Green Lanterns are not like other superheroes. They did not necessarily go through some tragedy, slap on a mask, and decide that they were going to go out and fight criminals. They are officers chosen for their fearlessness to enforce the law throughout the universe. They are not masked vigilantes, but rather intergalactic police officers.
They fight evil and protect the innocent because it is their duty. That must be why it must be so difficult for a Green Lantern to surrender his ring and badge.
Like "Mercenary!", this is a story that makes up "Tales of the Green Lantern Corps" and is narrated by Sinestro to expose the weakness of the Green Lantern Corps to an omnipotent being that was imprisoned by the Guardians of the Universe. However, unlike "Mercenary!", this story almost shows the hidden power of the Green Lantern Corps that lies in their weakness.
Ghrelk is the old man Lantern of space sector 69 and is a friend of a law enforcement officer from the planet Naktos, Varix. It goes without saying, but Green Lantern Ghrelk has been a part of the corps for a long time and continues to protect his sector even in his old age.
Varix notices that Ghrelk is neglecting his duties and even worse, Ghrelk's actions have been putting people in danger, including Varix's fellow officers. When he confronts Ghrelk, the old man claims that he has no idea what Varix is talking about. It does not take long for Varix to figure out that Ghrelk's mind has started to go.
Besides being the story about a Green Lantern's unintentional mistakes and failures, it is about learning to surrender. Compared to "Mercenary!, I like "Old Man Lantern" a lot more and I think it is able to stand alone as a story and does not need to be told in the context of "Tales of the Green Lantern Corps".
I also really like the art of this story. His art really conveys the age and sadness of Ghrelk. Trevor Von Eeden is not a household name in the comic book fandom, but I will definitely keep my eye out for his work.
ISSUE: TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #2 (1986)
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