Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: Green Lantern #20

Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!

Now with Guy Gardner's Seal of Approval!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Green Lantern #20

Well this is it.  The finale, the Big One, the End of an Era.  Geoff Johns brings his epic journey on Green Lantern to a climax, in an oversized book, that pretty much wraps things up, ties up loose ends, and tells us what happened, and what might happen, and still preserves all of his toys for the next kids to play with.

Frankly I loved it.

I have a few quibbles, but what the heck.  It was a big noisy splash of all of the colors of the Corps, and comeuppances are given, and a happy ending is provided.  How often do we actually GET a happy ending anymore?  So I am going to savor this one.

We begin in the future, with a lucky young recruit having completed his Green Lantern training, so he goes to visit  the Bookkeeper, Toris.  He wants to hear from the Book of Oa, all about Hal Jordan, Greatest of the Green Lanterns.  And in only a few pages, Johns and Doug Mahnke give us a succinct and beautiful synopsis of just what the heck has been going on for the past nine years or so, and thus brings us up to date on what is happening NOW.

Korugar is destroyed, Sinestro is stricken with grief and rage, and Hal is still trapped, so...being Hal, he literally leaps before he looks, and falls to his death.  His REAL death apparently.  And being Hal...somehow his cockamamie idea works, and he ends up with Black Hand's Black Ring.  Simultaneously, Sinestro casts aside his Green Lantern ring and reembraces his yellow ring of Fear.

On Oa, Volthoom is gloating over the Guardians.  I can't feel too sorry for the miserable little blue munchkins, they brought all of this on themselves.  Just to twist the knife a little, Volthoom manages to retrieve his original ring, from Ganthet's gullet, and gives all the Guardians the ability to FEEL again, which they had denied to themselves so many many millenia ago.  They...aren't happy.  Not at all.

But as Volthoom is about to go and do Bad Guy Stuff, Guy, John, Kilowog and the rest of the remaining Lanterns show up and start smacking him around.   They aren't doing all that well, but fortunately, the Red Lanterns show up, and then Kyle brings in the cavalry, with the Blue Lanterns and the Star Sapphires.  Guy has a clever idea, which even Volthoom acknowledges, of chanelling all their collective energy through Mogo.  But alas, it's not enough.

Then Sinestro shows up all yellow and pissy, and starts whaling on Volthoom too.  And then...

Hal shows up.  With all the Black Lanterns.

Black Lanterns who aren't very pleased with Volthoom.

Naturally they are delighted and horrified to see Hal this way.  Carol wants to know if Kyle can use his white Lantern ring to bring Hal back to life, but he says he can't.  I don't quite understand why not, but what the hey.

Volthoom may be startled, but he's not down, and he grabs Hal, and does his usual schtick of prowling through Hal's history  searching for a weak moment.  And it isn't when he was possessed by Parallax, but when he was a little boy,watching his father crash and burn.  Volthoom uses the spark from innocent little Hal, to give him the power to rewrite the history of the Universe. I don't understand fully how this is possible, but hey...comics.  Sinestro is outraged by this violation, and heads to his battery...where he calls forth...


Yes, it's time for Parallax to possess Sinestro.  Except that this time, the shoe is on the other foot, and Sinestro is the one in charge, with all of Parallax's power.  He rushes in and grapples with Volthoom, who is taken aback, but not defeated.  Volthoom sneers and postures a bit more, until Hal realizes that they can't do it alone.  He heads back into the darkness and summons...


Boy howdy, all the big baddies are showing up!  Hal is even able to boss Nekron around, and get him to do HIS bidding!  But they can't just go charging in and kill Volthoom, because that would destroy their Universe, so...somehow, Hal is able to drain away all of Volthoom's emotional spectrum powers..until there is nothing left, and he's just a man again.  And Nekron takes swift and brutal action...and that's the end of Volthoom.

And the Guardians are now free.

Hal meanwhile goes back to his younger self, who mistakes him for their Father, and hugs him, which is rather sweet.  Meanwhile, although Volthoom's ring was banished back to the alternate Universe from which he came, another Green Lantern ring finds Hal...

And oh, yeah, there is a new Green Lantern in town.

Exactly how a regular ring could bring Hal back from the dead, when Kyle couldn't is not exactly explained, but hey, it is a really nice page, and Hal looks all heroic and stuff, and Nekron fades back into limbo, or whatever.

And everybody is very very happy.

Well...mostly everybody.

Till the Fear Lanterns all show up.  And they are all ready to start fighting again.  Hal for a change is actually smart enough to figure out that this is simply a diversion of Sinestro's.  Sinestro is stalling them, while he goes after the Guardians, although Atrocitus is also looking to spill a little Guardian blood.

Naturally Hal tries to stop Sinestro, who can't understand why Hal would be trying to save the Guardians...except that he's really trying to save Sinestro.  Too late unfortunately, because Sinestro already did it.  Yep, he killed the Guardians...except one, that he saved for Atrocitus, which was nice of him.  And he and Hal have one more exchange, and Sinestro admits that despite everything...they were and will always be...friends.

And the Sinestro Corps takes off...presumably for Qward.

And that's that.

Except of course, it isn't.

The young new recruit is amazed, but not completely sated.  The old Guardians were replaced with the nice new Templar Guardians from Maltus, who weren't crazy.  He wants to know more, and Toris obliges him by telling him what happened to everyone after the final confrontation.

Guy is still hanging out in bars, when Bolphunga the Unrelenting shows up and Old Guy takes him out with One Punch, which made me snicker.

John marries Yrra, and they go to earth, and he becomes a State Senator.

Kyle stays in his white suit, and goes off to become Space Jesus apparently, healing everybody.

Simon Baz  keeps his ring and finds the first woman Lantern from Earth, which is nice, and goes around being fabulous.

Larfleeze gives up everything to find his family...for a while, but reverts to greed again.

St Walker  has a family and builds up the Blue Corps and all is well.

Irogue of the Indigos discards her ring, but stays compassionate.

Hal and Carol get married and have a baby boy named Martin.

But what happened to Sinestro?

 photo gl20ganthetandsayd_zps8b6961d8.jpg

Yeah, Sinestro becomes the Bookkeeper of Oa.

Man, the art in this was gorgeous.  As I said, there are a few inconsistencies, but I don't care.  At least I don't care right now.  This was something of an epic undertaking.  Geoff Johns came onto this book, when it was a mere shell of what it had been, with only Kyle left, the Corps distroyed, and Hal a villain and dead.  From Rebirth, he brought back Hal, he brought back the Corps, he kept Kyle, he brought back Guy and John, and the Guardians, and established so many of the aspects of the Corps that we now all take for granted.  There aren't too many writers who stay with one book for so long, and give so much to it.  And he did it, revising things, but not destroying what had come before.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, that Geoff Johns is a master at dumpster diving through DC continuity.

This new vision of the future of the Green Lantern Corps, may only be good for the new 52 Universe, it may be changed by whomever comes after Geoff, and Peter Tomasi, and Ivan Reis, and Doug Mahnke, and Pat Gleason and Carlos Pacheco and Fernando Pasarin, and all the other writers and artists who have made my Wednesdays so glorious.

But I had my happy ending.  And for that I thank you.

And most of all, I thank you for bringing back G'nort.  


At 1:29 AM, Blogger Shiraste said...

It was very nice, despite some logical fallacies and lacking explanations.

About that green ring Hal got. Is it me or is this a sort of special ring? If I am not mistaken if a green ring appears it usually says "Scanning Sector XXXX for replacement" but this one said "Scanning universe". So Volthoom's ring was banished but is it the analog of volthoom's in this Universe? So maybe this brought him back. The other thing is that young Hal started to glow white for some reason and this might have him brought back, too?

A fitting end to an all in all nice run. Sure, it lost steam during or after Blackest Night but overall enjoyable. I'll take plenty of fond memories with me.

Now let us see what the future brings.

At 6:15 AM, Blogger Gary said...

On the whole I enjoyed it - how could you not with the snarky Guardians getting their behinds kicked by Sinestro and most everyone ending up in a happy place?

Sure, as you say, there were a couple of things that lacked a little something (Nekron just being cast aside?) but mostly it was splendid.

this one said "Scanning universe" - Nice catch, I missed that!

At 6:27 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

There were some inconsistencies, and some things that were a bit bizarre...but heck, I can usually suspend my disbelief enough to accommodate it.

I think that young Hal's glowing is what actually brought older Hal back from death...somehow. Not the ring. But I didn't catch that bit about "scanning universe" at all!

Good eye!

And yes, I'm so happy that the Guardians...finally...got theirs. And that Ganthet and Sayd are living happily ever after...somewhere.

In the end, I guess, you can say that Geoff's entire run was ultimately about Hal and Sinestro, and their relationship. He redeemed Hal obviously. But he also redeemed Sinestro.

Good stuff.

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Bryan L said...

Except I'm not sure I like "redeemed Sinestro."

Oh, sure, I like the additional depth of the character, but that's what I don't want to lose. Sinestro moved from being an clich├ęd opposite of Hal to a character that was truly a foil. They both have similar goals, but Hal tries to create order through inspiration, and Sinestro tries to impose order through intimidation. Really, they're the embodiment of good cop/bad cop, and I hate to lose that. I'd honestly like to see them working together to police the universe. It would provide great character interaction. Now I'm afraid that future writers will see this stuff as locked into place, and we'll never get those kinds of stories.

I'd have been happier without the big Book of Oa wrap-up. It went too far beyond "putting the toys back into place" for me -- more like "locking them up so nobody can screw with them." God knows I understand the impulse, because Green Lantern was SO unbelievable screwed up before Geoff, but it still seems too restrictive.

At 1:03 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

i don't know...I think that other writers can still use the toys...it's not as though Geoff killed them all off, although lord knows that's not a real big deal anymore either.

Plus this all happened in the New 52 Universe, and some day when DC regains their sanity we'll be back to the REAL Universe, and nothing that happened will matter anymore anyway.


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