STORY: Peter J. Tomasi
ART: Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna
I haven’t been too impressed with Green Lantern Corps as of late. Peter J. Tomasi seems to be throwing all his energy towards Batman and Robin leaving GLC with a husk of a narrative to drive it forward. Part of this boring streak comes from the use of the Alpha Lanterns, a group of ridiculous Lantern police who have been a constant nuisance since they were first introduced years ago. I’m not a fan of the Alpha Lanterns – not from a story perspective, but from a narrative one. Alpha Lanterns are just buzzkills; they’re not really “evil”, and their storylines always focus on moral dilemmas. There’s only so many times the Alphas can rise up – only to be talked back down using ethical logic – and brought back to the status quo before readers get bored. I’m already there.
Nonetheless, Green Lantern Corps #10 is easily the most enjoyable issue of the “Alpha War” so far. The first two entries into this arc were mired with legal jargon and judiciary proceedings – not things you want (or expect) from an action-based comic book. And while the best part of this month’s issue is actually a debate over an issue of hypocrisy, the fights come out in spades.
Now that John Stewart has an expiration date, the Alphas and the Guardians discuss how it should be done. It’s very, very interesting to see the direction Tomasi is taking this story now. The Alpha’s immediately suggest that the Guardians be the one to execute Stewart; a way to “legitimize” the Alphas’ decree. Without hesitation, the Guardians decline. Then the Alpha’s suggest a group of Lanterns be chosen at random to do the deed, to which the Guardian’s see (rightly so) as totally hypocritical. In a last ditch effort, the Alphas suggest an outside mercenary to act as executioner. Fed up with the Alphas’ presumptuous attitudes, the Guardians decree that if the Alpha’s want to execute John Stewart, they’ll have to do it themselves. It’s a harrowing part of the book and one that does not bode well for the future of the Alpha Lanterns. Eventually, Guy springs John from the Sciencells with dozens of Lanterns as backup.
The worst part of this month’s issue comes from John’s confrontation with Kirrt’s parents. By his own conscience, John asks to meet with them when they arrive to attend Kirrt’s official funeral on Oa. It’s a really stupid scene because John tries to explain that he’s not looking for their forgiveness – he only wants a chance to apologize for his actions.
This isn’t true at all!
If John really wanted to apologize with no ulterior motive, he would have written a letter or recorded a video for Kirrt’s parents. And maybe they wouldn’t read/watch it, but that’s their choice. What Tomasi is actually giving John Stewart is one more chance to make things right with Kirrt’s family. John wants a few more minutes to explain his side of the story and how it was the right thing to do. This is total bullshit. John’s personality goes through such a violent shift in only a matter of pages that it’s jut jarring to follow. One minute, he wants to atone for what he’s done, the next, he’s ready to die. Make up your mind, man! (I am, of course, speaking to Tomasi, who can’t seem to decide if John should be a cold-hearted killer or a martyr. Either way, I feel like GL fans will lose. Putting John Stewart in this situation was unnecessary and mean. John’s always been the GL that feels guilt more than any of them, and yet Tomasi decides John’s the one to have to go through this totally painful and embarrassing trial.