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Join Or Die

July 17, 2010

Green Lantern Corps #49 continues the book’s first post-Blackest Night arc, starting off by hinting at the person behind the Alpha Lanterns strange actions.  All of the Alpha Lanterns seem to be building something on Grenda.  Boodikka and John Stewart arrive there, and they sneak in by hiding behind a meteor when they can’t detect any comm chatter.  Stewart wonders aloud about how much Boodikka, once such a lively person, has lost in her transformation, but Boodikka swears she’s the same person.  Stewart finds Stel, who’s been dismantled, and Stel tells him to run.  Just then, Boodikka attacks, saying that Stewart should have joined the Alpha Lanterns when they first offered.  Stewart then gets confronted by basically all of the Alpha-Lanterns at once.  Kyle Rayner has a nightmare about Soranik Natu and Jade, and Natu isn’t too happy to hear him wake up with Jade’s name on his lips.  Ganthet then wakes them up, telling them how all the Alpha Lanterns are missing.  As they decide to travel to Grenda, having found out that is Stewart and Boodikka’s last known location, some Weaponers of Qward examine the white net that Deadman left in Brightest Day.  And a bigger one decides that he needs it more than the rest.  Ganthet, Natu, and Kyle arrive at Grenda and get ambushed by the newest Alpha Lantern, Horoq Nnot.  They try to find Stewart, but they have to lay low.  Boodikka drags Stewart’s unconscious body over to the Alpha Lanterns’ new leader, fellow machine being Hank Henshaw, who then starts to turn Stewart into an Alpha Lantern too.

Well, based on the solicitations, as well as the similarities between the Alpha Lanterns and the Manhunters (and Henshaw’s association with the former), it’s not surprising that he’s behind this.  After all, this arc is exploring how the individual people who become Alpha Lanterns lose their individuality and passion, and few beings know better how horrible it is to be a machine than Henshaw.  Maybe he wants everyone to be just like him.  Then again, he’s crazy, so maybe we aren’t supposed to understand his motivations.  I would like to know where his Manhunters have gone, but maybe we’ll get the answer to that soon.  Tony Bedard is really trying to give John Stewart a personality, and although his attempts are admirable, they aren’t working perfectly.  He’s definitely getting more solid characterizatioin than he’s received in a while, but he seems a tad less hardboiled than I would expect.  I definitely like Bedard’s characterization of Ganthet, though, as a Guardian of the Universe who’s just fed up with the way his fellow Guardians act.  And the plot is solid on the whole, even if Bedard isn’t making it the most exciting he could.  We’ve also got this Weaponer of Qward as a potential upcoming villain, if the art by upcoming artist Tyler Kirkham is any indication.  That’s right, even as Ardian Syaf is finally growing into his own as an artist, he’s leaving the book for Kirkham to take over.  Kirkham’s work seems more stylized than what fits this book, but hopefully, he’ll adjust.  We’ll just have to settle for Syaf in Brightest Day.  Really, I think this arc is serving as a chance for Bedard to really figure out how all of these characters work and how to better write them in the future.  I would expect that, by next arc, he’ll be almost as good as Peter Tomasi.  I’m glad to see that this book isn’t falling by the wayside, and I hope that he continues to improve on this book.

Plot: 8.6      Art: 8.6      Dialogue: 8.8      Overall: 8.5

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