Another day, another Green Lantern crossover, seriously, these books can’t stand alone for more than 5 minutes can they? It’s kind of exhausting. But, I actually did enjoy this issue, and I think that the fact that this particular GL-event is coming from the new writers, and not Geoff Johns yet again, gave it a bit of freshness.
In this issue, the twin threats of the malfunctioning rings and the mysterious Relic finally come to a head, and what we get is a very enjoyable opening issue to this story, with some huge stakes, and a great cliffhanger ending. Robert Venditti opens with Hal, John, Kilowog and Salaak on Oa, worrying about what the heck is going on with their rings. Then, Kyle, Carol Ferris and the Guardians show up, fleeing the destruction of the Blue Lanterns in the most recent issue of New Guardians. Kyle explains to the rest of the characters that Relic is the new big bad guy, and what his belief system is, that whenever someone uses a Ring, they are draining the emotional ‘reservoir’ and slowly destroying the Earth. I did like Hal’s cocky dismissal of Relic here, how he sounds like an old geezer, and not scary at all.
Of course, Relic is a bit scary, and he soon shows up and the action begins. Relic and his robo bug things soon set about attacking Oa, and draining the Green Energy from everyone. Hal tries to fight back, but we see that Relic can easily absorb and redirect the ring’s energy. I liked how Venditti made sure to show Hal Jordan taking charge in this battle sequence, it’s been a slow burn on the whole ‘Hal as Corps Leader’ storyline, but I reckon that’s the best way to go about it. Having John and Salaak acknowledge it a little is a nice touch.
In the end though, even with Hal’s newly-acquired leadership skills, Relic wins out, as he manages to blow up the Central Power Battery, which is pretty shocking you have to say, and to make things worse, Salaak reveals that, if the Central Power Battery is destroyed, the whole of Oa will soon follow it. Dun dun dun! As I said, a great ending, and I’m certainly very intrigued as to how this story will continue. Venditti really is going for it here, blowing up not just the Green Lantern’s home planet, but also tackling the very nature of the Corps. They thought they were protecting the Universe, but have they actually been destroying it? Now, obviously Relic is going to turn out to be wrong in his assertions, but I’m still enjoying seeing the GL world be turned upside down yet again, and with a fresh eye.
Venditti and Justin Jordan have done a bang-up job setting up Relic as a credible villain, and it’s cool to see a crossover involving something other than various Corps going to war against each other. Yes, there are too many GL events, but if they are going to be as strong as this, I don’t mind. Billy Tan’s artwork was also solid here, his depiction of Relic was truly imposing, although the way he draws Kyle Rayner’s mask is a little dumb, but that’s me being a nitpicky Kyle fan.