Green Lantern #5
Geoff Johns - Writer
Doug Mahnke - Pencils
What a great issue of Green Lantern! After four relatively uneventful issues spent reminding readers over and over again that Sinestro is a GL once more, we get some plot development! Green Lantern is the only character, besides Batman, whose continuity was kept intact. Partly, I assume, because the 'Brightest Day' year-long event wrapped up right before 'Flashpoint' and the New 52 relaunch. But also because, like Batman, Green Lantern has a history that was worth keeping. That's not to say Superman doesn't have a long and rich continuity, but beyond his 'death' in the mid-90s, there aren't that many memorable Superman story lines.
Geoff Johns does an excellent job of tapping into Green Lantern history while still keeping the plot current. While the ring itself chose Sinestro to be a Green Lantern once again, the rest of the universe sees things differently, including his old yellow lantern corps. who have taken Sinestro's home planet, Korugar, under martial rule instead of protection as Sinestro ordered.
Even though he saves the planet, the older generation of Korugarians definitely remembers Sinestro's iron fist rule over the planet years earlier. It's a humbling moment for Sinestro when a child praises his actions only to be scolded by his mother. What makes this scene so fantastic is the way Johns expresses Sinestro's emotions without actually having the character show any at all. Hal Jordan acts as Sinestro's 'conscience', mentioning the doubts and concerns any normal being would have, only to be shot down by Sinestro at every turn.
In the final pages, Sinestro gives Hal's construct ring enough power only to get him back to Earth. With no battery to recharge, Hal becomes panicked and realizes that he only cares about the power of being a Green Lantern. It's a welcome bit of character growth for one that hasn't had much since his resurrection in 2004. Hal sees a little more clearly that he wants to be with Carol Ferris and makes the first steps toward making that a reality. While it may come off as cheesy to newer readers, GL fans will know this is a monumental moment for Jordan. With a sixth issue left to complete the 'Sinestro' arc, I'm interested to see how Johns will segue into the next adventure for Sinestro and Hal.