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“Like I said, never a good thing”

This week’s Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #26 kicks off the second year of the series with a bang as writer Robert Venditti re-introduces the New Gods to the lantern universe and once again calling back to events from issue thirteen, particularly the arrival of the “metal golems” that are a part of the flashback montage that make up some of Somar-Le’s memories.  I appreciate the attention to detail and makes that previous issue a key one that really does serve to forecast some of what we can expect from Venditti’s fantastic run in the weeks to come.

In my review of the last issue I likened it to a season finale of a great television show, and in keeping with the theme this issue is very much like a season premiere.  There’s a lot of setup to be sure but Venditti makes sure that there are references back to the tumultuous events of the collapse of the Green/Yellow Lantern alliance that reminds us of the fallout of the failure of John Stewart’s grand plan.  Venditti smartly breaks the four Earth Lanterns up into two teams so that he can further their relationships with each other, using Kyle’s pairing with Hal to both showcase Kyle’s natural introspective nature and Hal’s loyal but “caring at a distance” mode of interaction.  Likewise we see the friendship between Guy Gardner and John Stewart more solidified that it’s been since the Van Jensen run on Green Lantern Corps.

Guy and John don’t mince words about their friendship

Along with the character beats there’s the re-introduction of Orion and Venditti makes reference to his Godhead event from 2014.  I like that Venditti chooses not to ignore the new-52 era event story but doesn’t dwell on it too long.  There’s just enough reference to remind us that Hal and Orion have a history as well as the New Gods and the Corps themselves.  It did remind me that there’s the dangling plot of the treason of the Indigo Tribe still waiting to be pulled on but it also allows this story to move past the typical introductions and cut to the chase which I appreciate.  It’s a good thing, too, as this allows the quick shift from their meeting to the coming of the “metal golems” which keeps the pace of the issue moving along at a natural, if harried, pace.

There’s more to this story, too, in how it seems to tie to DC’s “Metal” event.  Clearly Venditti’s choice in Graf Toren’s words when we awakens from his vision are more than mere coincidence.  There’s also the added visual connection between Cully Hamner’s variant cover image for this issue and the cover to Dark Knights Metal #2 that more than indicates that “Fall of the Gods” has some connection to the DC Comics event as pointed out recently.  I’m glad that there’s some synergy between this series and the larger DC Universe at large and I’m excited to see the Green Lantern mythology play a bigger role in big events like this one.

Hal’s reunion with Orion is short-lived

Rafa Sandoval is back on art duty for this issue and of course everything looks as beautiful as expected.  The colors are brilliant but not overstated and Sandoval’s ever-shifting page layouts keep me visually engaged with every panel.  Again, this is one of DC’s books in my opinion in no small part due to the fantastic efforts by the art teams.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #26 continues the series’ excellence of quality as it sets the stage for its second year.  Robert Venditti’s script is engaging and fun while the art team continues to turn in excellent visuals.  This looks to be the beginning of another great story arc is Venditti’s great post-Rebirth run with some clear ties to DC’s “Metal” event that shouldn’t be overlooked.  Nine out of ten lanterns.

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