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Seeking Death

August 7, 2010

Green Lantern Corps hits a major milestone with Green Lantern Corps #50, which continues the Alpha Lanterns and Hank Henshaw storyline.  Soranik Natu leads Alpha Lantern Varix away while Ganthet handles most of the rest of the Alpha Lanterns, and Kyle Rayner goes to rescue John Stewart.  Henshaw starts his operation, but it involves going into Stewart’s mind to shut down his pain receptors.  The result is that Stewart gets to see the barbecue just before the shuttle launch that devastated Henshaw’s life.  Henshaw explains that he was rescued by the Manhunters after the Sinestro Corps War.  In anger, he shut them off and flew off into the universe.  Eventually, he reached Earth just in time for Blackest Night.  However, because he had no heart, neither his resurrected crew and wife nor Nekron himself even noticed him.  In grief, he flew off towards the Manhunters again in the hopes of having them as companions.  There he meets the mysterious hooded man from Green Lantern who offers him the information that the Alpha Lanterns are still attacked by the Black Lantern Corps in return for the Manhunters.  And Henshaw’s target is Ganthet.  Ganthet suddenly bursts in with almost the whole Alpha Lantern Corps on his tail, and Henshaw grabs him and starts draining his ring’s power.  Kyle arrives and rescues Stewart, but Stewart tells him that they can’t let Henshaw have Ganthet.  Natu has some trouble with Varix, but just as things seem at their worst, Kyle arrives, chops Varix’s hands off, and knocks him out.  The two of them take the weakened Stewart to a place that Natu found: the location of all of the deactivated residents of Grenda.  They formulate a plan to overload Henshaw by activating all of them.

Well, Tony Bedard’s character work with Henshaw in this issue has got to be his best work on the title yet.  I have to admit, it was a stretch for Henshaw to go from being nearly killed in the Sinestro Corps War to leading the Alpha Lanterns, but this really makes sense.  Ganthet probably isn’t actually able to help him with his living predicament, so that was likely a lie on the part of the mysterious hooded guy for whatever his agenda is.  But that whole scene with Henshaw during Blackest Night was really resonant.  Even I can’t help but feel sorry for this guy who isn’t even acknowledged by death.  The rest of the issue is solid, but it’s Henshaw’s flashbacks that are the best.  I still feel like Bedard doesn’t quite have John Stewart’s voice down, though.  I keep expecting him to be more… military than he ends up acting.  Ardian Syaf’s art has, unfortunately, degraded a bit since the first issue.  Perhaps it’s because he’s now doing a monthly book, but some of his work in the flashbacks, particularly with Henshaw himself, is less detailed than the rest of the issue.  Then again, it’s not like it matters much.  Tyler Kirkham is coming to take over art duties for Syaf in a couple more issues, so as long as he doesn’t get really crappy, it’s not that big a deal.  At the very least, he still draws Ganthet very well.  I think Ganthet is the single character who has gotten the most out of the creative team change on this book.  Anyway, this story is turning out to be quite good.  It’s good to see the return of one of the great Green Lantern villains, and Bedard is definitely improving on this series.  I’m glad to see that it’s not losing all of its greatness.

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

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