“Oh, I’m going to kick ALL your asses”
Today’s twenty-fifth issue of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps pulls in a number of plot points from Robert Venditti’s first year on the title together in a tidy package. Meanwhile he also leaves enough elements dangling and introduces a new twist which sets the stage for the second year of what has been one of DC’s most consistent titles.
The conclusion to “Fractured” first and foremost brings the conclusion to John Stewart’s vision of a unified force for good in the universe. The failure of the alliance isn’t John’s, however it is his to bear as the leader of the Corps. Much like Hal Jordan’s tenure being undermined by the Durlans, John’s plan collapses by the actions of the Green Lanterns themselves. While Tomar-Tu’s act of murder is addressed in a transparent manner, the fact that Romat-Ru was killed by a Green Lantern creates a wound that would have been hard to heal under the best of circumstances. However Kyle’s lie of omission to Soranik Natu poured salt into that wound, making it one that bore too much pain to be reconciled.
Like most divorces the fault doesn’t lie with just one partner. Soranik is clearly blinded by her anger, pain and, yes, fear, over Kyle’s inability to have the hard conversation with her over the death of their future offspring. She might have been able to have helped defuse the hostility if she were in her right mind, but she isn’t and her speech dumps gasoline on a fire that’s already raging out of control. The moment when she finally accepts her birthright is both very powerful and very tragic, a seeming point of no return for a character whose journey we’ve watch from the very beginning as she struggled against the legacy of the man she didn’t know was her father. Soranik Sinestro’s character arc in one of the most compelling parts of Venditti’s run which reaches a crescendo with this double-sized issue. Although I’m not entirely convinced that Soranik is acting entirely on her own without the influence of someone…or something.
I did like how Venditti crafted the split between John’s strategy to deal with this eventuality (and the call back to Katma Tui!). It was fitting that some members of the Sinestro Corps chose to live with Dad instead of Mom and I’m looking forward to seeing how new Green Lanterns Space Ape, Raynunn, Phantas-M and others respond when the green and the yellow next clash. The Arkillo / Guy Gardner experience is another victim and I enjoyed how Venditti portrayed their dynamic when it came down to the big showdown. It will be something I miss but I’m looking forward to seeing their future interactions.
While Soranik seems to be embracing her legacy, I can’t help but feel for Tomar-Tu as we witness the destruction of his. His actions, have at least in his own mind, tarnished the reputation that was built on the actions of his father, the legendary Tomar-Re. Even though it was entirely expected to see him lose his ring, witnessing it unfold still packed a gut punch. Hal, Tomar’s friend to the end, is there by his side every step of the way, displaying a loyalty which is often overlooked in Jordan’s character. When issue thirteen came out many thought it was pure filler, but in actuality is was great foreshadowing by Robert Venditti as we know now the circumstances behind how Somar-Le is chosen for the duty she reflects on in that installment. She strikes me as a little young to be a Green Lantern but it kind of reminds me of Arisia when she first accepted a power ring.
Looking forward there is still the unspoken threat that Ganthet and Sayd say is looming on the horizon and Venditti takes a moment to remind us that there’s more to come in this series. We don’t touch base with Saint Walker, leaving him a dangling element which will no doubt come back into the forefront in the issues to come. The closing panels hail a return of sorts which doesn’t come as too much of a surprise although it does do a nice job of ending the issue on a strong note.
Ethan Van Sciver hits another one out of the park this issue, doing a nice job of balancing the action that fills up the first half of the issue with the more character driven character moments. Kyle’s regret, Soranik’s rage, John firm resolve and Hal’s determination are all rendered wonderfully with Van Sciver’s pencils expertly supported by Jason Wright.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #25 is like the perfect end to a season of your favorite television show, filled with decisive character driven moment and action sequences which get the blood pumping while setting the stage for the adventures to come when the series comes back for more. Fortunately for comic readers the wait is only a couple of weeks when the New Gods return to the pages. Ten out of ten lanterns.