What I’m Reading: Green Lantern #43

Green Lantern #43There is no comic book I’m anticipating this year — or in the last several years — more than the upcoming DC event Blackest Night. Two years ago, Geoff Johns and a group of other writers and artists elevated the stakes for the DCU in the brilliant Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War storyline, at the end of which it was revealed that the Green Lanterns were not the sole bearers of power in the universe, as they’d long believed. The Sinestros, harnessing the power of fear, were just the beginning. Since then, through the pages of Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, Johns and writer Peter Tomasi have slowly rolled out Corps of Red, Orange, Blue, Indigo (of which we know almost nothing so far) and Violet, each harnessing a different power on the emotional spectrum, all of it building up to Blackest Night, in which the Black Lanterns will rise, possessing the corpses of the dead and making them into a horrific army.

I’m a little excited.

The buildup finally ended this week with Green Lantern #43, the prologue to next week’s Blackest Night #1. In this issue we delve into the backstory of Black Hand, an old-school Green Lantern villain that has been totally reimagined for the sake of this storyline. William Hand was the son of a mortician who developed an intense fascination with death. As a child, he began practicing taxidermy, then began hunting new subjects for his hobby. And when a chance to go toe-to-toe with Green Lantern fell into his lap, he cloaked himself in death.

This book, obviously, is intended to get you excited for Blackest Night to begin, and writer Geoff Johns and artist Doug Mahnke succeed far beyond my expectations. Black Hand, who in the past has been a real joke of a supervillain, is raised to the level of the big boys here. He’s a tortured, morbid character who, by the end of this issue, is someone you believe is both crazy and powerful enough to be a threat to all life in the universe.

It’s a fantastic issue and the perfect way to kick off the story that comic fans have been salivating for ever since we got our first glimpse at the end of Sinestro Corps War. With so many events from the big publishers overreaching themselves and failing on their promise in the last few years, this is the story — and the writer — that I’m banking on to deliver.

RATING: 9/10

2 Responses to “What I’m Reading: Green Lantern #43”

  1. July 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    It was a chilling issue to say the least. His “issues” with the family pet, then the scene where he comes home to revisit the family after being away for so long. Creepy as hell.

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