Saturday, June 11, 2011

Graphic Novels - Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn 2

Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn 2
Writers: Keith Giffen and Gerard Jones
Artists: M. D. Bright and Romeo Thangal

Well, it’s the 31st of May, and I’m at the house in Nashville on a Tuesday night...not at work. By the way, I really hate cars that sing the song “The Song Known As Forget You” (My Camry gave out…again). Anyway, since I have the time, it looks like I’ll move on to Part 2 of Emerald Dawn. It’s done by the same creative team that did the first part. The series came out in 1991 and it was a 6 issue mini-series. Now it’s time for a little back story on why I got this. I was at the Great Escape (great place, by the way) and I was looking for something good to read. I actually got issue 2 of the miniseries because I heard something about the current DC Editorial not liking the Emerald Dawn series. So I got it, and didn’t really read it till a few days later. When I read it, I enjoyed it and set out to get the rest of the series, as well as Emerald Dawn. So let’s get on to this pretty good story:

1. The Powers That Be
We start out with Hal on trial for his DUI. He’s pleaded guilty and the judge has decided to send him to the state prison for ninety days (Ouch). Hal doesn’t like it and voices his concerns to Carol Ferris, who’s happy that Hal is taking responsibility for what he’s done. After they say their goodbyes, Hal is shipped off to prison. On the way to prison, Hal hears of a bank robbery taking place, so he uses some ring trickery to get out of the truck and goes to the bank to do his “Superman” thing. He handles the robbers with ease. Afterwards, he heads back to the truck unnoticed and checks into the prison.

Meanwhile, on Oa, the Guardians of the Universe talk about how Hal is still untrained with his ring. So, they decide to send in the Green Lantern of Sector 1417: Sinestro! Apparently, Sinestro has a perfect sector and was trainer for a while on Oa.

Back in prison, Hal is getting verbally abused by his cellmate, who is the” King of Hell.” The self proclaimed Mephistopheles keeps on talking and talking until this happens:

Okay, no offense, but was the king of Hell suggest Hal….Ugh….I’m kind of glad he's dead now.

Of course, Hal is framed for the murder, and he then meets his caseworker: Guy Gardner. Don’t worry; this "Guy’s" actually nice for once. Guy believes Hal’s story and they talk about things like anger and aggression (something that Guy definitely knows about). We then abruptly move to Sinestro (who just left the 80’s singing group Cameo) in space taking out the Dinosaur people in his sector….Yeah I just said that. The Dino people retreat. Sinestro (I’ll just call him ‘Sin’) then decides to play “Danny Tanner” and clean up the debris from the ships. It’s also here where we see Sin’s way of thinking, and it’s pretty…controlling.

We see more evidence on his planet, Korguar. There, we have horns playing and people cheering. It’s here where we get introduced to someone else from GL lore: Katma-Tui. She’s part of the Young Lantern Brigade Sin has set up on the planet. Everything’s going fine until Sin steps on some trash. Sin doesn’t look happy, and at that moment, he is poofed away. The cleaner is pleased.

He’s been transported to the Guardians, where they appoint him to be a trainer for Hal. Sin tries to persuade them to use someone else, but it doesn’t work. Sin constantly worries that his sector will fall into chaos without him. Wow, this dude is high-minded, ain’t he? He then heads to Earth and finds Hal in his cell.

Other Lantern: ...Well! Fine, don't ask me how my day's doing you --

2. Balance of Power
We start out with Hal wondering what why Sin is here. After some explaining and some more of that illusion stuff, Sin takes Hal and they head off into space (and I am now wondering how Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal tasted liked). As they fly, sin tries to tell Hal about gaining perfection and all of that stuff. They then go to a planet in Sector 0131 where an interplanetary diplomatic summit is taking place.

In this summit, leaders of the Khunds, the Citadel, and the Dominators (who definitely doesn’t look Asian at all) talk about forming an alliance with other worlds. They are interrupted by Sin and Hal (sound like a cop show) and Sin tells them that their alliance is not supported by the Guardians. The leaders hate his idea and things get heated. The guys are taking out weapons, and Sin is worried about their thinking processes and syntax. Wow. That’s hilarious! Hal has had enough and does his cocky bada@# thing by taking the guards out.

Hal Jordan apparently comes from the School of Aggressive Diplomacy (SAD for short).

A fight ensues and Hal wins. Sin then tells these leaders to lay off on this alliance or the GLC will come after them. The tag team then leaves. The leaders then decide to wait on forging the alliance until “a compelling cause arises to bring out peoples together.” In other word, “Invasion!”. They agree, but the Khund leader wants to get back at Sin somehow.

On Earth, Hal gets a new cellmate, Willie, who ends up finding out his secret by accident. Oops.

3. Power Play
Well, the secret’s out, so Hal tells Willie his whole story. Willie takes it well, I guess. He does start looking at that ring hard though, but luckily it’s day time. All prisoners head to breakfast. Apparently, Willie is well known in the prison. He‘s the master of bank robberies and escapes. Some trouble erupts between Willie and a peeved prisoner, Clendon. Hal comes in to break it up and the guards break it up, with Guy telling the guards who actually started it. It turns out that Clendon is one of the robbers that Hal stopped at the bank robbery in issue one. Here’s one reason why the dang mask doesn’t work. Anyway, Hal, Willie and Guy end up sharing a funny moment together.

Yes, Yes, Funny!

That night, Sin shows up to get Hal and almost erases Willie’s memory. Hal tells him not to because Hal needs someone to talk to while in this predicament. Sin relents from his mindwipe. They then leave. Days pass by as Hal plays prisoner by day and space cop by night. On earth, Willie peeks in on a conversation between the bank robbers. Clendon wants the ring and to also take care of Hal. Willie is caught and shanked (I guess that’s the word). Hal hears that Willie is hurt and is peeved. He’s about to go see him, and Mr. Tanner himself shows up. Sin wants to take Hal and go to Korugar. Hal wants to check up on Willie first, but Sin is having none of that. Sin wants to go to his planet because he usually in constant contact with them and they haven’t answered in a while. So they go to Korugar. When they get there, Hal is shocked at all that he sees. As they wonder why the streets are empty, they are attacked by the people of Korugar, who want to end the Green Lantern Tyranny!

Wow, the lost member of Prince and the Revolution does have a big ego!

4. The Will to Power
The battle between the Korugan people and the GLs is being watched by none other than Katma-Tui and the Khund leader from issue 2. We find out that all is not well on Korugar and that the people have been suffering for years under Sin’s control. The Khund leader supplied them the weapons. He then leaves.

In the battle, the GLs defend themselves. Sin thinks they are on some sort of mind control and thinks they could never rise against him. He then goes nuts and starts kicking some butt. Hal tells him to cool it down (say cool it down!) and restrains him. He also tells Sin that he’s alerted the other Lanterns about the situation because it’s gotten too big for them to handle alone. Sin snaps at him (I love the look on Hal’s face), breaks his restraints, and attacks Hal.

Ha...If this was GL John Stewart, Sin would probably be dead now.

Hal has had enough and a fight ensues. Hal whips the crap out of our reject from the 80’s. Sin then cools down and then thinks that he’s been set up by someone, and when the Guardians here about this, they may think he was misusing his power. He sort of gets Hal to understand what he is going through. They leave the planet, with Sin wondering how he’ll clear their names. Hal is like “Uh, dude how am I in this?”.

Two days later, On Earth, Guy visits Willie in the infirmary. He wants to know who did this to Willie. Willie doesn’t say anything and Guy leaves. Hal has also been missing during this time.

On Korugar, the people are praising Katma for what she’s done until suddenly the rest of the Corps arrive. The people attack, with the Corps wondering what’s going on. Katma and her people think the GLC are all like Sin is. Apparently, that’s not the case. The Corps also learn of how Sin has made his sector “perfect” and exceeded his authority.

On Oa, the Guardians talk about how screwed Sin and Hal are. They then pull out “the Fists of the Guardians” to find the two.

Wow, who knew Fists could dress so well?

5. The Price of Power
We start out in an asteroid belt where Hal and Sin are talking. Sin wonders how his people could have turned against him. Hal then figures out that they have been in space for two days and he needs to get back to Earth. Sin then decides the best place to hide from the authorities is to hide in jail (nice plan) and they go off to Earth.

On Earth, things come together as the bank robbers and the rest of the prisoners begin to stage a riot. They look for Hal, but he’s not there. They then go to the infirmary, where Guy and Willie are at. They take Guy hostage and leave Willie there. The prison’s alarms sound as Hal and Sin get back. They go to the infirmary and find Willie. He fills them in on what’s happened. To not stick out, Sin uses the ring to turn into Willie and then teleports Willie out of the prison. Hal is peeved at this and Sin’s thinking. The two leave the infirmary. The riot begins as Clendon shoots up some guards and even some prisoners. Meanwhile, the Fists are on the trail of the runaway GLs.

Clendon and his posse let all of the prisoners out of their cells as they find Hal and Sin. The two run into Clendon with Guy as his hostage. He asks for the ring. Hal gives it to him and Clendon uses it for a little bit until ‘Ole Flat Top reveals himself and takes the ring from him. Guy then goes psycho on Clendon and beats him up.

Yep...Guy does that to everyone as a GL.

Sin erases Clendon’s memory and is about to erase Guy’s memory until Hal steps in. The two argue as the Fists arrive.

6. The Power and the Glory
We start out with everyone in shock. Hal, Sin, and even the prisoners are in shock as these Fists of the Guardians have shown up. Sin leaves, and the Fists chase after him. At this moment, Hal gets into costume and stops the riot single-handedly. Sin tries to evade the Fists, but he is caught and taken back to Oa. Hal is thanked by the warden and even tells the warden of some of the conditions here. Afterwards, Hal high-tails it back to his cell and relaxes….until he is teleported to Oa by the Guardians to be a witness in the trial of Sin.

At the trial, Hal is questioned by Sin, and then by Tomar-Re. Hal is truthful to both defense and prosecution about Sin’s ways. Katma-Tui is then called in by Tomar. She is teleported in and doesn’t take being teleported across the galaxy well (Hey, I wouldn’t!). Outside, Hal and Kilowog talk about the trial and wonder what may happen to Sin. In the courtroom, Katma tells all about Sin and his controlling ways. Sin knows that he is done for and has no questions for the witness (Dang, Katma has the “Carol Ferris” look! Run!). The Guardians declare Sin to be guilty and he is to be banished to the anti-matter universe of Qward. Sin doesn’t take it easily and has some last words before he is teleported away. After that, the Guardians waste no time in finding a replacement for Sin. Tomar suggests that Katma should take Sin’s place. She agrees. The trial is over and Hal is teleported back to Earth. At the prison, Hal is asked by the guard about Willie’s whereabouts. He doesn’t say anything.

Guardian #2: Sinestro shall also cut that hair! It makes us Guardians shutter at our memories of the late 80's and early 90's. Dang you, Vanilla Ice!!!

We have reached the ninety days as Hal is being released from prison. Hal and Guy share their goodbyes and Guy hands Hal a note. When Hal leaves the prison, he sees that the note is from Willie and he says “see ya next time.” Hal disintegrates the letter and says that there won’t be a next time.

… … … … … … … … .
And that is that. Is it good? Oh yes, it is. This picks up from right where Emerald Dawn left off. In some ways it’s kinda better. We have Hal going through some problems again, a fine example of what NOT to do as a GL in Sinestro, and some all around good development in these issues. We get the first meeting of Hal and Guy, and even Katma-Tui ( who I guess is cool).

Here, we see Sinestro as a misguided, controlling idiot become the Green Lantern Corps’ biggest villain. He's not even the villain of the story, and I like that. It’s actually a realistic position Sinestro is in. We live in a world where people in power misuse that power. Even though they might have the best intentions, it usually turns out bad. In a way, there’s kind of a link between Sinestro and the Guardians and Lucifer (aka Satan, duh) and God (Now here me out!). Sinestro was considered the “Greatest Green Lantern”, and he got exiled to anti-matter universe for going against the Guardians and breaking the rules. Lucifer was an angel of God, and because of his unruliness, God sent him down to Hell.

The writing and art are well done in all six issues. I also have to admit that this makes me want to see how this era’s GL books were like, so I might be talking about this era more than I thought. Well, that’s all I have for today. Come back next time as I look at a certain DC crossover called Legends.


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