Godhead Finale (Finally)
In case you missed it: Highfather hates Darkseid. A lot. A lot, a lot. Look, he really hates Darkseid like you wouldn’t believe. He decides to assemble his forces to prepare for his finale battle to defeat Darkseid, and learns that his ultimate weapon has revealed itself in the life equation, and has been discovered by the ring-bearers beneath his universe. He sends his troops out to take a ring of every color to form the Life Equation, but learns that isn’t enough and instead tricks Kyle out of his power. At the same time every Corps is getting their ass-kicked from planet to planet by the New Gods and are on the run. Sinestro eventually comes up with a solid plan of attack and asks Hal Jordon for help, against the warnings of the fore-Guardians. Hal realizes that the only color the New Gods haven’t gone after is black, and seeks the help of Black Hand for reinforcements.
The Story: Sinestro, Guy Gardner, Simon Baz, Kyle and Carol jailbreak the GLs locked up on New Genesis. Meanwhile, Hal and Black Hand pull black lanterns from the Source Wall and invade New Genesis. What follows is an epic battle between the New Gods and ring-slingers that goes against everything we’ve seen thus far, previously the New Gods trashed every lantern in a head-on fight. Eventually, right as New Genesis is about to come crashing to the planet Hal helps Highfather realize that he is becoming Darkseid. The Lanterns help save the inhabitants of New Genesis from death and Highfather personally apologizes for starting this conflict. It ends with Hal, John, and Guy finding out Kyle is alive, and Saint Walker becoming the sole Blue Lantern in the Universe. There’s a foreboding thing at the end that isn’t important.
The Art: With this being an extra-sized issue, it would be understandable if Tan needed assistance from another penciller. Instead, he handles the pencil duties himself. Parts of the book look great (depending on your view of Tan’s art in the past) while some panels/characters get skimped over. Understandable, if not a tad distracting. Nonetheless I maintain Tan is a great fit for this book, being a spiritual successor to Van Sciver, Reis, and Albert who made GL a treat to look at in past years but at the same time adding his own flavor.
Overall: I defended this crossover at the beginning trusting the GL writers (Venditti, Jenson, Soule, Jordon, and later Bunn) to craft a decent crossover. Instead, we got one that felt three times as bloated what the past attempts. At a certain point, the New Gods stopped being redeemable. “Just following orders” stopped being a valid excuse in the 1940s, and nobody here except maybe Malhedron can claim any real value after annihilating two planets and their inhabitants. On the flip side, fighting in spite of insurmountable odds is textbook Green Lantern but these guys got their butts handed to them so often I question why they kept trying the same old techniques. We got some bright spots in this crossover (no pun intended), Sinestro under Bunn’s writing remains a scene-stealing character, Hal going to Black Hand for help and Black Hand being…himself, Guy and Simon Baz teaming up had a few fun moments to see, and Orion proved to be a hammy brute that cracked some good jokes.
If I had one hope for these books after this clusterfuck of a crossover, it would be for a return to form; let Hal be the reckless swashbuckler and not the head of the entire GL Corps, stop the infighting between the Reds and Greens. The Indigo lanterns betrayed everybody, that could be a fun story to see later. Sinestro is trying to save what little of his people still exist, do that. So far, I struggle to think of one way that Godhead mattered in terms of advancing anyone’s character arc or even lasting repercussions for the GL titles. For once, I feel fear for Green Lantern and not in the way that I should.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent
by Robert Venditti and Philip Tan
War has been laid at the GL Corps’ feet, and now they plan the counter attack.
The story: Hal says goodbye for now to his family on Earth and heads out into Space to shore up resources as the head of the Corps. He organizes an advising council, and strikes at a factory producing ring-draining tech.
The art: Philip Tan continues to impress on this title. He excels at conveying action and tension in his characters, and his panel layout shows some experimentation using circular and square close-ups on character’s faces. The environments also look expansive and majestic and the cities huge and industrial.
All in all; another good issue of GL that teases the coming war between the GL Corps and the various races that have united to destroy them.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent.