Green Lantern #23 Review

In the Green Lantern movie Senator Hammond says to Hal Jordan, “You know, I always say there are thinkers in this world and there are doers. And you are one of the doers.”  Hammond was spot on in his assessment of Hal Jordan and in issue twenty three of Green Lantern writer Robert Venditti shows what happens when you put a doer like Hal Jordan in a role that really belongs to a thinker.  Hal’s always been one to rally the troops and put his neck on the line to save the universe, but when a guy like Hal has to be responsible for beings who aren’t in his league of ring slinging it doesn’t take long before you realize that when it comes to being in charge, Hal is the one who is out of his league.

I’m not slamming the character, and if you know anything about me you know that Hal Jordan is my favorite character of all time, but running the Corps is simply a recipe for disaster for the man….and I love it.  It’s great to see the new creative team push a well established character like Hal into places where he’s uncomfortable and where he’ll have to face his own shortcomings.  In this issue Hal’s fish out of water situation has cost lives and he simply can’t handle the emotions that come with it and instead sarcasm and frustration emerge as coping mechanisms.  
After so much time apart it’s great to see Hal and Kilowog bonding again…
Kilowog servers as a great foil for Hal, questioning his motives and decisions while pushing him to embrace his new role as the leader of the Green Lanterns.  Whether on purpose or not it reminds me of the relationship between the two that worked so very well on Green Lantern: The Animated Series.  When it comes to going after Prixiam Nol-Anj Hal’s decision is a mixture of being a means to escape this new reality and trying to ensure that no one else dies, and probably more of the former than the later.  
Speaking of the newest Star Sapphire, ample time is spent further developing the character and she’s very quickly become a fan favorite.  When Hal ultimately catches up to her the readers gets treated to some fantastic visuals by Billy Tan, especially the gorgeous two page spread of Hal’s vision of Carol Ferris’ current situation.  Tan’s quickly getting his handle on the Green Lantern universe and making it his own.  There’s still a little refinement that needs to be done, particularly on Hal Jordan, but by and large he continues to do a great job which I have no doubt will continue to get better as time moves on.
Billy Tan provides some great visuals this issue
The mystery of the malfunctioning rings continues and at this point the only logical conclusion is that it’s tied to Relic in some way.  With next month’s Villain’s Month book spotlighting the origins of Relic it’s more than likely that we’ll have a better understanding of his motivations and abilities which might provide the connection between his arrival and the power fluctuations.  With Hal’s vision sending him off to find Carol, Nol-Anj eludes incarceration but as Venditti has indicated in interviews it won’t be long before she returns to the spotlight.
Issue twenty three is a great read even if it might be progressing at a slower pace than other books in the line.  Watching Hal flounder with the new status quo makes him all the more human and I have a great deal of faith in Robert Venditti that we’ll either see him rise to the occasion or fail spectacularly and either way it’s going to be a run ride.  Four out of five lanterns.
  

About the author

Life long Green Lantern fan and co-host of the Podcast of Oa. I’m a Barbecue snob and aficionado of blues music. Hal Jordan is my co-pilot!

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