The Vanier Report: Week 14
Convergence: Green Lantern/Parallax #1
Written by: Tony Bedard
Pencils by: Ron Wagner
Inks by: Bill Reinhold
Colours by: Paul Mounts
Letters by: Dave Sharpe
Convergence: Green Lantern/Parallax opens in the domed city of pre-Zero Hour Metropolis, where a depowered Kyle Rayner arrives at the 8th Police Precinct for his nearly daily visits to one of the inmates. The inmate, of course, is Hal Jordan, formerly the greatest member of the Green Lantern Corps before the destruction of Coast City made him the power-mad supervillain Parallax.
Since the dome went up, Hal has been cut off from Parallax’s massive powers, snapping back to normal while retaining all of his memories. Crippled by the guilt of having murdered the Guardians of the Universe and the entire Green Lantern Corps, he has voluntarily had himself locked away. Kyle, his short-lived successor, has been his only visitor, desperately trying to help Hal separate Parallax’s actions from his own.
As with all of the tie-in first issues, Telos’ planet-combat tournament sees the dome finally lowered, reactivating Kyle’s ring and making him Green Lantern once again. It also restores Parallax’s hold on Hal Jordan – cosmic-level powers and all. And yet, the relationship Kyle built with Hal under the dome has had an effect, as he is able to reach Hal in spite of Parallax. But this moment is cut short when Kyle is attacked by Princess Fern and the armies of Electropolis, come to kill Kyle and save their city. The attack allows Parallax to reassert his control over Hal, flying to Electropolis to annihilate it completely.
Tony Bedard’s story is possibly the simplest of the Convergence tie-ins I’ve read thus far, but there’s something I like about that. By this point, we are all too familiar with Telos’ long speech about how each city’s champions must fight, so instead of dwelling on the circumstance of the dome and winding up on Telos, Bedard dedicates the focus of his story to developing the primary characters. Bedard demonstrates his understanding of both Kyle and Hal in his extremely well-crafted dialogue, emphasizing the empathy and compassion of both characters. And when the dome comes down, he shows equal dexterity with the ruthless arrogance of Parallax.
The art is equally strong. Ron Wagner’s pencils capture the humanity of Hal Jordan at his lowest as well as the rage and power of Parallax at his most dangerous. But the true visual highlight of the issue has to be Paul Mounts’ colours. While there is obviously a preponderance of green, there is character in their various hues and tones; from subtle glows and reflections to intense energy blasts and constructs, there is incredible nuance to the various “greens” in the issue. There is even a hint of yellow in the energies surrounding Parallax – perhaps a nod to the late 2000s retcon that turned Parallax into the living embodiment of the Yellow Light of Fear.
Overall, this issue boasts a strong script with solid characterization and vibrant visuals that support and enhance the story. And with Lady Quark occupied in a fight with Matrix Supergirl, the threat to Electropolis is very real. Will Kyle be able to stop Parallax from wiping the city out entirely? Can Hal be redeemed without having to go through the trials of Zero Hour and “Final Night”? All of these questions are top of mind as Bedard’s first installment comes to an end, promising what could be one of the strongest finishes to the Convergence tie-ins.
Feature Written By: Reid Vanier
“Reid is a comic book fan masquerading as a theatre artist. His love of comics (specifically DC) was inherited by his father’s collections of Flash, Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, and Justice League of America. Reid is now the Editor and Lead Writer of Modern Mythologies.”