Friday, January 20, 2012

Review: Green Lantern Corps #5


Green Lantern Corps #5
Peter J. Tomasi - Writer
Fernando Pasarin - Pencils

Back in 2005 - after Hal Jordan's resurrection in Rebirth - DC brought back Green Lantern's sister series from the days before the original Parallax saga starting with a mini-series entitled Green Lantern Corps: Recharge. While the series saw it's ups and downs, mostly stemming from it's fragmented storytelling and too-often reliance on knowledge of events in GL-proper to understand events in Corps., it was a solid book that focused on Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, John Stewart, Kilowog, and a cast of nearly six other Lanterns from various sectors.

While it's previous incarnation was good, the 'new 52' Green Lantern Corps feels like it's own book that can stand on it's own stories. Keeping a focus on Guy, John and Kilowog was the right choice for the Corps series of the GL-centric books. Kyle has never been comfortable amongst the Corps (and was thusly given his own series to star in), and the letting lesser known Lanterns pop in and out gives them character context without becoming overbearing or drawn out.

This fifth issue gives quite a bit of back story to the first arc's villains, the Keepers, courtesy of the telepathy powers of newly cynical J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter. It really was a 'BURN!' moment when he called out the Corps for their failures with Krypton and Mars. Tomasi is skillfully employing the Guardians' terrible track record as of late in telling his tale of a planet charged with protecting Green Lantern batteries when they are being stored in the 'pocket dimension' described by GL's for decades. In fact, the batteries temporally travel to the planet inhabited by the Keepers. When the Guardians mysteriously remove all the batteries, the Keepers' world begins to die and they began to lash out for resources anywhere they could find.

In one stroke, Tomasi has not only given the Green Lanterns a formidable foe without resorting to a crisis-level villain, but also provided another great piece of the Guardian's history of fucking everything up. I've read (and thought myself) that blaming the Guardians for everything has become a crutch for writers over the past five years. To many, it seems as if the Guardians apparently acted more like the CIA, killing, cheating and lying to claw they way to the top, rather that behave like the benevolent beings presented over nearly seven decades of comic continuity. But that's the beauty of a race that's as old as time itself; they've had a lot of time to screw things up, and a lot of universe in which to do it.

Grade: B

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