ďThe Sinestro Corps War: Part 6Ē
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Ivan Reis (p), Oclair Albert (i), Moose Baumann (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics
Finally, the collaborative review weíve all been waiting for! Chris Murman, the disillusioned DC reader who thus far has not liked "The Sinestro Corps War" and is not a fan of Hal Jordan, will discuss exactly that with die-hard Green Lantern and Hal Jordan fan, Kevin Powers.
Kevin Powers: "The Sinestro Corps War" continues this week, and yet again the stakes are raised and the bar set even higher as Geoff Johns crafts the epic-event of the summer and possibly the best Green Lantern story ever told. First, I have to say, what a fantastic cover. In Green Lantern #49 during the infamous ďEmerald TwilightĒ story arc Hal Jordan (possessed by Parallax) wiped out the Green Lantern Corps. That cover featured Hal wearing numerous Green Lantern rings, not unlike this cover which features Hal wearing numerous Sinestro rings. And check out the ring on his pinky: it's a reflection of Parallax. Now by no means does this indicate that Hal goes nuts again, but itís just a great remake of an infamous cover. This issue opens up with Halís brother Jim, ready to leave Coast City behind, and then presents a great fight scene between Hal, Tomar-Tu and Graf Toren versus the keeper of the book of Parallax, Lyssa Drak. I love the narration Hal provides as they confront the blue-skinned fear monger; heís not afraid of some cheesy horror character, but he is afraid of commitment.
Chris Murman: Alas, this book left me no more excited than the previous two offerings. While its counterpart Green Lantern Corps is actually showing the battle raging between green and yellow, the Green Lantern proper title is giving us little snippets of insight into how this war is affecting the Guardians and their policemen. I thought it would be the other way around, but it just shows what Geoff Johns is interested in. His characters in the GL universe are very close to him, which is why it doesnít feel like a war is going on at all in these pages. I questioned Drakís involvement at the end of issue #22, mainly because I felt her to be nothing more than a plot device used in the back up stories before the war began. Did she offer any kind of fight for Hal and his band of merry men? Not really. In fact, I didnít see much happen worth mentioning. Iím curious to find out your take on the Guardians in this issue, Kevin. After so much has been made of their devotion to the Book of Oa, their actions seem to be a bit questionable for us long time Lantern fans, yes?
Powers: I agree with you that Green Lantern Corps is much more focused on the battle between green and yellow as a whole, but youíve got to keep in mind that the Corps has always been Dave Gibbonís forte. Iím baffled that you say that you donít feel like a war is going on. A group of Green Lanterns are on Qward to fetch Guy Gardener and John Stewart. The battle rages into the ring factory and when Hal Jordanís ring charge drops, he quickly grabs as many yellow rings as he can find. Thereís actually a great deal worth mentioning in the fight with Lyssa Drak. She man-handled Tomar-Tu and Graf Toren because they were afraid of her. Therefore, the yellow chains affected them. If you notice, the yellow doesnít touch Hal because he makes it crystal clear that he is not afraid of her. This also allows him to break the chains around Tomar-Tu and Graf Toren, in turn giving him the ability to strike swiftly and quickly at Drak.
As for the Guardians, this is classic Guardians of the Universe stuff here. Theyíve always been corrupt little smurfs who always want things done a certain way. The only one of them to ever break from this mold is Ganthet, and that is what kept him alive during Halís ďEmerald TwilightĒ rampage. Now that Sinestro has turned the tables, they contradict themselves by ďavoiding emotion.Ē Thatís the major difference between the green and the yellow. Willpower isnít an emotion, fear is. While Ganthet has expressed the emotion of love and found a lover, the Guardians excommunicate him for ďgiving into that emotion.Ē This is classic Guardian stuff because they are contradicting themselves by giving into their own emotions of fear by re-writing the book of Oa. They are playing right into Sinestroís hands. The whole thing about the book of Oa is crucial in the continuing development of the Green Lantern Corps. They are given lethal force, and the question now becomes: who will use it? Of course, only the first of ten laws are revealed in this issue so where they go from here is anyoneís guess. Although one of these laws is supposed to involve Earthmen.
Murman: Well, to each his own in regards to action and fight scenes. I thought the freeing of Stewart and Gardner happened a bit too easily for my tastes, but only so much can be done when you have so many bad guys to be used in 22 pages, right?
Powers: I was going to mention the freeing of Guy and John was a bit too quick. I wanted to see the Lanterns kick some Weaponer butt, but exactly, for 22 pages you can only do so much when you have the greatest Green Lantern epic on your hands. So youíve got to let it slide. Not to mention when what follows is Hal slipping on a bunch of Sinestro rings and completely mastering willpower over fear. Two words: Hell Yeah.
Murman: Sure the homage to GL #49 was cool to see, but Sinestro said it best: Hal may be able to wield the power, but thereís only one king of yellow ring-slinging. Remember the sweet double splash we saw in JLoA #3 when Jordan used the ring to take out the Achilles heel in each of the Ivo robots? Thatís using your ring's full potential. I think Johns did a good job of showing that when it comes to actually using fear as a weapon, Hal is still a novice.
Powers: Of course, heís a novice with wielding fear; heís the master of willpower. Fear is Batmanís game. Hal simply knows how to control the fear.
Murman: Let me continue to hop on my soapbox about this issue while I have the chance. Now, I myself wasnít the biggest Civil War fan, but I had to hand it to Mark Millar in one regard: he always had a big reveal waiting for the next issue. Whether it was Spider-Man unmasking, Clor joining the battle, or Punisher aiding Cap, there was always something big happening next issue. I felt like Johns put all his eggs in the first basket during the Special and doesnít have anything big left to show us. Why in the world did we need to see Cyborg Superman or Superboy-Prime being released from their prisons only to SIT THERE AND DO NOTHING? Itís one thing to have everyone sitting around talking before getting involved; these bad guys arenít even good enough to show their faces on panel! How many words has Supersnot said in this series so far? Are double digits conservative enough? How many panels did the villain whose name is on the cover show himself, four?
Powers: Both characters, Cyborg and Superpunk, are getting their own one-shots. (I think Superbrat is). Youíve also got to remember we are only halfway through this story-arc and DC has said the Sinestro Corps will play into Final Crisis. Johns doesnít need the cliffhanger like Millar did. This is a classic superhero story of Good vs. Evil; it's epic enough that it doesnít need the same things Civil War did. Now I know you can get on the soapbox for Final Crisis and Countdown, but thatís beside the point. We are only now approaching Earth in this story-arc, and Superboy-Prime and Cyborgís interests rest with Earth. Cyborg wants to see Earth fall before he dies, and Superboy-Prime wants to extract revenge on Earthís heroes for what happened during Infinite Crisis. I know youíre disillusioned with DC, but youíve got to put the whole thing in perspective in terms of where everything falls into place.
Murman: Perspective or not, Iím not judging this series on what it will do to set up Final Crisis. Hell, Iím trying not to even judge this series based on the previous arcs that Johns has written in this own title. Iím saying for this series, for this story, youíre telling me itís good writing to cram so many villains in a six issue run that some donít even end up doing anything for the first half? Iím not an expert by any means, but thatís a tough one to swallow. Help me out, brother.
Powers: I see where you are coming from, and this is again where I say that this story-arc should have replaced Amazons Attack. Give the story its own mini-series, let Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps tie-in and expand on the characters. But that is neither here nor there. I think for the most part that this series is really about the Sinestros versus the Green Lanterns. Cyborg Superman and Superboy-Prime are merely players in the grander scheme of things, and I hope you are satisfied when the one-shots are released.
Murman: I won't even get on my soapbox about the fact that there is a female Guardian running around having secret trysts with Ganthet. I thought we just finished a Star Sapphire story that told us the females that used to live on Oa formed their own cult and went off in another direction. I had always thought the Guardians were all men, am I wrong Kevin?
Powers: Wrong! Read Green Lantern #150 where Kyle Rayner restores Oaís power after transferring his original Ion powers. He gives birth to the new Guardians who are both male and female. In fact, one of the females became a muscular woman and was a central player in the end of that volume of Green Lantern. The Zamarons formed their own cult and went off in another direction BEFORE the events of GL #150 and long before Parallax wiped out the Corps.
Murman: You have out-geeked me KP, touchť my friend. Regardless, it doesnít make it any cooler to me that Ganthet and Sayd were ďkicked outĒ of the Guardians. I mean, it doesnít make them any less blue and powerful, right? Making me move out of Texas doesnít make me any less of a redneck. Iíll move on. What purpose does it serve to expel one of the most powerful Guardians, if not the most in Ganthet, in a time of need like this? They are sure the Sinestro Corps will be attacking Oa any minute, and Iím sure the loverís help would come in hand. In regards to that Kev, I ask you this: what do you think about the Sinestro corps going after Earth instead of Oa?
Powers: Makes perfect sense. New Earth is the center of the multi-verse, while we donít know exactly what that means yet; I think thatís the point. The Anti-Monitor is obviously the Guardian of the Sinestro Corps, but he too is aligned with Sinestro for a purpose, and that purpose is once again to destroy the multiverse. I think the decision to go to Earth also plays directly into the Book of Oa and why Earth has so many Green Lanterns. Thatís one development that will surely unfold.
As for Ganthet and Sayd, expelling them is what the other Guardians think is the right thing to do. Ganthet and Sayd have control over their emotions unlike the other Guardians who think that their feelings of love were going to interfere with the War.
The artwork here is superb. Ivan Reis continues to prove he is one of the top artists in the game. His work adds volumes to this series, and I hope he continues this amazing work beyond the Sinestro Corps War.
Murman: You know I like what we have...I don't have a problem with the art, but Reis has been solid as can be since he hopped on GL many moons ago.
I do feel a sense of buildup from Johns' writing. That much I can offer the writer in praise of this issue. I have always enjoyed how Geoff can build momentum, and with the action that ensues each issue there is a sense of building towards the end. I might not like the ending once we get there, but I haven't liked a ton of anything so far in this series. This man can write though, and I feel that there will be something big coming soon.
Powers: For me, this series is the reason I read comics. Everything I love about Green Lantern is here: the action, the character, the sci-fi adventure; itís all rolled into one package in this story. This storyline reminds me why I want to write and portray Hal Jordan on film. I may be a die-hard Hal Jordan and Green Lantern fan, but as a comic book reader and fan, I think this is one of the single greatest comic book sagas ever. Geoff Johns continues to prove that he is the best in the game when it comes to superheroes, and indeed there is as much build-up as there is action in this series. This is my Pick of the Week.
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