Hal Jordan is confronted by Sinestro once again in “Green Lantern” #7 with Hal wishing only to be left alone with a naked Carol Ferris rather than be dragged headfirst back into interstellar Corps business. Honestly, as a reader, I feel the same way Hal does; Green Lantern has become a comic about warring alien factions more so than our titular hero. Jordan is at risk of becoming lost in the shuffle. In issue #7, characterization takes a back seat to plot set-up for Geoff Johns’ new Indigo Tribe storyline, but the book gives the reader enough information to compel us to stick around for issue #8.
No one familiar with Johns’ work could doubt his ability to craft a compelling plot and the first installment of “The Secret of the Indigo Tribe” portends more of that mastery we’ve come to expect. Opening with a ritualistic meeting between members of the Indigo Tribe, Johns gives the reader more information than Hal or Sinestro, allowing us to build suspense surrounding this frightening gathering and guess at what their motivations may be. Despite allowing us this glimpse into an inner sanctum, the members of the Indigo Tribe speak and chant in an alien tongue — this ensures there isn’t too much of the secret given away and gives the book an ominous tone it manages to reclaim in the final pages.
During the pages in between, however, the tone drifts back to a repeated refrain. Sinestro demands Jordan’s help and is in no mood to bicker. Jordan attempts to stand up to him in a scene providing little more than lip-service, as there can be no doubt in the reader’s mind Hal will be pulled into the business of the Guardians once again. As Sinestro threatens Carol’s life and he starts duke it out with Hal, I began to wonder if maybe Johns is far more interested in the interstellar war than in his primary characters.
The battle is broken up by Carol Ferris deciding reluctantly to don her Star Sapphire ring once more, regaining the power of Absolute Cleavage! (It is a pretty petite ring, I guess that’s why the Sapphires are only able to pack a costume the size of a napkin.) All kidding aside, Doug Mahnke’s pencils are very strong and very much up to the task in “Green Lantern” #7, conveying different locales and over a dozen characters with adept and clarifying detail. The team of inkers credited alongside Mahnke deserves praise as well, giving the Indigo tribal meeting and the closing pages depicting the tribal prison a foreboding and chilly tone. Most importantly for a comic like “Green Lantern” #7, the team of artists render several different alien races and never slips into the territory of goofy or cartoonish; the hard pencil line employed by Mahnke coupled with Alex Sinclair’s colors keeps every character richly invested in their surroundings rather than ever appearing odd or out of place.
As the issue opens by giving us more information than Jordan, we end just as lost and confused as he is when Black Hand appears and refuses to explain the situation, despite his palpable sadness upon encountering Hal. Johns hangs us upon a cliff when Black Hand merely declares “we are all saved.” Saved from what? From whom? We’ll have to wait for the next installment to find out. The obvious talents of the creative team in “Green Lantern” #7 gives new readers enough reason to stick around, even as the issue comes up middling.