SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #36 by Robert Venditti, Jack Herbert, Jose Luis, Mick Gray, Cam Smith, Jason Wright and Dave Sharpe, on sale now.
The current arc of Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps has really benefited from tightening its focus from the entire GLC to the first four human Green Lanterns: Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner. With the Guardians of the Universe currently captured by the evil Controllers, the Four Corpsmen bring the fight to Sector 3001 in order to save their mentors.
However, this isn’t the end of The Controllers’ plans. By the end of the issue, we learn that they’ve brought back a forgotten but important concept from the mid-nineties -- a group which could spell big trouble for the Green Lantern Corps going forward.
Guardians of Legacy
While much of this issue is a big blow-out fight between the Four Corpsmen and The Controller’s, it’s rooted in emotional narration of perhaps the most famous Guardian of all. Ganthet is going through something of a crisis regarding how he’ll be remembered should this be the Guardians' last stand. The Controllers and The Guardians share a common ancestry; along with The Zamorans who head-up the Star-Sapphires, they were all once Maltusians and while The Guardians wanted to create a group to contain evil, The Controllers wanted to destroy it outright. Thus, the two factions split.
Part of The Controllers’ current plan is to turn the remaining Guardians into Controllers, having already converted three to bolster their numbers. After defeating The Controllers, the Four Corpsmen head back to Oa, arguing over which of them is the Ric Flair of the group. (or the record: Hal is Ric Flair, Guy is Arn Anderson, John is Tully Blanchard and Kyle is Barry Windham; unless you want to go intergenerational, in which case Kyle is more Brian Pillman and John is, maybe Dean Malenko or Curt Hennig...)
The near extinction of The Guardians led Ganthet to reconsider his place in the Green Lantern Corps future, resulting in him convincing his fellow Guardians to retake their places within the Corps to help shepherd the universe to a brighter place.
In order to compete with The Guardians of the Universe and make their own mark, The Controllers determine that they need their own army to fight against the Green Lantern Corps. While most of the GLC’s rivals are other Corps of various emotional spectrums, The Controllers actually have a history of running a rival law enforcement organization, one they’re resurrecting to take on the Green Lanterns head-on: The Darkstars.
The Darkstars were introduced around the same time as the fall of the Green Lantern Corps after Parallax decimated their ranks. They rose to fill the vacuum left by the GLC, with many former Green Lanterns such as John Stewart and G’nort drafted into The Darkstars, along with Donna Troy who was dating Kyle Rayner at the time. They were mostly decimiated in a battle with Darkseid’s son Grayven which claimed the lives of many Darkstars and saw John Stewart paralysed from the waist down.
There have been other organizations to use the name, but this is the first time that The Controllers have attempted to resurrect the concept and it’ll be worth paying attention to which familiar characters show up in Darkstar armor in the near future.