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“This flight might get bumpy”

Things have gone from bad to worse for Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner in this week’s Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #38 as the two heroes find themselves prisoners of Zod.  With Kyle clinging to life and both Lanterns without their power rings the situation certainly seems dire and only their grit and heroism is going to get them out of this one alive.

As the second installment of “Zod’s Will” this issue does pumps the brakes a little bit as compared to the action fest in issue thirty seven, but I’m not seeing that as a bad thing at all.  Writer Robert Venditti slows things down to establish the history of the relationship between Krypton and the Green Lantern Corps, reminding readers that the legendary Tomar-Re once served as the Green Lantern in that sector of space.  Despite his valiant attempt Tomar-Re ultimately failed to save Krypton and Venditti uses that history to frame the characters of Zod and Ursa.

Lor is about to get a history lesson

For Ursa Tomar-Re is an example of the inferiority of anyone who is not born of Krypton, and Venditti really drives that point home with her reaction to Hal’s defense of his friend.  On the other hand Zod doesn’t see the loss of Kryptonian life in the same way, he’s more focused on the fact that it ultimately led to the discovery of Kryptonian powers under the rays of a yellow sun.  This dinner sequence does well for both of the antagonists and it also showcases the fierce loyalty that is part of Hal’s psyche as well.  I’m reminded a little of the dinner scene in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country where the Enterprise crew and the Klingons attempt to have a civil conversation which of course goes haywire.  I wouldn’t consider this a chess game between Hal and Zod, but it was entertaining and did a nice job of building some heat between Hal, Zod and Ursa.

With Hal dispatched back to the stockade alongside the severely wounded Kyle Rayner we are reminded of the unique connection between Hal and his new power ring.  It’s a neat scene that highlights Hal’s ability to do the unexpected in a rousing manner.  The rest of the issue follows Hal and Kyle as they try to make the most of their situation.  When things don’t exactly go their way Hal makes one of those quick decisions which Kyle immediately questions.

Kyle gets a charge out of Hal’s ring

Throughout the issue Venditti continues to make the most of the chemistry between Kyle and Hal and in this particular scene you can see how both men are looking out for the other more than himself.  Kyle of course wants Hal to leave him behind but Hal sees another option and quickly takes action on it.  I know many people see this as impulsive or reckless behavior but I see them through the lens of Hal’s experience as a test pilot.  Hal is used to flying on instinct and having to make crucial decisions in a split second which carries over into every other facet of his life, being a Green Lantern certainly included.  In this moment what seems as a sacrifice serves to get a message back to the Corps, get Kyle the help he desperately needs and leaves himself in a position to continue to gain intel on the situation.  Sure it’s heroic and noble on the surface, but for Hal there’s no other option on the table.

This issue sees the welcome return of Ethan Van Sciver who once again brings the big guns to the table.  Ethan turns in another stellar performance and the issue looks fantastic from front to back.  Ethan is of course accompanied by colorist Jason Wright who always gets the best out of Van Sciver’s incredible artwork.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #38 takes a pause after the raucous start to “Zod’s Will” to build tension between the Green Lanterns and the House of Zod.  Along the way Robert Venditti showcases the heroism and grit of our main characters while reminding us why the Kryptonians might have a beef with the Green Lantern Corps.  Ethan Van Sciver’s art is as usual a visual spectacle.  Nine out of ten lanterns.

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