Green Lantern #63 (titled Prologue To War Of The Green Lanterns) basically gets all the little green ducks in a row. Everything that happens in this issue does so in exactly the same way all the DC big event series do. We’re given a little more history of a villain, the hero is put in a questionable light, the hero has personal demons to overcome and a bit of history is exposed that is supposed to ratchet up the excitement of the upcoming event. While an interesting idea, the entire War Of The Green Lanterns arc has felt extremely forced. Issue #63 moves all the pieces into their final places so the game can begin.
Let’s start with the villain, Krona. For that last several issues old Krona (a villain served best with lime? Oh no, that’s Corona, sorry) has been collecting the big evil spirits that are the embodiment of the various lanterns powers. Why he’s collecting them and what his gigantic plan for revenge is remains a mystery but boy is Krona pissed. Issue 63 flashes back to a time when Krona was a Guardian (and they were full grown) who thrived on the discovery of emotion. To Krona emotion is life, but his emotionally challenged fellow Guardians don’t agree and try to prosecute him. Krona is obviously displeased and decides to show the Guardians just how hard he can throw down.
Then there’s the hero, Hal Jordon, who has gone from champion of the Blackest Night war to being considered an unbalanced, unstable rogue that needs to be brought in by the Guardians. Apparently everybody thinks Hal is about to snap his green lid because in the previous issue the JLA tried to approach Hal for wearing himself too thin. It all has something to do with folks being afraid that Hal’s dedication to battling evil will stretch him thin enough that he might get infected by Parallax, because apparently the only bad guy left in the Green Lantern Universe is Parallax. Hal’s sudden fall from grace feels much more like a set up than a well-developed character arc.
The final piece of this big puzzle is the bit of history that illuminates just how powerful the villains is and how exciting the even could be. Apparently it was Krona who discovered the green energy that now powers the Lantern Corps and he used the power to defeat the original defends of the universe, the robotic Manhunters. It also turns out that Krona reprogrammed the Manhunters and that was the reason they turned against their programming and began executing whole civilizations. So not only was Krona responsible for the power of the Green Lanterns but his actions also resulted in their creation.
The end of issue 63 has Hal, Sinestro and the other Lanterns who have banded together for a short time to battle Krona, discovering the Book Of Black, the mythological book that wrote of the Blackest Night prophecy. The book shoots out these chains into the Lanterns’ heads and they pass out. The last panel shows the Book Of Black creating a new chapter titled “There Will Be Only Three”. I’m assuming those three are the entire point of the War Of The Green Lanterns.
The art from Ed Benes and Ardian Syaf is solid. Strong faces, a good sense of movement within the panels, with a particularly strong approach to drawing Sinestro. Writer Geoff Johns does a decent enough job with what he has but what he has isn’t much. This is a rather by-the-numbers issue that sets up yet another event series. I’m sure War Of The Green Lanterns will be fun but as far as really moving the GLU along, it’s pretty much devoid of power.