Green Lantern 12

Green v. Black for the last time?

My favorite item from my pull list this week was, surprisingly, Green Lantern#12!  I haven’t really been keeping up with Hal in his New 52 title, but I love what Geoff Johns did with the Green Lantern universe in Blackest Night and Brightest Day.  I’ve always been attracted to the mythology behind a story (hence my love of things like LostAnimal Man, and Swamp Thing) and Geoff Johns has done an amazing job expanding an already rich mythology.

Issue 12 continues Hal and Sinestro’s showdown against the Black Hand from issue 11.  Black Hand is one of my favorite comic book characters, and that’s mostly because of Johns.  Black Hand was first introduced in 1964 as a rather gimmicky villain with a ray-gun device that absorbed energy from and mimicked the abilities of Green Lantern rings.  Under Johns’ pen, Black Hand came to lead the terrifying Black Lantern Corps, an army of the undead wielding black power rings.  In issue 12, Black Hand is back to revenge himself upon Hal Jordan for his pre-new 52 defeat (Green Lantern’s continuity was not rebooted by the publishing shift) and looks like he has Hal and Sinestro on the ropes as an army of newly-risen revenants encircle our two Lanterns.

Two important things about #12:  it is a critical issue leading up to the crossover event entitled “The Rise of the Third Army,” and we see the Guardians plotting the overthrow of the various spectrums as well as all of our beloved human Green Lanterns.  The end of the book indicates very strongly where Johns is taking Hal Jordan’s story, but I’ll talk about that in just a moment:  first, Sinestro.  In issue 12, in order to defeat the Black Lanterns controlled by Black Hand, Hal and Sinestro need to attack with both green energy and another energy from the emotional spectrum.  First, Hal tries to summon Star Sapphire with no luck, so Sinestro steps up to the plate, destroying his yellow lantern and using the green power rings to detonate it like a bomb.  Hal asks him during this moment if this means Sinestro is “committing to the green.”  Sinestro replies that it means nothing, that he can always forge another yellow lantern, but it is telling about his new personality that he would destroy the lantern he forged against the Green Lanterns to save the Green Lanterns.  How about that?

Finally, at the end of the issue, Black Hand reveals a prophecy that Hal Jordan will become “The Greatest Black Lantern.”  Obviously, this troubles Black Hand (who fancies himself the greatest Black Lantern), but it should trouble us, the readers, more.  We all remember what happened when Jordan turned bad the first time around:  he destroyed Coast City as the Parallax entity and was forced to become the Spectre in return.  In their solicits for their November issues, DC teased that Jordan’s mysterious disappearance – lining up with the just-as-mysterious appearance of a new human Green Lantern featured on the cover of the upcoming Green Lantern #0 – would be an event that would resonate throughout the DC universe, affecting many teams.  It looks as if Johns, who brought Jordan back from the dead at the start of his revolutionary run with the character, has decided he has taken the famous Green Lantern as far as he can, and is now sending him back from which he came – but not without tearing our hearts out first.

– Henry