Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #9
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin and Cam Smith
Part six of the crossover picks up right where we left off, with Mogo blasting the crap out of Ganthet and aiming for our heroes. Their escape is quick, and features more of what we’ve seen out of the ‘Crayola Corps’, and leaves them off alone once again, dealing with the new rings. While the previous issue showed off that Kyle and John were almost completely unable to use their rings, they don’t seem to have that problem completely in this issue. To be honest, and I’ll get back into this shortly, the crossover reads like all the writers involved have the bullet points but haven’t seen each others scripts.
While Tony Bedard put a lot of focus into the powers of the rings and our heroes trying to use them, Peter Tomasi chooses to focus on the altered personalities that are the side effects of the new color schemes. Unfortunately this leads to some of the worst Guy Gardner dialogue I’ve seen in a long time, as some of his ‘rage fueled’ words are just painful. Though I did smirk when he made a planet killing joke at John’s expense, I always love John getting knocked down a peg. Fear seems to just make Hal angry though, while compassion does nothing for John, and hope leaves Kyle…..pretty much Kyle. Tomasi reminds us with this issue that some writers do know how to write Kyle Rayner, and makes me wish he’d continued on with my favorite Lantern.
The initial conflict of the issue is them having to decide which is a higher priority: getting Parallax out of the battery or stopping the possessed Mogo. This is, obviously, what leads to the blowing up planets line. John wants to try and free Mogo, if not just to disable Krona’s biggest weapon, while Hal wants to bumrush the battery and get Parallax out, which would free all of the Lanterns (in theory). They wind up coming upon the Foundry, the place where the batteries and rings are forged, as well as many other secrets deep beneath Oa, which leads to some cool visuals as well as opening up potential for secret history of the Corps.
The Foundry is by far the coolest looking thing this issue, which isn’t to knock anything else. Well, no, I’ll knock something. I don’t like John’s Indigo look anymore. At all. Visually it’s distracting, and the camo looks like he’s about to go to a rave or some sort of night club, because I can’t imagine anyone taking him seriously in the bright purple camo. The few fight scenes we get look really good, the splash page of our boy fighting off the Corps especially. I also have to give a lot of props to the last page cliffhanger, as the design work is freaking awesome, not to mention creepy. Pasarin had been doing creepy really well during the initial arc of this book, but this is really his first time to show that off in the crossover, and he does it to great effect.
So far I’ve enjoyed the entirety of this crossover, but I can’t help but notice the inconsistency in the characterization between issues; mainly concerning Kyle Rayner and John Stewart. Let’s start with John; Geoff Johns writes a stalwart soldier that provides a necessary support, Tony Bedard writes a front line soldier with an unshakable confidence, and Peter Tomasi writes an angry, cynical, and single-minded soldier who focuses on a singular goal at a time. Tomasi’s is the least obnoxious for me to read, as it’s really the only John Stewart that feels like the pre-Rebirth John Stewart. Kyle, on the other hand, has barely been touched by Johns, is insecure in the hands of Bedard, and stands out as a veteran who has more than earned his place at the table when Tomasi handles him. It’s like each is a different character depending on the title, while Hal and Guy seem themselves.
I also want to note how John is still nearly incapable of using his new ring, and his botched teleport was fun. Tomasi takes the jabs at the character that I want to see, what can I say?
The last page is a great cliffhanger to set up the next part of the event, and it sets up two clear paths for our main characters to take. There are still four issues left, but thankfully the writers are on the same page as far as the build for the story not leaving you feeling like it’s stalling. I really hope the Foundry is explored more later as well, as they have my interest.
Tags: Fernando Pasarin, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors, Peter Tomasi, Reviews, War of the Green Lanterns