As Hal continues trying to readjust himself to normal life, a crazed alien species bearing a pink ring finds Carol and picks her as the ring’s new host. The ring seeks to mate with Hal and soon finds that Carol is no longer the object of his affection, it is a new woman by the name of Jillian Pearlman, otherwise known as Cowgirl. Now, with Carol’s help, Hal must save Jillian and stop the Star Sapphires from furthering their plots, but little does he now that this is just the start of a far greater story that will change the fate of the universe itself.
This was a pretty fun and sort of light read, you don’t need to be too ingrained with Green Lantern knowledge to read it, most of what happened in the past is alluded to here, if not said in no unclear terms. There was a time when Hal and Carol were an item, but these days Hal has his eyes on a different girl, sensing this, the Star Sapphire takes hold over Jillian and the battle continues. We get some fun fights and the very interesting sight of Carol lighting up as a Green Lantern in a variant of her old Star Sapphire suit.
For a story arc that deals with lost love and moving on, it’s not as emotional as one might expect. A lot of these important traits to the story are found within the details of the story, a look here or there, a snide comment between Carol and Jillian, there is definitely a bit of a rivalry between the two girls, but it doesn’t take center stage. For the most part, we’re learning that Carol might still have a bit of a thing for Hal, despite getting married in the time he was dead – this leads to the amusing conversation of
“You got married?”
“You were dead . . . “
“I wasn’t dead that long,”
Oh, Hal, you card.
Tons of awkward comedy to be found here! This is the same Hal people have come to love and hate, the man who tries to inject comedy whenever he can because he can’t properly face the trouble that he causes. For the most part, it doesn’t seem like Hal has changed too much, and we see that this bothers Carol a bit. She might have moved on…maybe, but she seems unsettled that Hal still seems to be the same immature guy that sleeps with someone and doesn’t call them back. This leads me to think Carol is probably attracted to this sort of thing, that reckless attitude is a sort of drug for her and in the time Hal was dead, she realized she was better off without it, but as soon as it appears in her life yet again, it’s hard to see why she moved on.
The second and third part of this arc is where a lot of story involving the Star Sapphires picks up. We learn that they were once members of the Guardians and left them, not wanting to abandon all emotion. They found a new home world and there they also found the parasitic Star Sapphire. The Sapphires try to “protect” all that they love in the most cruel way possible – eternal preservation. They literally take every single cell of a planet and turn it to stone, encasing all life within the planet in pink sapphire. Also they sleep around with Green Lanterns and then kill them. (in an alternate world, Hal is so the Star Sapphire of this sector of the universe)
In the end, Hal is able to solve the crisis by allowing one of the Zamarons to become the object of his attraction. He does this by kissing the strange looking alien and doing his best to make it look convincing for the Star Sapphire. The thing attaches itself to the Zamaron and soon enough her fellow warriors realize that simply letting the parasite take over the host won’t work, the strength is too great and untempered, they’ll need to take a different approach in their battle for protection of the universe…
So this isn’t quite the start of the War of Light, that begins next time with the Sinestro Corps War, but Mystery of the Star Sapphires does a very important job of setting things up. This is the arc that starts opening up the world of Green Lantern to a strange new plethora of different Corps as we see the creation of the Star Sapphire Corps at the very end of this arc. The Zamarons have learned that the Star Sapphires themselves are too parasitic to simply allow them to take control of a host, so they take a page from the Guardians and create a ring, giving birth to the Star Sapphire Corps. The Sapphires realize that they have done what the Guardians did and turned their backs on other emotions, so they now intend to collect rings from a number of different Corps.
The art is also pretty fun to admire throughout the issues as it does seem to take on a different appeal than the previous issues in this volume of Green Lantern. There’s a sort of soft, pastel look going on all across the story arc. I’m actually sort of reminded of Rockwell’s works as I read these issues and it gives them that much of an extra layer of intrigue. Sometimes the art doesn’t quite work, not being able to properly portray the emotions of a given character, but, for the most part, I think it’s a lot of fun to admire.
Overall, this is a good arc, it’s not too bogged down in the past as one would expect from something revolving around former lovers. It’s mostly about looking forward, moving on, and getting ready for a major event.