If at first you don’t succeed, try a sucker punch.
This seems to be the rule behind the latest issue of Green Lantern. Let’s not mince words; Green Lantern has sucked the southern end of a northern bound Red Lantern since the big reboot. The usually untouchable Geoff Johns has saved all his gusto for writing the Aquaman series and given nothing to Green Lantern. In seven issues he’s turned Hal Jordan into a bitch, made Sinestro completely uninteresting and set up the Guardians to have the first intergalactic nervous breakdown by a blue person. In Green Lantern #8, Johns really outdoes himself with the cheap tricks.
When last we left Hal Jordan and Sinestro, the Lantern equivalent of a wacky buddy cop movie, they had fallen prisoner to the Indigo Tribe. The opening pages of this book are fairly pat and boring. Sinestro is chained up by the Indigos who are attempting to “save” him. After spending so much time being an enigma, the Indigos are basically the universe’s fastest rehab center. They take the bad guys and make them over into galactic James Taylors, all sensitive and kind. The Indigos are trying to turn Sinestro into one of them, so we get pages of the standard call and response:
“I’m the mighty Sinestro, you can’t turn me”
“We can, we are the Indigo tribe!”
I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea. Then there are a few pages of Hal Jordan, buried deep in an Indigo prison, trying to figure out how the Indigos managed to turn the Black Hand into a sweetheart. Hal escapes and uses what tiny power he has in his ring to try and rescue Sinestro. He can’t because… GASP… Sinestro is now an Indigo Tribe member. Turning one of the greatest villains in comic book history into a space hippie isn’t the cheap shot of issue 8. Johns reaches really deep to pull out a plot device that farts and falls flat. Want to know the big reveal? Okay, jump to the next paragraph!
Abin Sur created the Indigo Tribe! Yep, you got it, the alien who gave Hal Jordan the ring and the Green Lantern who trained Sinestro before Sinestro’s fall from grace started the Indigo Tribe. How’d he sneak that one past the Guardians and how will all this effect the Guardians super duper plan to get rid of the Green Lanterns for a new police force? Who cares? The only thing Green Lantern has become good for is comedy. I’m going to keep reading this series just because it’s now reaching the level of parody.
Doug Mahnke’s art is the only reason to seriously pick up Green Lantern. As always, Mahnke brings his A game to the pencils. Strong lines, sick detail and a flow that makes the action leap off the page. It’s exciting when Mahnke is behind the art, he can draw faces and figures easily but also uses the panels like lenses of a camera. Different shots make for different emotional reactions. With writing so sub-par, it’s really nice to have something to look at.
(2 Story, 5 Art)