Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Green Lantern Corps #38

By Andy Frisk
July 21, 2009 - 22:07

After witnessing the shattering of Oa’s Power Battery Shell, which encased the planet, Lanterns Gardner, Rayner, Kilowog, and a host of others are shell shocked. They’re not shell shocked for long though, as good ole’ Kilowog knocks them out of their daze, as any good drill sergeant should, with some motivational, shouted orders. The newly super powered Daxamites continue their rebellion against Mongul’s Sinestro Corps tyrants. Soranik Natu deals with her recently revealed familial ties, and Lanterns Gardner and Rayner get in between the Alpha Lanterns and their prisoners, which are being summarily executed at the behest of The Guardians.



As the final issue of Green Lantern Corps before the start of Blackest Night, issue #38 is a tense, confrontation filled episode that demonstrates just how badly The Guardians have become corrupted by Scar, the Guardian destined to unleash the Blackest Night Prophecy upon the universe. Execution has been a form of ultimate punishment by The Guardians, but summary execution never has been. Lantern Gardner shouts at Alpha Lanterns Varix, Green Man, and Chaselon, “We don’t kill unarmed prisoners in this corps,” and “Due Process, Bud!” Apparently, in time of war these ideals can be suspended, even if it means sacrificing moral authority and conviction. Some serious questions are raised by The Guardians’ actions. Lantern Rayner asks the important question, “This is the path we’re going to let ourselves go down?” Unfortunately, for now the answer is, yes. As Scar states, “This is war. It is a conflagration that unfortunately burns through innocent and guilty alike. The Green Lantern Corps must be all will and no heart if we are to emerge victorious and keep the universe safe.” Lantern Rayner argues to no effect that “when Green Lanterns are taken prisoner – it’ll be an eye for an eye until both sides are blind.” The executions will continue, and death will continue to tighten its icy grip around the universe.


Yes, this is a comic book we’re reading, and reading about here, not a political philosophy or ethics dissertation, but the ideas presented by Tomasi and company are reflective of real world political and moral issues. Tomasi doesn’t really leave to the readers’ imaginations or sensibilities the question as to whom, Lantern Rayner or Scar, is morally correct in this debate, as Scar is shortly to unleash The Blackest Night upon them all. It seems that Johns and Tomasi, with their Blackest Night storyline, and the events of this prelude story, are going to make the argument that when values are compromised, and death is dealt out so easily, even if those being executed might be vile, death dealing criminals themselves, death may come forth to claim all.


Gleason’s art, like all the art of those who have worked on a Green Lantern title over the past few years, continues to bring to life the epic span of this intergalactic saga. Gleason breathes life into some of the strangest, yet interesting alien species ever seen in a comic book series. The huge full page spreads of the battle on Daxam, the shots of Oa and its shattered Power Battery Shell floating away from it, and the Green Lanterns in flight are nothing short of epic science fiction imagery.


Green Lantern Corps, in the hands of Tomasi and Gleason has been great, and with the launch of Blackest Night, it remains a must read for Green Lantern fans, and for fans of comics in general.

Rating: 8.5 /10

Last Updated: July 2, 2020 - 16:53

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