If there was one Blackest Night book that literally caught people off guard with its twists and turns, I'd probably have to vouch for Green Lantern Corps. It's the book that many won't pay attention to if they're all about sticking with the main BN storyline, but it holds significance on its own as a title the follows the string of soldiers who carry on battles that hold equal importance in the sidelines. I've made it a point to follow ever tie in I can as this event continues, and after last issue's climactic conclusion, I dare not turn my eyes away from this title... especially with what happens now.
Green Lantern Corps #43
Written By: Peter J. Tomasi
Illustrated By: Patrick Gleason
After a large coalition of Black Lanterns gather to destroy the Oan Green Lantern Central Power Battery, Kyle Rayner made the ultimate move and gave his life to protect the Lantern's power source and buy his friends some time to regroup and deal with the undead threat. Grief stricken by his selfless sacrifice, Soranik Natu and Guy Gardner rush to his side and try to revive him, but the lifeless Kyle fails to respond, and all seems lost at this point. Filled with rage, Guy's anger attracts a Red Lantern ring to his side, turning him into the latest member of the RL Corps. As the crimson artifact fuels blood boiling energy to his veins, Gardner has become a weapon of mass destruction. Will his newfound power help him overcome the Black Lantern threat, or consume him to the dark side forever?
So... Guy Gardner has become a Red Lantern.
After what happened in last month's issue, I wouldn't blame Mr. Gardner for wielding the crimson ring. Peter J. Tomasi has brought in all the circumstances that justify his transformation, and now that Guy's in possession of a new weapon, he has the rage and willpower to take down his enemies, and he doesn't take shit from anyone. It fits his profile to become such a major bad ass, and adding a new layer of grief to the equation makes him more dangerous than ever. I'm liking how things are progressing so far, and since Pete's clearly on a role with GLC, he's channeling a lot of emotion to the corps, and killing off one of the book's most important characters is not an easy task to accomplish. The reaction to Kyle Rayner's death was one of surprise and shock, and I happen to be a big fan of the Torch Bearer. He was the one who carried the fight for the corps when they were destroyed by Parallax, and seeing him come to his own over the years made me respect the guy as much as I do Hal Jordan. Kyle's death made the ramifications of Blackest Night very symbolic and heartfelt to the fans, and kudos goes to Geoff Johns, Pete Tomasi, and all the collaborators for having the guts to pull off such a big bang crossover where no one is exempt from change and death. Guy may be the one going all rage over his best bud's demise, but it's Mr. Rayner's new squeeze, Soranik Natu, who's all choked up and unwilling to give up on her significant other. I won't spoil what else goes on in this issue, but let's just say you'll be just as surprised by the events transpiring here as you were if you read GLC #42. I kind of expected the climax here to turn out this way, but not too soon. Nevertheless, Everything falls into place and order in a timely fashion, and it's that focus on continuity that makes this book, and the entirety of Blackest Night, such a commendable project.
While you can feel the emotion and tension running through the dialogue, Patrick Gleason's pencils do a bang up job bringing all the elements to life in a colorful and furious way. As Guy's new look is "all the rage", we can see how much of it is seething through him, from the crimson blood gurgling out from his mouth to the lava red power that dismembers his foes. The illustrations may look a little too animated or cartoony, but it's not so bad a rendition, especially with all kinds of wild and tragic things happening everywhere. Black Lanterns fly to destroy the Central Power Battery, the GL forces continue to fight on and hold the fort, and then you have a wild Red/ Green Lantern with nothing to hold back... simply awesome.
If you're one of the many who's following Blackest Night right down to a tee, then pick up Green Lantern Corps and follow the other players in the field. This is not the book to pick up if you're in it for the main story, but it certainly makes an impression on its own if you're a fan of every other GL besides Hal Jordan. If you're willing to check this series out, retrace your steps a little and pick up the last few issues before this one, you'll be glad you did so and the impact will be much greater, guaranteed. For now, the war of light is starting to get edgier, and who knows what will happen next time. Simply Impressive.
Score - 8/10