Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: Green Lantern #43

Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!

Now with Guy Gardner's Seal of Approval!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Green Lantern #43

Oh Lordy, this was something else. As we can all see from the cover, this is the final prologue to Blackest Night, and although it may be Green Lantern's book, Hal and the rest do not actually show up, because this is all about Black Hand, and who and what he is.

Doug Mahnke handles the artwork, and I must say that he handles it masterfully. This is a seriously creepy, not to say gory story, but it all works SO well. As for William Hand himself, he's not the buffoon or figure of fun that he USED to be. I must confess to a certain fondness for that portrayal of the character, for example, he was hilarious in the old JLI, especially on Guy and Ice's first date. This however is lightyears away from that.

William Hand is the middle of three children, born to a family that runs a Mortuary in Coast City. Right from the start, little William was...unnusual. He had a bizarre attraction to Death from a very early age, and it manifested itself in the taxidermy practiced on the family pet, to his choice of a costume, once he happens upon the weapon he acquires from Atrocitus.

There is all kinds of back story here, and then we start to get to the meat of thing, such as the deaths of various superheroes, AND the return from Death, and what that means.

It means that quite a number of people are in big trouble, that's what it means.

Anyway, after we get caught up on William's story, he finally ends up going back home and killing in a rather casual manner, his entire family, all the while, listening to a voice that only he can hear. But the kicker, is when he turns his weapon upon himself...and blows his brains out.

I...I did not see that coming.

And who should show up, but our favorite crazy renegade Guardian, Scar, who vomits up a Black Ring, and resurrects Black Hand as the new Embodiment of the Black Lanterns, just like Ion and Parallax, and incidentally, the Predator for the Star Sapphires.

And the living are in for a world of trouble. I can hardly wait.


At 1:12 PM, Blogger Your Obedient Serpent said...

Holy spit!

The Predator is the Empowering Entity of the Star Sapphires?

In a very twisted way, that makes perfect sense -- to anyone who remembers that storyline, anyway.

Has that been stated in the comics? Or is it your own (entirely sensible) interpretation?

At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Spectrum Bear said...

I had some suspension-of-disbelief problems with this story, as well-written and well-drawn as it was.

If the Black Hand's career depends on a weapon that he picked up from Atrocitus, how does he continue past his first defeat? The heroes would simply take it away from him. There is nothing in the story that even suggests he would be able to build a new one; he's not exactly a scientific genius.

I balked a little at the idea of the Predator being the incarnation of the Star Sapphires, too. He seemed to be present in the form of "hey, you know who we haven't mentioned in a while?!!?" The Sapphires are an all-female band of love pushers - how does the Predator fit in with that? (You could make an argument for the Predator representing the "dark side" of the Sapphires, but that doesn't mesh with the use of Ion or Parallax.)

Finally, doesn't it seem overly mechanical, contrived, convenient, that the spirits of the dead Black Hand conjures up are all either superheroes/supervillains or, in a few cases, significant others thereof? I realize the readers want to see Our Heroes throughout the DCU attacked by their dead loved ones, or at least dead versions of other supercharacters, but nothing in the story seems to justify that limited collection of people.

At 2:08 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Well,on the second to last page in the book, as Black Hand is being resurrected, there are a series of panels, saying that he's like Ion, (bathed in green light), like Parallax (in yellow light) and like the Predator (all purple/pink light),so my impression was that Predator was the entity for the Star Sapphires.

Which, based on that whole thingie with Carol and such,makes a certain strange amount of sense. A bit scary though, eh?

There is quite a bit of stuff that is pretty cringe-inducing, but it is all drawn so beautifully, that I find myself enthralled,nevertheless.

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Patrick C said...

That second to last panel... what does Black Hand step on? A black egg?

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Duskdog said...

So.. Carol's aggressive, ruthless, stalkerish side was the love entity all along? That explains a whole lot about a lot of people I know, and the messed-up relationships they're constantly in. (Kind of bodes ill for those of us who are still single, though. Love? No thanks, I'll pass. :) )

It makes sense, though, and I can't believe I never saw anyone put that forth as a theory!

And Black Hand, wow. The creepiest part was when he was talking about his first kiss, and he doesn't have to say it -- you just know that it was totally a dead person.

At 8:18 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Oh Duskdog, it definitely was a dead person. In fact...no, I'm not going to Go There.

Patrick, that's an old left-over Easter egg that he steps on. Little bit of symbolism, I imagine.

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Dwayne "the canoe guy" said...

This one was pretty disturbing. I really didn't need a splash page of a head wound to let me know how horrible an act William Hand committed upon himself.

Once again, DC crosses the line from good story into cheap gore.


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