Well here we are, smack bang in the middle of the Alpha Lantern saga. Nothing like getting right into the swing of things after the Sinestro Corps War. But first back on earth, Hal and John have a job to do, which entails Hal leaping out of bed with Cowgirl...probably to his deep chagrin, and John leaving his drawing table...probably to his deep disgust.
The boys are chasing down an errant yellow ring, and have a bit of lovely banter going. Geoff Johns has given John the same Marine background that he had in the cartoon, which is ok with me. He's still an architect. In fact, this explains to a certain degree how he may have become an architect. Nothing like the GI bill, and it is a sensible way for John to get the money to go to college. I did enjoy the snarkiness over who had it tougher...the Marines or the pansies in the Air Forcee.
Meanwhile, where should the ring show up, than in Scarecrow's cell in Arkham! Cool! He's almost got his hands on it...when he's attacked by little green birds, courtesy of John and Hal. Oh, he was so close! Just then however, Hal gets a message from Oa that Amon Sur is dead, so he and John hotfoot it to see just what the heck is going on.
I KNEW that first law that Lanterns can kill Sinestros would come back and bite the Guardians! Laira has killed Amon Sur, because he slaughtered all of Ke'haan's family. Unfortunately she did it while he was trying to surrender, so the issue of murder or self-defence becomes hotly contended. Laira of course says that it was justice, and it's rather hard to argue with her, but the rest of them say murder...even her buddies the rest of the Lost Lanterns.
Then Hal and John show up, which of course adds some more tension to the already tense situation. Boodikka snarls at Hal to piss off, and Hal is equally snotty about pointing out that HE was chasing Amon's ring that they shouldn't have allowed to get away. Honnu has the good sense to apologize nad explain.
Then the Guardians show up. Oh Joy.
Is it me, or are the Guardians just getting stupider? So, they decide to pick out a number of Lanterns for this "Great Honor", going with Varix, Chaselon, Kraken, Green Man, Boodikka, oh and John Stewart. Seems they all have the "ability to enforce justice". The Guardians assure the chosen Lanterns that this is really just the highest honor a Lantern can achieve, and everything is just the ginchiest. No need to worry, just reach out and touch the glowing green lantern, and everything will be juuuuuuusssst fine. That's it, reach out and touch it...!
So of course they all do. Except for John, bless his silly old Earth scruples. It appears that John is the only with brains enough to ask what happens when you become an Alpha Lantern, and oh by the way, what OTHER changes are going on in the Book of Oa?
Well! Those darned Earth Lanterns and their brains! The Guardians are seriously displeased and make sure to tell John that they are disappointed. VERY disappointed. Then they haul the rest of them off for a little Cosmic Surgery. What? I don't remember if they happened to tell the chosen THAT little bit of information! And before you can say "WTF?" they are all transformed into the Alphas, with their hearts ripped out, and batteries put in their chests, and other very icky icky things. They even get a new oath.
"In days of Peace,
In Nights of War,
Obey the Laws, forever more.
Misconduct must be answered for,
Swear us the Chosen,
The Alpha Corps!"
Man that sounds a bit on the ominous side to me.
Meanwhile the rest of them are hauling poor Laira off to the Sciencells. She's not happy about it, needless to say, and still feels that she's completely justified. She also points out to Hal, just what would HE do if his brother and family were the ones killed? Hal doesn't answer, but Sinestro hears, and smirks to himself.
Laira just can't believe that they are really going to lock her up. The other Lost Lanterns assure her that they'll stand beside her, even though they more or less threw her under the bus when they were asked if it was murder or justice. For some reason, Laira doesn't find this reassuring,and is about to escape. The others are stopping her, when suddenly all of their power levels drop precipitously. Guess who just showed up?
No Lantern escapes the Alpha Lanterns.
The Guardians in their infinite wisdom have combined living Lanterns with Manhunter technology, to create new creatures with the best elements of each...or so they keep telling themselves. "The sentient drive and thought process of the Green Lanterns...and the efficiency and logic of the Manhunters."
No wonder Sinestro is smiling.
Oh, and there is also that little thing with the scarred Guardian. She shows up and directs Ash, of Sector 650 to seek out and find the corpse of the Anti-Monitor. Ash is willing to do this, but asks whether or not the other Guardians know about this quest. There is an ominous closeup of the Guardian's eyes, showing the Black Hand symbol as she answers "...of course."
This can't be good for the Green Lantern Corps. But it is hellishly good for Green Lantern fans.