“Rage on Harring” brings my tenure on the Injustice series to a close after five years. And what a wild ride it’s been. I have loved every moment of reading and writing about this book and I can only continue to hope and dream that someday Tom Taylor will get to write an in-universe Justice League that will remind everyone just how great all of our DC heroes can be.
Until then, I’m passing this book on to the incomparable Jay, who I know will love it as I have.
Meanwhile, I honestly don’t know much about the myriad lanterns of the DC universe, but Taylor’s putting them all to good use here, it seems. We’re already had a war between the Green and the Yellow, but the Red are definitely spoiling for a much more personal fight. Atrocitus wants Sinestro, but the Greens are not about to just give him up.
Even though Guy says they should.
Who doesn’t love Guy? Even dead Guy!
Oh dear: looks like Sinestro went and grew a heart
Atrocitus strikes me as having some issues with his attention span. He’s all KILL DESTROY ANNIHILATE one second, and then the next he’s grilling Sinestro about Soranik, who he only now discovers is Sinestro’s daughter. Same thing happens later when Team Chaos in the red suits can’t seem to decide whether they want to kill Hal Jordan or recruit him.
It all adds delicious tension to the story, though, because at this point I don’t know if Jordan wouldn’t seriously be better off dead, and Guy Gardner isn’t exactly helpful about it. But therein is the greatness of Taylor’s crafting: the characters are continuously making difficult choices and the consequences are almost always heartbreaking. For Hal, this time, it meant sacrificing himself to prevent Sinestro from getting his hand on any kind of destructive power even if means driving himself mad as a result.
There’s a lot of layers going on in this issue and multiple reads will be to your benefit. There’s the family dynamic between Sinestro and Soranik in which the two have declared their hatred for another one, but when push comes to shove a father will still love his daughter, there’s the tension within the Red Lanterns as Bleez challenges Atrocitus on the fate of Hal Jordan, and then there’s the whole looming war between the Greens and Reds–of which we get a small taste until Hal puts on the Red ring and Jimwick and Iolande manage to flee with Soranik and Sinestro to Oa.
No: leave Sinestro! Silly Jordan
Juan Alberran and Daniel Sampere fill this book to the brim with lantern weapon-wielding goodness, but there’s also a lovely quiet interlude between Conner and Martha Kent; the calmness and sensitivity of which is an excellent counterweight to all the rage that’s otherwise on display in this book.
This scene is especially wonderful because we’re reminded of what it means to be a human being (superhero or not), and how fragile the heart is (both physically and emotionally/ psychologically). The neatly encapsulates the metaphoric layers of Conner contemplating the transplanted heart that now keeps him alive–that of a monster–and the parallels it shares with the dark path that Clark took when his own heart was broken in a much different way.
It’s a good time to be reminded that these characters aren’t just brawling out of base hatred and selfishness (well okay, maybe those Red Lanterns haven’t much of a legitimate fight in them), but as a matter of escalation that begin with a very simple ideological break (and one which fans argue over themselves!): Superman killed the Joker for tricking him into murdering Lois and his unborn son, and then blamed Batman because Bruce had refused to put the Joker down like a mad dog for all those years.
So when people ask why doesn’t Batman kill the Joker, we can all now say it’s because no sacrifice is too big to prevent house cats from getting their paws on Red Lantern rings.
Yes, I’m really going to miss this book!
- You like the ring-around-the-rosy with the power rings: Hal’s had three now; it’s a wonder he hasn’t completely lost his mind–or maybe he has.
- Red Lantern drama–even among themselves they can’t stop quibbling and quarreling.
- The ongoing adventures of figmentary Guy Gardner.
Hal Jordan’s journey throughout the Injustice series has been a ricochet of incredible highs and lows as he’s tried to keep the balance between the bellicose factions of this all-out-war. He’s chosen poorly, seen the error of his ways, and now sacrifices himself for the greater cause even in the midst of being punished for his crimes. In a book where making it out alive is always in question, we almost have to wonder if maybe Jordan isn’t better of dead. Taylor writes this journey with literal and figurative heart and will probably break the readers’ own in the process.