In a book that’s been on and off my radar since about seven or so issues in, HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS has finally seemed to lock me up for a steady ride so far. It’s killed me every time I’ve dropped it, since Hal Jordan is my all time favorite character, but that’s life. You can’t always expect to like something, even as much as you want to; and with Robert Venditti’s (writer) run on GREEN LANTERN back before REBIRTH, I’m not surprised there’s been stretches on this current run I haven’t exactly dug.
But since the “Fall of the Gods” arc, Venditti’s had me hooked, and this arc has started out with quite the bang.
Something I’ve always been quite curious as to, and I’m a quite knowledgable Lantern fan, is what the protocol of kids who don a power ring is. Just in the aspect that Corpsmen of the GLC are supposed to hold their own amongst the universe’s most deadly of adversaries– of course I’m not saying a kid couldn’t, but you don’t see them amongst the ranks in the issues. I couldn’t think of any before this issue, and it turns out that SOMAR-LE is the Corps‘ first (as it would appear).
This definitely adds an interesting layer to the story, and reminds me a lot of when Venditti and Van Jensen (writer) introduced a whole slew of new Corpsmen back during the “Lights Out” arc. This injects a shot of naivety, and care free fun that normally wouldn’t be there.
The real highlight of the issue was seeing the various character’s reaction to Somar-Le. Especially from Ganthet and Sayd. The two have definitely been quite the stone-faced characters since their return, and bringing back that “emotionlessness” that the Guardians brought to the book. It’s one of the reasons I don’t care for their characters at all, because where the Guardians lack their own blast of personality, the Lanterns can make an issue that much better with theirs.
Though, seeing Ganthet pondering the desire to have children with Sayd, it gave something new to the title. And with Sayd expressing how much it pains her to not be able to remember what it was like to be a child was something their characters, as Guardians, tend to lack.
And yes, sound the alarm, because here comes my praise of organic comedy with the way that Ganthet was trying to get out about if Sayd every considered they would have kids together, but she purposely changes his question to “lowering age parameter on those chosen.” I will take moments like that one billion times over any forced joke after joke, because instead of ruining a heartfelt moment by putting an over the top joke in that situation, it was a plausible and understandable thing to ponder in the moment that they were in.
I’m always critical of Kyle Rayner, and that being because I don’t like his character. Though, Venditti like Justin Jordan (writer) makes him readable for me. When Jordan was writing GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS I quite enjoyed the run, and I think it was because he managed to show how much Kyle was (and always will be) in Hal’s shadow. And here there’s that hint as well, as Kyle tries to point out what “great feat” he’s doing, only for Hal to come in from the top rope and mention how he moved a moon.
It’s classic, cocky Hal as he both flexes and tries to make light of the situation.
Though, the moment that most sold this issue for me was another subtle pull toward Hal and Carol Ferris reuniting. With Hal telling Kyle that sometimes things don’t work out, and you have to move on in reference to KylE and Soranik, but then Kyle asking him, “You never think about… you know?” This carrying over from last issue when Hal was about stop in at Carol’s, but John Stewart called him away.
I kind of want to take credit for this, Venditti slowly but surely reuniting Green Lantern and Star Sapphire. Though, I’ll only take half, because I’ve hounded him plenty about it– yeah, there’s a little wink-wink, nudge-nudge and cough-cough there.
Of course, the massive reveal at the end of the issue is definitely propelling this arc into, “holy shit, you better slap your mama” good territory. As we get the answer to where the Templar Guardians are, and the villains of this arc– THE CONTROLLERS! They’re a massive piece of the Lantern mythos, and thinking about it, their origin is extremely similar to one of my favorite Lantern villains of all time, RELIC, who was created by my man, Venditti.
This gets me wanting to see the Controllers and Relic come face-to-face. See how the two would interact, and whose side the “relic from an old universe” would veer to since his time in the DCU.
I kind of missed Rafa Sandoval’s art, but Jack Herbert was a great touch to this issue. It gave a fresh breath of air, and overall accentuated Venditti’s story. Bringing it all together, I found this issue to be one of the more solid ones in a while.
You can pick up a copy at your local comic shop, and HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #34 will be hitting shelves Wednesday, December 3rd,
“TWILIGHT OF THE GUARDIANS” part two! Captured by their oldest foes, the Controllers, the remaining Guardians of the Universe fight for their lives as Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner race across the cosmos to rescue them. But this Green Lantern strike team may not uncover the clues in time to save their mentors from a deranged plan that would leave the Controllers in charge of the universe!