Death of the Green LanternsPosted: 07/18/2012
Emphasis on plural Green Lanterns. Because for those who aren’t terribly familiar with comics, Green Lantern comics have an insane amount of blood, gore, and death. Surprisingly so. And I’m going to prove it to you in today’s article.
Some quick background info. Green Lanterns are the intergalactic police force, run by the tiny blue Guardians. At any point in time, there are 7,200 flying around, two for each designated sector of the galaxy. Despite massive casualties, Green Lanterns are super tough. The power ring given to each one runs off of willpower and allows the wearer to make “constructs,” which is literally anything they have their mind set on. It’s a cool concept. When one dies (happens a lot), the green power ring soars to the closest qualified alien.
Now a few years back, Sinestro, the former Green Lantern who became leader of the Sinestro Corps (yellow rings that run on fear), started a war with the Green Lanterns. The phenomenal event took place throughout Green Lantern #21-25, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Ivan Reis, and Green Lantern Corps #14-19, written by Dave Gibbons and Peter Tomasi and drawn by Patrick Gleason and Angel Unzueta.
Let’s skip the exposition and jump straight into the first ambush.
See? That’s what constructs can do. A flamboyant rings creates a military grade sniper rifle out of sheer willpower. That shoots willpower bullets.
Not just because I think it’s funny, but we should talk about the idea of “willpower” as a weapon. The best I can describe the strength of the rings is this: the less fear you have and the stronger your convictions, the more powerful the ring becomes. Like the ugliest group of the most elite soldiers in the galaxy. Unfortunately, you see that squirrel shoot a green acorn in the above panel? Y’see, Green Lanterns’ primary objective is to keep the peace, which means the ring won’t let them use deadly force. The Sinestro Corps are allowed far more freedom.
Which as you can tell, means Green Lanterns are being slaughtered. As powerful as a willpower-filled acorn can be, it just simply can’t compare to yellow blasts that make eyeballs explode. Victory for the Sinestro Corps. But since this is a war and not a rumble, we’re going to jump ahead to battle number two.
Didn’t expect to see floating space body parts in a Green Lantern comic, did you? These two series quietly slid under all the mom groups’ violence radar, because in the pop culture society, Green Lantern is one joke above Aquaman. And both of those superheroes do crazy awesome, horribly bloody acts. Acts that would make Batman blush. Also, do you know how many times Aquaman has had his arm chopped off?
Oh, what’s that? Just a Green Lantern torn in half and being eaten. If you notice a theme, the Green Lanterns don’t stand a chance. Sinestro made a habit of picking the best (worst?) murderers, sociopaths, and criminals for his little army. And not to compare or anything, but the very first Green Lantern was a glorified librarian.
So what happens now? A hundred pages of Green Lanterns blowing up? No way, that would be an
awesome awful story. How about the Guardians up the ante and make the war an even playing field?
With the tide of the battle finally changing, how can we make this war more exciting? A change of scenery? How about we make the final battlefield somewhere comforting, familiar, and with far more at stake?
Oh, remember the last time you saw a Green Lantern who wasn’t soaked in blood? Me neither. But now we get the best benefit of being on Earth. All our favorites get to punch bad dudes.
Because the majority of the Green Lantern stories take place in space, the writers get to include supervillains who may have been sealed up or shot off in a rocket somewhere. Like Superboy-Prime, an alternative dimension Superman. Not a scary name, but one of the most powerful villains in the DC universe. He’s the guy who famously punched reality so hard that he resurrected the second Robin. Yeah, I’m serious. Anyway, since he’s happily smacking around Green Lanterns as one of the Sinestro Corps’ allies, why don’t we take a break and watch him fight for a bit?
Please don’t let pre-teens read these, that’s way too much blood for someone who hasn’t hit puberty yet. Let your child ride his bike or try to get around your parental filter blocking porn.
Fortunately for us, all that destruction gives us some of the most impressive and prettiest art I’ve ever seen in a comic book. Lucky us, unlucky them. You can click the pictures for larger versions.
Now, we’ve seen a lot of fighting, but are you wondering where’s the big boss Sinestro? He’s shown up a bunch, I just didn’t show those pages. Though I did mention this is the final battle of the war, so it’s only fair to you that he makes an appearance.
And what’s the most effective way to settle philosophical and political differences? Rooftop fistfight? Absolutely.
Finally, after hundreds, possibly thousands of deaths, the Sinestro Corps and Green Lantern Corps war ends the only way it can. A giant green explosion.
Feels good, right? The good guys always win, because that’s why we read comics. With all the blood and gore out of the way, how does the intergalactic police force celebrate their victory? Patriotic symbolism, that’s how.
I love the Green Lanterns.