Community Nooch's Comic Reviews

Racing toward Blackest Night

Green Lantern #40
by Geoff Johns and Philip Tan
Published by DC Comics

Green Lantern has been awesome. It has been tearing up the comics landscape like it ain't nobody's business for at least the past year, if not longer. For most civilians (non-fanboys), Green Lantern is pretty much just a guy with a magic ring. He is so much more than that.

The current Green Lantern of Earth, Hal Jordan, is only one member of the Green Lantern Corps, a galactic peace-keeping force overseen by the immortal, diminutive Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, Hal is only one of 4 Green Lanterns from Earth, the other three being John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and Kyle Rayner.

Together with the Corps companion book, Green Lantern is better than it has been in years. That's not to say that it was bad before that. In fact GL has been one of my faves for a while. To get you prepped for all the WIN contained in the books, a brief history lesson will be required. So, take out your pencils, there WILL be a quiz later.

A few years back, they killed off Hal Jordan. Back in the day, the GL rings worked on pretty much anything except the color yellow. Yes, that's pretty lame, we don't need to discuss that now. They played with the story a bit to make it less lame by introducing the reason why: Parallax.

Parallax the immortal embodiment of fear, and eons ago, was trapped by the Guardians in the central power battery, where all GL's would have to recharge their rings. Right around when Superman died in the early '90s, Hal went crazy and ended up getting possessed by Parallax. He became one of the worst villains the DC universe has ever seen, killing almost the entire GL Corps, and stealing their rings. He finally got taken out when everybody teamed up against his green keister. They did some crazy stuff to bring him to back to life, I think specifically because they need him alive for when the movie comes out.

Bringing it all the way back around to modern day, we're now discovering that green (willpower) and yellow (fear) are not the only part of the emotional spectrum that can grant superpowers. We've also got blue (hope), violet (love), red (rage), orange (avarice), and indigo (compassion). Apparently black is also supposed to play a role, but I don't know the exact emotion they're tying it to, other than death. That brings us to what I'm most excited about: Blackest Night.

The big two, Marvel and DC, have been pulling a bunch of company-wide crossover stuff lately. I've mentioned before that I'm not inherently against that sort of stuff as long as it's a good story. Marvel has been having them back to back with a madness, going from Avengers Disassembled into House of M, then into Civil War, then Planet Hulk, then Secret Invasion, and now Dark Reign. That's not even including the other events, starting from Annihilation, into Annihilation: Conquest, into War of Kings. DC had Infinite Crisis, into Final Crisis, now they have Battle for the Cowl. Just overall, it seems to be getting stale. There are still good individual titles and issues, but I'm kind of done with the whole thing... except for Blackest Night.

The title of the event comes from the Green Lantern creedo - In brightest day, in blackest day, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might beware my power, GREEN LANTERN'S LIGHT! Both of the GL books are currently in the Prelude to Blackest Night. You'd have to think that the actual event would be way more kickass than the prelude, which is a good portent for the event.

The prelude has been nothing but non-stop action. In GL corps, they've been fighting the remnants of the Sinestro Corps (yellow rings), who lost the Sinestro Corps War. As an aside, pick up those trades the moment you see them, you won't be disappointed. In the main GL book, pictured here, Hal has been meeting, and more often than not, fighting members of other factions. The new baddy shown here is called Agent Orange. Now when you first hear that, you think that it's a pretty hokey name, and I won't disagree. But he's pretty awesome. He's so twisted and vicious that he takes out Hal, even when Hal's got both a green and blue ring. We even see the Guardians go to the frontlines and get their hands dirty. They normally sit back and let the corps handle their wetwork.

I can't stress enough how awesome I think Blackest Night is going to turn out. Start out by picking the Sinestro Corps trades I mentioned, then pick up all the trades and/or individual issues that have come out since. This is space opera epic at its most colorful, and that's not a bad thing. When you discover Atrocitus, you may have a new favorite comic villain.

Who should read this book:
People who like epic space adventures.
People who like have strong will and no fear.
People who think romantic comedies should not exist in reality.

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Nooch's Comic Reviews

More people should be reading comic books, dammit. As the resident comic book elitist, Nooch has made it his personal quest to get more noobs heading into their own dimly-lit comics dungeon every Wednesday to peruse the vastly under-rated world of sequential art.