In Review: Green Lantern #41

This is a different Green Lantern, but he's just as thrilling.

The covers: Hal Jordan has got his hoodie on and his fist primed for action on the Main cover by Billy Tan and Alex Sinclair. This is the perfect image to introduce the retooled Lantern, showing off his new costume and where his ring’s abilities are coming from. Tan has never drawn a bad lantern — ever! — and Sinclair has colored this outstandingly. I love the horizontal lines of color going through the image. The Variant is another Joker 75th Anniversary cover, this one by Ben Oliver. It’s an absolutely insane painting of the Joker’s head and his right fist showing off his lantern ring. When I first saw this cover I thought it was Sinestro because he’s so pink, but once I learned this was the Joker I understood it was the Clown Prince of Crime. This is a disturbing illustration that definitely fits with the Joker’s persona. However, this has nothing to do with this book, outside of the ring, so though I like it, it doesn’t really belong with this book. Overall grades: Main A and Variant B 

The story: “Somewhere in space sector 3087 in the gaming dens of Y’gaal”, Virgo, a direct relation to the monarch of Ketleth Prime is about to do battle with a Kreeak, a gigantic sand colored monster. Money is bet on the match by the rabid throng of aliens watching from the stands. Virgo removes his cape, not wishing it sullied by the beast as it’s released from its pen. He demands the creature “Finish it,” and awaits his fate. A green blade suddenly pierces the creature’s chest and protrudes out its back. When it falls dead to the ground everyone is shocked at the glowing green blade that’s appeared on Virgo’s left hand. Even he is stunned at what’s occurred. The stands erupt in anger as the betting is declared to be invalid due to a rigged fight. During intermission Virgo gets a visitor that reveals he put the blade on the royal’s hand and he’s there to bust him out. Three guards are there to stop the escape, but Hal Jordan is going to show them why that’s unwise. “At Odds” by Robert Venditti introduces the new Hal to readers. He’s a man on the run, thought by the galaxy to be a villain, stripped of his power ring, but using a gauntlet that was a prototype for the rings. I was fully prepared to hate this, I admit it. I went in as a hostile reader that was ready to go off on this change, but I really liked it. Hal’s still a lantern at heart and soon he’s dragged into something beyond what he’s being paid to do, and it brings him to discover something terrible on the last page. Venditti is starting this new Hal off wonderfully. Overall grade: A

The art: Though I was thinking I was going to hate this story, and I didn’t, I knew I would be liking the visuals by penciller Billy Tan and inker Mark Irwin. I’ve yet to see either do a bad job on a Lantern book, and they’re continuing to do sensational work on this book. I’m a huge fan of aliens and this book has got a vast varied amount of them to please any fans of new life and new civilizations. There aren’t just the monsters running about in the arena pit, but several humanoid aliens that are betting on Virgo’s chances. My favorite is the single eyed alien in the top panels on Page 5. The star of the book is sporting a new uniform and a new hairstyle. For those “old timers” who were worried about Hal wearing a hoodie, it’s only in one panel for this book, and it makes sense why he needs it since he’s on the run. 8 is the strongest page in the book because it’s a full page splash and Hal’s revealed for the first time. He looks amazing, with his hair swirling about because of the energy he’s using and the power that’s he projecting. There is not the classic uniform outline around his body, but energy that is constantly rippling off of him. It’s beautiful, but say that only because I’m not receiving his wrath. For old timers, like me, the construct he makes on Page 9 will create applause for what he conjures. Hal’s also got a ship, since he can’t use the ring to fly through space all the time. It’s a very realistic looking design and I’m interested to hear where and whom he got it from. The final page is also a full page splash, and its emptiness is what makes it a gut punch. Tan and Irwin shine on this book on every page. Overall grade: A+

The colors: A twofer on this book in the forms of Alex Sinclair & Tony Avina. I couldn’t tell when one colorist ends and the other begins, the book being uniform in its hues, and I wish DC would go back to stating in the credits who does what so appropriate credit could be given to the correct individuals. Regardless, the book opens strongly with a welcome variety of colors for the aliens and their environment. Even when the background is empty, one of these gentlemen adds a wonderful painted effect to create a setting, such as in the final panel on Page 4. Hal’s glove creates a wonderful green glow, even when it’s partially hidden, like in the first panel on 5. Page 8, like the art, is the “Wow” page for colors, with several different shades of green used to show Hal at full strength. It’s just beautiful work. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Scene setting, narration and dialogue (same font), sounds, opening title and credits, yells, screams, a whisper, an AI’s voice, and next issue’s tease are all by Dave Sharpe. I was in seven heaven with all the sensational sounds and screams, of which there are many, and damn, Mr. Sharpe, if you didn’t have me pulling the book closer to my face to read that all important whisper. That’s the sign of an outstanding letterer if he can literally pull a reader into a book with his craft. Overall grade: A+

The final line: This is a different Green Lantern, but he’s just as thrilling. If you’ve never read a Lantern book, here’s your jumping in point. You’re going to like this. Overall grade: A 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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