I always liked the original Parallax, a guy that got so mad at his failure that he flat out lost it. I don't want to say I can relate, but you know, sometimes things make a guy mad, you know? And after all, Hal just wanted to make everything right again. When Geoff Johns wrote GL: Rebirth, he gave Hal the biggest out I've ever read, possibly one of the biggest retcons in comics history. He introduced a big yellow space-bug that was the true Parallax, and this yellow bug had made Hal Jordan do all those horrible things. I never really liked the concept, it seemed like a cheap out, so you can guess how I feel about this issue of GL.
I will admit, Geoff Johns does a nice job setting up the Spectre as such an unbeatable foe that really, the only rational choice is to allow a gigantic yellow bug to crawl down your throat, so I can't blame Hal for becoming Parallax again. My bigger problem is that I'm sort of losing interest in Blackest Night. I've been reading the same basic status quo for like 7 months now, and it is starting to get old. I mean, in the real world, like 7 months have passed, but in the DCU they're still in the middle of one bad day that started last summer. So even with Johns' patented hilarious dialogue for Ronnie Raymond, I just can't get worked up about most of the happenings here. There are a few pages dedicated to the New Guardians, the coolest of which deal with Scarecrow exulting in his own fear as he attacks the Spectre. Johns clearly has some cool things to say about the Scarecrow. I still puzzle over the Atom's compassion, but maybe I'll figure it out soon. I also didn't care for Mera's comment that she never wanted kids. Even if it is true, do you really say that when confronted by the animated corpses of both your son and husband? It seems a bit cruel, even for someone vomiting acid-blood.
Doug Mahnke draws the heck out the proceedings, as he always does. The Spectre actually looks spooky, not an easy feat with that silly goatee. The New Guardians looks pretty cool too, again, not an easy job. Mahnke is easily one of the best pencillers working right now.