Sunday, April 6, 2014

Green Lantern #30 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Robert Venditti
Art By: Martin Coccolo
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: April 2, 2014

Two Man Enter, One Man Leave

Last time we saw our protectors of the universe, they took down a factory that was manufacturing "Light Drainers", that they reverse engineered from Relic.  But these were a lot more powerful, and would of made a big difference in the upcoming war.  But our heroes prevailed, and the light drainers were destroyed.  At least that batch.  Who knows how many factories are making these throughout the universe.  Back on Mogo we found out that a single shape shifting Durlan remains, and that they need a special serum to continue shape shifting, but this one has just run out.  Looks like he won't be able to remain hidden much longer.  Let's get back into the war and see what the Lanterns are up to.
Explain It!:

This issue begins with the newly built tomb of the Lanterns, where Hal is saying some words to the rest of the Corps about their friend and fellow Lantern; Kyle Rayner, who sacrificed his life to save everyone else.  Oh man is Hal going to be mad when he finds out that Kyle is alive, and has been gallivanting across the universe with his ex-girlfriend.  Ooooo Kyle, I'm tellin' Mama.  After the kind words, Hal and his advisers Kilowog, Salaak, and Two-Six fly off to a neutral zone to meet the next phase of this war.

The team fly off to sector 0571 to the Ebben Trading Company's Oasis Bay space port, where they see a Khund warship parked at it's dock.  But this is the next generation of warship "The Drokkun", and the team figures if they capture the ship, the intel off it could change the tide of war, at least on the Khund front.  But once inside they find out that the emissary of the Ebben Trading Company, has invited the Khund's to sit with the Lanterns and discuss Ebben's further neutrality in the war at hand.  So what happens when two groups are tricked into meeting?  Well they intend to fight of course.  It's a 80's sitcom trope, where someone tricks two opposing parties into meeting, so in my mind that immediately makes it awesome.  So after a few disparaging words back and forth, the emissary tells them that if they are going to dispute their differences on this port, they will have to do so according to the laws of the Oasis Bay space port.  How does one do that?  Thunder Dome bitches!  So the captain of the Khund will compete in mortal combat against Hal in order to finish their argument.  If Hal wins he get's the Khund's warship, but if the Khunds win, they get the leader of the Green Lantern Corps.  So I'm guessing Hal has a better reason not to lose, than the captain of the Khund.

I'm digging this issue, it's really Star Trek-esque.  We have Deep Space 9, alien laws, and even a bar where The Lanterns, and The Khund can sit together before their battle to have a friendly drink, and talk about how they could have been friends in another life, and that each group isn't as bad as the other had thought.  But all the niceties are put aside when the fight begins.

At first it looks like Hal might lose this battle, but he get's his second wind, and knocks the captain out.  So the Lanterns win, but are shocked that instead of helping their captain the Khund's kill him, and strip him of his armor.  We are left with the idea, that while we know the Lantern's to be the good guys in the war, that their single mindedness about right and wrong, make them come off as xenophobic assholes.  Yes we see The Khund's actions as wrong, but it's their culture, and way of life.  Who are we or the Lantern Corps to judge a people and their culture?  There is just a lot of great grey area stuff that Venditti is exploring in this series.  Either way the Lantern's have won their prize, and the warship Drokken is theirs, but the Khund's promise that they will soon take it back.

In the end we go back to Mogo to find the solitary Durlan hiding out in a cave, going through withdrawl of his shape shifting serum.  But he won't have to suffer long.  The fish Lantern Mukmuk found his supply last issue, and is here to make sure this Durlan doesn't do anymore harm.  But it's a little more harsh than I thought it would be.  Mukmuk obliterates him.  Later when questioned about his lethal force Mukmuk lies, and says he transformed into some sort of fierce alien creature, and there was nothing he could do.  The last panel we see Mukmuk smiling about his accomplishment.  What the hell is up with Mukmuk?

Bits and Pieces:

No Billy Tan this month, but don't worry, Martin Coccolo makes this comic his own.  Nothing against Tan, but Coccolo is someone I'd like to see on this book for a long time.  It's a beautiful issue.  But art aside, I've been on the fence about this upcoming war that Venditti has been planning, and I'm glad to say that I'm off the fence, and have Venditti's back completely.  This issue was great, and gave me everything I want in a Green Lantern title.  Humor, action, morals, and consequences, it's all here.  Great issue, go check it out.


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