Review: Green Lantern #17 By Geoff Johns and Doug Mahke

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Green Lantern #17
Written by Geoff Johns
Prologue art by Dan Jurgens and Phil Jimenez
Main story art by Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen, Keith Champagne, Mark Irwin, Christian Alamy, Alex Sinclair, and Tony Avina

The short of it:

Ten billion years ago, on the Planet Oa, Krona attempted to witness the creation of the universe. Ganthet tried to stop him, but Krona has always, and will always, look upon the moment of creation that once bred a Crisis on Infinite Earths. The hand reaches through, as it always has, but this time…it’s wearing a ring? Volthoom enters the universe, and with him comes the entire emotional spectrum.

Today, Simon Baz is a prisoner in the Chamber of Shadows, and at the mercy of fellow prisoner Black Hand. Hand isn’t happy to be trapped there, and he sees Baz as his way out…even if Simon has no clue what is happening. The Guardians trapped in the Chamber try to warn them about the First Lantern, but there’s only so much good to be done when on the other side of a wall where to two people are beating the crap out of each other.

On Maltus, the First Lantern has imprisoned the Guardians and disposed of their Third Army, and then he shows us what he can do. Reaching through Ganthet’s entire history he sees the history of the Guardians, of the Corps, of the Lanterns spawned from his power, and then, using his true abilities….he glances at what the universe would have been like had Ganthet insisted the Guardians not forget how to feel. He rewrites reality just for a moment, just to enhance his power.

As for Baz? He winds up meeting the imprisoned Guardians…and someone a bit more surprising.

What I liked:

  • Simon’s insistence on calling Black Hand “Black Lantern”. It’s such a better name for him now that he’s the only one.
  • Dan and Phil knocked a home run with the prologue, channeling that old school flavor that made it very clear that their inspiration was George Perez. It was two top artists at their best, and it looked right out of Crisis.
  • I love the design on Volthoom, the skinless body with the different colors making up what we do see. It’s unique, and so much better than someone in a costume with a logo.
  • Doug Mahnke is a rockstar that has made this book infinitely better with his presence. He will be as missed as Geoff Johns, leaving giant boots to fill.
  • Volthoom’s interest in Sinestro due to the complexity of the character is fantastic, he really is the deepest character in the franchise.

What I didn’t like:

  • So not only did the Third Army suck, but they were thrown away entirely over the course of two tiny panels? Kinda lame.
  • Ganthet’s history features only a brief image of Kyle? For as important as he has been to Kyle, and the fact that he custom picked his own Lantern, you’d think there’d be a big Kyle Rayner face somewhere.

Final thoughts:

The Third Army will probably go down as the worst thing Geoff did with the Green Lantern books. There was a cool idea behind it, and they killed plenty of people, but the only time they felt threatening was in the GLC Annual. I expected some epic war as Lanterns of all colors fought against them in what could only be called Blackest Night II, but instead they are wiped out in a throwaway panel to put over Volthoom’s power.

Still waiting to find out why the Guardian’s got tiny.

Johns has been sprinkling in bits and pieces of the origins of the Corps and Guardians since the beginning, and my gut tells me that when all is said and done, and Geoff says his final word on Green Lantern, we will finally know some of those long wondered secrets. I mean, now we know that they chose to give up emotion due to their time with Volthoom, and I expect to see that elaborated on in the next two months. What’s next?

We’re being promised Volthoom’s interest in Sinestro, but we all know it’s going to come down to him against Hal.

So if Simon Baz has the ring Sinestro used to spawn Hal’s, then who is getting a new ring so that everyone can do their thing after the Wrath of the First Lantern is resolved?

I really hope Sinestro doesn’t die. Again.

Overall: 9/10

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