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“There’s a home we have to get home”

The struggle between the Green Lanterns and Sinestro go back to the very roots of the mythology behind the characters, and since the Silver Age relaunch there have been countless battles fought between them.  It’s one of the few constants of the Green Lantern universe…..until today perhaps when Robert Venditti changes the dynamic in the conclusion of “Bottled Light” in issue twelve of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps.  As the latest struggle against Larfleeze comes to a close a new day dawns on the relationship between will and fear that is very timely considering recent events in the real world.

A final confrontation has been building and this issue is one filled with cover to cover action as John Stewart leads both Corps against an army of Orange Lantern constructs.  Amid all the orange, yellow and green constructs Venditti sprinkles a fair amount of character flair which creates moments where various members of the Corps get an opportunity to shine.  Perhaps greatest is Tomar-Tu who single handedly maintains his fellow Xudarians diminutive state in an act of raw willpower, keeping his mind singularly focused on the task amidst the chaos.  As I mentioned in my review of the last issue, how the bottled cities that Brainiac captures deal with being exposed has long been a confusing subject for me so I particularly appreciated Venditti giving it some attention here.

Venditti also addresses what’s happened to the Nu52 version of Lobo in a fun way as he’s found to be among Larfleeze’s collection.  The moment is used as a way for Hal, Kyle and the Guardians to enter the mix as Hal prevents Lobo from being unleashed.  It’s a nice callback of sorts to when Hal met Lobo in the final issue of his series a little over a year ago.

The action in the issue leaps off the page

Surely seeing the Sinestro Corps and Green Lanterns work together should come as no surprise, but it’s the aftermath and the forming of a new understanding between the two that fundamentally changes the status quo between the two….for now.  That Soranik Natu wants to try to change the way that the universe remembers her father is a noble goal and Venditti’s resolution allows the two to move forward in an interesting new way that also takes them off the table as adversaries, allowing him to have fun with the rest of the toys on the Green Lantern shelf.  But there’s more to it than that.

Whether consciously or not Venditti’s resolution challenges us with a different narrative, one where people who fundamentally disagree can finally after a long period of time stop focusing on what makes them different and more on what they have in common.  There are great divides in United States where I make my home and we could all stand to try to strive a little more to find ways to move past what divides us and find common ground to work towards what matters most – our mutual future.  If the Green Lanterns and the Sinestro Corps can do it then perhaps there’s hope for all of us…..

Another aspect of the script that I very much enjoyed was the aftermath and seeing Hal be the friend to Tomar-Tu that Tomar-Re was to Hal.  Hal bares himself emotionally to Tomar to help him get past the growing rift between he and his mother.  It was a great moment that showed Hal’s truest character and reminded us that behind all that bravado there’s some real pain there that he lives with.  Some time’s Hal strong personality gets in the way of reader realizing the layers that exist under the mask and I greatly appreciate Rob Venditti for taking the time to ensure we see that kind of interaction.

Hal gets real with Tomar-Tu

This issue moves very fast in part because Venditti’s script gives Ethan Van Sciver plenty of room to do what he does best.  Visually the action in this book struggles to be contained on the page and there’s so much to take in with Van Sciver’s detailed work.  I appreciate Ethan’s meticulous approach and particularly liked how he made sure that the Green Lantern’s each represented themselves through their constructs.  From Guy’s police riot gear to Kyle’s giant exacto knives each member of the Corps is well represented.  The full page spread of all four Earth Green Lantern flying together for the first time in a long while is something special and is one of many inspiring moments that Ethan skillfully brings to life.

I’m not sure why but something that really dawned on me with issue was how brilliant Van Sciver’s decision was to make the black areas of the uniforms black rather than the grey we’ve seen stand in for black over the years.  With all the different colors in this issue Jason Wright does a great job keeping it from being overwhelming, but I realized today just how much having the black parts really black made the rest of the colors pop more even more just by the nature of their contrast.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps continues to be the strongest entry in DC’s cosmic catalog, fueled by rock solid writing by Robert Venditti and amazing visuals by Ethan Van Sciver and Rafa Sandoval.  Issue twelve is another great chapter in a series which should keep any Green Lantern fan’s ring fully charged.  Nine out of ten lanterns.

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