Injustice 2 Chapter 55 continues the Red Lantern assault on the Green Lantern prison colony on Harring, and manages to deliver an expected plot twist in an unexpected fashion.
There will be spoilers…
This issue runs fast and furious from beginning to end, with barely any time for ghostly Guy Gardner’s trademark witty banter. The action picks up with Atrocitus, Dex-Starr, and a whole bunch of other Red Lanterns facing down Soranik and her two prisoners, Hal Jordan and Sinestro. It’s a tense situation, lightened slightly by Guy’s comic appraisal of Dex-Starr. Guy’s surprised to find a regular old cat hanging out in space with anger as a superpower. Being a cat-owner myself, I’m not at all surprised to see one of them wielding the power of rage; I’m actually surprised there aren’t more kitty Red Lanterns…
Atrocitus announces that the Red Lanterns are here for Sinestro, but they’re going to go ahead and kill Soranik while they’re here. Of course, Sinestro and Hal feel the need (again) to tell Soranik how to do her job, but she shuts them down and throws up a shield, just as the Red Lanterns attack. Scarlet energy flails and axes and morning stars rain down, cracking Soranik’s shield with stunning force, knocking her to the ground. But before the Red Lanterns can finish the job, Sinestro shows he still has some decency hidden deep inside and throws himself protectively over Soranik.
Upon seeing this, Atrocitus is all “WTF?” and orders the other Red Lanterns to back off. Meanwhile, on a nearby cliff overlooking the battle, Arisia, Jimwick, and Iolande, the three Green Lanterns who found Tomar-Re’s body in a previous issue, are plotting their own assault on the Red Lanterns. Jimwick calls in the situation to Oa, requesting the sanctioning of lethal force against the Red Lanterns, as they are scary dangerous bad guys who’ve apparently killed Green Lanterns before.
Atrocitus interrogates Sinestro, who reveals that Soranik is his daughter. The Red Lanterns laugh, pointing out that Sinestro’s daughter seems to hate him just as much as they do. But they don’t laugh for long, as Jimwick receives approval for the use of lethal force and attacks, putting an emerald laser through the head of one of the Red Lanterns. I have no idea why he takes out a redshirt, rather than Atrocitus himself, though. Seems like a tactical error to me, but then again, I have absolutely no experience in ring construct combat…
Battle ensues, but the narrative’s perspective isn’t on the combat so much as the fallout. Specifically, the dead Red Lantern and his now unused power ring. Both fall to the ground near Sinestro and Jordan, and Sinestro is quick to make a break for it. Hal tackles him as he picks up the ring, and Soranik blasts the hell out him with her own ring, disarming him.
Remember when I said that Hal would end up with Tomar-Re’s ring? Well, I was partially right. Hal’s got a new ring, but it’s not the one I anticipated. Red fire crackles around his body, and burning blood drools from his mouth, but he’s still in control… For now. He tells Soranik and the Green Lanterns to take Sinestro back to Oa while he holds off the Red Lanterns, and proceeds to do just that, unleashing a maelstrom of rage powered ring constructs against Atrocitus and crew.
Hal distracts the Red Lanterns long enough for the Green Lanterns to escape, but is eventually captured by Atrocitus’ posse. Atrocitus is impressed by Hal’s ability to use his anger so effectively, and wants to know how he does so, asking “What do you hate?” It’s a good question, but Hal’s response is even better. Who does Hal Jordan hate? Guy encourages him to be honest, and Hal does, answering with “Myself.”
Damn. Not a cliffhanger, but a helluva dramatic moment. I haven’t been shy about voicing my disappointment in Hal. Honestly, I find myself disappointed by most of the heroes who sided with Superman. It’s quite clear that Clark needed support and love and help in the face of the loss of Lois, his unborn child, and Metropolis, and instead most of the Justice League caved to his rage and enabled his worst instincts. I mean, when Hal Jordan and Kal-El are both at one point wearing Yellow Lantern rings, somebody should’ve realized they’d made a terrible mistake. But no. For the most part, those who supported Superman doubled down and refused to see their error until they were defeated. At least here, with his admittance of self-loathing, Hal finally reveals that he knows he screwed up.
I still don’t like Hal Jordan in this series. But now I hate him a little less than before. Still, I hope his arc doesn’t take too much time before we get back to the real story on Earth. Guy Gardner’s great, but I need my Booster Gold and Harley Quinn fix!
Injustice 2 Chapter 55, published by DC Comics on 4/24/18, features writing by Tom Taylor, lettering by Wes Abbott, and art by Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, Rex Lokus, and Alejandro Sanchez.