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“Just you, me, and our fists”

GodHead plunges into the third and final act with this week’s Green Lantern #37 as Robert Venditti kicks off the finale by showing us just how trapped John Stewart and his allies are before giving us Orion versus Hal Jordan, round two.  The “Brawl at the Wall” is made all the creepier by the presence of Black Hand, who turns out to be equal parts help and hindrance, especially when he make a startling realization about the Source Wall that might give he and Hal the greatest and most diverse army ever to take on the New Gods.

The clash of egos between John Stewart and Sinestro is an enjoyable opening to the issue as the two try to outdo each other.  The barb about John being the third choice for an Earth lantern was a great touch by Venditti and he demonstrates a great understanding of Sinestro as he effectively gets under John’s skin before he himself fails at breaking free from the New Gods’ holding cell.  The Indigo Tribe are nowhere to be found since betraying their allies in Sinestro #7 so one can assume that they’ve either been given their reward or double crossed by the New Gods and are stewing in another holding tube on their spacefaring stockade.  Similar to Sinestro #7 there’s no reference to John Stewart’s acquisition of a Star Sapphire ring which took place in Green Lantern Corps #36 which leaves me scratching my head a little.
Must…resist urge…to kick ass…
When the scene shifts back to Coast City we see more of Venditti’s take on Black Hand, who is one part of Geoff Johns’ version mixed with one part Joker.  It’s almost a Tim Burton take on the character which is fine, although even after this issue I can’t say that I’ve completely gotten on board with the jolly shift in tone.  He kind of has ADD, although in this case I think it might stand for All-encompassing Death Disorder.  He gets too personal for Hal as Jordan tries to recruit Black Hand to engage in the struggle with the New Gods and it’s great to see Hal struggle with restraining his urge to kick the snot out of Black Hand.
Another nice touch by Venditti is the perspective he reveals Black Hand has about life and his love of life coming from knowing that it’s only through life that death can exist.  It’s demented, unsettling…..and entirely believable!  
The issue concludes back at the Source Wall where Sinestro was to have been waiting for Hal to rendezvous with him, however Jordan and Black Hand are confronted with Orion and some of his Divine Guard.  I enjoyed seeing Black Hand’s choice of undead warriors to take on Orion’s troops and giving Hal the chance to get a little retribution for the first encounter he had with the New Gods.  Hal uses a neat little strategy to try to level the playing field with Orion, using Orion’s not too dissimilar macho nature against him to make it a man to man contest of fisticuffs.  I would have loved to have seen how it would have played out, but it was not to be as Black Hand’s troops interfere.  
Hal takes the chance to settle the score against Orion
The undead Lanterns are the most effective force against the New Gods we’ve seen so far and adds credence to the thought that the New Gods might fear the power of the Black Lanterns. Black Hand’s observation that the Source Wall might be one of the most awesome collection of dead bodies is really an entertaining notion, potentially providing he and Hal with an incredible array of beings to call upon against the New Gods as this final chapter unfolds.  And let’s not forget the mysterious “one” Relic referred to back in Green Lantern / New Gods: GodHead #1 that has not been mentioned since who could still play a role at some point before we reach our conclusion.
Francis Portela is back for another issue and I enjoyed his pencils every bit as much as I did last month.  His art is clean and at a quick glance looks simple, but there is a good amount of detail which is easy to overlook.  He reminds me a bit of Dale Eaglesham and his work really suits the title well and I hope we see more of him here.  Speaking of art, this month variant cover by Darwyn Cooke is a masterpiece!
Green Lantern #37 superbly sets the stage for the final act of GodHead, revealing key elements which will no doubt play a larger role in how this event concludes.  Round two of the “Brawl at the Wall” between Hal Jordan and Orion plays out differently than their first encounter and if the foreshadowing here is any indication we are in for an epic showdown as the rest of GodHead unfolds over the course of December.  Five out of five lanterns.

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