I’m pleased to say, this is a bounce back for Papa Johns after the turd dumping that was Trinity War.
He’s had a hard-on for GL forever; and here, he’s able to close the chapter on a very respectable run for the Emerald Knights.
When last we left our hero, he (and on again GL/Nemesis Sinestro) were killed by Black Hand. We know that Black Hand killing doesn’t quite work, and Hal’s been dead before, so would they go back that way? Who knows, but we do see Hal and Sinestro stuck in the Black/Afterworld with a GL from the past.
Meanwhile, Sinestro’s Construct/Shared ring with Hal, goes for Simon Baz, a Muslim-American living in Deerborn, Michigan (my Great Uncle lived there too, lovely little place lol). There’s some well-meaning but heavy handed “we’re all good people” bit, a sort of Johns apologism for American foreign policy, torture, racism etc…OK moving on.
Simon gets guided by Squirrel/Chipmunk Lantern, who’s very entertaining, and is his Yoda. He ends up going on a quest (shockingly) with very little backup and training. It also turns out that he’s more powerful with his emotional lack of fear than some of the great ones!
This being the end of it, of course John and Guy show up, and I don’t mind them at all, but they don’t have a huge part to play (That would be the GL Corps books). Also, Kyle shows up with his rainbow brigade…ugh.
But this is Hal’s book. Hal’s the hero, he makes some gigantic sacrifices and leaps of faith to save the universe. The best part? Sinestro ends up making different sacrifices for different reasons, but when we see the end result, Sinestro is about as close to heroic as he will ever be.
So it’s a nice finish up, and everyone lives happily ever after…except the bad guys…and the people that die.
The Coda/Epilogue follows what happens to each of the lanterns, looking back many years later, and we see Guy, John, Kyle, and Hal, and what they ended up moving on to, all doing well.
However, for me, the best part of the whole thing was the relationship between Hal and Sinestro. They got to a point where they understand each other, won’t ever agree about the means, but agree to the same ends, and each makes a personal sacrifice to try and reach those ends. Hal is a hero, the greatest GL of them all, but Sinestro, I feel like his actions were even more heroic given the context, and the aftermath.
So, a very enjoyable, sentimental journery. Johns is forgiven here, because you know it’s his baby. It’s a good enough job, it stands out, the universe mumbo-jumbo cosmic shit is minimized, and the fact that it focuses on relationships and people instead of that helps a lot.