With Rip Hunter’s surprise return to the DC Universe last issue writer Robert Venditti has imbued “The Prism of Time” with an almost nostalgic feel of those classic Green Lantern adventures of old. The Green and Yellow Lantern Corps are faced with an opponent from the future whose goal is to make sure that their alliance doesn’t destroy the legacy of Sinestro. This week’s Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #19 serves as the second chapter of this four issue sci-fi driven arc.
Robert Venditti provides just the right amount of new information in this issue to keep readers interested in the plot while keeping a few of the best cards in his hand under wraps. The wonderful dynamic between Gorin-Sunn and Space Ape continues to play out as they get introduced to the story’s antagonist. Sarko reveals some secret information about one of the two new partners that doesn’t yet seem to be significant, but knowing how Venditti likes to write in long form storytelling I wouldn’t be surprise to see this become more important down the road.
Venditti uses the fact that the Green Lanterns know nothing of Sarko as a way to organically have Rip Hunter and Sarko inform readers of everything they need to know about this new threat which I thought was very effective. Given what we learn of Sarko’s motivations this issue, his familiar facial structure and his skin tone, I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that Sarko is not only Korugarian but a descendant of Sinestro’s as well. Combined with the banter between Soranik Natu and Kyle Rayner I would not at all be surprised if we learn that Sarko is Sinestro’s grandson or great grandson.
The flirting between Kyle and Soranik is the first obvious statement that the whole Kyle Rayner / Carol Ferris romance is done and over, either through an off panel breakup or as a fortunate casualty of Rebirth’s impact on the timeline. I for one am glad that particular experiment is behind us but I am interested in seeing how Venditti will tackle the Hal/Carol dynamic if and when he brings her into the fold. I really think the their breakup was poorly written and I’d like to see someone really give them a scene or two of real emotional honesty.
We finally get a name for the crystalline creatures that are under Sarko’s command, Prism Beasts, who serve as the first salvo in Sarko’s bid to break the alliance between the Corps. Hal has connected the dots about their point of origin and he alone takes them on head first in space as they head to Mogo, giving John Stewart the time he needs to formulate his strategy.
I like that Venditti is showing some repercussions of Hal leaving Krona’s gauntlet behind, a plot thread that’s been dangling since the Rebirth issue. What I’m not quite as keen on is the portrayal of Hal as irresponsible as he’s been depicted for some time now. Sure he’s impulsive and confident, but he’s not one who’d intentionally leave something as dangerous as the gauntlet lying around for someone to find, especially now that he’s got the Corps back and a place to securely stow it away.
V. Ken Marion is back for another go round on art duty and by the looks of things he may be assigned to this book for the long term. Marion’s recent appearance at C2E2 had him sporting a banner using artwork from the Corps splash page in this issue for his booth so I’m guessing he chose the artwork due to a long term assignment on the book. If so I’m hoping he’s a third artist for the series rather than replacing anyone as I’m very fond of the work that Rafa Sandoval and Ethan Van Sciver have given us so far. Marion’s work is solid to be certain and this is another good effort that showcases his abilities.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #19 is another solid chapter of one of DC’s most consistently good series. There’s some great action this week as well as some reveals that increases my interest in the story. Time travel tales can be a hairy proposition but Robert Venditti unsurprisingly has it all under control. Eight out of ten lanterns.