Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Green Lantern Corps #43 Review

It's been a while since I've done one of these image & spoiler (well, more so than my usual casual spoilers) filled reviews, so, in a week where most comics failed to overly impress me, I decided to spotlight the one, true stand out of the week - Green Lantern Corps #43.

If you recall, the last issue caught everyone by surprise with the shocking death of Kyle Rayner. This issue is set to deal with the aftermath and is one we've all been waiting for ever since the cover, which features Guy Gardner becoming a Red Lantern on it, was first released. Want to see the carnage unfold? Want to find out what other shocking things Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason have in store for us? Hit the jump to find out!


Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Pat Gleason

The issue picked up right where the last one left off - with Kyle Rayner lying cold and dead in a crater of the fallen Black Lanterns.  Apparently, those Black Lanterns were wiped out completely, rings and all, but there are still countless rings swarming about Oa and many Black Lanterns still causing havok, so it's not a clear cut win for Kyle's sacrifice.  The immediate threat of the giant Black Lantern construct, which was trying to destroy the power battery, was taken care of, but the Black Lanterns are still very much a threat.

Guy attempting to prevent Kyle Rayner's ring from proceeding to a new host.

What I loved about these opening pages was the emotion of the two closest people to Kyle - his best friend, Guy Gardner, and his girlfriend, Soranik Natu.  Guy goes through the first few stages of grief in the span of a few pages, from shock and denial, as pictured above with him attempting to prevent Kyle's ring from leaving to search for a new owner, straight on to the third stage - anger and rage:

Guy Gardner - Red Lantern

Patrick Gleason deserves all the credit here.  We literally knew this was coming for months, yet it's still a sight to behold and both shocking and stunning at the same time.  It's an amazing splashpage that is just the tip of the iceberg of an otherwise fantastic issue.  Just how badass is Guy Gardner while wielding both a green and red ring?  Those may be Christmas colours, but this is no holiday for the Black Lanterns...

Kryb gives Guy a hand dealing with his rage.

Or Sinestro Corpsmen, Kryb, for that matter.  After literally wiping out countless of the Black Lantern Corphans, the undead babies of Kryb assaulting Oa, Kryb attempts to stop Guy Gardner only to have her own arm ripped off and then shoved down her throat.  These images only show off a few of the crazier moments of Guy's rage induced rampage.  The entire first half of the issue is literally him tearing apart Black Lanterns.  He even goes on to beat many Black Lanterns to death with Kryb's corpse.  Hardcore is the only way to describe it.

By your powers combined - wait, wrong joke.

However, it is around this point that I'm a bit conflicted on how much I loved this issue.  Miri Riam had been accompanying Kryb on her search for the Corphans.  In the middle of all the chaos on Oa, Miri's ring detected "death attempting to extinguish eternal love", which was a reference to Kyle's dying and his and Soranik Natu's budding romance.  This prompted Miri to use her powers to, for lack of a better term, link Kyle's and Soranik's hearts together and this somehow magically brought him back to life.

Death is not permenant nor did I expect Kyle to stay dead.  However, killing and bringing him back to life in the span of two issues should be something that annoys me, but there was no hype to the death nor indication he'd be back so soon and both caught me off guard.  Magic power of the heart mumbo jumbo aside, it was also well written and led to...

Kyle's back - $%^& YEAH!

...a complete and total $%^& YEAH moment with the splashpage of him putting his ring back on and rejoining the corps.  I don't care who you are or how much you hate deaths and rebirths in comics - this was just one of those moments you can't help but smile and want to shout out how great it was.  Welcome back, Kyle.

Let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies floor...

And with his return, he's sporting the badass attitude now.  "Oh, Guy's a Red Lantern?  Meh, no biggie.  I'll fix that."  I half expected him to shout, "To me, my corps." in a Cyclops, "To me, my X-Men", homage.  Oh, and there's Guy using Kryb, arm still in mouth and all, as his own personal beat stick.  How can one panel be this awesome?

weeklycrisis RT @mogo saved the entire universe today.  otherwise uneventful. will update later if not busy.

And to cap off a completely epic issue, the Green Lantern Corps, still heavily outmanned and outgunned by the Black Lanterns, gets reinforcements in a the form of Mogo, the sentient planet who hasn't been seen since he and Ranx went at it back in the Sinestro Corps War.  My theories on how badass next issue will be?  Mogo takes the Central Power Battery into his core, destroys the entire planet and then goes on to kick the crap out of the Black Lantern's planet, Xanshi, which we saw created a while back when John Stewert was written out of this storyline.  Yes, you know shit just got real when Mogo's socializing.  Hell, I can't wait for his Twitter feed to start updating. 

Verdict - Must Read.  These last two issues of Green Lantern Corps have turned the Blackest Night event on its ear and I'm willing to call these "tie-ins" the main event.  Must read for everyone, Green Lantern fan or not.

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Ramon Villalobos said...

Nice, I totally agree with you on this issue, it was awesome. Yeah the thing with Miri was a bit cheesy but I mean... so is everything Green Lantern if you think about it so I'm cool with it. Kyle's my favorite character but when he died I figured I'd give them to the end of Blackest Night to bring him back because... I just don't think they'd kill him off with no hype whatsoever. And again, this is not the first time Kyle has had an inconsequential comic book death Age of Obsidian had him dead for centuries and he was cool about it. But yeah, this was an awesome issue, glad to see you liked it too.

Klep said...

The way they broght Rayner back was kind of sappy, but I liked it. I'm a sucker for a happy ending, so I like seeing love overcome death like that. It was sweet.

Andrenn said...

Really glad Kyle is back, even though his death was really epic he's such a great character. I hope Guy survives.

The Phoenix King said...

Excellent review, Kirk. Unfortunately, my LCS was out of copies when I got there, so I'll have to travel the length and breadth of Toronto to hunt this one down. And so much work coming up too! /sob. Still, thanks for sharing and for all your hard work on this review. Good to see Kyle back, and RL-Guy sounds very cool.

The Dangster said...

Yeah, probably why they didn't hype up Kyle's death.

Kyle's return made me think of the Matrix. But I figure both lanterns are liabilities now that both their hearts are one, if one dies, the other does too.

I'm really diggin' the design on Red Lantern Guy.

Kryb has got to be the most vile and perverse characters in the book, she got what she deserved but I wonder if she's really dead.

Daryll B. said...

Anyone else notice the bloodstaining of the Corps title not only on the cover with Guy but on the one by Kyle?

Honestly when the Star Sapphire got her orders in the book and how it was worded, I thought she was going to go after the aspects of love from the Sapphire battery instead of Soranik and Kyle

Not only can Guy speak while wearing the red ring but he can use both rings in unison EFFECTIVELY. Now that's a scary thought....

...and even more scary thought is Mogo with a twitter (Imagine if the Aliens from the Green Lantern / Aliens crossover were still on his surface? kidding kidding)

And yes, can they shunt John anymore to the side of this thing than they have????

Michael said...

Well, if I remember correctly this month's Green Lantern issue is just John. I don't think Hal and the Rainbow Warriors will appear in anything this month except Blackest Night.

Dickey said...

Haha, the Drowning Pool lyric you used to caption the Guy/Kryb panel is perfect. So hilarious, it made my day and took me back to high school in one fell swoop.

Primewax said...

Just read it, I found this issue to be really good. I was hoping Kyle would stay dead for a while, but I guess they couldn't keep him dead without making him a Black Lantern. Red Lantern Guy pretty much rocks. Can't wait for the inevitable Mogo/Xanshi battle.

Anonymous said...

Plus, this sets up Kyle as a perfect target for Nekron much like the others at the end of the last Blackest Night issue.

Mogo said...

Dudes! I'm Twittering now-

JP said...


You are completely right in your assessmenthat this book is not just a tie-in, its the MAIN EVENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S.>>>When I was reading this issue, I missed Guy using Kryb's body as a BL-beating stick, you pointing that out now just made the issue that much better.

P.S.S.>>> "Yes, you know shit just got real when Mogo's socializing." Best line ever!!!!!!!!!

Warwick said...

This was hands down my favorite issue of Blackest Night so far. Kyle is one of my favorite heroes, so I'm really happy Tomasi gave him this many badass moments. And Gleason knocked it out of the park too.

Matt Ampersand said...

I think Kyle coming back in this way did not upset me as much as it would have if they had waited longer. It makes more sense, this kind of stuff DOES happen, soldiers, cops, and other types of emergency workers do sometimes get deadly injured and they have to be helped by the other members of the group. The odds of being revived by a surgeon with literally any kind of tool she wishes to use are probably very good.

This would also explain why they did not advertise this death, because they knew he would back soon.

Also, Kirk, how can you make fun of my puns after you wrote this line: "Kryb gives Guy a hand dealing with his rage." Haha.

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