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“You traded in your ring and went Michael Jackson?”

Green Lantern fans have been vocal about wanting to see Hal Jordan back on Earth for an adventure or two and with this week’s Green Lantern #47 Robert Venditti grants their wish.  Hal had previously asked Simon Baz to keep a watchful eye on Jim Jordan and family and with the news that the Green Lanterns have vanished Jordan returns to Coast City to check up on his family.  Of course no trip to Earth would be complete without some conflict and this time around it’s the return of one of Green Lantern’s classic adversaries.

Of course any dialog about this issue has to also involve the return of another character who hasn’t been seen for awhile on the pages of a Green Lantern comic, and that’s Parallax.  At this year’s Baltimore Comic-Con Robert Venditti said during our interview that another villain would make a surprising appearance and he couldn’t have been more right.  What remains to be seen at this point is what version of Parallax this is.  The easy assumption at this point in time is that it’s the version we saw on the pages of Convergence who went back in time to change some of the outcomes from the original Crisis on Infinite Earths.  However the near God-like abilities of Parallax and the always unpredictable factor of time travel means that anything is possible at this point.  The fact that we are quickly closing in on a fiftieth issue is of course is not lost on anyone, especially given how some of the events in this issue might be reflective of those which led to the infamous Emerald Twilight.

About time you cut your hair, ya hippie!

Parallax’s return also has some interesting connotations, seeing that he’s now aware that Sinestro has his own Corps and is currently ascending the ladder of power in the universe.  Him showing up on Sinestro’s self titled series certainly would have considerable impact on his plans.  The eventual meeting between the two Hal Jordans certainly has the potential to be something very special.

Issue 47 is a bit of filler and setup which spends the vast majority its pages on character interaction.  While some may criticize the issue for devoting so much time there I personally think these moments are well deserved and I quite enjoyed seeing Hal and Jim’s interactions before adding the rest of the Jordan family into the mix.  The two brothers have good chemistry and from a human perspective Hal needed this time to center himself before once again plunging headlong back to his Renegade persona.

Parallax returns, but which one is it?

However once the Jordan brothers meet back up with the rest of the family things turn a little cliche as they enjoy a day at the beach.  Where the scene does work is through Venditti’s core motivations of Sonar and the parallels to events in the real world.  An amusement park realistically is a very legitimate soft target for terrorism and it is unfortunately all too possible to imagine an event taking place there.  That Howard Jordan could become a statistic would be a surprising twist which certainly would test Hal Jordan’s control over a Krona gauntlet which sometimes has a mind of its own.

Billy Tan provides a few pages for this issue but the lion’s share of the work falls to artist Martin Coccolo.  The split works well as Tan’s pages encompass the arrival of Parallax while Coccolo’s cover the journey to and the events on Earth.  I’ve praised Coccolo’s work in the past and in my opinion it looks great this time around as well other than some places where the artwork looks overly “sketchy”.

Green Lantern #47 returns Hal Jordan to Coast City just in time as Sonar begins to try to make a name for himself and his native Modora.  With Parallax looming on the horizon this issue serves as an enjoyable read which reunites Hal Jordan with his family while setting the book up for an eventful fiftieth issue.  Eight out of ten lanterns.

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