REVIEW: Injustice 2 #53 (Guilt)

When Superman founded his regime, Hal Jordan fought by his side as both the Green Lantern & Yellow Lantern. Now it’s time for him to pay for his crimes.

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Injustice 2 #53
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Xermanico
Cover Artist: Tyler Kirkham
Cover Colors: Arif Prianto
Colorist: J. Nanjan
Letters: Wes Abbott
Publisher: DC Comics

What You Need to Know:
When Superman founded his regime, Hal Jordan was one of those who remained loyal. In the war with the Green Lantern Corps, he joined the Sinestro Corps and was party to the death of numerous Green Lanterns including John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner, Mogo, and even the Guardian Ganthet. When the Regime collapsed, Hal surrendered to the remaining Green Lantern Corps to await punishment for his crimes.

What You’ll Find Out:
This issue opens in space as the narrator states that 200 Green Lanterns, the finest warriors in the galaxy, are all dead. The narrator is revealed to be a Guardian, places part of the blame on an unknown individual and asks how they plead. The defendant, Hal Jordan, pleads guilty while numerous Corpsmen observe his trial. One Guardian brings up that while he was responsible, his most grievous actions were partly the influence of the Yellow Ring he wore at the time. Although it is not an excuse for how horrible they were. But Hal was once one of their best and brightest and saved the universe on a number of occasions. So rather than bury him away from the public eye, he’s being sent to a prison colony to help the recolonization effort. Guy Gardner watches from the sidelines as a Guardian implies there are several who’d rather he not be left in a prison unable to act as a Green Lantern but were overruled.

RCO009.jpgLater in the Prison Colony, Hal continues his work with Guy nearby. Hal apologizes to him but Guy just responds “So you keep saying.” Guy begins making light of Hal’s punishment. Suggesting the reason he’s just digging trenches because the Guardians weren’t creative enough to make up a better punishment. He continues his mockery of the Guardians causing Hal to laugh. Unfortunately for Hal, the daughter of Sinestro and Green Lantern Soranik uses a fist construct to punch him to the ground. Unamused by his chuckling. Hal prepares to say how irresponsible it is to use a Ring like that but she doesn’t take kindly to this. Passive Aggressively calling him out on trying to lecture her after all the crimes he committed. She tells Hal that when she first joined the Corps she spent a week on Mogo, the living planet, and fellow Green Lantern. Bringing up the air, ocean, and animals that she experienced on him. All of which were incinerated when Superman as a member of the Sinestro Corps pushed Mogo into the Sun. All the while, Hal just sat and watched. A new prisoner arrives shortly after and is revealed to be Sinestro. Soranik cares nothing for Sinestro and thanks to prodding from Guy, Hal punches him and begins a fight with his former teacher. This lands Hal in solitary confinement. Guy says the fight was worth it but Hal just apologizes once more. In a dark echo of earlier Guy says “So you keep saying” before he returns to his old civilian suit. His right arm severed from when Hal ripped it off still. No matter how much Hal apologizes, it won’t bring Guy back as he fades away. Showing he was just Hal’s guilt haunting him.

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Elsewhere, Tomar-Re receives a message from Arisia. She wants him to return to Oa but Tomar-Re is getting life readings on the far side of the planet. He investigates the signal only to find that the creature is Dex-Starr. But it’s too late as Dex-Starr cuts his throat and the chapter ends. Tomar-Res fate left ambiguous if he bleeds to death or somehow survives his run-in with a Red Lantern.

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What Just Happened?

This whole issue was just really sad but in a good way. Much like with the Amazonians, we get a spotlight on the Green Lantern Corps at long last. But unlike with the Amazonians, there was much more investment into this. We get to see Hal get punished for his crimes much like Flash did. Most importantly, we get to see how his actions had an effect on the surviving Lanterns and Guardians. Guy is haunting him and for the first time in both comics, Hal is showing deep regret and remorse. Even Mogo got a depressing send off by reminding us he was a planet. So when he was murdered on Hal’s watch, it wasn’t just him, Black Canary, Ganthet, and numerous Lanterns who fell on the battlefield. But numerous innocent plants and animals just living their lives. I did find it interesting that beyond Mogo, they never specifically name the Lanterns that died. Guy goes unnamed the entire time, John doesn’t get referenced, and it’s entirely possible that with Guy dead they don’t know that Kyle is too. Dex-Starrs return at the end was nice which explains why he wasn’t present for AMAZO. I am fine with this more or less.

Rating: 9.5/10

Final Thought: If you’ve been keeping up with the Injustice comics or know Green Lantern lore this issue was amazing. Unfortunately, if you aren’t particularly knowledgeable into either some of this will fall on deaf ears. Unless you knew who Guy Gardner was or how Hal murdered him you wouldn’t notice his sudden resurrection before the reveal or how nobody else noticed him. You wouldn’t even know his name for that matter. They reference Soranik is Sinestro’s daughter but you wouldn’t realize how much more she hates him than usual. Numerous names from cameos like Arisia, and Tomar-Re or just visual cameos in the background scene similarly wouldn’t have much notice. They did a good job of paraphrasing the Green Lantern War arc but it is a bit confusing and doesn’t do the full scope justice. But it was still a great chapter overall that sets up Red on Green violence.


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