Deep Dive: The Green Lantern Issue 2 (2018)

The Green Lantern issue 2 was released on December 5 and, much like the first issue, has been met with wide critical acclaim. The story is packed with nods to DC history and little nuggets suggesting a larger mystery is unfolding in the background. Once again, I’ve attempted to dive deep into the ink to puzzle out and annotate the many references Liam Sharp and Grant Morrison have packed into the issue. If something previously appeared in the deep dive for The Green Lantern #1 I’ll refer you to that post for the meat, but will add any second issue specific comments below. If something is new it’ll receive the full annotated The Green Lantern treatment.

The Green lantern issue 2 cover art

Liam Sharp’s cover The Green Lantern #2

Here are all of my Deep Dives so far:

Let’s get to it…

The Lanterns

The Green Lantern‘s first issue introduced us to a handful of new ring-slingers. Issue two does the opposite by teaming Hal Jordan up with a couple of historic Green Lanterns.

Green Lantern Rot Lop Fan

Space Sector: 911
Home: Obsidian Deeps of the Southern Supervoid
First Appearance: Tales of Green Lantern Corps #3
Creators: Alan Moore & Bill Willingham

ROt Lop Fan by Liam Sharp

The Green Lantern #2 | Words: Grant Morrison | Art: Liam Sharp

The second issue of The Green Lantern kicks off with the Blackstars raiding the Obsidian Deeps to free Evil Star. The Obsidian Deeps are a lightless place and it’s inhabitants have evolved to live in darkness. It makes sense to put Evil Star here because, as we’ll discuss in detail below, he derives his power from the stars. Evil Star is being guarded by the Green Lantern of the Obsidian Deeps, Rot Lop Fan.

This is the most action and dialogue Rot Lop Fan has received since making his first appearance in 1987. It’s really a shame because the Green Lantern of the Obsidian Deeps of the Southern Supervoid is a brilliant concept. He’s always deserved more panel time and, delightfully, Morrison finally provides.

Green Lantern Katma Tui was sent on a mission by the Guardians of the Universe to find a protector of the starless Obsidian Deeps. In the darkness, she discovered Rot Lop Fan. Living in a place without light or color it wasn’t possible for Rot Lop Fan to comprehend the concept of green light. Katma realized she needed to explain the idea of the Corps and the rings as sound. Rot Lop Fan identified the sound of F-Sharp as being analogous. As a result, he became the founder of the F-Sharp Corps and his uniform has the emblem of a bell instead of a lantern.

His motto:

In loudest din or hush profound, my ears catch evil’s slightest sound. Let those who toll out evil’s knell, beware my power: the F-Sharp Bell!

Green Lantern Volk

Space Sector: 315
Home Planet: Maag
First Appearance: Green Lantern, Vol. 2, #190
Creators: Todd Klein & Kevin O’Neill

Green Lantern Volk has been staring out from the cover of The Green Lantern #2 since the artwork dropped with the solicits. He was easy to overlook because his smiling face was covered up by the comic’s logo. Thankfully, Liam Sharp tweeted out a beautiful black and white line drawing of the cover on November 29. Before we dive into the history of the volcanic Lantern take a look at that cover.

The Green Lantern 2 black and white cover

The Green Lantern issue 2 | Line Drawing | Art: Liam Sharp

Green Lantern Volk’s first appearance was helping Green Lantern Xax defend his homeworld of Xaos against the Spider Guild. They were joined by Green Lanterns Talmadge and Zghithii.

Green Lantern Volk 1st appearance

Green Lantern Vol. 2 #190| Words: Todd Klein | Art: Kevin O’ Neill

After that first appearance, the volcanic Lantern of Space Sector 315 has made several appearances but, like Rot Lop Fan, he’s more or less used exclusively as splash page filler. Need a dozen or so cool looking Lanterns? Throw in Volk or Rot Lop Fan. After his first appearance, the most dialogue he’s had before Morrison dusted him off was in a Tom Sawyeresque-influenced backup story in Green Lantern Corps Vol. 2 #33.

volk talks about maag

Green Lantern Corps Vol 2 #33 | Words: Peter J. Tomasi | Art: Patrick Gleason

In an interview with Screen Rant, Sharp spoke in length about what went into the Volk’s new character design:

Green Lantern Volk with Green Lantern Hal Jordan

The Green Lantern #2 | Words: Grant Morrison | Art: Liam Sharp

…is he actually a magma creature? Has the body been created for him to give him form? Is the actual living essence of him the magma that’s constantly spitting out the top of his volcano head?

We’ve given the smoke a face as well, which is fun. It’s subtle but Grant was just like, ‘can you imagine the concentration of keeping a little face on the smoke all the time?’ All of that is fun. [Associate Editor] Jessica Chen, she just loved Volk. Every time he appeared she kind of squee-ed.

An especially nice touch for Morrison and Sharp’s take on Volk is how he speaks. This is another example of how much of an influence Sharp has on this series. In an interview with SyFy, Sharp explained that Morrison will often change the way a character speaks based on his design:

For example, he’s changed the way they speak based on the drawing and based on a feeling. Like Volk, the Volcano-Green Lantern, that rumbling dialogue with the extenuated “R”s was a direct response from the artwork that wasn’t in the original script.

Green Lantern Xax

Space Sector: Unknown
Home World: Xaos
First Appearance: It depends. See below.
Creators: John Broome and Gil Kane

Before we get into Green Lantern Xax we need to briefly touch on his lack of an identified Space Sector.

The DC online wikis tend to be fairly reliable, but one fact they tend to always get wrong is the Space Sector of the planet Xaos. Thanks to Green Lantern Xax (II) being dispatched to Space Sector 3500 in 52 #31 these sites have assumed that both Green Lantern Xax and Green Lantern Thorman Tox are from that Sector.  I’m fairly certain this isn’t accurate, because the Guardians sent the two Lanterns on a mission to find the Green Lantern of that sector, Ekron. Skimming through every appearance of Xax in DC history I haven’t found a single reference to the sector location of Xaos.

The most reliable DC reference site, DCUGuide, pegs the Space Sector as 3550. I’m not sure where they pulled that information. Anyway, it is only one of two anomalies related to the this grasshopper-like Green Lantern. That brings us to the second anomaly: Xax showing up in The Green Lantern #2.

Xax is alive! Again! Maybe! The assumption is that the name Xax is popular on the planet Xaos. As of The Green Lantern #2 there have been three Green Lanterns from Xaos with the name Xax (and possibly a Darkstar). Let’s start with the first.

Green Lantern Xax I

First Appearance: Green Lantern, Vol. 2, #9
Death: Green Lantern Vol. 2, #198
Creators: Bill Keane & John Broome

Green Lantern Xax is one of the oldest allies of Green Lantern Hal Jordan. He made is first appearance way back in Green Lantern, Vol. 2, #9. He was joined by Green Lanterns Chaselon, Tomar-Re, Larvox, NautKeLoi, and Rori Stroh.

Xax, Chaselon, Rori Stroh, Larvox, NautKeLoi

Left to Right: Green Lanterns Xax, Chaselon, Rori Stroh, Larvox, NautKeLoi | By Bill Keane and John Broome

Xax (I) had a long life of adventures including the one mentioned above alongside Green Lantern Volk. Sadly, the little Lantern met his end saving the Universe during Crisis. 

Green Lantern Vol. 2 #198 is arguably one of the single saddest issues of Green Lantern. It takes place alongside the final issue of Crisis on Infinite Earths. At this point in the story, Hal Jordan hasn’t been Green Lantern for a few years. Instead, he’s been replaced by a brain-damaged Guy Gardner. Gardner drags Jordan into space with a bunch of villains in an attempt to destroy the Anti-Monitors home planet. John Stewart and the remnants of the Green Lantern Corps know destroying the planet will have the opposite effect and will instead make the Anti-Monitor all-powerful, so they set out to stop Hal and Guy.

The battle leads to the Anti-Matter Universe where the two sides are forced to also battle the Qwardians. One of the Qwardians manages to strike down Green Lantern Xax while Goldface terminally wounds Green Lantern Tomar-Re. It sucks. Elsewhere in the Universe, the Anti-Monitor is defeated making the mission to blow up his homeworld pointless. Tomar-Re, in his last act, gives his ring to John Stewart because Stewart is wearing Hal Jordan’s ring. The ring on Stewart’s finger goes to Jordan and Jordan is, once again, a Green Lantern.

Green Lantern Xax dies

Green Lantern Vol. 2 #198 | Words: Steve Englehart | Art: Joe Staton

Darkstar Xax

First Appearance: Darkstars #27

Michael Jan Friedman reintroduced a character named Xax during his run on Darkstars.

During the events of Emerald Twilight, the Central Power Battery was destroyed by a Parallax-possessed Hal Jordan. This decimated the Green Lantern Corps and left the Universe without a police force. The Controllers stepped in by introducing the Darkstars. Many of the Darkstars were former Green Lanterns (more on the Darkstars when we get to Blackstars below).

Lanterns become Darkstars

Darkstars #27 | Words: Michael Jan Friedman | Art: Mike Collins

When these Lanterns join the fight, the dialogue suggests this Green Lantern Xax had previously been a member of the Corps. Xax was clearly dead after the events of Crisis so that death wasn’t undone by Crisis. Therefore, we need to assume this is a new Xax from the planet Xaos. The brief two lines of dialogue above is the extent of Darkstar Xax’s action in the series. Assumedly, after the Controllers decide to stick a fork in this iteration of Darkstars and the Guardians started to bring back the Corps, this Xax became the new Green Lantern Xax.

Green Lantern Xax II

First Appearance: 52, #31
Last Appearance: 52, #31 

Sadly, Green Lantern Xax II met a tragic end at the hands of Lady Styx. The Lantern, along with his partner Thorman Tox, made a last stand in Space Sector 3500. They were both murdered, she ate their rings, and Xax, ugh, was turned into an earring.

Lady Styx eating Green Lantern rings

52 #31 | Lady Styx eats rings and wears Xax

Green Lantern Xax III

And that brings us to The Green Lantern #2 and Green Lantern Xax III. The newest Lantern from Xaos (we think) arrives with Volk to assist Rot Lop Fan’s investigation into the disappearance of Evil Star.

Green Lantern Trilla-Tru

Space Sector: 2813
Home Planet: Xudar
First Appearance: The Green Lantern #1
Creators: Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp

We covered what we know about Green Lantern Trilla-Tru and the Xudarin Green Lanterns during the first issue’s deep dive. This issue she plays bad cop to Hal Jordan’s good cop during the interrogation of Spider Pirate. In interviews, Sharp’s said Trilla-Tru has become a favorite of the creators, so it’s possible we’ll see more of her in future issues.

Green Lantern Maxim Tox

Space Sector: 2018
Home Planet: Melmoor
First Appearance: The Green Lantern #1
Creators: Grant Morrison & Liam Sharp

We covered Green Lantern Maxim Tox in the first issue’s deep dive. Last we saw the Lantern of Sector 2018 we thought he was murdered by the “Anti-Matter Lantern.” This issue we learn he’s currently in an “induced coma.” There may be more of Maxim Tox in our future.

The Villains

Controller Mu and the Blackstars

First Appearance: The Green Lantern #1
Creators: Grant Morrison & Liam Sharp

Blackstars

We drilled down on Controller Mu and the Controllers in the issue one deep dive. However, we only scratched the surface with the Blackstars because they only appeared in the preview at the end of The Green Lantern #1 (I believe the Controller looking aliens standing behind Controller Mu prior to the reveal of the Anti-Matter Lantern are the other Controllers and not Blackstars). This was our first time seeing Controller Mu’s space force in action.

Darkstars #38 | Words: Michael Jan Friedman | Art: Mike Collins

The Blackstars are an updated version of the Controller’s intergalactic police force known as the Darkstars. The Darkstars were created by the Controllers to quietly rival the Green Lanterns Corps. It wasn’t until the Guardians of the Universe left our dimension, after the events of Emerald Twilight, that the Controllers saw an opportunity to increase the Darkstars ranks. They sought to become a commanding presence thanks to the void left by the dissolved Green Lantern Corps.

Over time, the Darkstars would grow to include many former Green Lanterns. Popular heroes like John Stewart and the Amazonian Donna Troy were among the original version of the Darkstars.

Unlike the Guardians, the Controllers were hands-off when it came to overseeing their police force. Overtime, the Controllers saw the Darkstars grow more independent. The Controllers eventually determined the project had failed and the “need to reduce chaos in the Universe is still largely unmet.”

The Controllers abandoned the project. Meanwhile, the Green Lantern Corps was slowly repopulating ranks and once again becoming a recognized police force in the galaxy. Those two factors alone were enough to begin the collapse of the Darkstars. The death blow came when Grayven, the third son of Thanos, hunted down and killed several of the Darkstars and seriously wounded John Stewart. The battle was enough to lead to the regulation of all but three of the remaining Darkstars.

The last three, Ferrin Colos, Munchukk, and Chaser Bron, later perished while valiantly defending the planet Rann from Starbreaker.

Death of Ferrin Colos

Adam Strange Vol. 2 #8 | Words: Andy Diggle | Art: Pascal Ferry

In Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, the Controllers return to menace the Guardians. The most recent plan was to activate a new version of the Darkstars. Alas, as is often the case with Controller plans, things went awry. The Darkstars rebelled and turned the Controllers into a sort of living battery. The Darkstars, believing the Lanterns to be too lenient, went on a criminal execution spree across the Universe. At the end of the arc, the Darkstars were decommissioned and the Controllers, all of them in a comatose state, were taken into custody.

Enter: Controller Mu and the Blackstars. Considering what the Darkstars did to the Controllers in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps it’s not a surprise Controller Mu would want to change their name. These Blackstars wear an enhanced version of the Darkstar exomantle battle armor and thought-controlled maser blasters. Much like previous Darkstars, the force is made up of a variety of alien races.

They’re still nameless and, honestly, I’m only confident as to the race of one of the three extraterrestrials.

The Blackstar in the middle of the above lineup is clearly a shapeshifting Durlan. On page three of The Green Lantern #2 the alien is hit with energy from Rot Lop Fan’s Power Bell and loses control of her shape. More on Durlans in a moment. My guess with the guy on the left is he’s possibly Gordanian or Psion. On the right, is possibly a Khund.

Update (1/6/18): Deep Space Transmissions has a cool theory as to who these Blackstars might be in his annotations for issue 2. His annotations are definitely worth a read.

The three Blackstars here may or may not be intended to represent specific characters –all ex-Green Lanterns – who’ve appeared before, specifically the Psion Gorius Karkum (created by Tony Bedard and Claude St. Aubin in 2010’s R.E.B.E.L.S. #16); the Durlan Von Daggle (created by Keith Champagne and Patrick Gleason in 2007’s Green Lantern Corps #7 – Daggle, presumably an ancestor of the Legion’s Reep Daggle, aka Chameleon Boy, presents as male in the GLC story, but Mark Waid and Barry Kitson’s 2004 ‘Threeboot’ version of the Legion established that all Durlans are androgynous and can change gender at will); and the Khundian Kho Kharhi (created by Gail Simone and Bernard Chang in 2008’s Wonder Woman #18).

Durlans

Durlans and Khund are enjoying a moment of pop culture celebrity thanks to their inclusion in the CW show Supergirl. In the current season, the President of Earth was outed as a Durlan. It was one of several moments that’s lead to an anti-alien movement in Supergirl’s Universe.

The story of Durla

Legion of Super-Heroes #301 | Words and Art: Paul Levitz & Keith Giffen | Letters: John Costanza

In the DC comic Universe, the Durlans have a long history stretching all the way into the 31st Century. One thousand years from now we have the most famous Durlan of all time, Chameleon Boy. Chameleon Boy was introduced in Action Comics #267 in 1960 (also the first appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes). Durla, the home planet of the Durlans, would receive it first mentions a year later in Superman Annual #4. However, it would be more than 20 years before Durla received a proper backstory in Legion of Super-Heroes #301. In that issue, Chameleon Boy and his father, R.J. Brande, return to Durla so Chameleon Boy can regain his powers.

According to the Multiversal Omnipedia, there are three types of Durlans, “two sects splintered their species who divided into the Purists who sought to reset their genetic makeup and the Futurists who intended to prevent them from achieving their goal.”

The third sect is believed to be the one Chameleon Boy descended from and is possibly the true form of the Durlans. That tribe had been contained in a bottled city by Brainiac before the Six-Minute War of Durla.

I’m not exactly certain when it was established that the Durlans existed in the modern DC Universe timeline. They did play an important role in the 1988 crossover event Invasion!

Blackstar Commander: “Vampiress” or Countess Belzebeth

Countess Belzebeth

The Green Lantern #2 | Words: Grant Morrison | Art: Liam Sharp

First Appearance: The Green Lantern #2
Creators: Grant Morrison & Liam Shar

We don’t know much about the Commander of the Blackstars other than she has vampire-like tendencies and noble lineage. I believe Liam Sharp referred to her as “Vampiress” in an interview I was reading while traveling public transit. Although I haven’t been able to track down that interview, so I might be wrong. Controller Mu says she’s “firstborn of a feared and noble celestial lineage.”

The “Vampiress” could be related to a long list of “feared and noble” celestial beings. Her mascara is similar to designs we often see on Monitors. Her body structure has notes of Lady Styx.

Of course, if we’re talking space vampires and Sun-Eaters (wait, we are? Yes, stick with me) we could easily draw a twisted ancestral tree branch to the “cosmic vampire” Starbreaker. If you Google “Space Vampire, DC” your first hit will be Starbreaker. Starbreaker once claimed he’s the adult form of a Sun-Eater, so he’d be an interesting choice for a father. Why? Well, thanks to solicitations (SPOILERS!), we know in issue four we’ll see “a Blackstar heavyweight demands access to a secret vault on planet Weirwimm, threatening its gruesome annihilation with Sun-Eaters.”

The cover of The Green Lantern #4 sure does look like a clever nod to Starbreaker’s first appearance on the cover of Justice League of America #96.

Starbreak The Green Lantern

Starbreakers first appearance in Justice League of America #96

Sun-Eaters were an early weapon of the Controllers. If the Controllers determined a planet was “too evil” they’d unleash one of the Sun-Eaters. It was one of these Sun-Eaters that allowed Hal Jordan to find redemption after he became infected by Parallax. After the Sun-Eater consumed Earth’s Sun, Parallax (Hal) sacrificed himself to reignite it.

A Sun-Eater was also used to defeat Lady Styx in 52. What if Lady Styx somehow merged with that Sun-Eater and created this space vampiress?

Note and possible spoiler (updated December 20, 2019): The solicitation for The Green Lantern #5 (March 2019) mentions the Blackstars leader “Countess Belzebeth.” it also mentions a vampire planet called Vorr. This is likely our girl but we can’t say for sure. Solicits can often be misleading.

Evil Star

First Appearance: Green Lantern, Vol. 2, #37
Home Planet: Auron
Creator: Gardner Fox & Gil Kaine

It’s interesting how much of this issue is made up of characters who had direct or tangential relationships with the 90s-era Darkstars. That was a time when the Green Lantern Corps was on hiatus, Kyle Rayner was the sole Lantern in the Universe, Hal Jordan was cooling his heels after going mad as Parallax, and the Guardians had checked out of the Universe.

Darkstars was the series that fleshed out this Silver Age villain and made him, in spite of his silly name, a formidable Big Bad in the Universe.

Evil Star’s story is tragic. He developed technology, his Starband, that gave him immense power and near immortality. It derived its power from the stars, hence, the Guardians locking him up in the starless Obsidian Deeps. The cost was not only his sanity while wearing the Starband, but it also aged the inhabitants of his home planet prematurely. They asked Evil Star to destroy the Starband. he didn’t listen because when he wore it he became a sadistic, power-hungry tyrant. It made him so evil that he watched with glee as his wife and child aged and died before his eyes. When the people of his planet tried to intervene and take away his power he responded by killing all 2.5 billion inhabitants.

When he’s separated from the band, as we see at the end of The Green Lantern #2, he starts to age rapidly while feeling guilt and remorse.

Evil Star is joined on those final pages by his Starlings. They’re adorable in these panels but that’s deceptive. As Guy Gardner learned during his awkward “Warrior” phase, they can be murderously savage.

Guy Gardner and Evil Star

Guy Gardner: Warrior #37 | Words: Beau Smith | Art: Marc Campos

Spider Pirate and the Spider-Guild

First Appearance: The Green Lantern #1
Creators: Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp

We tackled “Spider Pirate” and the Spider Guild during last issue’s deep dive. Thanks to this issue’s interrogation scene we have more details on the backstory of this new character and some new concepts to add to Spider Guild lore. “Spider Pirate,” whose real name is still unknown, is the daughter of Guild-Mother Moha Klipsa. According to Jordan, Space Pirate got herself “a bunch of body mods and ran away with Kraak and his pirates to spite your momstress.”

Once Spider-Pirate starts rambling about the pirate mission we learn, disturbingly, that she had an affair with Kommander Kraak (also covered during the first issue’s deep dive). TMI, Spider Pirate, T.M.I.

The fact that the Spider Guild has family structures that include “Guild-Mothers” is an amusing Morrison invention. Traditionally, the space arachnids are tied to their nestworld and travel in groups.

Volgar Zo

Volgar Zo is from the Planet Dhor. Volgar Zo is a new character but this isn’t the first time we’ve met a despotic, Earth-stealing Dhorian. The most infamous Dhorian is Kanjar Ro who has a long history battling the Justice League. We don’t know much about Volgar Zo, but I’d never pass up an opportunity to write about Kanjar Ro (warning: this might get long). Let’s dive in.

The Dhorian dictator (Delon of Dhor), established way back in the third issue of Justice League of America, is one of the most interesting characters in DC’s intergalactic rogues’ gallery. Unfortunately, he’s been poorly utilized since those early appearances and his history since Crisis on Infinite Earths is a bit, well, muddled.

Kanjar, like Volgar, hails from the planet Dhor in the Antares system. Although we don’t know the Space Sector of Antares we do know it’s important to the history of the Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians of the Universe. In addition to Dhor, Antares contains several other planets including Alstair. Readers of Sam Humphries run on Green Lanterns will know Alstair was the birthplace of Calleen. She was Green Lantern 006, one of the original seven Green Lanterns created by the Guardians ten billion years ago to battle Volthoom. Fun additional fact for Swamp Thing fans, according to Green Lanterns #26, Calleen’s the first plant elemental in the Universe.

Mega-annums later, and well after the Green Lantern Corps is firmly established, Alstair would be ruled by Hyathis. She’d become embroiled in a feud with three other planets and their rulers: Sayyar of Llarr, Kromm of Mosteel, and Kanjar Ro of Dhor.

 Queen Hyathis of Alstair

Justice League of America #3 | Words by Gardner Fox | Art by Mike Sekowsky

Slave Ship of SpaceThe feuding planets of Antares and their four rulers were first seen in Justice League of America #3. The title of this issue, “Slave Ship of Space,” is a clear nod to the title of the forthcoming The Green Lantern #3, “Slave Lords of the Stars.” In it, we’re introduced to Kanjar Ro who used the power of the Gamma Gong to immobilize everyone on Earth. If the Justice League of America helps him defeat his enemies he agrees to free the planet. Of course, the heroes turn the tables on Kanjar Ro. They banish all of the rulers to a Superman built meteorite planet with an atmosphere and shield created by Green Lantern. Because of course they do.

Kanjar Ro on meteor planet

Justice League of America #3 | Words: Gardner Fox | Art: Mike Sekowsky

Kanjar Ro eventually escapes and heads to Rann. In secret, he creates a device that uses the energy from Rann’s sun to give him Superman-like powers. Thanks to occasional Rann resident, Adam Strange, the JLA is alerted and they come to the aid of the planet and defeat Kanjar Ro. He’s left imprisoned on Rann to become an occasional thorn in the side of Adam Strange.

Phew, still with me? This next part is relevant to Volgar Zo.

Kanjar Ro stealing EarthKanjar Ro continues to have an obsession with Earth. His obsession runs so deep that in issue 24 of Justice League of America he attempts to steal the planet. So stealing Earth is totally a firmly established thing for the Dhorians.

Kanjar Ro’s big pre-Crisis moment arrived in Showcase issues 101-103. Kanjar escapes his prison and successfully leads a rebellion to overthrow Rann. The dictator launches an attack on the nearby planet of Thanagar. When he does we learn that one of this former enemies, Hyathis of Alstair, has been appointed Queen of the planet. Thanagar has never had rulers, so Hawkman disagrees with the appointment. Unfortunately, when Kanjar Ro attempts to assassinate her, Hawkman is forced to save her life.  As thanks, instead of executing Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Hyathis instead banishes the duo from their home planet. Kanjar Ro goes back to prison on Rann.

After Crisis things get briefly weird for one of the Justice League’s greatest adversaries. For whatever reason, he’s retconned into a Thangarian bureaucrat for a handful of issues of Hawkworld Vol. 2. *shrug*

Kanjar Ro Hawkworld

Hawkworld Vol 2 Issue 1 | Words: John Ostrander & Tim Truman | Art: Graham Nolan

He eventually returns as a tyrannical conqueror in the pages of Action Comics issue 786 where he nearly defeats Superman thanks to a red sun. He’s left on B’Dartha in shackles.

Eventually, Kanjar Ro runs into the JLA again when he takes the role of Minister of Defense for the Kylaq. That doesn’t work out so well because it turns out he was torturing prisoners. The JLA project his crimes all over the planet and he’s ousted from his position. Oddly, they don’t take him into custody but he does get scolded by Superman (note: comics aren’t political, nope, never).

JLA #79 | Words: Joe Kelly | Art: Doug Mahnke

By the time he shows up again in JLA Vol. 2, issue 19, he’s in need of cash. Instead of simply defeating the Justice League he wants to farm their DNA and sell it on the galactic black market. He fails and ends up in an Oan Sciencecell. This doesn’t go so well for him because he’s nearly executed by the Alpha Lanterns during the lead up to Blackest Night.

We don’t see it happen, but somehow during the chaos of Blackest Night, Kanjar must have escaped from the Lanterns. He turns up a month later in an issue of R.E.B.E.L.S. once again the dictator of Dhor. Note, this is the first time Kanjar has been the dictator of Dhor since he failed to use the Justice League of America way back in 1961. Comics!

During an invasion by the forces of Starro, Adam Strange is forced to rescue Kanjar so Vril Dox can use the metal of the Gamma Gong. Kanja briefly joins R.E.B.E.L.S. but, assumedly, goes back to being a dictator after Starro is defeated. That’s where we last saw Kanjar Ro. Will he turn up in future issues of The Green Lantern? Is Volgar Zo working on his behalf? Or are all Dhorians slavers and planet stealers?

Bangbang and the Reverbereebees

First Appearance: The Green Lantern #2
Creator: Grant Morisson

Other than being the name of my new bubblegum pop garage band, this gang seems to be a completely new invention. One thing I love about this series is how often Morisson snaps his fingers and builds character history with one speech bubble. We previously saw this with Green Lantern Maxim Tox in issue 1. On page five we see Rot Lop Fan wallowing in his failure saying this is the first time. His fellow silicone-based lifeform, Toolface, points out that there was also the time with Bangbang and the Reverbereebees which probably counts “if you think about how that turned out.” We don’t know who this likely gang of Obsidian Deeps villains are but we know they were important to Rot Lop Fan’s time as a member of the F–Sharp Bell Corps. I want to read this story.

Other Characters

Nurse Olaqua

Creators: Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp

A six-arm nurse attending to Evil Star on the Orbital Medical Facility above the Planet Hippocrates. Sharp explained to SyFy why he chose the facility and character design: “there’s a hospital above one of the planets and it has a red cross on the side of it, like a universal symbol for nurses, doctors, and ambulances. It also oddly makes sense. If every planet was space-faring, you’d need to have some recognizable signposts otherwise it’s going to be chaos out there.”

Places and Things

New Oa

Doctor Manhattan and Oa

I feel bad putting that ugly red arrow over Sharp and Oliff’s work.

I discussed where New Oa came from during Green Lantern #1’s deep dive. This issue we get to see more of the new home base of the Green Lantern Corps.

After issue #2 it’s difficult to imagine this series with any artist but Liam Sharp. He’s definitely at the top of his craft and nowhere does it show more than his rendition of New Oa. If DC’s marketing department is paying attention to Internet buzz it would let Sharp turn that page into a limited edition print ASAP.

Side note: Considering the success of companies like Mondo why don’t Marvel and DC publish limited edition prints?

In the image to the left, I’ve savagely cut the page down and put a ghastly red arrow on it (check out the unmolested version here). I want to call out Doctor Manhattan’s forehead atom symbol. This is the symbol’s second appearance. Last month we saw it marking the Book of Oa. This month it’s at the top of Oa looking out like the Eye of Sauron. It suggests there’s more happening below the surface of this Green Lantern series. Thanks to last month’s teaser we know we’ll be seeing Green Lanterns from across the multiverse soon. Is it connected?

The Great Void & Obsidian Deeps of the Southern Supervoid

Solicits can be misleading. The solicit for issue two said, “someone is transporting a mysterious cargo out of the Great Void.” I started doing the grunt work to figure out “what is this Great Void in the next issue?” I think “The Great Void” was simply a place holder to hide the fact that we’d meet Rot Lop Fan and dive into his home in the Obsidian Deeps. As far as I can tell, there is no reference in DC canon to a region of space called “The Great Void.”

That said, if the DC Universe reflects our Universe there is a precedent for a starless region of space called The Great Void. According to Wikipedia, the Great Void, technically known as Boötes void, “is an enormous, approximately spherically-shaped region of space, containing very few galaxies. It is located in the vicinity of the constellation Boötes, hence its name. Its center is located at approximately right ascension 14h 50m and declination 46°.”

Some consider it the “spookiest place in the cosmos“:

At first, they were only able to find eight galaxies across the expanse, but further observations revealed a total of 60 galaxies. Now, while that might still seem like a lot, it would be like stumbling upon 60 mile-long objects across a region larger than the continental United States (and that’s just in two dimensions). According to astronomer Greg Aldering, the scale of the void is such that, ‘If the Milky Way had been in the center of the Boötes void, we wouldn’t have known there were other galaxies until the 1960s.’

So there you have it. In the DC Universe, the Southern Supervoid is the equivalent of our Boötes void. Thanks for playing.

Controller Mu’s Five Components

We know Controller Mu is seeking five components. The assumption is these components will create an ultimate weapon allowing the Controllers to extinguish evil from the Universe. That’s sort of the Controller modus operandi. As of the end of The Green Lantern issue 2, he’s acquired three of the five components.

The Luck Dial

The Luck Dial was covered in the previous deep dive. There wasn’t anything new to add this issue.

Heart of the Anti-Matter Lantern

The Anti-Matter Lantern was discussed in the previous deep dive. He still remains a mystery at the end of issue two.

Star-Band

I want to take a moment and point out that The Green Lantern issue 2, as far as I can determine, is the only time Evil Star’s “starband” is written with a hyphen. My wife, who’s a copy editor and Grant Morrison fan, tells me “that’s one of his things. He loves hyphens.” Anyway, as mentioned above in the Evil Star section, the star-band draws power from nearby stars granting the wearer great power and immortality.

Controller Mu says “we have successfully retro-engineered and improved upon the Auran star-band apparatus. Mass-production is under way. Power equal to, even surpassing, the ring-weapons of the Green Lantern Corps is ours.”

He trades the star-band technology as part of an army of unbeatable warriors to the Dhorians for an unmentioned “resource.”

Next Time

And that’s it! All of my deep dives into The Green Lantern series should be considered living documents. They’ll be updated when I have new information. At some point, possibly after the first arc, I might pull it all into a single post. In the meantime, here’s the solicit for The Green Lantern #3.

When the Earth goes up for sale on the alien black market, it’s up to the Green Lantern Corps to bust up “The Slave Lords of the Stars” in the latest space saga from Grant Morrison (MULTIVERSITY) and Liam Sharp (WONDER WOMAN)! With the Justice League frozen by Gamma Gong tech, Earth ends up on the auction block, and Volgar Zo hosts a menagerie of the universe’s deadliest despots and criminals: Steppenwolf, Queen Bee, the Dominators and much, much worse. Hal Jordan leads a squad of Lanterns into the fray—and someone’s going to pay the ultimate price before this case gets closed.

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