Green Lantern #10

"Revenge of the Green Lanterns Part One"
Story by Geoff Johns, art by Ivan Reis and
Marc Campos

There's several things going on here. (1) During the Missing Year, Hal "Green Lantern" Jordan's plane was shot down and Hal himself spent a while as a POW. There's a nice bit of psychology involved: apparently Hal, an Air Force test pilot, never takes his power ring with him when he flies. It's a believable instance of test-pilot machismo, and from a narrative point of view it's good to have the guy's hubris get him in trouble. (2) We get some info about the post-Infinite Crisis geopolitical state of play in the DCU: Green Lantern keeps violating the "Freedom of Power Treaty," which governs when superbeings can cross national borders. This sets up an argument between Hal and Oliver "Green Arrow" Queen, who have switched sides since their early-'70s road trip: now Ollie is standing up for law and order, and Hal is on the side of breaking the rules. The reversal is plausible, and the memory of those earlier comics, enhanced by Reis's very Adamsesque art, produces a genuine nostalgia that would be unattainable in a non-serial form: we knew them when they were younger men. (It's too bad Hal and Ollie don't look more than a few years older than they did in 1970, but that's comics for you.) (3) The new emphasis on international law, political institutions etc. is apparently something we're going to see more of in the DC line, and it represents a step Marvelwards. The Marvel Universe is full of heroes who exist in relation to government agencies (the Avengers; Nick Fury; even, in a different sense, the X-Men), or who gained their powers working for the military (the Hulk) or the space program (the Fantastic Four). DC heroes, by and large, are freelancers -- even the Justice League has largely been an independent organization governed by the whims of its members. (4) There's two Green Lantern-specific plots: arch-nemesis Sinestro starts rounding up a "Sinestro Corps," and one of the alien GLs that Hal killed during his late-'90s eeeevil period mysteriously returns in the final page.

It would be a miracle if all this stuff fit together into one satisfying comic, and it doesn't.