By Cat Wyatt
It seems like the Green Lanterns can’t ever catch a break, can they? Set shortly after they had dealt with the Darkstars, the Green Lanterns are now facing a new and less understood threat. Worse, thanks to the conclusion of the last episode it seems like they might not even be able to safely trust their own. This issue, Green Lanterns #51, Evil’s Might, continues on with that threat of concern.
While we’re all incredibly anxious to get back to Mogo and see what has been happening there, this issue doesn’t use that as a starting point. Instead, we’re taken to Penelo, a mostly aquatic planet where the Penelo’s live. They’re under attack, and even the Green Lantern among their group doesn’t seem to be enough to save them.
You see, the Penelo’s naturally need colder water to survive, but whatever is attacking them is literally boiling the water, and thus the Penelo’s as well. That sounds like an unimaginably horrible death, so it’s impossible not to feel for the people here. To make matters worse, it’s revealed that Penelops, the Green Lantern of their people, has a son. It doesn’t take much to guess that she’d give up her life to save her people and her son – there would be no hesitation in her for that. It makes her inevitable loss that much more heartbreaking, knowing those that will mourn her. Assuming they find a way to live through this…
Meanwhile, on Mogo, there’s a grievously wounded Guardian in need of medical aid. It seems that there are many perks of being a Guardian, one of which being you get to skip the line waiting for medical care - that poor Green Lantern that Thaava had been working on, hope he makes it.
Let’s be clear here, Thaava is one of the Green Lanterns best and brightest. He multitasks like you wouldn’t believe, and has a strong connection with his ring and with the Guardians themselves. If he can’t find a way to save Kada Sal, then nobody can save perhaps another Guardian.
There are a couple of things that make this situation more complicated than it originally appears, which is saying something. Supposedly a building fell on Kada Sal, but there’s no way that a mere building could take out a Guardian. You hardly ever see them die in any series, and there’s a reason for that. These guys are tough bastards, and they are not willing to give up on life. Therefore it’s immediately safe to assume that there’s more going on here.
That’s a fact that Thaava can confirm – the damage to Kada Sal is significant, and it’s heavily internal as well. That implies the use of some sort of power, or a whole lot of force. Regardless, it was certainly more than the building falling could have done.
This raises a few questions though, doesn’t it? First, who would want Kada Sal dead? Presumably it’s the invaders that we’ve been seeing, but if it’s them then that means they’ve made it all the way to Mogo. That’s actually plausible, considering the storms we’ve been seeing. But still highly concerning.
The next question is; why didn’t Simon hear or see any of this? Supposedly he got there shortly after it all happened, yet he didn’t see anything to indicate it was anything more than a building collapsing. That leaves the concern that Simon has been compromised somehow. This wouldn’t be the first time that has happened to a Lantern, so it isn’t out of the question.
The final concern is for Jessica. Yes, that sounds odd to say, since she’s not injured and she’s safe from any dangerous implications. The problem is that she’s the closest to figuring things out, and her ring is very concerned about that fact. Either it’s trying to keep her quiet for her own safety, or even more worrying is it’s trying to keep her quiet for its own gain. After all, in the last issue we saw John’s ring betray him, so who’s to say it won’t happen to another Lantern?
As if that wasn’t enough for our beloved Lanterns to deal with, there’s still the small matter of John having had the crap beat out of him. Thankfully Kilowog and Guy have safely collected him, and now John has been added to the list of people Thaava has to take care of. On the bright side, John is one tough dude, so he’ll probably be okay. Unlike poor Kada Sal.
With there being nothing they can do to help John or Kada Sal, there’s only one thing left for the Lantern Corps to focus on: the giant storm on Mogo. If they all combine their constructs and form one large one around the city, they might be able to save it. It’d be a massive undertaking, not to mention incredibly impressive for so many to work together…but they can do it, especially with Kyle and Guy spearheading the organization.
You’d think that with that taken care of they would get a break, but no. While we’ve known about the attack on Penelo for a while, the Lantern Corps are only now just finding out about it – because Penelops ring has been returned. That has always been and will always be one of the most heartbreaking moments in a series – the moment a ring finds its way back to the Guardians. Everyone knows what that event means, so we don’t even need to be told. Neither do the Lanterns. There’s no discussion, really. They know they must deploy for Penelo right away, because if the Lantern of that sector is dead then something very wrong is happening there…
Kyle, Simon, and Jess are the first three to head out, with promises from Guy and Kilowog that they’d follow shortly – somebody had to stay behind and give the shield around the city another boost, after all. Its good knowing that they’ll have backup, even though it’s hard to imagine that two more will help where three are having a tough time.
The scene one Penelo is…well it’s a rough one. The population is down to 6.3 percent of what it had been. Take a minute to think about that. Even if the Green Lanterns can somehow pull off a miracle and save those that are left, most of this race is gone. Those that do survive will have gone through unimaginable trauma, may be injured already, and any genetic diversity these people once had is gone. So even if they live through the day, who’s to say what the future will hold for them?
This was a pretty intense issue, all things considered. It’s hard not to reel from all of the implications happening here. In the course of just a few issues we’ve lost a Guardian, had John Stewart betrayed by his ring and then seriously injured, Mogo losing control to storms, and planet Penelos under attack and nearly eradicated. That’s a lot to take in. It also says a lot about the enemy they’re establishing. After all, if this is what these guys are doing in what is merely they’re opening act, what could possibly follow?
Green Lanterns #51