Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Green Lantern #43
Johns, Mahnke & Alamy
The Blackest Night Prologue issue is the origin of one of the chief bad guys. The comic doesn’t feature any Green Lantern, except sparingly in flashbacks. The comic is all about William Hand. The story tells us where he came from, what happened to him, how he changed as the Green Lanterns changed and then he becomes something new by the end of the comic. It’s a good issue. I wouldn’t have thought to kickoff a major storyline with an origin tale but this manages to present something that builds anticipation for the coming issues.
For those wondering, you can disregard the cover. William Hand doesn’t desecrate Bruce Wayne’s grave in any way. However, Hand does a lot of other grotesque things in this issue.
The issue covers how Hand, one of three boys born to undertakers, was the odd ball of the bunch. He seemed too fond of killing animals and mounting them on the wall. Not just game, but domestic animals as well. Eventually his parents hand him over to counseling.
Eventually he becomes a bad guy to Green Lantern. He doesn’t ever win but he does manage to stick around through the years to see the likes of Parallax and Hal Jordan as the Spectre. Eventually the Black Lanterns come calling.
The voice gets in his head and instructs him to find those that are dead and those that have returned from the dead. The list that gets barked out here is a good list of those that will probably be joining his corps in the coming issues. You’d be surprised to see some of these names.
The comic ends with Scar, the evil Guardian (although they all are evil really) coughs up a ring after Hand pulls a murder suicide on his whole family. Hand comes back and is a happy ring wielding mental patient.
The comic is good. It gives you everything about William Hand that you could possible handle. It also gives you insight into the chain of command among the Black Lanterns as there seems to be a master to even Scar. The comic establishes just how creepy all of the Black Lantern characters are and just how much of an axe to grind with Hal Jordan that Hand seems to have.
The art is tremendous. My particular favorite spreads were the boxes of all the characters that the Black voice was instructing Hand to go after. It was an excellent layout and art depiction. Every page has outstanding details right down to the rain dripping off of Hand’s nose.
This comic is a great read. I can’t say it is essential reading because ultimately you probably don’t need Hand’s origin to read Blackest Night or further issues of this series. However, this is a very good origin comic and an interesting story in of itself. This is worth picking up.
4 out of 5 geek goggles