Writer: Geoffrey Thorne
Artists: Tom Raney, Marco Santucci, Maria Laura Sanapo.
Color Artist: Michael Atiyeh.
Cover Artists: Bernard Chang & Alex Sinclair
Publisher: DC Comics
The Green Lanterns are scattered and leaderless. The Central Power Battery is destroyed. The Guardians of Oa are in a comatose state. And the only ones who can help are John Stewart and new lantern Jo Mullein. However, both have hit road blocks to saving the Green Lantern Corps. But after a major upgrade, Stewart is on his way to stopping a new galactic threat in Green Lantern #9, and Jo might have answers to the perpetrators behind destroying the Central Power Battery.
We finally make some real progress in the Green Lantern series that might actually explain what happened to them. So we get some big reveals in this comic about who some of the main villains are and what they wanted in this whole series. Like before, the comic is split between John Stewart’s side of things in the first half, while the second half explores Jo Mullein’s story.
In John’s story, we see him take the fight to the Lightbringer and that’s when readers get their first glimpse into the entity and the one pulling the strings behind its golden servants: Esak, the golden-robed figure sitting in the knock-off Mobius Chair. Now, for those who don’t know, Esak is a pre-existing DC character who was a New God and student of Metron, like he is here, which explains the design of his floating chair. John is horrified by what Esak’s doing to the people his forces converted and tries to stop them and gets some extra help from a familiar cryptic character.
From there, the fireworks go off and John and his ally take the fight to Esak and catastrophe follows. When John first lays eyes on Esak and the Lightbringer, the artists do a great job conveying a sense of awe from John’s perspective. But that slightly fades as the fight gets underway. On top of that, the reveal of Esak as the villain is underwhelming ’cause only New Gods superfans like me will actually remember him, while everyone else will likely be scratching their heads. It just feels like Geoffrey Thorne was scraping at the bottom of the barrel for a surprise villain with Esak.
Next is Jo’s story, which also comes with its big reveals and the story itself is drawn pretty well. The main issue is that the reveal feels very predictable if you’ve been following this series’ narrative. It feels like Thorne is trying to tell something new but ends up retreading old ground. So the story shows Jo interrogating Yridian of the Bright Circle, the alien magic users who attacked Oa and killed a Guardian in the first issue. She has her suspicions of who the guilty party is but needs the motive behind their actions. The conversation between them isn’t the most tantalizing dialogue, but the visuals help.
This part of the book is more tell than show and readers will have to read a lot to get through it. This isn’t helped by Yridian’s speech which was confusing at times, but the main points of their back-and-forth do came through. By the end of it, Jo discovers not only who is behind the destruction of the Central Power Battery but also why they did it, how it happened, and what’s going to happen next. Jo and the remnant Green Lanterns are not prepared for what’s to come, but it means that this series can finally get into the heart of its storyline.
Green Lantern #9 finally reveals who the main villains are and their objectives in the series. It picks up where it left off with John Stewart having an action-packed story confronting the forces of the Lightbringer. While Jo continues her investigation into the Central Power Battery’s destruction and actually makes some headway. The issue delivers some progress on both storylines with some big reveals that, while not world-shattering, will have immediate impact in the next issue.