Issue: Flashpoint: Abin Sur – The Green Lantern #1
Release Date: June 1, 2011
Writer: Adam Schlagman
Art: Felipe Massafera
Colors: Rod Reis
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover: Felipe Massafera
Publisher: DC Comics
One of the first things I wondered about the “World of Flashpoint” was whether it was spread to the entire DC Universe. Abin Sur’s Flashpoint answered that question for me quite well. This is a Green Lantern book, but it’s not the Green Lantern mythos that we know. Well… not quite.
In the Flashpoint version of the Green Lantern story, there are a few differences that are immediately noticeable. Abin Sur is still alive, and Sinestro is a Green Lantern of high standing. But over and above that, what’s most noticeable on a visual level is that the Flashpoint version of Green Lantern looks exactly like the upcoming Green Lantern movies. This, I think, is no mere coincidence, and may in fact have a lot to do with the motivation behind DC’s plans from September onwards. But how the story looks doesn’t really have all that much to do with the narrative of the story, so that’s what we’ll look at now.
We are shown from the very start of the story that Abin Sur has been raised to believe that all life is sacred, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant that life is. He was thought to believe this by his sister, Arin Sur, who is now dead in the time frame of this Green Lantern book, which seems to be set a short time before the events of the main Flashpoint books, as Abin Sur has not yet gone to Earth or developed the friendship with Cyborg that is implied in the first issue of Flashpoint.
The story takes place at a period of time that would coincide with the “Blackest Night” event in the continuity of the main DCU. But the main difference (apart from the visual component) is that Hal Jordan has not been chosen as the Green Lantern of Sector 2814. Sinestro tells Abin Sur about the events of this alternate Blackest Night and that Abin is needed in order to help defeat Nekron. Kilowog has been killed and they need all the help that they can get. Sur declares though that it’s better to consult the Guardians about the next plan of action than go rushing in headlong. After a slightly violent disagreement about the subject, Abin does indeed go to see the Guardians. But it turns out that what they have planned for him is not quite what he originally had in mind.
The Guardians are worried about what’s transpiring on the planet Earth, which is within Abin Sur’s jurisdiction of Sector 2814. But the Guardians (who also look exactly like their imminent big screen counterparts) are more concerned with the extraction of the White Entity from the centre of the planet than they are about saving the lives of the six billion humans, and Abin is told explicitly that his mission is to preserve the White Entity and ensure that it doesn’t fall into the hands of Nekron. Abin tells the Guardians that he will do as they wish, but he won’t just leave six billion people to die — every life is sacred. Abin is ordered to take a ship to Earth (possibly maintaining some link to the “real” continuity, but he swears that he will defy the orders of the Guardians and do his best to save all life on planet Earth.
But before Abin can arrive at Earth, his ship is massively damaged by a mysterious purple energy source and, as his ship crashes to Earth, he instructs the ring to find a worthy successor should Abin perish in the crash. In the foreground, we see a jet plane from Ferris Aircraft. The implication is obviously that Hal Jordan finds the ring and becomes Green Lantern. But we’ve already see Abin alive and well in Flashpoint #1, having built a friendship with Cyborg, so all the drama is sucked right out of this scene.
Luckily, the next scene makes up for that in spades. We see Sinestro on the prison planet Ysmault, which we have come to know as the home of the Red Lanterns. But in this case, the only Red Lantern on the planet appears to be the leader of the Red Lanterns, Atrocitus. Atrocitus has raised his Red Lanterns but things haven’t gone too well for him, and he’s now the prisoner of Sinestro. Sinestro has evidently decided to try some alternative avenues in the fight against Nekron, and due to the fact that it was Atrocitus who killed Black Hand and released Nekron, Atrocitus will be the perfect person to interrogate about the prophecy of The Flashpoint.