“Better put your back into it, Cupcake”
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #5 hit stands today and this week’s issue brought the splintered Corps a good step towards a reunion unlike any other. Just as Sinestro realizes his greatest achievement he’s plagued by the new information that his former comrades are back and their arrival signals the greatest threat to all that he has accomplished.
Robert Venditti continues to deftly balance the story between all the elements he has in play and give good service to them all. Of the issues in the run so far number five feels the most balanced so far with scenes taking place on Warworld, Soranik Natu’s hideout and deep space where the Corps get their first contact with the universe at large. Not only does Venditti balance the focus between the characters well but his script does a wonderful job of giving the reader ample doses of action, character development and plot as well.
Poor Guy is in a (war)world of hurt in the Fear Engine at the torturous hands of the Sacrament. While Guy doesn’t get a great deal of panel time this issue, the weight of the situation he finds himself in and the courageous nature in the way he accounts for himself more than makes up for it. Say what you will about Guy’s personality and attitude but at the end of the day he is one tough SOB who you’d want on your side in any fight.
While Guy’s brief appearance is brutal it pales in comparison to what Venditti and artist Ethan Van Sciver have in store for readers when we encounter Sinestro and Lyssa Drak. As Sinestro ponders his concern about seeing his new order unravel with the return of the Green Lanterns the creative team gives us a glimpse of the two enjoying the bare necessities of life. There are some things you can’t unsee and this scene may leave you wanting to wash your eyes out!
Venditti and Van Sciver thankfully shift gears when we return to see the status of Hal Jordan and Soranik Natu. Once the two get past some initial awkwardness their conversation is a nice character piece with Natu opening up to Hal about the guilt she feels over her role in her father’s triumph. There’s some nice depth here for Hal in how he deals with her and it also shows just how well he knows his former mentor. Hal in return shares his current state with the emotional spectrum with Natu and in doing so showing her the level of trust he has in her. Venditti sprinkles in some nice light moments here as well without doing it at the expense of the characters which provided a nice dose of levity.
Then there’s the return of the Corps as they go in search of the missing Guy Gardner. The last seven pages of the issue from where Hal tells Natu what he’s going to do through to the end really got my heart beating. To see the Corps take to the heavens to confront a threat is what a Green Lantern book is meant to be and we get that in spades this week as John Stewart leads the Green Lanterns out into the cosmos to face the unknown. The final page is a rousing triad of great images accompanied by inspired words that does a a fantastic job of getting the reader excited for the next installment.
Ethan Van Sciver is known for his sense of detail and he really provides a treat for our eyes as the Corps takes to the stars. Van Sciver includes the movie version of Rot Lop Fan and some members of the Corps that we haven’t seen in a while, like Voz, Medphyll and Shorm for example. The rest of the issue has a lot to be happy about as well and I find his version or Gorin-Sunn to be stunning. I also really appreciated how effectively Ethan and colorist Jason Wright conveyed Hal’s condition visually. On the flipside there are a couple of panels where proportion and positioning seem a little bit out of whack as well, but those of few and far between.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #5 drives home that something big is going on in the cosmic DC universe. Filled with moments of courage, personal strength and will this series is the embodiment of the best that the Green Lantern mythology has to offer. Robert Venditti and Ethan Van Sciver prove a winning combination once again in another great issue. Nine out of ten lanterns.