This week’s Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #23 takes everything John Stewart had hoped to accomplish by teaming the Green and Yellow Lanterns and throws a giant monkey wrench construct into them. While most readers pretty know what’s coming in this issue writer Robert Venditti has put together a script that isn’t so much about surprising the reader as it is about letting the reader watch characters they have emotional investment in being put through the wringer.
This issue is a tale of two plots, the first of which is the investigation into the allegations by Bolphunga. While Hal Jordan is eager to dismiss them as the ravings of a desperate criminal John Stewart cannot afford that luxury and has to find out exactly what Bolphunga has on the Green Latnerns as anything. There’s some tension between the two veteran lanterns and some if it’s centered on how important this alliance is on a personal level for John. Something I found interesting is how much credit John gives himself for the apparent success of it all. His lines feature a lot of “I”‘s in them which I think shows how personal it is to him, perhaps enough that he is blinded by his own desires to see success.
John and Hal don’t see eye to eye
With Arkillo and Guy sent to investigate Venditti shifts the scene to the re-developing relationship between Soranik Natu and Kyle Rayner. I personally liked Soranik’s take on the how she views Kyle’s posturing and the perspective that Kilowog provides. Personally I think that Kyle’s stance illustrates that he’s not as ready for a serious relationship as she is – granted he’s the benefactor of some vital information about their future that she doesn’t have….yet. Venditti does a great job of building the tension as Natu comes to her own revelation about Sarko. Her reaction is exactly what I’d expected it would be and what happens with Sarko’s body implies that the future has been changed in light of her new knowledge.
The closing moments are a nice build up to seeing both Hal and John discover Tomar-Tu’s secret. Seeing them each come to their own realization simultaneously have the scene more weight emotionally. Sure it was predictable but sometimes it is better to already be in know and revel in the experience of watching the characters react is just as satisfying as being along for the ride along side them as it happens.
When it comes to the art I’m not sure how many more superlatives I can give Ethan Van Sciver at this point. For my money he is the definitive Green Lantern artist of the Modern Age and as usual this issue is a visual treat. That he’s doing four issues in a row on this series and maintaining the quality standards that are a trademark of his style is a great feat in my opinion. Ethan and Jason Wright are one of the best, if not the best, art team DC has going for them and nothing says Green Lantern like seeing them on this series.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #23 is another chapter in one of DC Comics’ top series. While the plot is somewhat predictable the creative team delivers an issue which packs an emotional punch and sets the stage for the greatest challenge to the alliance between the Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Corps. Nine out of ten lanterns.