Green Lantern "Lights Out" Part I Illuminates Intrigue | Fanboys Anonymous

Green Lantern "Lights Out" Part I Illuminates Intrigue

Posted by Ryan Little Sunday, October 13, 2013
There’s no doubt that Rob Venditti had big shoes to fill following the end of Geoff Johns’ character-redefining tenure on Green Lantern. Johns blew the doors open on the Lantern mythos and took the character from dead in the water (literally) to one of DC’s biggest heroes. Much of Johns’ success can be attributed to his constant expansion of the Lantern Universe, accomplished via numerous in-world “events” that eventually spiraled into the DCU encompassing Blackest Night. This makes Lights Out Rob Venditti’s first real test as the new resident GL Writer.

Hal Jordan faces the monstrous Relic on the cover of Green Lantern 24.

Green Lantern's newest foe, Relic, makes his debut on the Green Lantern home world, Oa.The issue opens with Salaak investigating problems with the central power battery while Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Kilowog debate possible causes. This is a pretty efficient way to catch everyone up and make a nice jumping on point between the varying GL books. Just to ensure those unacquainted with New Guardians get their due, the conversation ends moments after New Guardians #23 did as Kyle Rayner teleports the few survivors of Odym to Oa. White Lantern Kyle arrives, Carol Ferris and a battered Saint Walker in tow, just moments before Relic’s ship makes its ominous arrival to get things underway.

Relic arrives on Oa and reveals the tragic fate of his universe.Relic approaches Jordan and argues his side of the story Kyle just told; he is from a universe that was destroyed by an explosion triggered from a depleted emotional spectrum. This depletion was the result of various “light wielders” running the spectrum dry, causing a big bang and our universe to be formed. This makes for a very Johnsian story arc set up. Like Johns often did with GL (exploring the weakness to yellow, the emotional spectrum, the insides of the power battery and Oa etc) Venditti takes a mostly undefined aspect of the universe, aka where the light actually comes from, and builds upon it. This could ultimately make for an exciting event as it targets the blaring inherent weakness of all the Green Lanterns—their necessity of a green ring to be super powered.

The story gets off to a rickety start, however, when the situation immediately escalates to violence. This can't help but seem illogical or aggressive as everything Hal Jordan knows has been reshaped in the last few years. Much of Johns’ work remains canon despite the relaunch. If this truly is the case, then you can’t help but assume these the Lanterns, especially the more veteran members, would be accustomed to shocking revelations and open to indulging them. Sadly, willpower can also be manifested via bullheadedness and so the battle begins.

Relic's first attack destroys the central power battery on Oa in Green Lantern 24.After Relic easily deflects the attacks of the veteran Green Lanterns, the team decides its time for a tactics change. Swarms of small metal insects are “eating” the light within the Central Power Battery and all the power batteries stored on Oa. The team quickly races to protect what few charged batteries they can. This really ups the ante of the attack and proves what a vulnerability the dependency on light is. It also is somewhat aided by the flexible meaning of a “charged” ring. The lanterns are all burning through their batteries like a 90’s kid on a Game Boy, but perhaps this is telltale of things to come as Relic reveals that the Central Power Battery is so easily drained due to their universe's emotional spectrum being significantly depleted. The compromised structure then gives the book an explosive finale as the Central Power Battery does what any important thing does when compromised: it blows up. The devastated GL corps is subsequently faced with the harsh reality that Oa is now condemned to death because of the chain reaction caused by the battery's demise.

Lights Out, for better or for worse, kicks off with a distinctly familiar situation. It wasn’t a bad issue, but universe-spanning events and monthly procedural stores should be looked at differently. Still, the book manages to assault a weakness of the previously ever more powerful Green Lanterns and finds a plausible way to put them in real danger. What do you think the destruction of the Central Power Battery means for the corps? Summon all the hope you can muster, since the Blue Lanterns are space dust we’re gonna need it, and stay tuned for complete coverage of the Lights Out event.
THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY A GUEST WRITER

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