[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Brandon Peterson
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia
Tomar-Tu has traveled to Earth, in Central City, to take revenge on Goldface for murdering his father. It is quick, efficient and over done. Hal arrives soon after to investigate. His ring tells him what he already knows, but an unexpected appearance by the Flash (Barry Allen) brings about an interesting conversation about the use of deadly force and capital punishment. The room gets pretty heavy as Barry attempts to maintain his positive outlook on life and Hal counters with a more pessimistic view of mankind.
Hal begrudgingly has to tell Barry that in order to combat the Darkstars, the Green Lantern Corps is recruiting the worst of the worst to aid in a “common enemy” scenario. Guy seeks out Arkillo and John contacts General Zod and family. Kyle enlists the aid of the Space Cabbie to find Orion of the New Gods and Hal attempts to free Hector Hammond, which is when things start to really go bad, Atomic Skull anyone?
The concept of capital punishment is a real world issue that Venditti and Co. are exploring in the realm of a science fiction based super-hero comic book. It’s long been a tradition of sci-fi to explore social issues with a metaphor, but this is a bit more in your face and it’s fascinating. There’s a real moral conundrum being explored in terms of the sanctity of life. This story arc is confronting the issue of who has the right to take a life? It’s very tempting to agree with the Darkstars.
Barry and Hal both acknowledge the temptation of capital punishment either through legal or illegal methods and this not only humanizes them both, but makes the conundrum more relatable. This real world social issue transcends the medium and becomes noteworthy as a significant conversation on the subject in popular culture.
The inclusion of the Crisis on Infinite Earths as part of the backstory is welcomed, despite begging more questions of what exactly it was in current continuity. Guy and Arkillo’s deeper friendship is referenced and it reveals something deeper about these characters. The appearance of the Space Cabbie in this title again, serves to recall some of DC’s sci-fi legacy from the ’50’s.
The one and only negative is that Venditti is leaving the book after this arc.
There’s no reason to think that Venditti hasn’t saved his best for last. This arc has everything one could want- space drama, great characterization, relatable characters and an exploration of social mores in the guise of sci-fi adventure. Grab this issue while you can!