Abin Sur has always been a bit of a nobody to me. He’s the dead Green Lantern, the chap who existed only to pass on his ring to Hal Jordan. Here, after 50 years and about a zillion flashbacks in which all he does is die, the maguffin becomes a character. For in the reality of Flashpoint, Sur remains the GL of Sector 2814, and we see that the motivating force of his personality is a respect for life.
The ring-bearer may be different, but other things are the same. Sinestro is the rebel, always willing to defy the Guardians of the Universe when they make a wrong call. And they’re refusing to sanction an all-out battle against the Black Lanterns, believing they have bigger fish to fry. The Guardians are asses in any reality, here happy to sacrifice the Earth, once ‘the White Entity – the very essence of life’ – has been retrieved from its hidey hole there. They charge Sur with bringing the entity to Oa, but he tells them that he’s not going to then leave the warring Atlanteans and Amazons to destroy Earth.
He heads to Earth in a spacecraft – presumably to preserve ring power – and guess what happens? Yup, something brings the ship down over Coast City. With two issues of this mini to go, it may have to change its name.
But that’s not all – the book ends on a cliffhanger, with the introduction of the Flashpoint version of Atrocitus.
Atrocitus, the White Lantern, the Black Lanterns, oh, and I never mentioned the prophecy … my least-favourite elements of the Green Lantern franchise, all in one book. Yet I enjoyed this comic a great deal, due to an elegant script from Adam Schlagman and gorgeous illustrations from Felipe Massafera. Schlagman presents Sur as strong-willed, but not obnoxious, with an opening fight against the Manhunters demonstrating his determination to defeat evil. Massafera’s artwork depicts Sur as an imposing man rather than the spindly weakling he’s often seemed in flashbacks. There’s a wonderfully illustrative quality that reaches its peak in a spread in which the Guardians watch events on Earth, from their Oan sky palace – think pulp sci-fi cover. And the opening scene from Sur’s youth has that magical feel of the best childhood times. The close of that scene is followed by a fine ‘matching on action’ image as we transition to today.
Partnering Massafera, colourist Rod Reis turns in the job of his career. The space scenes glow with a beauty rarely seen on the page. And letterer Dave Sharpe ensures the story is easily read, deploying a battery of styles to evoke character and mood.
Sur as depicted on Massafera’s cover looks like the upcoming movie version, his features akin to a corpse with the skin stripped back. It’s not a portrayal that appeals to me. Happily, while it’s still movie Abin Sur inside, the muscles and gristle stays out of sight.
I doubt I’ll buy future issues, the use of overused Green Lantern mythology rather kills my interest. But if you have more of a tolerance for it than me, this is a thoroughly decent event spin-off.