“I’m peanut butter. You’re chocolate.”
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #47 builds on the last issue as Robert Venditti rounds third and head for home on his incredible 95+ issue run in the Green Lantern universe. It’s no small feat and this issue delivers on some of the emotional beats that having been building over the course of the last month.
Venditti really capitalizes on the relationship that’s been built up between Arkillo and Guy Gardner and in this issue Rob delivers an issue stealing sequence as the Sinestro Corps member forces Guy to decide between what he truly believes and what his Darkstar mantle is trying to convince him he believes. It’s a wonderfully dramatic confrontation that deals much less in fisticuffs and more in ideology. Venditti does sprinkle some humor before ratcheting up the tension and only when Arkillo is about to meet his maker does the reader get the payoff. We do learn that Guy used the opportunity presented to him by Tomar-Tu to join the Darkstars to try to learn about how the mantles tick, and we do learn a little bit more about how the Darkstars are almost like a hive mind that pushes their legion to go to the extremist length to get justice. Venditti also gives readers the icing on the cake by laying the groundwork for a resolution of sorts between Guy and Roland Gardner, who utters the five words that most sons want to hear from their father.
Following up on the mindwipe of Hal Jordan we also see another example of just how much willpower Hal has as he nearly throws off the mental shackles that Hector Hammond has put him in. This is another great sequence as we realize the real reason why Hammond has put his hero in this situation in the first place. I honestly didn’t see that one coming and it show significant growth in Hector as a character. I really liked how Venditti defines Hal here as someone who does the right thing even when he has conflicting feelings. I couldn’t help but chuckle a little as the line from the Dark Knight films, “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me”, popped into my head!
The third major part of this issue was catching up with Kyle Rayner as he struggles to gain an ally in the New Gods. Orion defying his father and freeing Kyle and Space Cabbie was pretty predictable, but the whole scene was entertaining nonetheless. While Kyle was unsuccessful in getting the New Gods to join the Anti-Darkstar party bus he does end up with Orion as a consolation prize. It’s a good thing, too, as by the issue’s end the battle lines have been drawn above the surface of Mogo. This positions us for the final three issues of Venditti’s run and a major showdown on the horizon.
Ethan Van Sciver was originally slated to provide the pencil work for this issue, but with his departure from DC Comics it’s up to Fernando Pasarin to fill in on the art chores, making issue 45 as the final work by Ethan in long and storied career. Pasarin does a nice job overall, although there are some spots where the proportions are off. He work on the Guy Gardner / Arkillo subplot is the greatest strength of the issue from a visual perspective, with Pasarin adding an emotional element that does a superb job in elevating Venditti’s script. Likewise he helps convey some of the issue’s lighter moments very effectively where the humor really needs the visuals to deliver, in particular the moment where Kyle’s smirk plays off of Orion’s grimace. Tyler Kirkham provides a fantastic visual for the issue’s variant cover, playing off of Hal feeling the burden of the universe on his shoulders in a very literal fashion.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #47 is another rock solid issue of this very consistent series. The Darkstars have turned out to be a terrific foil for the Green Lantern Corps and is just the kind of adversary that the Green Lantern franchise needed. This issue delivers on some of the subplots that have taken center stage over the past few issues while moving the overarching narrative forward. Nine out of ten lanterns.