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“What you do is be a hero”

Green Lantern #34 has the awkward task of being sandwiched between the ending of Uprising and DC’s Future’s End event which sends all their books five years into the future.  Knowing it will be two months before he fully engage readers with the Green Lantern / New Gods Godhead event, writer Robert Venditti wisely chooses to make the most of the situation by giving the Green Lanterns a bit of down time and delivering an issue which has Hal Jordan waxing introspectively.

Venditti’s character work and dialog drive the issue and Hal’s own much earned R&R provides an opportunity for a welcome reunion which allows for a brief cameo by Saint Walker as well as some light hearted moments as Mogo’s visitors get their first taste of interplanetary life.  Seeing Jim Jordan and his family is a nice reminder of what Hal has given up to take a larger role within the Green Lantern Corps and seeing Hal confide in his brother as he questions the direction of his life are carried out realistically, providing readers with a glimpse at the inner workings of Jordan’s psyche.

Jim Jordan’s words remind Hal of why he cannot question the role of the Green Lanterns in the universe
While I really don’t agree with Venditti’s notion of a limited emotional reservoir which holds the emotional energy that we all consume, it does provide Hal with a dilemma that we can all relate to in this day and age where we are confronted with the concerns about limited resources.  If nothing else this notion creates room for contemplation about our own consumption.
As the cover teases, Simon Baz makes an appearance in this issue, however he really only appears as a way to explain why he wasn’t on Earth when Atrocitus attacked in Red Lanterns Annual #1 and to serve as the Jordan family interstellar taxi service.  Admittedly I’m not a big Simon Baz fan but for anyone who is they are likely to find themselves disappointed in what little panel time he is given.    The issue’s opening action sequence where Hal returns the emotional leech, Agarushnawokliag, to custody is interesting and unfortunately all too brief.  The character looks interesting and could have served as a the plot for an entire issue rather than pared down to a minor footnote.  In my own opinion I think I’d rather have seen him used somewhere down the road rather and had this issue be one hundred percent a character piece than what comes off as a slight distraction.
Art wise Billy Tan is joined by Martin Coccolo for this issue and while their styles compliment one another there are some real problems as well.  Tan’s opening sequence with Hal’s encounter with Aga are very dynamic and filled with energy, but once the scene shifts to Mogo it looks like Hal stopped somewhere along the way and got a new haircut.  There’s also one panel where Hal, back to the reader, is questioning Simon Baz that Hal’s bomber jacket is completely mis-colored, making him look exactly like his brother Jim. 
The arrival of Highfather and the New Gods leads us to Godhead in October
The issue’s closing teases readers about what’s to come with Godhead as Highfather and some of the New Gods arrive, establishing immediately their goal of weaponizing the Life Equation, whose location is now known thanks to the events that transpired in Green Lantern Annual #2 when Kyle Rayner traversed the Source Wall during the conclusion of Lights Out.  This particular story promises to have ramifications within the entire DC Universe and with all the theories and clues out there it’s exciting to think about where this could very well be heading.
Overall Green Lantern #34 is a good issue providing a much needed pause to the cosmic battles which have become part and parcel with the Green Lantern universe.  While this issue reminds us that Hal Jordan has a lot on his mind and that he is a human being, it feels like the issue could have been much stronger if that had been its sole focus.  That and the art inconsistencies affected my overall rating of the issue, which is three out of five lanterns.

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