Green Lantern #64

Poor Hal Jordan. Every time he thinks he's free of another big crossover event (either between "Green Lantern" and its associated titles, or with the entire DC Universe line) he turns around and gets pulled into a new one. This time it's "War of the Green Lanterns," which is confined to just "Green Lantern" and its two sister titles.

Fortunately, after getting a "Green Lantern" comic that's been a bit adrift since the conclusion of "Blackest Night," it's starting to feel like there's energy in the title again. Sure, part of the comic is setup for the rest of the story, but unlike past issues it's a bit more peppy and intriguing. The rainbow Lanterns team going up against the Book of the Black is surprisingly entertaining, and Krona's attack on Oa? Well, I suspect a lot of readers will be quietly cheering Krona on. He might be the bad guy, but it's rather entertaining to watch the snide Guardians get taken down.

The best part of the issue, though, falls into the hands of Doug Mahnke and his four-man inking squad. After all, when you can make an oversized book look creepy, you know you're doing something right. It's the assault on Oa that is especially memorable, though; the mass of emotional spectrum entities looks wonderful and dramatic, and the aftermath of the attack is one of Mahnke's creepier illustrations to date on "Green Lantern." It's simultaneously alien in appearance, and yet instantly recognizable in what's happened to the characters.

The one downside to this first chapter of "War of the Green Lanterns" is the strong insinuation that we're heading towards a partial reset of the property. Hal Jordan sans Guardians and a yellow impurity might not be the end result of this story, but even the hint that it's heading that way is disappointing. The past couple of years of "Green Lantern" have explored new ground, characters, and concepts; hopefully this is just a tease from Johns and he's not able to revert the title to a much older status quo. For now, though, it's a strong enough chapter on its own that I'll stick around to see just what Johns and company really have in store for us.

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