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“Inform the Corps that the Guardians have returned”

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #37 kicks off the five-part “Zod’s Will” story arc and does so by jumping right into the thick of the fight.  This issue pits the Green Lantern Corps against Zod as his plans to turn the planet Jekuul into a new version of Krypton have gathered some attention.  But we can’t get into the action until writer Robert Venditti addresses the big issue of how the recent decision of the Guardians impacts the current status quo of the leadership of the Corps.

Right off the bat Robert Venditti gives us a glimpse of where this story is going as Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner lie severely beaten at the feet of Zod, his wife Ursa, their son Lor Zod and an Eradicator.  While it gives away what’s to come it’s a great way to pull the reader immediately into the story and I appreciate that Venditti turns the typical formula of introducing the antagonist on its head a little bit.  I’m also very happy to see Robert tie the Green Lantern universe back into the greater DCU since this series rarely has any connective tissue back to the universe at large.  This is the second time in the last several months where the Green Lantern franchise and the Superman books have shared some plot threads and I for one am glad for it.  Zod recently showed up in the pages of Action Comics where Superman and Booster Gold have been doing some time travelling and we see a potential future for the planet Jekuul – as New Krypton.  That ties nicely with this arc and while many might scratch their heads about Zod appearing in a Green Lantern book I think it’s fantastic.

John Stewart and the Guardians have a heart to heart about how they are going to work together going forward

The scene shifts back to Mogo where John Stewart and the Guardians are having a moment and John unsurprisingly isn’t buying the Guardians taking an active role in guiding the Green Lantern Corps despite leading the mission to rescue them.  John certainly respects the sanctity of their lives but he’s not real keen on letting them have too much power and reminds them of the much of the deconstruction of the Guardians during the Geoff Johns run.  The former Green Lantern writer turned the Oans from well intentioned, but out of touch, immortals to outright despots and both Venditti and John Stewart aren’t about the let the forget it.  This sets up a very interesting dynamic going forward with Ganthet and his fellow Maltusans recognizing the distrust and accepting that they will need to earn back what they so easily threw away.  I liked that Venditti had the Guardians recognize John’s leadership and giving him his due and I’m very much looking forward to reading what’s in store going forward.

The rest of the issue moves at a breakneck pace, dare I say that it read faster than a speeding bullet.  Hal and Kyle travel to Jekuul and things go quickly from bad to worse in a heartbeat.  The two Lanterns have good chemistry and while Kyle doesn’t follow the orders from Hal you can understand his not wanting to leave his partner alone against four Kryptonians.  While we’ve seen Green Lanterns go head to toe with Kryptonians before the House of Zod plow through Hal and Kyle pretty readily.  Before you know it the issue is over and it ends right where it began with two bloody Green Lanterns lying before Zod.  This issue left me pretty excited for the rest of the arc, but if Venditti does have a scene where Zod tells Hal to kneel before him I’ll be disappointed!

Zod shakes Hal’s hand the Kryptonian way

Rafa Sandoval makes a welcome return this issue and boy does he bring life to this issue!  There are a lot of big panels with this installment and they all look absolutely beautiful.  The big art spreads add to the pacing of the issue and given the page space Rafa fills the panels with energy that just blows the reader away visually.  Between the big action sequences and some neat panel layouts this issue is a tour de force as far as the art goes.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #37 is the opening salvo between the Green Lantern Corps and the House of Zod and if this issue is any indication of what to expect over the course of the next four issues readers are in for a real treat.  This one is wall to wall action and while it’s a quick read it certainly packs a punch, or two or three!  Nine out of ten lanterns.

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