“Bye Bye Birdie!”
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Ryan Sook & Fernando Pasarin
Editor: Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza
Ray Palmer, the newest member of the Indigo Tribe, must protect Indigo-1 as she attempted to bring the various Lantern Corps to Earth to battle the Black Lanterns. But this is easier said than done, as Ray must battle not only Black Lanterns Hawkman and Hawkgirl, but his ex-wife, Jean Loring…
Pages 1-3: In 1968, Hawkman ended its 27-issue run and the Winged Wonder began appearing in the pages of The Atom. With issue #39, The Atom was re-titled The Atom and Hawkman, and ran until issue #45 in 1968.
A recap of the life and troubled times of Ray Palmer, a.k.a. the Atom. Unlike the rest of the Blackest Night-related titles from the past few months, the subject of this recap isn’t being raised as a Black Lantern.
Page 4: The Atom II, real name Raymond “Ray” Palmer. First appeared in Showcase #34. Able to shrink his body to varying degrees while controlling his weight and mass. Now a member of the Indigo Tribe. Last appeared in Blackest Night #6.
Note that Ray’s Indigo Tribe uniform is based on his look from the Sword of the Atom mini-series.
Page 5: Hawkman, real name Carter Hall. The reincarnation of Prince Khufu of Ancient Egypt. First appeared in Flash Comics #1. Killed in Hawkman (third series) #13. Was reincarnated in his current body in JSA #23. Killed again in Blackest Night #1. Able to fly using his Nth metal belt and artificial wings; also has enhanced strength and healing factor. Last appeared in Blackest Night #4.
Hawkgirl II, real name Kendra Saunders. The reincarnation of Princess Chay-Ara of Ancient Egypt. First appeared in JSA Secret Files and Origins #1. Killed in Blackest Night #1. Able to fly using her Nth metal belt and artificial wings; also has enhanced strength and healing factor. Last appeared in Blackest Night #4.
Page 6: “Not you and Carter. That’s what you do. You come back from the dead.” Due to a curse placed upon them by Hath-Set thousands of years ago, the souls of Prince Khufu and Princess Chay-Ara are fated to be reborn over and over again.
Page 8: Indigo-1, leader of the Indigo Tribe. First appeared in Green Lantern (fourth series) #25. Power staff allows her to fly, create energy constructs, and duplicate the abilities of other Lantern Corps. Last appeared in Blackest Night #6.
“But take care. Some are loud. And some are difficult to control.” The emotions at the far ends of the emotional spectrum – rage and love – have been shown to be quite difficult to control and harness.
“BLAAARRGHH” Oh, yeah, right…Red Lanterns vomit their crimson plasma. Pretty gross, really.
Page 9: “Every Black Lantern in the universe is heading towards Earth.” John Stewart already knows this, as seen in Blackest Night #6.
Page 10: Those two Black Lanterns in the wings are the aforementioned Prince Khufu and Princess Chay-Ara. They last appeared in Blackest Night #6.
In the background, the rest of the Lantern Corps are battling the Black Lantern Spectre, as seen in Green Lantern (fourth series) #50.
“Mine! That doesn’t belong to you!” Ray is channeling the power of the orange light of avarice, hence the greed-fueled ranting.
Page 11: Using the power of the Orange Lanterns, Ray creates avatars of the dead, in this case Hawkman and Hawkgirl.
“I know why you stayed small at Justice League meetings. Sitting in that little chair.” As anyone who is a fan of the classic JLA knows, the Atom had his own small chair that he sat in at meetings.
Page 12: Jean Loring, formerly known as Eclipso III. First appeared (as Jean) in Showcase #34 and (as Eclipso) in Day of Vengeance #1. Killed in Countdown to Final Crisis #17. Wields the Heart of Darkness which bestows superhuman strength, invulnerability, and the ability to project eye blasts. Last appeared in Blackest Night #6.
“Infection detected.” By leaping into Indigo-1’s power ring, Black Lantern Jean Loring has corrupted it.
Page 13: And that’s what Black Lantern infection of another Lantern’s power ring looks like. Not a whole lot of fun.
Page 14: That cake is for Ralph Dibny, a.k.a. the Elongated Man.
Time to start pulling at the heartstrings…
Page 15: Ray is witnessing the events that led to the death of Sue Dibny, as originally seen in Identity Crisis #1.
Page 16: Ray is feeling love, compassion and rage.
“You killed her. You killed her…for me.” As revealed in Identity Crisis #7, Jean Loring wanted to get back together with Ray Palmer. In her slightly-deranged mind, she rationalized that if someone threatened one of the loved ones of a super-hero, then the other heroes would rush to protect their loved ones. She only wanted to scare Sue Dibny, but instead ended up killing her by shrinking to microscopic size and walking around on her brain. Ray did, in fact, worry about Jean, but quickly turned from her when he learned what she had done.
Page 17: “The princess of Lilliput.” Jean refers to Princess Laethwen of the Morlaidhans, with whom Ray was involved during the Sword of the Atom mini-series and specials.
“Lilliput” is, of course, an island nation populated by tiny people “not six inches high,” as depicted in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.
Page 18: “Burned along with the rest of her people in the jungle.” As revealed in Power of the Atom #1, the Morlaidhans were destroyed by loggers who burned the jungle in which the colony was located.
Page 19: “You’re right. I’ll never forget you. But I won’t be haunted by you anymore.” Really? Are my hopes and dreams finally being answered? Is someone actually moving on from a tragedy and putting it behind them?
“Will.” Ray is using his abilities to duplicate the power of a Green Lantern power ring.
Page 20: Combining the green and indigo energies, Ray is able to destroy Black Lantern Jean.
“…but I’m moving on.” Yayyyyyyyy! It’s about freaking time! Now if only Garfield Logan can stop pining for Tara Markov, all will be right in the world.
Page 21: The members of the Indigo Tribe travel across the universe to the home worlds of the other Lantern Corps to recruit their aid against the Black Lanterns. Some notes…
As seen in recent issues of Green Lantern Corps, the Green Lanterns have been waging their own war against the Black Lanterns. I’m not sure when the Indigo Tribesmen arrive, though, because, as seen in Green Lantern Corps #44, Mogo destroyed all Black Lanterns on Oa.
In Green Lantern (fourth series) #46, Sinestro relocated the yellow power battery from Qward to Korugar. The members of the Sinestro Corps have been stationed there ever since, awaiting orders from their leader.
Zamaron is in shambles ever since Prince Khufu and Princess Chay-Ara, the two lovers whose embrace created the first Star Sapphire gem, were raised as Black Lanterns and freed the predator entity, as seen in Green Lantern (fourth series) #46.
Odym…is pretty darn peaceful. There’s hope for a brightest day right around the corner, I guess.
Considering that the last time we saw Ysmault in Green Lantern (fourth series) #47 the Red Lanterns were battling against the Black Lantern Five Inversions, things are pretty calm here. We never did see how Atrocitus escaped from the Five Inversions, but we do know that they are headed to Earth, as seen in Blackest Night #6.
Page 22: “Help me figure out how to bring Hawkman and Hawkgirl back to life.” I figured that was going to happen sooner or later. You can’t keep a good winged wonder down…