The Green Lantern Corps just got through an unbelievable battle with General Zod and his family. That was a force that pushed them to their limits. They’re about to face something even bigger and deadlier in the Darkstars, sentient armors created by the Controllers ready to eliminate evil from the galaxy. The Green Lanterns have to make a tough decision if they intend to not only stop this from happening, but survive the fight.
Since DC Rebirth, the Green Lantern Corps has been in a rebuilding mode. They’re short staffed and haven’t been able to make many new Lanterns so everyone’s been working extra hard to keep the galaxy safe. Despite these odds, they’ve been doing OK. Granted, a lot of the work seems to fall on the shoulders of Hal, Kyle, John, and Guy, but that’s because they’re the focus of this book and the ones we can relate to as humans. This new threat shows just how outmatched they are and that’s enough to stop them all in their tracks.
It’s chilling how quickly the Darkstars put the Green Lanterns in their place. They do this without firing a single shot too. It’s more of a show of force. Tomar-Tu, who has joined their ranks, shows Hal just how large their forces are and it’s enough to make even the greatest Green Lantern of them all hesitate. Think about that for a moment. Hal isn’t the kind of guy that backs down from a fight. He just went toe-to-toe with General Zod TWICE. That gives you an idea of what they’re up against here.
Artist Rafa Sandoval captures the intimidating forces of the Darkstars well. They all appear the same, so you see rows upon rows of these stormtrooper-like armors, all poised for attack. We don’t know who else has been recruited yet so they all look exactly the same.
Contrast this with the Green Lantern Corps, which is a grouping of warriors in all shapes and sizes. Each one brings a different personality to the table, as well as a unique set of skills. This has led to heated debate between members and the Guardians, but it has also allowed them to grow and survive all these years. It is one of their strengths. Plus, there is something so awesome about a bunch of green-tinged aliens flying off to battle. We get plenty of splash panels like that in this issue.
Although there are no shots fired, there’s a discussion between Hal and Tomar-Tu that is like verbal warfare. Hal is so set in his ways (although he did have some doubts after the battle with Zod) about the rules when it comes to handling criminals. Killing is wrong and it’s not something heroes do. Tomar-Tu and the Darkstars see it differently. By killing a murderer, you save the lives of all future victims. If you don’t, that blood is on your hands. It’s not an unfamiliar argument to comic fans, but it still carries a lot of weight.
For all of the Green Lanterns accomplishments, there are just as many failures. The galaxy is no safer as a result of their work and evil forces still spring up every day. It’s like a game of wack-a-mole. So, the Darkstars lay it out for Hal and the Corps. Stay out of their way and they’ll be safe. Cross the line and they can’t guarantee anyone’s safety. It’s an ominous and very real threat.
The closure for Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #43 is exciting and filled with potential. It feels like the build-up to something big, calling back to previous story arcs. Writer Robert Venditti has carefully crafted an epic sci-fi story here and it looks like it’s going to have a major payoff. The final image in particular was enough to make my jaw drop.