In the latest issue of Action Comics, Superman and Booster Gold land on the planet Jekuul in the future to find that it’s been taken over by General Zod. We’re going to learn how that happened beginning in “Power of Zod”, starting in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #37. Hal and Kyle investigate a call about illegal mining only to find the Kryptonian warlord creating his empire. What follows is absolutely brutal.
It’s often said that the Green Lantern rings are the most powerful weapon in the universe. If that’s the case, they have never been in a real encounter with a Kryptonian. Zod and his family make quick work of the two Lanterns. Granted, they have a numbers advantage, but oh man, is this a rough fight. What makes this all the more chilling is how calm and collected Zod is throughout the entire battle. He doesn’t break a sweat as he effortlessly dispatches the greatest Green Lantern of all time, literally catching Hal’s fist and knocking him to the ground.
This feeling is shared with Zod’s wife Ursa and his son, Lor. Quick aside, the kid has a big Z shaved into the side of his head. Did Kryptonian culture just catch up to the early 1990s? Will they have snap bracelets and pogs next? Anyway, the trio is joined by the Eradicator, creating a deadly and powerful force that is totally relentless in its pursuits. They pull no punches when dealing with Hal and Kyle.
Artist Rafa Sandoval choreographs this fight beautifully. It takes up a large chunk of this issue and it is in essence, a handful of super-powered individuals punching each other over and over again. It doesn’t feel that way, though. The panel layouts are dynamic and interesting, particularly a two page spread broken up in a half circle of bloodshed as the battle dies down. There’s a nice mix of smaller panels that highlight key details and larger ones that pull back to show the scale of this fight, such as when Ursa destroys one of Kyle’s ring constructs with a single blow.
The Green Lanterns are used to fighting with their rings, creating incredible hard light items to win their battles for them. This makes the appearance of blood on the uniform almost foreign and a little unsettling. Colorist Tomeu Morey creates a nice contrast between the bright green light of the rings and the dark crimson that begins to cover Hal and Kyle.
While all this is happening, there’s a great confrontation between John Stewart and the newly returned Guardians of the Universe. John has guided the Corps through its darkest times, bringing it back from the brink. Now the Guardians are back and seem to be jumping back into their leadership role. I was worried this was going to happen, so I’m glad that writer Robert Venditti addressed it. John is ready to quit, throwing his ring at the little blue guys in anger, but they stress that he is needed more than ever. They see the end of their lives and their race in the distance, and seek to clear their name which has been tarnished by many bad decisions. John can keep them in check, holding them accountable for their actions moving forward.
The Green Lantern Corps has faced a myriad of terrifying and powerful foes over the years. Now they’re going to face off against a family of evil Kryptonians and it’s going to take a lot more than two Honor Guard Lanterns to claim victory. Unless their rings can start shooting out Kryptonite, this could be a pretty one-sided fight.