It’s been a little ironic that as one of the few titles to have no creative changes at all post-“Flashpoint,” Geoff Johns’ and Doug Mahnke’s “Green Lantern” has felt a little lackluster as of late. Thankfully, the new “The Secret of the Indigo Tribe” storyline feels like we’re finally getting some of the mystery and excitement the series has been sorely lacking, in many ways thanks to the title going back to what made it work during its lead-up to “Blackest Night.”
When Johns introduced the idea of the full emotional spectrum of Lanterns, it was the Indigo Tribe that remained the most mysterious and enigmatic. Johns himself was especially quiet on their secrets, saying that we’d have to wait to learn about them. Ever since making their debut, the characters have been kept mysterious, presumably leading up to this precise storyline. And so far? It’s feeling like the payoff could be worth it.
We’re only on chapter 2 of “The Secret of the Indigo Tribe” but already we’re learning pieces of information about the strange characters. Johns offers up tidbits about Indigo-1’s pre-Tribe existence, as well as the founder of the Indigo Tribe in general. It’s exactly the sort of early information that we have been waiting for; an understanding how the Tribe fits in with the greater cosmology, as well as presumably an understanding on their channeling abilities. But because it’s early on, Johns isn’t giving everything away at once, and we’ve got not just Hal Jordan’s struggles on the Indigo Tribe homeworld but also Sinestro’s predicament. It fits in well with what we’ve seen the Indigo Tribe do with other villains, even as it looks increasingly likely to be part of the Tribe’s origin in general. This gives the sense of a long game finally playing out, and I feel that Johns’ plotting has served us well.
Johns also serves up some entertaining scenes with a powerless Hal Jordan figuring out how to juice up. It’s a funny solution, even as it keeps from becoming too simple a way out of his predicament. It feels well thought out, too; this isn’t simply a random obstacle to hamper the hero but one that fits in with the solution in the first place. That’s the kind of writing that superhero comics can do well; fantastical ideas that feel logical to the reader and don’t break the suspension of disbelief.
Mahnke’s pencils (along with a legion of inkers) look nice as always. The strange alien armada that make up the Indigo Tribe is well drawn, and the lean, wiry Hal Jordan comes across good, too. It’s some of the little bits that stand out, though; Hal’s plunge through the city towards the ground, or his green-light motorcycle. The Black Hand looks dead-eyed here in his appearances, making his current situation feel chilling rather than acceptable; Mahnke’s art is what helps sell Johns’ story.
“Green Lantern” has had its peaks and valleys as of late, but it feels like “The Secret of the Indigo Tribe” is bringing the title back to its strength again. The lead-up to “Blackest Night” was full of mysteries being revealed to the reader, and it was fun to watch scraps of information come together. That’s what we’re seeing here, and it’s a good thing. More like this, please.