STORY: Geoff Johns
ART: Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Mark Irwin, and Tom Nguyen
When it comes to Green Lantern, Geoff Johns likes his ‘big reveals’. Each arc usually includes a single issue that delineates or decompresses all the hidden or alluded-to secrets in order to set up the inevitable climax in the second-to-last issue. With “The Secret of the Indigo Tribe”, Johns gives ‘revelation issue’ duties to Green Lantern #9 by revealing the origins of the Indigo Tribe and the truth behind it’s members.
Last month, Indigo One and the other Tribesmen had successfully converted Sinestro to their corps, brainwashing him until the Korugarian who once nearly brought the universe to it’s knees starts apologizing to Hal Jordan. This is when Hal finally understands that the members of the Indigo Tribe are not taken willingly. Basically, the Indigo Tribe takes the worst criminals in the universe and converts them into guilt-ridden champions of do-gooding.
Hal goes off to find the Indigo’s central battery to disable it when he meets the very old and very snarky Natromo, a name repeated by the Indigo’s ever since their inception, true believers. Natty tells Hal all about how the Indigo Tribe started, how Abin Sur freed the planet Nok from slavers and found a well of indigo light – the essence of compassion. The people of Nok used the heat of the well to forge weapons that caused the victim to become “overcome with remorse”. Abin uses the light to forge an indigo ring and slips it on Iroque (better known as Indigo One), the woman who killed his daughter.
And there it is – what took four two issues to build up was explained in five pages. While it might seem anti-climactic, Johns continues to write in such a way that everything that happens simply feels epic and meaningful. I don’t want to sound like the origin of the Indigo Tribe aren’t cool, because it is. Mostly, it feels rushed.
Fortunately, the final pages are so epic, the quick lead-in soon turns from a curse to a blessing. Apparently, Abin Sur knew pretty much goddamn everything, as he’s the one – we are now constantly being reminded – who knew the Guardians were bad news from the get-go. As Natromo hears of Abin Sur’s death, he decides to destroy the indigo battery and end the Indigo Tribe project he started with Abin Sur all those years ago. The good news is that Sinestro is freed and becomes a Green Lantern once again, the bad news is that the worst criminals in the universe are now all in one place, with two giant green targets with which to play.