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“Unalone is the Jordan”

With this week’s Green Lanterns #57 the DC Rebirth era is over as far as the Green Lantern franchise is concerned as Dan Jurgens brings the series to a close this issue.  With Cyborg Superman arriving in Coast City the shadowy memory of “Emerald Twilight” comes to mind, but this is a different day and a different Hal Jordan than the one who fought this battle back in the nineties. 

The opening of the book is a brutal affair with a macabre sense of humor.  Cyborg Superman delivers the harshest judgement for a case of identity crisis which sets the tone for the final installment of Jurgen’s “Evil’s Might” story line.  Jordan arrives on the scene too late to make the initial save, but once the battle is on Hal makes it clear that he’s more than up to the task of taking on Henshaw this time.

Hal vs Hank round 3

The issue pops back and forth between the battle on Earth and the one taking place on Mogo.  For all the action taking place both battles seemed too short for the buildup we’ve witness over the course of this story. With Eon easily imprisoned by the Guardians, the Ravagers make a hasty departure and leave the Corps and Mogo left to recover.

Back on Earth Hal makes rather quick work of Hank Henshaw thanks to the backup he found time to call in.  I found several things about this part of the issue a bit hard to overlook, particularly some of the continuity problems.  Throughout the Rebirth era a lot was made of Hal Jordan’s power ring and its lack of a need to be recharged.  This seems to have been overlooked by Jurgens, along with the fact that Sodom Yat gave up his role as a Green Lantern back in Green Lantern Corps #32.  Given how much has been made of Henshaws ability to control the power rings he never makes an effort to take over the rings of the five Green Lanterns who arrive to help Hal defend Coast City.  By the end of the fight I felt that Jurgens really didn’t deliver the big showdown we were led to believe this issue was going to be.  To me it’s a huge missed opportunity and I feel a bit like we got a bait and switch action with how the story plays out.

With this being the final issue there’s of course the need for some resolution and baton passing for where the franchise is going.  This ate into the page count for the actual story which might be why it feels a bit rushed to me and it’s unfortunate that DC didn’t give this series the “extra sized” issue treatment that Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps was given.  While Jurgens ends the series with Simon and Jessica it’s really only Cruz who gets a send off of sorts as she moves on to Justice League: Odyssey. As has often been the case, Simon Baz gets the short end of the stick despite being the series’ co-star.

The Simon / Jessica partnership comes to an end

There are a few other things that Jurgens does to set up Grant Morrison’s run, one being the return of Oa.  It’s almost become a joke of sorts how Oa has been repeatedly destroyed and reconstituted at this point.  The odder point though is the confiscation of the power batteries by the Guardians.  It certainly lines up with the preview pages from The Green Lantern #1 but it ignores the problem of how any Green Lantern can function for long without them.  And to compound matters it seems to have been completely overlooked that Simon and Jessica are literally joined at the power battery as partners, making Jessica’s abrupt decision all the more confusing.  I almost feel like Jurgens, for as good of a writer as he is, didn’t do a great deal of homework for this book.

Mike Perkins does a good job with the artwork this issue, although there are places where things look unnecessarily muddy or over-inked. The panel designs are nice and show off some creativity and people are social media are having some fun with how well Perkins portrayed Hal’s…..glutes.  All in all the visuals do an alright job.

Green Lanterns #57 is a fairly satisfying conclusion to the series, although fans who bought into the book based on the interpersonal dynamics between the two co-stars may be disappointed that they do not have much interaction here.  Dan Jurgens ties the story up in a neat little bow perhaps a little too conveniently for my tastes.  Seven out of ten lanterns.

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