“We’re both too damned hardheaded to change”
When it comes to comic book rivalries there some relationships that transcend the pages of the funny books and become something more, something iconic. Batman and The Joker, Superman and Lex Luthor……..Hal Jordan and Sinestro. Since 1961 and the day Sinestro threatened to make 100,000 people vanish in his first appearance in Green Lantern #7 the dynamic between the fallen Green Lantern and the first ring bearer from Earth has been something special. Today’s epic conclusion of the first story arc in, ironically, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #7 adds another chapter to one of comics greatest rivalries.
Robert Venditti has positioned both characters for a colossal showdown, each supercharged by their respective energies in the emotional spectrum, both men driven by years of conflict and miles of history. This is no showy battle of who makes the cooler construct, this is a raw and brutal conflict which builds to a cataclysmic crescendo that is a gutsy and surprising way to end the first arc of a new series. Both Hal Jordan and Sinestro are captured at their best and looking back over the end of Venditti’s tenure on the main Green Lantern series you can see the seeds planted for how he’s developed Hal as a character since sticking Krona’s gauntlet on his hand months ago. True to his core Hal faces this challenge completely without fear and knowing full well the terrible cost that his final showdown will exact upon him.
For Sinestro it is his chance to have the icing on the cake of his greatest achievement. To for once be rid of his greatest adversary at the height of his power, to declare himself the once and future king of the universe where no one can seemingly stop him from imposing his will us all. And then to be undone, the man who plans for everything only to be blindside and overcome by the two people who are perhaps the closest to him in the universe. This is storytelling on a grand scale and a showcase for what makes the Green Lantern mythology so loved by so many people.
Of course the obvious point is that this is not the final conflict for Hal and Sinestro. It will never truly be over for them any more than it is for Batman and The Joker or Superman and Lex Luthor. Despite the appearance of the finality of their battle both men have been dead and presumed dead before – and they both have power allies capable of bringing them back from whatever state they find themselves in at the end of the issue. After all, there’s a reason we haven’t see Kyle Rayner yet in this series…….
But this book isn’t solely about Hal and Sinestro throwing down. Guy Gardner once again shows his worth as Venditti shows what it truly means to be a Green Lantern by continuing to face overwhelming odds and suffering great pains with a bravado that shames other ring bearers. Guy’s never say die attitude is an inspiration and I’m sure I’m not the only one who found myself saying the oath along with him. Say what you will about his less favorable traits but his actions say a great deal more about his true character and the type of person he is underneath the armor he surrounds himself in.
Venditti has been building towards this moment with Soranik Natu as well, and while her previous tenure as leader of the Sinestro Corps was short lived she once again emerges as a true leader this time around. Sinestro’s DNA was not wasted on Soranik and it is her plan to save everyone that sets the stages for Hal to be able to uncork the bottle and open up without needing to be concern about the loss of life. Rallying the Sinestro Corps she may actually be able to do what her father could not and turn them into a force for good.
If there’s anything that might have been changed it would be the lack of involvement of the Green Lantern Corps who arrive just in time to see the battle’s conclusion from a considerable distance away. For those wanting to see light war it might be disappointing, but when you look at the quality of the story and how Venditti ended the arc I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Rafa Sandoval is once again at the top of his game and his artwork here really adds to the reading experience and overall enjoyment of this final chapter of “Sinestro’s Law”. The action leaps off the page and, combined with Tomeo Morey’s brilliant color work, the art team truly makes this issue feel like the conclusion of an event book. I still don’t care for his rendition of Soranik Natu but that’s just my personal preference.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #7 is a thrilling and ballsy conclusion to the first arc of the series. The creative team lets loose and shows readers what a Green Lantern comic can and should be. Unrivaled will and bravery take on boundless fear in a showdown that’s rewarding both fans old and new alike. Ten out of ten lanterns.