Review: Green Lantern Vol 2 - Revenge of the Black Hand (The New 52) / Author: Geoff Johns / Artist: Doug Manhke / Publisher: DC / Release Date: January 15th 2013
DC's obsession with colour coding its superhuman factions is most notable in the Green Lantern comic books. It's not enough to simply have one band of heroes with power rings that can do almost anything; all the colours of the rainbow now have their champions, and this extra level of complexity has continued into the newly rebooted continuity. This is a problem because Green Lantern Vol 2: Revenge of the Black Hand is mired in backstory, and though a new reader can figure out what is going on, it's much more interesting if you know the whole thing.
The first half of the book reveals the secrets of the … wait for it … Indigo Tribe, a colour coded combo with compassion-based powers. The basic idea behind the tribe is an interesting one, and lays the groundwork for a potentially rich and engaging series of stories. Alas, we don't spend as much time with these mysterious hippies as they deserve, and instead the tale goes on to pursue the sinister Black Hand, a scenery-chewing villain with the power to raise the dead. Cue a series of rather exciting sequences where Green Lantern Hal Jordan and his arch-enemy Sinestro team up to fight zombies.
Doug Manhke's artwork is clean and cinematic, and Geoff Johns spins a nice, long tale of cosmic terror and adventure. The characters all work the way you expect them to and there is even a little bit of depth to the square-jawed Hal Jordan. Green Lantern fans who are expecting more of the same won't be disappointed, but those new to the series should look further back for an introduction to this overly complex storyline.