SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for "Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps" #8, on sale now.
As soon as you see the final page of the first part of Robert Venditti, Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright's "Bottled Light" arc in "Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps" #8, it's abundantly clear why the storyline has that name, as Starro -- the issue's villain teased in the solicitation -- teams up with another classic DC Comics foe to take on the entire spectrum of light.
The issue builds on the game-changing events of the last arc, which saw Hal sacrifice himself to destroy the Sinestro Corps HQ. This installment delves into the effect of Hal's sacrifice on both the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps -- revealing that the former have a new set of unexpected allies in the fallout of Warworld's destruction.
Bad Corps Gone Good
That's right -- as teased on the last page of Issue #7, the Green Lantern Corps have new allies in the form of the Sinestro Corps. While the fear-driven, formerly villainous Corps had its numbers dwindled after the events of the last arc, there's still a sect of yellow ring-bearers out there ready to fight alongside the Green Lanterns, under the leadership of former GL Soranik Natu (AKA, Sinestro's daughter). Soranik convinces John Stewart that, in the wake of Warworld and the Fear Engine's destruction, the Yellow Corps is more than happy to co-operate with the Green Lanterns, especially with Sinestro out of the way.
Having set up their HQ on the Living Planet, Mogo, the Green Lanterns, under the leadership of John, are looking to rebuild their Corps from scratch, which involves setting up new communication links, as to determine what universal crimes to fight). And, just as those set those up, the Lanterns quickly find out there's an attack on the planet Xudar -- the home of Tomar-Re and Tomar-Tu.
We soon learn that the attack on Xudar is from none other than Starro, the first villain to ever attack the Justice League, way back in the team's debut in "The Brave and the Bold" #28. By the time the Lanterns -- both Green and Yellow -- arrive on Xudar, Starro has made significant headway in his attack, already attaching its face-hugging parasites to hundreds (or possibly thousands) of Xudarians.
If you're not familiar with Starro, he isn’t usually considered a major threat, but can actually be quite the powerful foe. With the ability to create clones, the starfish-looking adversary can attach itself, or its spawns, to any living host, and control their minds. Starro's multiplying factor makes it difficult to quickly null its threat, especially if it's already done a lot of damage, like it has in this issue.
...And It's Not Alone
In an unusual turn of events, we learn by the end of the issue that Starro isn't alone in this attack. Rather, he's teamed with a villain of even higher calibre to take down the planet Xudar.
After a battle scene with both Corps striking against the parasite, when Starro suddenly disappears from the scene of the crime. Confused, John and a few fellow Lanterns fly up into the atmosphere to see where he's gone. Before they can get too high up, they're blocked by a force-field with a familiar hexagonal pattern.
Thus, on the last page of the issue, it's revealed that none other than Brainiac is in on the attack, seemingly looking to take Xudar as a trophy. And this isn't the Convergence Brainiac. Rather, he's taken on another, more classic form, perhaps familiar to fans of the pre-New 52 DC, or the Super Friends era.
"Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps" #9 hits stands on November 23.