After having been left high and dry at the end of the GL cataclysmic event of 2010 which was War of the Green Lanterns, our favorite Corps are left to deal with the consequences of their actions & the task of rebuilding Oa from the devestation of war. But as they would learn in the course of the graphic novel that compiles the 2 issues of Aftermath and Green Lantern Corps #61-63 plus Emerald Warriors #11-13, their emotions also need to be taken care of and rebuilt. As this graphic novel collects these 2 main issues and disparate ones that continue the thread of the Aftermath storyline in other issues, this review will tackle the first 2 Aftermath issues and the second review for the ones will follow after.
This “Aftermath”, opens with the "banishment" of Hal Jordan and the outrage of Green Lantern hothead and Honor Guard, Guy Gardner expressing his frustration at the Guardians act of banishing Hal Jordan and the ironic mourning of the Guardians over the loss of fellow Guardian and bad guy Krono who almost took control of the Corps at the height of the War. Their supposed "mourning" is equaled by their amazement as to how a Lantern was able to inflict that much harm and kill a Guardian in spite of the safety measures they incorporated into the Ring making sure that it would never be used against them, much less kill a Guardian with it. Fearing Guy may do something “rash” Kilowog clarfies that Hal was most certainly sent back to Earth after being fired from the Corps. Like an emotional epidemic, one Lantern after another expresses their disappointment with the Guardians. Lantern Hannu drives his point clearly enough, “Why does it take a human to always save you from your mistakes.”
But inspite of the post stress trauma, questions like these will still be unanswered as the Guardians express their control of the situation and leave to further question Sinestro about why at the height of the War, a Green Lantern ring has chosen Sinestro to be part of the Green Lantern Corps again when all his Yellow Ring along with the others, have all overridden their connection with their respective owners and flew to Krona’s hand. Perhaps without Mogo to guide the Rings, the selection process has been changed if not muddled.
And muddling with the rest of their emotions is basically what the others find themselves doing, from Ganthet admitting his affections for fellow Guardian Sayd who is now in the planet Okarra after having been promised to Larfreeze in return for help during the Blackest Night crisis, to other Lanterns condemning John Stewart for killing Mogo and as well as a handful of them like Lantern Voz and Hannu all planning to execute Sinestro, to give him the justice he needs and one that has been long denied him, this Aftermath certainly brings the emotional issues to front as everyone in OA deals with their pain in the best way they know how.
Lucky for some, others still have a leveled head on their shoulders as Lantern Rayner senses Lantern Natu’s status of “Intraceability” and finds himself on the opposing side of a group of Lanterns including Soranik Natu who are hell bent to give Sinestro his due reward. Another brawl ensues with Kyle getting the upper hand, only to stop midway then the blasted door behind him finds a Sinestro tied up and not questioned but with the Guardians forcibly removing his ring from his finger. So much for questioning eh?
This break-in pushes the Guardians to the limit and announces that any more outbreaks of anger, defiance and lack of discipline will not be tolerated. They send everyone out back to their respective Sectors, activate once more the placement of the Honor Guard and Alpha Lanterns in Oa in a final attempt to both rein in and exact control.
In all of this Ganthet is visited by Blue Lantern, Saint Walker who heals Ganthet’s hand while Gardner as well as Kilowog and Kyle and crypt keeper Lantern Morro, deal with the decision that the Guardians have allowed Krona to be buried in the Lantern crypt and remembered for the good that he did as he was also instrumental in the founding of the Lanterns. Needless to say this was met with much opposition but as it is, duty and respect to the Guardians wishes prevailed as Lantern Salaak reminded them all that any move from them to counter his orders is tantamount to mutiny.
Lantern Mogo had a meaningful “burial” as his remains, which basically is debris and fragments from an exploded planet, are brought to the Sun and cremated. The result was a fitting tribute as the Sun incorporated the Lantern insignia and burned for as long as it lasted. What didn’t last though was Krona’s stay in the crypt as Ganthet secretly went down into the holding chamber, and sent Krona’s body into the Planet Ysmault, thereby fulfilling a promise made to Red Lantern leader, Atrocitus and preventing him from launching another War of the Light. But alas, Ganthet’s actions were not wholly unnoticed as he nervously defends his actions to the oncoming Guardians who wanted to speak to him. What is it about this time? Well, we can only guess at the ominous gazes that the remaining Lanterns had when they looked at him. For his sake, I hope the writer’s keep Ganthet, as for one, the Blue Lantern Corps flailing as it is, need a leader and that the Guardians needed someone like Ganthet to keep them honest.
So? Honestly, did I like it? Yes, I did as writers Tony Bedard and Peter Tomasi were certainly up to the task of continuing what Geoff Johns did with the War. Having previously wrote Revolt of the Alpha Lanterns, they were more than able to deal with the emotions and ramifications as well the consequences of the war and showing equal attention to key note Lanterns and how they deal with it. What I didn’t like with Issue #1 was the artwork by Miguel Sepulveda and Tyler Kirkham. Call me a stickler for visual continuity, they didn’t do justice to the great artwork that Doug Mahnke always does along with excellent Geoff Johns writing in major crises compilations. But at least it gets better as Issue #1 moves on with true comic book artwork in the latter part and a new team consisting of Ransom Getty and Andy Smith for Issue #2.
So if you want the entire Aftermath coverage and a true Lantern fan, I need not tell you to get this but if only the first 2 issues interest you, that would be okay too as Issue 2’s semi-cliffhanger with Ganthet and the Guardians are not addressed in any way in the other issues included in this graphic novel compilation and we all wonder what bungle of a secret do these Guardians still have in their closet and threaten to disrupt the fine thread of progress that they are attempting to make following 3 major crises one after the other.
Till then I am keeping my fingers crossed and off to patrol different areas of Sector 2814.