John and Hal hash things out while the Durlans continue to manipulate the Corps from within.
Everyone questioned Hal Jordan’s appointment as the leader of the Green Lantern Corps and perhaps no one more so than Hal himself. In Green Lantern Corps #26 John Stewart’s own doubts about it come to the surface and he let’s his fists do the talking for him. Meanwhile Jruk’s return to his home planet backfires when the Durlan’s make a bold move that results in Feska being accused of murder. If that sounds like a lot to cram into one issue, it is, and writer Van Jensen manages to pull it off for the most part, keeping the tension building towards the day when the Durlans emerge from the shadows and enact their master plan against a Green Lantern Corps which is fractured and frayed.
I’d almost forgotten about Salaak, Yrra and the rest of the escapees that rocketed off Oa back in Green Lantern Corps #24 when Relic destroyed Oa. Apparently John wasn’t too concerned since he didn’t go looking for them, but when the Citadel ship finally arrives on Oa it serves as a point of division between those of the Corps who believe that they should be more frugal with their ring usage and those that who question that notion – even if it means the death of their comrades. The tension heats up between John, Graf and Hannu but Hal and Kilowog arrive to break it up before it gets too serious. Van Jensen uses these moments to continue the theme that the Green Lantern Corps are still divided to good effect.
|Hannu and Graf challenge John’s use of his power ring|
The narrative on Mogo runs parallel with a mission to Jruk’s home planet, Oranx, where the Khund have make a move to form an alliance with Jruk’s people. Jensen uses Jruk’s sensibilities to create some fun humorous moments before having Hal send Arisia, Feska and Jruk off to stop the alliance from going through on Oranx, but unbeknownst to everyone the Durlan’s are already there and manipulating events from within.
Van Jensen portrays John at a crucial moment in his life where he once again questions his place in a greater whole that doesn’t agree with his sensibilities. His emotions come bubbling to the surface in this issue with him lashing out physically at Hal. The whole sequence is too brief for my tastes and it’s over before it really begins. It’s a sharp contrast to the fireside conversation in Green Lantern #25 and the outburst almost seems out of place in comparison to those moments. John and Hal have a strong enough relationship to talk it out and as much as John’s outburst might be out of uncontrolled emotion, Hal’s very rational handling of the situation is just as unexpected and on another day John would’ve ended up losing a tooth or two for slugging Hal.
|Here’s a first – John punches first and Hal responds with words!?|
The brevity of that scene comes at the need to progress of the Durlans’ plan to take on the Corps, and Jensen uses his fan favorite creation to propel the plot along, putting Arisia in a position where she can’t exert any authority on a world where everyone does their talking with their fists, axes, swords or any other weapon lying about. The Durlans’ cleverly use Feska’s likeness to assassinate one of the Oranxians, throwing any hopes of a peaceful resolution out the window and putting Jruk in the center of it all. It’s a great sequence for the one armed Lantern and we see some real growth in the character by the time the issue’s over.
Likewise John Stewart makes the decision to stop running away when he disagrees with authority and try to be a part of the solution. Cementing the relationship between John and Yrra, John rises from his self doubt and begins to help rebuild the Corps, literally, as he and Mogo work craft the amenities to finish making Mogo the new home for the Green Lantern Corps. Jensen closes the issue out by revealing that a Durlan is among the members of the Corps that were on the citadel and that they have acquired some of Relic’s technology to aid them in their plans.
|Just how deep does the Durlan infiltration go?|
Bernard Chang once again does a great job with the art chores, minus his depiction of Kilowog that just doesn’t click with me. Despite that, his facial work does a great deal to underscore the emotion of the characters.
Overall the issue is good read however the titular moment between John and Hal fails to strike a strong chord, suffering from brevity that prevents it from being a great moment of conflict between two great characters whose strong friendship is challenged by their differing perspectives. Three out of five lanterns.