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The Rocky Cavalry

August 27, 2010

Hank Henshaw’s evil plan with the Alpha Lanterns continues in Green Lantern #51.  As Ganthet insists that he does not know how to reverse the Alpha Lantern process, Henshaw threatens him by ordering one of the Alpha Lanterns to blow off his own head on his mark.  Ganthet agrees, but Henshaw has the Lantern do it anyway as incentive.  John Stewart explains the bit of Henshaw psychology he learned about as he, Kyle Rayner, and Soranik Natu go to enlist Stel’s people.  However, all the robots are unwilling, saying that Henshaw’s power over machines is too great.  Kyle then gets the idea to call in a little help.  On Qward, that one Weaponer, henceforth called the Weaponer, decides to forge his greatest weapon of all with the white net that Deadman left behind.  And he plans to use it to get revenge on Sinestro.  Henshaw detects Kyle’s message for backup, so he sends Boodikka out to investigate.  Ganthet nearly accidentally kills an Alpha Lantern during surgery, but Henshaw provides a synthetic heart in time.  Henshaw, however, then tears out the heart, saying to be more careful next time.  And Ganthet feels grief for the first time.  The trio of Green Lanterns really Stel’s people by telling them that they will fight for the sake of Stel, their protector.  However, when Boodikka actually shows up, the machines are too afraid.  Just as Boodikka has drained all their energy away, Hannu, the backup, arrives and punches her power battery.  He manages to beat Boodikka, almost killing her, but it returns her back to her former self.  As her final act, she lets the trio recharge so that they and Hannu can go rescue Stel and Ganthet.

Tony Bedard really is writing a solid Green Lantern Corps story here.  I mean, yes, he’s not Peter Tomasi.  Tomasi had that extra level of awesomeness that elevated this book from really good to one of the best.  But this is still a really interesting story.  Hank Henshaw is a great villain, and Bedard is getting a lot of mileage out of his latest attempt to kill himself.  He gets to be both somewhat sympathetic and just dastardly with what he’s willing to do to the Alpha Lanterns to get Ganthet to do what he wants.  Obviously, that hooded guy has some other plan with this, as Ganthet really doesn’t know much about the Alpha Lanterns.  I’m interested to see what that’s going to be.  Bedard also does good work with Hannu, from what little we’ve seen of him, and the Weaponer seems like an interesting new villain.  The weakest links in this story are, unfortunately, the two leads: Kyle Rayner and John Stewart.  I’ve said that Stewart was Bedard’s main weak point since this arc began, but let’s be honest.  Kyle isn’t doing much better.  I mean, they’re both characterized decently.  But with Kyle, it doesn’t feel like that same perfect characterization that Tomasi brought.  And Stewart really just needs some love.  Poor guy hasn’t had a major character development in years.  Ardian Syaf is still doing a lot better than I ever thought he could.  His work on the Brightest Day series is better than this series, but he’s definitely improved from when I first saw him.  That first shot of construct Stel was mildly disproportionate, though.  Too bad he’s leaving the series so soon.  Well, this arc ends with next issue.  Let’s see if Bedard can end it as well as he’s been writing it this whole time.  That will be the real determiner to see if he’s meant to be on this series.

Plot: 8.6      Art: 8.8      Dialogue: 8.4      Overall: 8.5

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