It’s been about 4 years now since I last re-visited Green Lantern and realized why I had this penchance for rings when I was a kid. Fast forward to today and after major yearly crises that has plagued OA and the rest of the DC Universe; I am still hooked and proud to be a Lantern at heart. Reading War of the Green Lanterns this month as it only came out in hardcover and compiles the entire storyline via different issues of Green Lantern and Emerald Warriors; Geoff Johns has once again won my heart and proved why he is the man who wears the DC crown.
Touted as the big crisis following the successful and my favorite GL crisis, Blackest Night and its 3 part sequel, Brightest Day, one would think that there would not be another crisis than can come close to equalling these past 2 big events. And it so happens that they didn’t have to create another villain to spin a brand new crisis that would incapacitate and affect our ring wielding friends because they already have one in their midst. And this came in the form of a renegade guardian named Krona. The hardcover 10-issue compilation collects the different runs of the storyline as it appears in Green Lantern #63-67, Green Lantern Corps #58-60, Emerald Warriors #8-10.
Having met Krona first in the 80’s series, Crisis on Infinite Earths and then have him associated with past DC events like Infinite Crisis and the 2 most recent GL crises, it was but natural that they bring him back to finally tie up loose ends with his fellow Guardians and to give Krona the centerstage attention that he so long desired. (I’m not saying, deserved either)
With Krona’s entrance, it’s also the resolution of the damage that the so called Guardians have had to answer for. From the secrets and lies that they told in order to keep the Lanterns in the dark of what they must not know and limit their knowledge to what they need to know, this war was very much a war among the Guardians themselves and not just confined to their Green “police squad”. Following the events of Green Lantern: Brightest Day, we find our hero Hal Jordan working alongside with the other members of the different corps, branded as such by the Guardians as enemies, in protecting the various emotional entities from Krona’s influence.
So far Krona has succeeded in obtaining all the emotional entities (Ion for Green; Parallax for Yellow; Ophidian for Orange; Butcher for Red; Adara for Blue, Proselyte for Indigo and Predator for Violet) and have “led” this temporary truce-bound group of lanterns to the Planet Ryut; which is in Sector 666, and homeworld of the red lantern leader, Atrocitus. This same planet where his Red Lantern, representing the emotional spectrum of rage, was formed and tragically is also site of the massacre of his people by the robotic Manhunters made by the Guardians eons ago. According to the Book of Oa that contained a history of the Lantern Corps, the Manhunters were robots manufactured by the Guardians to ensure peace in the galaxy but a glitch in their basic programming caused them to massacre everyone on the planet Ryut and thus begin Atrocitus’ lifelong dream of exacting his revenge on the Guardians.
On Ryut, the multi-colored Lanterns fell susceptible to the Book of the Black kept by Krona and protected by now Black Keeper Lyssa Drak who once was a member of the Sinestro Corps and wielded a yellow Ring that represented the emotional spectrum of fear. The Lanterns were thus given a glimpse into the true secret that the Guardians have kept for so long. The “secret” was actually the omitted and torn out passages or journal entries from the Book of Oa and were replayed in their minds as they are strapped to the book by Black Chains for the duration of their “virtual history lesson”.
As the book shows, Krona was one of the original Guardians hailing from the planet Maltus who sought out the meaning of life; the origin of creation.
He was a brilliant scientist that dared to question and in his result bungled his own experiment and created the opposite of all life called The Anti Universe. For this and for recognizing the existence and use of emotion to which the Guardians were totally against he was sentenced to death and was in pursuit by the Manhunters. The book further revealed, much to the horror of all that It was Krona who re-worked the programming of the Manhunters and to randomly select a world to kill; a point which he had hoped to bring across to the Guardians that he meant business. That an “emotionless” police force is not without flaws and must be corrected.
Having thus learned the truth, the Lanterns were sucked into the book, but not before Sinestro and Hal detonated their own rings and enabled Hal to be free of the chains that bound him. Which was well and good, had it not been for the arrival of several Green Lanterns lead by Salaak who were commanded by the Guardians to arrest Hal and bring him back to Oa for sanction.
Krona as this time had already returned Parallax, the yellow entity of Fear into the central battery and have begun manipulating the bearers of the Green Lantern ring thru Parallax and was havin them fight against Hal, former Guardian Ganthet (but now a self inducted Green Lantern), John Stewart, Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner.
That basically is the gist of the run of the storyline and I’m stopping here lest I be tempted to reveal more spoilers. Just like my favorite GL crises, The Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night, this compilation has all the action that any GL fan has come to love and expect with its own share of character introspection and plot twists. Only when I re-read this a second time did it dawn on me that Hal for all his bravado and will is turning out to be rather Machiavellian in his ways and it is perhaps in this that the Guardians have begun to fear him and regard him as a threat; that he perhaps could be another Krona in the making. But in his defense, Hal is aware of the radical steps that he has taken and in one panel, has admitted he has bitten off more than he can chew at the height of this crisis.
Suffice to say, Johns has given us another reason to love the Green Lantern Corps and what it stands for and in the process have given two major lanterns a shot of soul searching and redemption. If you like your reads action packed and unpredictable then
War of the Green Lanterns is a must this holiday season. And although the end certainly paves the way for the new reboot of the franchise by way of the new-52 by DC, I can only imagine the next chapter that all our favorite Lanterns would have to go through following this devastating blow of a war. No one said that war will exempt the brave and the lucky ones from being a casualty. But after this, the word “casualty” is certainly being redefined as the Corps itself is being reshaped and put into the ringer. Power up Poohzers. Time for a new beginning!