In Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #33

A new hero revels in her abilities, while some infamous characters return to the DC Universe.

The covers: The Regular cover is by Francis Manapul and shows Hal screaming in distress. Some odd looking technological cords are wrapped around his head and implanted into his chest. He’s constructed several scalpels and scissors to cut the cords from him, but they’re obviously causing him considerable pain as he’s doing so. The expression on his face is strong and the coloring is also great, with that dusty orange background making him pop. Overall the cover reminds me a little of Kevin O’Neill’s work, and that’s not a bad thing. The Variant cover by Barry Kitson and Hi-Fi is the cover I purchased because it had something that most comic book covers lack these days: joy. Covers often feature heroes in the most dire of situations or expressing grief at something they weren’t able to do. This one does the opposite. This cover shows the newest member of the corps, Somar-Le, enthralled with flying, something every lantern’s ring provides its wearer. The joy on her face is fantastic as it mirrors what any new recruit should feel at being granted abilities that are beyond one’s thoughts. Close behind her, making sure that she doesn’t get into any trouble, is Hal Jordan, who is also sporting a smile, enjoying Somar-Le’s happiness. These colors are also great, with the shading on the hero’s costume and skin perfection. It’s a welcome change to see a hero enjoying their powers. Overall grades: Regular A- and Variant A

The story: “Smash and Grab” is an appropriate title to this first installment in the Twilight of the Guardians story line by Robert Venditti. In an unknown sector of space on an equally unknown planet, Yekop, a Templar Guardian, is running down a corridor proclaiming he needs to get help. His unseen pursuers confront him and speak his true name, Maltusian, before blasting him with orange energy. The story then moves to above Mogo, where the image of the Variant cover is occurring — Somar-Le is exuberantly flying above the living headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps as Ganthet and Sayd watching her. Watching the young lantern spiral about, Ganthet asks if Sayd misses being able to do what the teen is doing, but she cannot remember, too much time has passed. Ganthet surprisingly begins to ask if she has ever thought about the pair of them…and he is cut off by her finishing, incorrectly, about lowering the age of lantern recruits. Her answer is forgotten when Somar-Le says she’s going to throw up, flying about so rapidly, and that she doesn’t care. She then does so. John Stewart joins the Guardians to watch the newest lantern, since such happiness isn’t something he’s seen in some time. Bravo, Mr. Venditti! You’ve addressed something that all comics miss on of late — the joy of being a hero! It can’t constantly be complete doom, gloom, and drama. There need to be moments, if not entire issues, devoted to showing that the heroes get a break just to revel in their abilities. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Now is this issue all rainbows and whiskers on kittens? No. Hal and Kyle Rayner are in Sector 3482 rescuing the inhabitants of Molta from a volcano’s eruption. As they save the citizens, the pair talk about past loves and it’s interesting, but too short. Better is a return to the opening unseen threat, which finds its newest victims. Who these villains are is revealed on the final page and I was overjoyed, as they are major players in the cosmic cornucopia of DC baddies. I really enjoyed this story for providing an often overlooked tone and reintroducing some major players into the Rebirth Universe. Overall grade: A

The art: Breakdowns are by Tom Derenick with Jack Herbert being the penciller and inker. The first page establishes Yekop initially as a medieval-like character because of his clothing, but the introduction of his holding a drill to scurry away into a barred entrance shows him to be more modern than the reader assumed. He’s also shown to be a victim, yelling as he’s running panicked. However, the turn of a page shows he’s also a fighter, with him looking incredibly strong atop Page 2. The blast that takes the character down is big and filled with lots of Kirby Krackle. The next page is a full-paged splash showing Somar-Le speeding about in rapture, while the Guardians watch from a distance. This is a great introduction to all three characters showing their personalities. The Guardians are rightfully stoic as they watch the recruit, with a fun comedic reaction on the fourth page. The close-up of John on Page 5 is fantastic; it’s great to see him actually have this emotion. The layout of Page 6 is great, with twelve panels wonderfully providing the perfect backdrop to Ganthet’s speech. And speaking of this Guardian, he’s got a close-up to rival John’s on the next page. Pages 8 and 9 are a double-paged splash showing Hal and Kyle in action saving citizens. They look outstanding, with the devastation behind them good. The take down of the characters on 15 and 16 is solid, but it’s the last page that left me screaming; those characters are some of my favorites and their appearance makes me happy as they’re doing so much wrong. Overall grade: A

The colors: This issue has several different settings and characters of so many species that allow Jason Wright to use a wide variety of colors to enhance the pages’ tones and make the characters stand out. Right out of the gate, on Page 1 the colors trick the reader into thinking they are looking at a primitive locale, with the setting primarily in brown, but the light blue skin of Yekop will have fans of Lantern books identifying this character based on his coloring. The explosion of energy on 2 is terrific in orange, which provides the perfect contrast to all the greens on Page 3. Somar-Le’s trail as she flies about is an emerald streak which stands out strongly against the background of space. I love the shading that Wright puts into all the characters’ faces, with the close-ups looking outstanding. The orange and rust colors of Molta give the setting a threatening tone and the characters an intense glow. Overall grade: A  

The letters: Dave Sharpe creates scene settings, dialogue, yells, the story’s title, the book’s credits, sounds, a computer briefing, and the tease for next issue. The scene settings are always sleek and futuristic looking, reflecting this book’s genre, and the inclusion of a computer entry increases the sci-fi tone solely from the visual look of the text. The yells are always great under Sharpe, with there being several different fonts used to show there are definitely different levels to them. The sounds also perfectly compliment the actions occurring, with the one in the first panel on Page 14 the one to read aloud. Overall grade: A+

The final line: A new hero revels in her abilities, while some infamous characters return to the DC Universe. The story is excellent and the visuals capture the joys and the horrors splendidly. This series continues to be a gem in the DC pantheon of comics. Overall grade: A

To purchase a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Hal-Jordan-and-The-Green-Lantern-Corps-2016-33/digital-comic/575961?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

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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