Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The Green Lantern: Season Two #10 Review


Leave Your Sense Of Reality Behind

Written By: Grant Morrison
Art By: Liam Sharp
Colors By: Liam Sharp
Lettering By: Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 15, 2020
Review by: Gabriel Hernandez

Multiple Hal Jordans and Carol Ferris’ have gathered on Earth-11 to make a final stand against Zundernell, the Golden Destroyer. Through lots and lots of exposition, we learn that Zundernell has been reprogrammed to destroy all versions of the Jordan-Ferris couples throughout the multiverse, and he’s able to track them through the special energy bond their respective powers of Will and Love give them.

With the help of Batwoman and Sister Terrific, the duos try to defeat Zundernell by shooting him into space, disrupting his vibrational frequency with massive sound waves, and disrupting his programming with the power of Love (yes, really). Ultimately, Our Hal Jordan uses one of his upgraded ring’s new abilities to bring Zundernell down to size and save the day.

Meanwhile, the trial against Hyperman and Jordan concludes with a surprise witness that helps sway the judge.

Was It Good?

I don’t know. This issue was a little more coherent than issue #9, but my head still hurt after trying to follow the story.

We open with a prologue on Earth-0 where Hyperwoman plots revenge against Hal Jordan for capturing Hyperman way back in issue #5. Hyperwoman has been covering for her husband when he goes through his homicidal episodes, and the trial forces her to put all the blame on Jordan for the current Hyperfamily woes.

Back on Earth-11, Zundernell lands on the planet’s surface after destroying half the moon in his pursuit of Jordan and Ferris. The Carols and the Hals spend several pages bickering over who’s fault it is that the wrong Hal kissed the wrong Carol, triggering Star Sapphire to emerge. What made the bickering odder is the fact that on Earth-11 women are more assertive and domineering than men, so our Hal is arguing with their Hal who’s acting insecure and submissive… almost emasculated. 

It was weird. On the one hand, kudos to Morrison for giving us two versions of Hal and Carol that speak in completely different voices. On the other, their bickering was chaotic and very confusing. What makes this part of the issue more confusing is the jarring switch in art styles from the broad Bill Sienkiewicz paint strokes to a bright, clear, Golden Age style. It’s not clear why the art style changed so dramatically during this part and then flipped back a few panels later, but it only adds to the head-spinning feel of reading this issue.

On Sister Terrific’s (Earth-11’s Mr. Terrific) suggestion, the lanterns super smack the charging Zundernell’s head with giant cymbal constructs to vibrate him out of phase with this universe to either destroy him or at least disrupt him. It sounds goofy. It looks goofy. And it works temporarily.

Slowly, Zundernell shakes off being stunned and begins to summon his Armies of the Pit from the Dark Multiverse. Our heroes can see the army in non-corporeal form but they haven’t phased into the universe completely, so they begin theorizing other plans of attack before the army fully materializes. The Armies of the Pit gives us a neat look into the evil version of Guy Gardner, Alan Scott and a power-wielding version of Darkseid, among others.

Next attack, Earth-11 Carol explains how Zundernell was a mortal at one point and his memories were wiped as part of his reprogramming into a living weapon. The Carols transmit the power of Love to Zundernell to appeal to his mortal emotions in a bid to break his programming. In any other comic, this would have been laughable. In this comic with these characters, sure. Why not.

Zundernell is slowed down by Love but not stopped. Suddenly, a planet of Green Lanterns from across the Multiverse arrives to join the fight. Len Lewis, Green Lantern of Earth-6, attacks Zundernell and inadvertently disrupts the power of Love’s attack. The disruption drives Zundernell insane with conflict, causing him to initiate a self-destruct.

Our Hal hits Zundernell with a rocket construct and shoots him into orbit before he can explode. However, the rocket isn’t strong enough to get Zundernell orbital, and he falls back to the surface.

Using all remaining power in his ring, Hal initiates one of the upgraded ring’s powers and shrinks Zundernell to the size of an atom. Zundernell is neutralized. The Multiverse is saved from the Armies of the Pit. And I need an aspirin.

Before heading home, our Hal returns to the Hyperman trial on Kranaltine where a surprise witness, Powerlord’s “ro-butler” Mechandro, verifies that Hyperman was hooked on drugs Powerlord was manufacturing on Asteroid Juno. Hyperwoman knew of her husband’s addiction and the homicidal fits it brought out in him but chose to cover it up to protect her family. Hal subdues Hyperwoman before she can kill the witness and Trilla-Tru, and Stongwoman and Superwoman arrive to arrest Hyperwoman for covering her husband’s crimes.

Meanwhile, back at the wedding of Hyperboy and Shadow-Princess Illustra (oh, did you forget about that from the last issue? To be honest, so did I), Hyperboy calls off the wedding now that his parents aren’t around to force the arrangement. The princess agrees, and the merging of Illustra and Trombus as a united power falls apart, plunging the sector into war.  And everyone seems bizarrely okay with that.

Back on Earth, our Carol and our Hal have some smoochy alone time. Hal offers to take Carol away from it all, literally to another world, where they can finally be together. Carol declines the invitation, explaining she’s not quite ready to settle down, but perhaps someday…

Oy! Reading this issue feels like reliving a chaotic fever dream. Some parts make sense, others don’t and the throughline is one, big jumbled mess. You get the overall start and finish, but Morrison creates a story that’s tonally inconsistent. Is it funny? Is it ironic? Is it dire? Is it silly? Is it heartfelt? The answer to all of these is ‘yes’ at any random moment. The same applies to Sharp’s art. At times, it’s razor-sharp. At others, it’s nightmarishly nebulous.

Bits and Pieces:

Green Lantern Season 2 #10 wraps up the trial of Hyperman and staves off the Ultra War in a messy, bizarre, chaotic issue. Thankfully (or not depending on your point of view) the art matches the writing to a tee, and everything returns to the status quo in time for the next arc. Some psychedelics are recommended before reading but not required.


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