“Just let the Hal was over you”
The latest issue of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps serves as the third chapter of Robert Venditti’s “Zod’s Will” arc. While this particular issue doesn’t propel the story forward it’s filled with some great moments that makes it an entertaining read while continuing to build up towards the clash between the House of Zod and the Green Lantern Corps.
As a hostage on Jekuul Hal Jordan continues to verbally joust with Zod as he tries to get Hal to understand and respect his position. Zod makes allusions to the loss of Coast City but Hal shows how much he’s moved on from those dark days when Parallax took hold of him and turns the conversation back at Zod by playing off of his role as a father. While their interactions don’t comprise a lot in terms of panel count I like that Venditti is adding some depth to the conflict by developing a rivalry between Zod and Hal that feels very natural. Venditti avoid the cliché of having Zod telling Hal to kneel before him which, as fun as that might be to read, keeps the story from feeling contrived.
The bulk of issue revolves around Kyle’s return to Mogo and John’s interaction with the Guardians. Most of this issue’s lighter moments come from Kyle and the influence that wearing Hal’s ring has on him. Guy’s interactions with the “Hal-lized” Kyle were humorous and I quite enjoyed watching Kyle blurt out dialogue and then wonder where it came from. It’s also interesting to see how Hal’s ring is able to manipulate Kyle’s personality which makes me begin to wonder if Venditti is planting some narrative seed here with readers for the future. There’s also a funny bit involving Salaak that gave me a chuckle.
John Stewart’s first consultation with the Guardians doesn’t go as one would hope, with the Guardians walking the line between doing what seems so obviously right on one hand and being overly cautious on the other. If there’s a flaw here it’s in both the Guardians and John failing to reach out to the most obvious person in the universe when it comes to dealing with Zod. It often seems like this series is so isolated from the greater DCU at large and in this situation it feels odd that Superman is left out of it here, especially considering he just showed up in the series back in issue thirty. In the end the Guardians fail to make a decision, leaving Hal in peril all that much longer. Guy and Kyle of course have already made other plans which creates a situation that will have to be addressed somewhere down the line. The Guardians, if they are indeed back to run the Corps, will not stand by for this level of insubordination and the Green Lanterns, having felt some level of autonomy, aren’t about to just let the Guardians tell them what to do. If Venditti pursues this I can see the potential for a showdown of sorts where there will need to be a whole new understanding of how the Corps is going to operate. This has a lot of potential, especially when you think about the return of the Controllers and their Darkstars.
With a contingent of the Corp arriving on Jekuul the issue comes to a close with the stage set for confrontation. The House of Zod isn’t exactly rolling out the welcome mat for the Corps and with two issues left in the story there’s been plenty of build up towards what looks to be an exciting conclusion.
Rafa Sandoval returns for this installment and as usual his pencil work is on point. There are plenty of large panels in this issue which gives him a lot of room to let his artwork breath. Sandoval’s become a fan favorite on this series and this issue is another example of why his work is so well received by readers.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #39 is a fast-moving issue which moves the narrative forward just enough to leave on the edge of the start of a showdown between the Zod and the Green Lanterns. While you could skip this issue and not miss much from a story perspective this is another solid installment of one of DC’s most consistent books and worth picking up for the entertainment value alone. Eight out of ten lanterns.