In Review: Green Lantern #42

This new direction for Hal Jordan is worth pursuing.

The covers: You could not conceive two more diametrically opposed covers than the pair for this book. The Main cover is by Billy Tan and Alex Sinclair. Hal is outside his ship, his emerald energy being burned off him as he slowly begins to turn to stone. The same process is happening to his vessel. The subtitle screams, “The Medusa Effect!” and things are looking bad for Mr. Jordan. This image captures all the key elements of this issue. Excellent. The Teen Titans Go! Variant is by Jorge Corona. Against a yellow-orange background, Starfire, Cyborg, Robin, Beast Boy (wearing a lantern mask and holding a green power battery), and Hal are looking at Raven fearfully. She’s within circular rings of yellow energy emanating out of her. She’s got her arms held up apologetically, a yellow lantern icon on her chest. Cute, but not for me. Overall grades: Main A and Teen Titans Go! Variant B

The story: I’ve read a lot of Lantern stories and this was an antagonist I’ve not encountered before. “Written in Stone” by Robert Venditti opens with Hal zipping through Sector 3068 on his ship, with recently rescued Virgo and captured bounty hunter Trapper on board. They’re on their way to Virgo’s world Ketleth Prime to return the young man to his monarch/father. After some expected sarcasm from Trapper on the way, which Hal shuts down with a threat, they arrive and things are not as they expected: the entire planet is stone; anything that was organic has turned to marble. “No life readings…It’s like an empty hole in space. Void.” No one knows what’s happened, and then something complicates the situation on Page 6. I enjoy mystery stories, especially those that are strange — and this certainly is, and how the story is complicated by an unexpected force. I like the confrontation that began on 8, and the almost regretful final dialogue at the end of 9. Page 15 has a nice bit of tension that’s happened before, and is obviously foreshadowing an eventual conflict involving the lead. Also enjoyable is the tiny threat in this issue that rears its destructive head quickly on 16. The last panel on 21 rightly speaks for both the protagonist and the reader, and I’m expecting a payoff next issue. The final page has an appearance by a villain I was not expecting and had not been spoiled, and I’m not about to that in this review. However, seeing this character and his plight shows that he may be responsible for this mess; which would be par for the course, as whenever this individual appears things always go horribly wrong. I like the mystery, I like the conflict, and I’m loving the last page. Overall grade: A 

The art: One penciller and three inkers on this book. Billy Tan provides the former and Mark Irwin, Tan, and Scott Hanna provide the latter. The first page is a sweet shot of Hal’s ship making its way through the sector; it looks great and I’m really liking the burn of its thrusters. The next two pages have three characters who are locked into positions, with no real movement: Hal is sitting in the driver’s seat, Virgo stands by his side, and Trapper is behind bars of energy behind the two. Tan moves the point of view around well, making this a good two page sequence, which is no small feat. The reveal of Ketleth Prime on 4 is neat, but subtle, since it’s not apparent to the reader that something is wrong, since “we’ve” not been here before; good shocked reaction from Hall in the second panel on that page. The top two panels on 5 explicitly show what’s wrong with the world, and they’re good. The reveal on the partial double-page splash on 6 and 7 is really good, with the light effects being particularly strong. The double-paged splash on 10 and 11 is a fantastic “Wow” moment — unexpectedly awesome. I love the visual tag on 16 in the third panel; it’s definitely needed for what’s about to occur. I also really like Page 22 for who is shown; his pose and emotion telling a story without any text necessary. This book looks great. Overall grade: A

The colors: A solid job on this issue from Tony Avina. I was a tad put off on initially seeing the color scheme on Hal’s ship, but now I’m liking it. I really like the burn effect coming off the ship’s thrusters on the opening page. The colors used for the bars restraining Trapper are also cool, and there are several nice coloring effects done on the figures/world to show that all’s turned to stone. The lighting effects on Pages 6 and 7 sell what’s happening in that partial double-paged spread. The green on 10 and 11 is spectacular, which is also used well for yells and sounds on 14 and 15. Pages 20 and 21 use a smooth violet for the background, which highlights the character causing difficulties. Avina is aces. Overall grade: A

The letters: The book’s premise, story title, credits, scene settings, dialogue, Darlene speak, yells (Love Page 2’s “IPE!“), retching, transmissions, sounds, and next issue’s tease are sensationally done by Dave Sharpe. The characters’ yells and the book’s sounds are really strong, with the sounds being instrumental to understanding what’s going on. Overall grade: A

The final line: With an excellent story and visuals, how could this be anything but successful? This new direction for Hal Jordan is worth pursuing. 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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