Green Lantern Corps #57
Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Tyler Kirkman
So this issue marked the end of the Weaponer story arc, which had been several shades of awesome. Unfortunately, as far as endings go, this issue was uncharacteristically clunky. One of the big faults of this issue was that it was a Brightest Day tie-in, a direct one as Firestorm showed up concurrently with what he’s been doing over in Brightest Day and Bedard had to handle that. What do I mean handled that? I mean that the entire book was exposition after exposition, and that it felt like the final issue in the story arc was being written for people who hadn’t read any of the previous parts.
Sometimes synergy works in mysterious ways and crossovers just make sense, though this won’t stop people from whining about them being forced. Firestorm showing up in Green Lantern Corps, in all honesty, made sense. In Brightest Day he was recently teleported to Qward to set up a climatic battle with Deathstorm over the White Lantern, and with the Lantern’s all being there as well to save Sora, and the Sinestro Corps as well, it just made sense. What didn’t make sense is that on any given panel you were given the feeling that the book was catering to people who were jumping on for just this issue thanks to Brightest Day. Sure, there was some exposition to explain why Ronnie was there, but the issue felt like it was being done for the crossover fans, and not the loyal reader of the book.
That isn’t to say that the conclusion to the arc isn’t good, because what story Bedard did get across was pretty awesome. The Weaponer had been ostracized by his people after what happened with Sinestro, how he built him the yellow power ring to get revenge on the Green Lantern’s, and years later the Sinestro Corps enslaved Qward to make more of them. His people were rightfully pissed off. So when they stood beside him, ready to fight and die in the name of their world and people, it was a turning point for the man we know only as “The Weaponer”. Instead of fighting to regain and trust and respect of his people, he fought alongside of them in the name of his world. Even if they were horribly mismatched, even his ridiculously awesome weapons are only worth so much against a murderous army with power rings.
The best part about this arc ending, to be honest, is that we won’t have to spend any more issues in a row on the truce between the Green Lantern Corps and Sinestro Corps and the fact that the GL’s can’t use their rings because of it. Sure, we get to see John Stewart in body armor and wielding guns and challenging in the marine mode they force feed the readers, but for the most part the GLC just explains what’s going on. Repeatedly. Firestorm showing up actually almost saves the book just by nature of him being allowed to fight back instead of talk about how helpless they are because of a truce.
The ending is abrupt, and if you ask Pulse Glazer, horribly written and nonsensical. I liked it, and I understood it, and I’ll even talk about it in spoiler depth here. The Weaponer was ostracized by his people, he lived alone, worked alone, plotted his vengeance alone. He captured Sinestro’s daughter in hopes of bringing Sinestro to Qward to get his revenge, because if he were to live and win his people would see him as something other than the traitor who gave Sinestro his power, and if he were to die and lose, then at least he wouldn’t be the outsider amongst his people anymore. He had nothing to lose, and his White Energy infused shield gave him the means to truly try an bring honor back to Qward. When the Green Lantern’s showed up instead of Sinestro, he didn’t fight them and defeat them out of spite for them, he did it out of frustration for his true enemy refusing to fight him. When the Sinestro Corps showed up he immediately felt worthless as everyone but Sinestro showed up; he was beneath his notice. Then, when Sinestro did show up, it was his opportunity to show his people that all he wants to do is save and protect them from the mess he created. More so than a chance to correct his own mistake of empowering Sinestro, it’s his second chance amongst his own people. So when the conclusion comes and he sees his people being slaughtered like cattle, it dawns on him as well as the reader. To continue this fight is to insure a death sentence for all the people of Qward, a near extinction for his race just because of his actions.
You see, in trying to redeem himself, he brought an even greater threat home. He brought the entire Sinestro Corps at their most blood thirsty. And as Sinestro offered him a ring, you could see the look in his eyes, the pain on his face, and even over the roar of the crowd of his people finally accepting him, it was clear there wasn’t another option. The Weaponer took the yellow power ring, joining the Sinestro Corps, and then the Sinestro’s left Qward without killing a single other Qwardian. He sold his soul to the devil he created to save his people. Their cheers, their acceptance, that was what drove him to renounce them and take up the ring. He cared too much for them to allow any more harm to be brought down amongst his people, and his soul was the only price to pay. He’s a very tragic character, and I honestly can’t wait to see when he pops up next.
Tyler Kirkham is a perfect fit for the art on this book. His style is ridiculously energetic, and the action just flows. It doesn’t have the same level of realism that you get from other Lantern artists, but it works here. This arc has been big action, and he can handle big action with the best of them. I figure Kirkham is going to shine bright come War of the GL’s.
The biggest issue with this issue, again, was the Firestorm inclusion. While his presence could have easily added to the book, Bedard spent far too much time having him explain for the sake of GLC readers what he’s been doing and why he’s there, and then having the GL’s spend their chunks of the issue explaining the whole premise for the story arc to the Brightest Day readers who don’t read GLC (all seven of them) but jumped on board for just this one singular issue. Exposition isn’t an issue killer usually, and sometimes it’s nice to get a little information stated so you’re not just assuming. Hell, the ending with the Weaponer could have used more because “It’s better to serve in Heaven than rule in Hell” just did not cut it. The issue was just way too much telling us what was going on instead of showing us, and then the one moment that could have used some sort of stating got none. The arc ended with a bit of a whimper, but the War starts soon, and there don’t seem to be any more BD tie-ins coming up, so I think we may be golden.
Tags: Brightest Day, Green Lantern Corps, Reviews, Tony Bedard, Tyler Kirkham