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“I’ve been dead. You aren’t missing much”

September takes a break from the ongoing storytelling for DC line-wide as the company takes a pause to celebrate the launch of the “New 52” with an event which ties into their weekly Futures End event.  I’m honestly not reading that particular series and thankfully readers don’t need to be following that event to know that this month all the books are jumping ahead five years into the future to show where characters might be at that point in time. Knowing that, each book is free to play around with some ideas which have no ramifications if they don’t come to be, allowing the opportunity to tell some powerful stories.

That said, the Green Lantern installment is a compelling stand alone issue that reveals a Hal Jordan who’s left his role as Corps Leader behind, promising to not leave Earth unprotected ever again. Living what looks like a bachelor’s life in Coast City, it’s hard to picture Hal Jordan sitting around his apartment with evidence of a laid back life, but that visage is short lived thanks to the arrival of an unusual house guest.  When Hal learns that Krona has become the new leader of the Black Lanterns Hal reneges on his vow and takes them head on with only the help of a new ally, Relic.  The ensuing battle is a miniature Blackest Night with Relic providing Hal with access to the rest of the emotional spectrum needed to handle his foes.  By the end of the issue Hal faces a fate which leaves his future in question.

Krona is um, large and in charge of a Black Lantern Corps that has some familiar faces.
Writer Robert Venditti uses this opportunity to put his own spin on the Black Lanterns, providing us with touching moments between Hal and his father, Martin Jordan, that are far more rewarding that what we got during Geoff Johns’ tenure.  Frankly these moments are my favorite in the book, giving this future Hal the potential of gaining real closure that he never had before.  
How Relic returns from the Source Wall, how Krona comes to power and what has happened to the Green Lantern Corps are quickly overlooked in favor of just enjoying the events that unfold regardless of those facts.  One has to wonder if, in this potential future, there is a Green Lantern Corps at all since Hal faces the Black Lanterns alone.  It makes me consider the possibility that all of the books this month are not part of a unified potential future but more that each book is its own unique take on what each character’s reality could look like five years down the road with no direct correlation between them.  While it’s a little hard to think of a future for Hal Jordan that doesn’t include Carol Ferris or Sinestro, any sense that there’s something missing is short lived once the roller coaster starts and you find yourself enjoying the ride so much that you don’t find yourself even thinking about either of them.
The relationship between Relic and Hal has evolved at this point, indicating that Relic must have escaped the Source Wall before Hal returned to Earth.  Their interactions are fun to read and I found it entertaining to see how the two play off of each other when they are teaming together against the Black Lanterns.  Speaking of them, long time fans are going to love seeing the return of some classic Green Lantern villains in this issue as well as some references to some dead members of the Green Lantern Corps.
Hal and his over-sized sidekick take on the Black Lanterns near the edges of the universe
Martin Coccolo and Aaron Lopresti handle the pencils for this issue, with the former handling most of the issue and the later taking on the Coast City scene.  Their art styles blend very well together, aided by Alex Sinclair’s coloring.  I quite like how their art looked for this issue and found it much more appealing to me than the work by series regular, Billy Tan.  
Green Lantern: Futures End #1 is a thoroughly enjoyable glimpse into the potential future of Hal Jordan.  There are well written emotional moments which stay consistent with Hal’s history but provide new interactions which are both touching and bittersweet.  Balancing out the narrative is a great reminder of why Blackest Night was such a great story filled with new twists that reveal the fates of some familiar faces that haven’t been seen in the pages of Green Lantern for quite some time.  With little to find fault with this issue gets five out of five lanterns.

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