By Cat Wyatt
After the big revelation in the last issue, it’s safe to say that it’s been a long two weeks waiting for Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #46 to drop. It’s finally here, and it comes with the title Darkstars Rising Part Three Death Sentence. If that title makes you worried, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
The cover of this issue is particularly striking this time around. As you can see it depicts Guy in his newly acquired Darkstar armor, only he’s not content to wear it anymore. He’s tearing it off, along with the help of Hal, John, and Kyle. One can only hope this is a hint for what will happen in this issue.
So, Guy becoming a Darkstar. It’s tempting to act surprised about it, but considering his temper and his past it’s hard to blame him for the choice. Thankfully the issue starts off with a flashback to the past; giving us an idea of what Guy had to go through as a child.
The storytelling style for this flashback is pretty brilliant. We see images of Guy and his drunken father layered under current scenes of his father. The man is full of regret and trying to change. We can argue all day and night about what that means and if he deserves to be forgiven, but it really won’t change the point here. The truth is that Guy had a tough childhood, and then he grew up and eventually found his way to the Green Lantern Corps. His dad doesn’t deserve any credit for the guy that Guy became, but Guy should be proud of himself. And he certainly shouldn’t stoop to the level of his (past) father.
Unfortunately Guy doesn’t see it that way. Now, once again we could argue about this. We could say that the Darkstar suit is blinding Guy…but it seems evident that the reason Guy immediately accepted the offer was for this very moment: the moment he could enforce lethal justice on his own father.
Meanwhile Hal and Hammond have stopped at what appears to be a deserted planet. Not a bad call, all things considered. Hal doesn’t know quite yet if he can trust Hammond, so all conversations revolving around that are probably better done where nobody else is at risk. Hal also doesn’t seem to know what Hammond is capable of, so that’s another hard conversation they need to have. Thankfully Hammond seems content to take the whole thing in stride. He believes that Hal saved him. More than that he loves that he’s been given the opportunity to be a hero.
There’s a slight problem with this. If you walk up and ask a dozen different strangers what their idea of being a hero is, all of their answers would like be different. The more unique a person’s experiences are the more likely they are to give an answer that’s different from the rest. Hammond and Hal have very different ideas of how to be a hero, on how to win this war.
Hal wants to stop the Darkstars, ideally without having to resort to lethal force. Sure, he’s been tempted to take them all out, but who wouldn’t be? Hammond on the other hand…he wants to kill them all. The problem is that he’s been inside Hal’s mind, and he caught on to Hal’s temptation. He latched on to the guilt Hal feels as well. Any hero will carry guilt, it’s a fact of life. Guilt for the temptations he’s felt, guilt for his failures, for his shortcomings.
So Hammond sees the only natural solution to this problem, natural for his way of thinking, that is. The best way to save the universe and more importantly to save Hal is to alter the very being of Hal Jordan. If Hal doesn’t have the memories that hurt him so, then he can no longer hurt.
This is nothing short of horrifying, and there’s no point in pretending anything else. How can Hal be himself without his memories? Is he the same person? Is he the hero we know and love? Is he even worthy of his ring anymore, without the memories that made him the man he is? How will he ever leave this rock if he can’t control the Green Lantern ring?
Leaving us to sit in those uncomfortable thoughts, the issue moves on to what John has been doing this whole time. He’s successfully convinced Zod, and therefore Zod’s little army, to join forces against the Darkstars. Granted, it’s pretty clear that Zod is only doing it so he can get his hands on Tomar-Tu – literally. Still, the enemy of my enemy and all that jazz.
The best part about bringing Zod into the fold is that he’ll be bringing his technological knowledge with him. The Darkstars have one major advantage over the Green Lanterns right now – their ability to teleport. Krypton used to have the knowledge for teleportation. Knowledge Zod still holds. Therefore he knows how to block it as well. That will be vital with the impending battle.
Meanwhile Kyle is sitting in a prison cell in New Genesis. We now know who he was hoping to recruit, the New Gods. It doesn’t seem to be working, but nobody can blame him for trying. It’s ironic though – one of their own promised he’d be there when he was needed the most…and yet they’re refusing. Here’s hoping somebody has a change of heart, because we desperately need that right now.
Back to Earth – has anybody else been anxious to see what Guy has been up to? He’s currently standing over his father, planning on doing his worst. He’s immune to his father’s pleas…which really aren’t pleas at all. More like the man desperately wants his son to be aware of the changes he’s made in his life. Admittedly that does seem like important information for Guy to know, even if he chooses to never forgive his father.
The thing Guy seems to be forgetting is that forgiveness and acceptance are two very different things. Nobody will ever judge Guy for failing to forgive his father. Accepting what happened though? Guy has to figure out a way to do that if he ever wants to truly move forward with his life.
The truth of the matter is that killing his father won’t change anything. It won’t take back his ruined childhood. It won’t suddenly make Guy okay with the fact that he was never able to respect his old man. All it will do is add one more strain to Guy’s conscious.
The conclusion to this scene was…unexpected to say the least. We knew that Arkillo was considering becoming involved, but this is more than we could have ever hoped for. His appearance here and now means he followed Guy as quickly as possible, possibly even knowing Guy’s destination deep in his gut. He raced against the clock to get there before Guy could commit the only act that would ensure he’d never be welcome as a Green Lantern again. Did he do this out of altruism? Did he do it to save Guy? To stop his drinking buddy from making a mistake? Or did he do it to stick it to the Darkstars? We may never know his true motive…but I certainly hope he tells us someday.
This plot has been a never ending source of twists and turns and surprises. Every time it seems like the path is clear, something else is thrown in the way. Last issue we were shocked when Guy became a Darkstar, and this issue it’s that Arkillo ran to stop Guy. What will be next?
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #46