices himself to save his friends, Oa, and the Central Power Battery.
The issue ends on Gleason’s best work, the body of Kyle surrounded by the depowered falling Black Lantern rings, as his own ring shoots off into space, to Sector 2261, and to Mogo, where all power rings of the fallen are being sent (They are not finding new hosts, by order of the Guardians, who feared putting the rings into inexperienced hands, causing more loss of life).
Is this really the end of Kyle? Will he be returned to the fight, as a Black Lantern? Or as something more?
This issue is a game changer in the Blackest Night. I was really pleasantly surprised to see such important story beats taking place outside of the core BN mini. One of the things I loved about the Sinestro Corps War a couple of years ago was that it was huge story, but it was focused in the GL books. which kept the story tight and moving, never feeling bloated and padded for sales. One of my biggest fears was that Blackest Night would be spread too thin, but so far even with the core Blackest Night book, two Green Lantern titles, 3 Supporting mini, (and don’t forget the 3 issue “Tales of…” book that came out weekly) but so far there has been plenty of story and action to go around.
I have always liked Peter Tomasi’s writing. His run on Nightwing was good, but I think he really found his stride with the Corps. He has done a fantastic job with the large cast, creating strong voices for so many characters. His work since the start of Blackest Night has been at the top of his game. I don’t know how much of the plotting is his and how much is being decided by editorial mandates and but has been hitting on all cylinders, mixing action and character development nicely. Peter Gleason, has also been fantastic at creating all the aliens, tech, and in Blackest Night, horrors that this title needs.
Not knowing where the GLC and the DCU will be after Blackest Night, I hope this team stays on the book, and I also hope to see more interaction between the DCU’s off Earth Titles and Characters. R.E.B.E.L.S , Strange Adventures, Mystery in Space, Lobo even. Show just how universal this Corps is.
Grade – A