After spending several months running parallel to and accentuating the action of "Blackest Night," the main "Green Lantern" title directs its plot and characters right back into the main action. Geoff Johns is the lord of the rings in this issue as all of the colors of the War of Light are represented. The issue is briskly paced, covers a large swath of the DC Universe, and sets the cast used herein upon a path that leads directly into "Blackest Night" #5.
There is a disclaimer in the first panel that states, "This takes place before 'Blackest Night' #6," and the final page declares that the action continues in "Blackest Night" #5. To set the record straight (aside from the fact that 5 comes before 6) this issue is a prologue of "Blackest Night" #5, with the first page from that issue spinning directly from this issue.
Johns does a good job establishing the characters here: Saint Walker, Blue Lantern; Larfleeze, the Orange Lantern; Hal Jordan; Carol Ferris as Star Sapphire; Sinestro; the Red Lantern Atrocitus; Indigo-1; as well as the displaced Guardians who now wield the Blue Light- Sayd and Ganthet. The characters have their own, distinct voices and are each given a chance to shine under the glow of their respective lantern. After solidly defeating a set of Black Lanterns, the wielders of the spectrum decide to forge a delicate alliance here in order to extinguish the Black Lanterns source. The banter and arrangements made between characters to assuage internal turmoil provides some great reading,-------------- from Sinestro's "deals" to Hal and Carol discussing Larfleeze's similarity to Gonzo.
Mahnke's art is dynamic and challenging. When Mahnke draws Atrocitus wielding his power, it is disgusting. Sinestro is haughty and smug, Jordan dynamic, and Walker confident. Through a trio of inkers -- himself included -- Mahnke's art takes on subtle differences, becoming grittier when Atrocitus is grappling with Larfleeze and smoother once the cast reaches Ryut.
This series has been running parallel to "Blackest Night," adding a subplot behind the action going on, filling in the spaces of what is happening to Hal Jordan since he left Earth, and deepening the relationships between characters that have a shared history. Readers of "Green Lantern" were not pressed into action to follow "Blackest Night" and vice versa, but with the conclusion of this issue, it appears as though those two tales will become tightly intertwined. If you've just been reading "Blackest Night," this issue might help provide some background to what happened prior to page one, panel one of issue #5.