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He's Back…

February 24, 2010

     We all knew it was only a matter of time before Green Lantern had to deal again with the being that brought him down before, Parallax.  And now, Geoff Johns has brought us that happy reunion.  The New Guardians deal with Constrictor and various Black Lanterns across Coast City.  The Flash (Barry Allen) and Saint Walker try to stop Firestorm, Mera gets angry and Atrocitus marvels at her rage, Scarecrow just goes nuts, and Larfleeze and Lex Luthor fight over the orange light.  And just then… the Spectre shows up.  He starts to transform Hal Jordan into a Black Lantern, but Ganthet and Sayd get in the way.  Hal rescues them, but the Spectre starts turning Scarecrow into an actual scarecrow.  The usual method of killing Black Lanterns doesn’t work on the Spectre, and Atrocitus begins to think that the Spectre is the Red Lantern Corps’ emotional being (like Parallax or Ion).  Hal Jordan then brings up Parallax as a method to stop the Spectre, since the Spectre seemed scared of Parallax back during Green Lantern: Rebirth.  Although Sinestro wants to be Parallax’s host, Hal manages to stop him, and with Carol Ferris’ assent and love, merges with Parallax.  So now, it’s on.

     Again, we all knew this was coming.  That doesn’t mean that Geoff Johns doesn’t write it masterfully.  The best part characterwise is the juxtaposition of Hal’s statement that he will no longer feel fear and the fact that he must feel fear to let Parallax in.  I also love Johns’ takes on Scarecrow, Mera, and Lex Luthor.  Barry’s already covered in Blackest Night: The Flash, Atom in The Atom and Hawkman, and Wonder Woman in Blackest Night: Wonder Woman.  So here, we get to see those three.  Having relooked at a lot of old Lex Luthor-related stuff (mostly Justice League Unlimited), I realized that greed really is one of Lex’s biggest motivators, along with the desire for revenge, so this was a great choice.  And I love Johns’ little angle on Scarecrow that he wants to be scared.  It’s just more of Johns’ brilliant character work.  Of course, the whole plot is good too.  But I like those little character bits even better.  And Doug Mahnke’s work is top-notch, as usual.  Everything’s just wonderfully dynamic and exciting.  I particularly like how, in one panel, he manages to perfectly emulate Ethan van Sciver’s style during the flashback to Green Lantern: Rebirth.  So, Green Lantern will be covering the Parallax thing for what looks like the rest of its Blackest Night tie-ins.  Well, I’m not complaining.  It’s more of a focus on this side of the story while the main book covers just about everything.  Johns really knows how to do an event book.

Plot: 9.5      Art: 9.5      Dialogue: 9.6      Overall: 9.5

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