Review: Green Lantern #4 By Geoff Johns And Doug Mahnke
by Grey Scherl on December 14, 2011

Green Lantern #4

Written by Geoff Johns

Art by Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, and Alex Sinclair

 

 

The short of it:

Sinestro’s plan of shutting down his former Corps goes horribly wrong when he doesn’t take into account that he is the one that has to take the Green Lantern battery into the Yellow Central Battery, which leads to his and Hal’s capture. Hal not being dead because his seeming disintegration was actually his body trying to be transported to the anti-matter universe. Hal is thrown into a cell designed to absorb energy into their battery, while Sinestro is tortured…again. Nobody wants that ring on his finger. He’s thrown into a cell as well, though his is filled with the people of Korugar, and it does not go nearly as well as he would hope.

 

What I liked:

  • Sinestro’s failsafe to shut down the Sinestro Corps has the perfect condition in him being the one that must instigate it. It makes perfect sense for him to put in a way out of everything, but it feels so much more in character that the only person capable of doing so is him.
  • Hal hasn’t been the strongest character in the world lately, but the acceptance that the final thoughts he would want for himself to have are of Carol speaks volumes. They’ve been off and on for years, but if Hal comes out of all of this at peace with his feelings for her, then we may finally see them in a believable relationship. Something Johns has been building to for years.
  • For as little material as he really gets in this issue, Hal continues on the path of positive characterization.
  • The Sinestro Corps torturer cracked me up. I imagined going in that the guy would be a bit too in love with his job, but he’s like a Yellow Lantern Dessad and I love it.
  • Sinestro dealing with his enslaved people made for more great character work, as it’s not often he is confronted with his sins by someone he can’t try and kill for their insolence. Sinestro is the star of this book and he feels like it.

 

What I didn’t like:

  • I’m fine with Sinestro being arrogant, and I’d be offended if he wasn’t, but the end of this issue paints him in a completely different light. Stupid. Somehow he forgot that his entire planet hates him.
  • Speaking of, why did he just flat out quit fighting back?
  • Also, why did he give Hal a horribly short charge in his ring if he knew that things had a chance of going horribly wrong? I understand setting Hal up to fail, but this is ridiculous. This is suicide.
  • Poorly defined plot device cells are poorly defined. They absorb all energy expelled in them, but they’re thin enough that you can talk to the people in the cell next to you.

 

Final thoughts:

Who would have thought a few years ago that Sinestro would be one of the most defined characters in the DC Universe? That he would hold the lead in a top ten book, by a top creator, and that he would be so natural of a fit? I know I wouldn’t have.

 

This is still very much the same book it was before Sinestro took center stage, the journey of Hal Jordan, but by making his story secondary to Sinestro’s own quest at redemption that he does not seek succeeds in strengthening both stories. I’m sorry, but Sinestro being confronted with his own Corps enslaving and slaughtering his people, and then his people reminding him that before this he ruled them with an iron fist is so much more fascinating than Hal realizing he probably should have just been serious about Carol.

 

It feels like a broken record at this point, but for one this book maintains it’s phenomenal look. Doug Mahnke is a superstar, and his presence makes the book top tier. The fact that he rarely, if ever, needs a fill in artist is only that much more impressive. Most artists rotate arcs, but if he misses one it seems like he turns in the next ten without fail.

 

And for two…this book is really a top tier title that feels like a top tier title. Green Lantern is consistently one of the must read books out of DC. The action, the drama, the suspense? It all adds together to make a great read every month. Geoff Johns has yet to turn in an issue where it seemed like he was running out of ideas, and the fact that there’s still material that we’ve been waiting on that he’s promising to give us (the origin of the Indigo tribe next arc for one), this is one of the few long runs in comics right now that I completely support. If he wants to stay on Green Lantern until his career is over, and he can keep it this good, then let him do it!

 

Overall: 8/10



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