Writer: Geoffrey Thorne
Artist: Tom Raney & Marco Santucci
Color Artist: Michael Atiyeh
Cover Artist: Bernard Chang & Alex Sinclair
This is the dawn of a new era for the Green Lanterns as they join the newly formed United Planets in the wider universe. But just as Green Lantern John Stewart and others were stepping into a new frontier, catastrophe struck as the Central Power Battery was destroyed rendering all Green Lantern rings inoperable. Most of them anyway. Now John Stewart must survive a space pirate attack in Green Lantern #4 if he’s to have any chance of finding the other lanterns.
So, right off the bat, I wasn’t a fan of the Future State story for the Green Lanterns. There were a couple of ideas I liked, such as the Central Power Battery being destroyed by a mysterious assailant and Guy Gardener duking it out with Lobo. However, I think this series could possibly change my mind in the upcoming issues if it handles the mystery and stories well.
Previously, John Stewart was getting settled in on the planet of Sergilon and getting to know its people. However, the Qinoori space pirates invaded and are intent on enslaving the population for their own profit. John isn’t going to stand for any of that, and while his initial efforts weren’t fruitful, this time they are. Here we see John utilize his tactful side as he outwits and outmaneuvers the space pirates to defeat them.
However, after defeating the pirates, John discovers even more bad news for the Green Lanterns that deepens the mystery of what happened to the Corps. More importantly what may be happening to the lanterns who came with him to the Dark Sector. I will explain more in the Spoilers section.
The backup story deals with new Green Lanterns Jo Mullein, Simon Baz, and Teen Lantern as they also deal with their own setbacks and problems. It’s not the most exciting story and elaborating on any major details would involve spoilers. It does end up expanding on a few things that happened during the initial blast but it doesn’t really add anything significant and only points out the obvious that any GL fan could guess at. More in the Spoilers section.
So, one thing that both stories confirm is that the Central Power Battery’s destruction was undoubtedly an attack on the Green Lantern Corps. The big question is who. The main story has John discover there are bounties on the 1 thousand Green Lanterns that came with him in the Dark Sector, and the Qinoori have already gotten 300 of them. Remember, John Stewart was on Sergilon for 50 or so days, so a lot could’ve happened in that time.
Meanwhile, the backup story expands on some of the fallout from the blast. First, many of the criminals in Oa’s sciencells broke out and are back in the galaxy, but they don’t really build up these criminals that much. It also reveals that the Guardians of Oa are in a weird, quasi-death like state. However, Jo doesn’t really make any progress in her investigation as to who could be behind it. All the comic really does is have Jo run through the list of obvious suspects. The Red Lanterns, the Controllers, the alien Reach, the new Bright Circle who attacked in the first issue, and last but not least, Sinestro and his own Corps.
But before Jo can get anywhere, Teen Lantern just goes into an angry, Spanish-speaking rage and blasts off to New Korugar to confront Sinestro, to Jo’s irritation. It’s an obvious fake-out, and I’m not confident next issue’s follow-up story will actually progress the mystery and will just waste time having Jo and Teen Lantern fight Sinestro. Hopefully they don’t win because it’s been a bad cliché for years now when comic writers try to show how powerful their new characters are – heroes and villains – by having them beat well-established characters like Sinestro. If we’re lucky, the next issue’s backup story will do more than that and actually progress the wider story.
Green Lantern #4 continues to show how John Stewart perseveres against hostile elements without his lantern ring to help him. It really lets the tactful, soldier aspect of John come through in this issue while further exploring the fates of his fellow Green Lanterns. The backup story expands on some of the fallout of the Central Power Battery’s destruction. However, it doesn’t progress the overall mystery all that much and kind of drags its feet going through the obvious suspects that fans can already deduce are not behind it.