War of the Green Lanterns Aftermath #1
Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Miguel Sepulveda, Tyler Kirkham, Batt, and Rain Beredo
I wasn’t surprised to hear that DC was going ahead with an Aftermath mini to close out the War of the GLs, given the scope of the event and how much time they have before the Relaunch there wasn’t exactly an abundance of time in the books themselves. So yeah, this makes sense, especially with the GL books seemingly not being changed up by the Relaunch so much as the status quo they are given between last weeks Green Lantern, and this mini series. Thankfully Bedard keeps his focus primarily on the Corps instead of trying to cover all of the various characters across the titles, and Hal only receives three pages to recap the last page of GL. This book feels like an extension of his Green Lantern Corps run, but he also uses the space to bring back some characters that haven’t been around in a little while…well, Vath and Isamot get face time, Vath even yells at people, it took me back to a better time.
Despite the book opening with Hal, it quickly gets to the point on Oa. The War is over, Krona has just died, Sinestro is a Lantern, and the Guardians care more about how their crazy ass brother was murdered than what exactly he was doing to them and their Lantern Corps. Typical Guardians, sanctimonious jerks. Of course, this doesn’t sit well with the Corps, nor should it, the Guardians with their secrets and lies have caused nothing but hell for the Corps over the last several years. From the War of Light, to the Blackest Night, all the way up to Krona and the War of the GLs; everything that has happened is by fault of their actions. How many Lanterns have died because of them in the past few years? And they have the nerve to care more about the death of their insane brother who they imprisoned secretly rather than acknowledge his threat level? And Sinestro is wearing a ring?! It’s no wonder a well respected Lantern throws his ring at Lantern Salaak.
Post-traumatic stress is used as the reasoning for the Corps being so jumpy, and it’s fair; given what they’ve been through, and the things they were forced to do under Krona’s control. Many of these Lanterns, the new recruits in particular, were just mind control into mass murder. So yes, there’s PTS going on here, but at the same time…that doesn’t excuse the Guardians blowing off the entire Corps. Again. Lantern Salaak unfortunately finds his way back into the role of official ass-kisser to the Guardians during this issue, which is unfortunate as in the wake of Blackest Night he had asserted himself and made it clear that he would no longer be yes-man. And yet…here he is being a yes-man, thankfully they blow him off as well, but it’s a problem the character falls into quite often. I do hope that Bedard goes somewhere with him, as Lantern Salaak has long been a favorite of mine.
Ganthet is visited in this issue as well, and I’m very happy with that fact. The Guardian with a name left to found the Blue Lantern Crops with Sayd, but has been back as a Green Lantern since Blackest Night, and was one of the stars of GLC. During the War he lost his ring and the hand it was on, and now he’s in an odd character predicament as he’s not quite a Lantern, and he’s not the same as his Guardians brothers and sisters. It’s interesting when an immortal feels their age, and Ganthet is easily my favorite immortal in DC. Saint Walker shows up with a nice nod, despite his being removed from Oa he returned for Ganthet, to check on the creator of the Blue Lanterns. Saint Walker goes ahead and gives Ganthet something he’s in dire lacks of…hope. Ganthet’s vision is one of the strongest character moments I’ve seen him receive in quite some time, and the end result seems to be crafting a new status quo for him.
There’s a scene with my personal least favorite name value Lantern as John Stewart that builds him forwards. A group of Lanterns comes after him looking for blood as revenge for his killing of Mogo before Lantern Rayner shows up to stop it. What follows is Kyle trying to defend John while these other Lanterns rage about how they should just kill all of the Lanterns from Earth. Yup. Anyway, Kyle may be the one who stands up for John, but as I’ve been pointing out for months now…Kyle and John no longer have the same relationship of even a few years ago. John being a soldier is being fed to us like Chris Claremont tried to beat it into peoples heads that Bishop was a cop. He says it a lot, he delivers lines that you’d expect to hear from one, and he acts like it makes him so much more complex. He killed a possessed planet that was sending out thousands of Lantern rings a minute, and while I agree with him that the Black Lantern energy isn’t important, I don’t agree with the contrast between John and Kyle. You can do a Dreamer and a Soldier without having one been a hard ass and one be overly naïve. The scene doesn’t do Kyle a lot of justice, but it does leave John in a strong place for his upcoming tenure in Tomasi’s Green Lantern Corps.
The issue promises a collaboration of art from Miguel Sepulveda (The Thanos Imperative, Thunderbolts) and Tyler Kirkham (Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: The New Guardians), but it’s really just Miguel for most of the book, as Kirkham doesn’t come in until about halfway through the John segment and then he just the last eight pages. Now, I actually came in expecting Sepulveda on his own, but I won’t complain about Tyler working too. Their styles are really different, and the only downside to using both is that the change is kind of…jarring. Miguel’s style is dark and gritty with serious overtones, the characters look real and there’s a lot of detail put into even the smallest of things. Three scenes that stand out under him are Lantern Kilowag’s stand up, pretty much anything involving Lantern Salaak who looks amazing in this issue, and the entire Ganthet scene where the tone is perfectly captured.
Kirkham come into the issue just in time to do some classic superhero looking art, which is something he’s great at. The image of John taking up most of a page to look like a bad ass is something I feel came across far better with his talents lent to the page. He then tackles a gathering of the Lanterns at the end of the issue which gives him the chance to do three things. Remind people that Vath Sarn looks like a bad ass even with lizard legs, he draws a great Hannu, and he draw a really hot Sora. With his limited time in this issue (eight story pages to Miguel’s twenty-two) he doesn’t really get to show off, but his work still looks damn good.
There’s a cliffhanger to the issue as a group of Lanterns plot to potentially go rogue and take some matters into their own hands. The corps remains deeply disturbed after everything that has happened to them, and while it’s obvious that not many are in their right minds, you’re left to wonder how many of these are going to make some foolish choice. It’s only a two issue mini, which means that there’s only one more issue to wrap up the plan introduced on the last page. The stars of this issue are easily Ganthet and John Stewart, and while Soranik Natu gets a few little character moments she isn’t granted enough time to really shine or make you care about her plot. Though next issue looks to rectify that. There’s not really much action to speak of in this issue, but after all the action we received during the War itself a little cool down time is actually appreciated. As far as an aftermath issue goes…you know what, it’s not perfect, but it’s a good read if you’re a fan of Green Lantern line, Corps in particular.
Tags: Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Green Lantern Corps, miguel sepulveda, Reviews, Tony Bedard, Tyler Kirkham, War of the Green Lanterns