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Hal Jordan takes the Green Lantern Corps to DEFCON 3. 

While the Green Lantern Corps continue to debate the moral implications of using their rings, Hal Jordan and Kilowog continue their struggles against Star Sapphire Nol-Anj and her Clann on their home planet of Dekann.  After seeing Hal and Kilowog take on the likes of the Sinestro Corps and Nekron it’s a little shocking to see them struggle against a band of gun-toting backwater hoodlums led by someone who’s so new to wielding a power ring to be honest.  But that is not nearly as hard to watch as seeing Hal Jordan go so overboard in how he resolves this wild west showdown.

Venditti explores the moral implications of using the emotional spectrum no matter how noble the motivations.

Writer Robert Venditti challenged the very foundation of the Green Lantern mythology with Lights Out and in the wake of those events he applies the Relic’s revelations to the ethical code of the Green Lantern Corps.  It’s certainly a relevant topic given the world that we live in, and he continues to use the notion that the emotional spectrum is a limited resource to create cracks in what little unity the Corps has now that the Guardians are no longer around to keep them in order.  While I believe that the whole notion that the emotional energies are finite is counter productive to the core of the mythology and will eventually be re-defined, for now this is the reality that our protagonists understand and Venditti uses it to explore the characters in an interesting way.

The town hall debate on Mogo is cut short, however, when Hal and Kilowog find themselves outgunned in a shootout where they have the most powerful weapons in the universe in their proverbial holsters.  Artist Billy Tan uses some creativity with ring constructs as the two Green Lanterns struggle to contain the Clann while trying not to use too much energy.  Hal makes the decision to scramble the entire Green Lantern Corps and Mogo to his side to take on Nol-Anj’s people, an over reaction which does little to wipe away any of the stains that the Guardians left on the universe.  While I find some of Hal’s actions and dialogue to be uncharacteristic in my opinion, I do rather enjoy seeing Hal struggle to lead in a capacity that is not in his comfort zone.  As a long time fan I do find myself wrestling a little with seeing how nicely Hal matured as a character during Geoff Johns’ tenure and now seeing him take steps backwards, but we are early in Venditti’s run so I tend not to let it bother me too much.

Will Hal’s heavy handed approach backfire on him in the long run?

Hal’s characterization aside, Venditti muddies the waters nicely by introducing the civilians’ perspective and their perception of who the real bad guys are in their eyes.  It does make Hal’s “my gun in bigger” response come off as even more heavy handed that what it appears on the surface, and in the end he realizes that this was  not his best decision.  Somewhere along the way Nol-Anj’s use of the ring became more important that the murder of Cossite back in Green Lantern #22 which should have been the primary motivation for her pursuit and capture.  It might not have made any difference to the Clann but the murder of a police officer might have painted her and the Corps in a little different light had that been revealed.

And speaking of reveals, by the end of this issue we see that Nol-Anj is somehow aware of the damage that using a power ring can bring to the universe and that the events on Dekann have gone better than the Durlans could have hoped for.  Their infiltration of the Corps poses a serious threat which lurks in the shadows of everything going on in the Green Lantern universe right now.  Given their abilities it makes me wonder just how far along their plans are, and whether everyone is how they seem to be.

Nol-Anj may have more power over the Green Lanterns with her knowledge than with her power ring.

Billy Tan continues to impress as the ongoing artist for the series.  While he’s not yet on the same level as Ivan Reis or Ethan Van Sciver, he’s doing good work so  far.  My one big pet peeve with his work is the inconsistency on Hal’s uniform, in particular the green front which in some panels is just way too high.

Overall Green Lantern #26 is an average read with some good actions scenes balanced out with the progression of the overarching narrative that Venditti is building.  Three out of five lanterns.

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