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“We’re laying down our rings”

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #20 ratchets up the action for the third chapter of “The Prism of Time” as Hal Jordan tries to take out the Prism Beasts as John Stewart commands a full frontal assault to provide some much needed backup.  As Hal connects the dots he and John come to the same conclusion as Hal is sent to deal with Sarko head on while the Green and Yellow Lanterns try to survive the onslaught of the Prism Beasts.

Robert Venditti continues to provide each of the main characters with moments that highlight their individual strengths.  Hal’s bravado is very apparent, as it John Stewart’s calm strength and Guy Gardner’s stubbornness.  I don’t think he’s quite got Kyle’s voice down yet and I hope over time that improves.  There is a downside unfortunately and that’s seeing great characters like Arisia and Kilowog constantly relegated to nothing more than background fodder.  It reinforces to me that one of the problems with Rebirth is that, while trying to get to the core concepts of the DC Universe, the Green Lantern corner of it hasn’t benefitted in the way that it should.  There are just too many great characters shoved into this one series to make it as rewarding to readers as it could have with a smaller cast.  I love this book but I can’t help but think of how much better it would be if two of the main Earth Lanterns were off on their own.
John Stewart rallies the troops

When we first met Sarko last issue you could tell that Venditti was planting some seeds about the character’s lineage.  This issue he’s drops more a big clue that is hard not to pick up on.  I do think that tipping his hand so obviously lessens the impact on the reader when and if we get an on-panel revelation.  I think I would have preferred to be read that moment as a surprise along with the characters rather than experience it as a confirmation of a foregone conclusion.

With this issue really focusing on action there isn’t a lot happening in terms of plot progression, but given how much fun the issue is to read I don’t really mind it one bit.  The Green Lanterns are left in a lurch and it’s up to Hal and Rip Hunter to save the day.  I do really like what Venditti has come up with for Hal to have to deal with in this issue’s final moments.  It reminds me a little bit of a variation on the Oblivion character during the Kyle Rayner era, but with a twist.  If indeed Hal is about to face something of his own making I think it’ll be a satisfying conclusion to the story.

Sarko drops another clue about his parents which leaves little room for doubt about his lineage

Rafa Sandoval is back for this issue and as one might expect the issue looks gorgeous.  There are some issues with Kilowog’s proportions which really show up when they revert back to their civilian clothes.  But otherwise the issue is another solid showing from Sandoval and the rest of the art team.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #20 feels like an action sequence from a big summer blockbuster.  While the issue is light on plot development there’s enough to keep the narrative moving forward while giving readers a fun experience.  Eight out of ten lanterns.

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