Green Lantern #11
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Tom Nguyen, Mark Irwin, Tony Avina, and Alex Sinclair
The short of it:
On the planet Nok the Indigo Tribe has agreed to release Sinestro back into Hal’s custody, amping his ring up so he can actually use it freely again. Sinestro is not grateful, and is right back to work. Black Hand is missing, and all they can find of him is a puddle of blood and Black Lantern slime. Why’s that? Because he’s on Earth! Bringing his family back as zombies (without rings) so he can have a creepy family dinner. Like, really creepy, talking to the voiceless corpses sitting there and listening to him. Hal and Sin head back to Korugar so we can see Sinestro’s Fortress of Badass, where he keeps all of his private stuff. This includes the Book of the Black, which he took from Lyssa Drak several issues ago. Black Hand? Book of the Black? Zombie time?
What I liked:
- Hal finally gets a ring with a little bit of bite to it. I had not been a fan of his neutered ring by any stretch of the imagination, so this is an improvement. It was fine in concept, but the execution was painful.
- Sinestro’s Cave of awesome headquarters. I would have been more surprised if he didn’t have one, to be honest. The scene with his picture with Arin was something else.
- Black Hand is the thematic follow up to Doug Mahnke’s first issue of Green Lantern several years ago, when he took over with a Blackest Night prologue that had Black Hand visiting his family. And by thematic follow up…well, it’s a direct followup taking place X amount of months later, and I’m not sure why I said thematic. Regardless, Black Hand is effectively creepier than shit in this issue.
- Doug Mahnke brings on the creepy like we’ve gotten familiar with over the past few years. The man does creepy and spooky like few others in the mainstream, and the zombified Hand family was chilling. Not to mention the expressions on Black Hand’s face. Some really great work.
What I didn’t like:
- The Guardians just sort of…show up. They tell us more or less nothing, and then back to the shadows they go. I understand they have to be kept in our minds as the build up to the Third Army happens, but shoe horning them in for the sake of it does nothing.
- How did Hal not notice the missing Black Hand? Seriously, after everything he’s been through since Blackest Night, if he knows Hand is there, how does he not keep tabs on him?
- Can I pay an extra dollar every month for more pages of this book? Batman and Justice League get an extra ten pages or so, can I have that here? I always want more here.
So the Indigo Guardian can reconfigure Green Lantern rings? Or is it just ones that Sinestro makes himself? Either way…you’d think the most powerful weapon in the universe would be a bit harder to hack into.
Did this book open with the foreshadowed death of Sinestro, or is it just me? The only way out of the Green Lantern Corps is to die, he said as much himself. I imagine at some point, whether it be sooner or later, Hal is getting this book back, and I highly doubt Sinestro’s character arc pushes him into the background as a Green Lantern.
So on the note of more pages, if Geoff doesn’t want to extend it, how about backup stories like Justice League, Batman, Action Comics, and even the Before Watchmen books. Find a writer you want to raise the profile of and let them do something for a few pages at the end of every issue. Find a story that would add to the mythos, like Sinestro and Arin, or Abin Sur and the Indigo Tribe. Then give someone the kind of exposure most creators only dream of, the ability to have a story in the back of a top selling book every month.
Why can’t I find this issue on DC’s digital store?
I think the catch with Black Hand this time around is that he won’t be coughing up Black Lantern rings for the masses. I could bring up some big rationalization about how his zombie family isn’t wearing rings, but I’ll use the improved logic of the fact that you’d imagine DC would promote a return of the Black Lanterns in advance if it was an actual thing. Blackest Night made them big bucks.
More on the note of Black Hand, I think he may have actually been changed by his time in the Tribe. Indigo-1 explained that her ring changed her, making her able to feel sorrow and compassion even without the ring on anymore. Things that she was not able to do before. Black Hand wants everyone to join him in death to be family, while before he just wanted everyone to be dead. It’s like his rehab was half way there….leaving the crazy.
Did I see Red Lantern Kyle and no John Stewart in the future glimpse?
If I could pick one DC book to have come out twice a month this would be it. Period. If I could pick two, Justice League would be the other. The difference being that while with Green Lantern I’d just want more of the book more often, with Justice League I imagine the book shipping more often would help with the pacing issues.
Tags: Black Hand, Blackest Night, DC Comics, Doug Mahnke, Geoff Johns, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), New 52 (DC Comics), Reviews, Sinestro