In Review: Green Lantern #43

An entertaining reintroduction, but nothing spectacular.

The covers: Relic is back in this post-Convergence DC Universe! Billy Tan provides the art and Alex Sinclair the colors on this cosmic baddie’s reappearance. Hal raises his power gauntlet to combat the entity, but Relic looks unfazed by this small being employing the power of the green lightsmiths. I love the power rippling off of Hal and the look of utter contempt on Relic’s face from Tan and the different greens that Hal’s emitting look spectacular against Relic. That vibrant blue space shot behind the antagonist makes the reds in his costume pop out at the reader. This is well done, however, I had to get the variant cover. I really enjoyed the previous Bombshell Variants put out by DC, and so did a lot of other people as those images have become posters, prints, and statues. Naturally, DC is going back to the well, but with a twist of equality — now it’s the male leads’ turn! This cover by Emanuela Lupacchino and Tomeu Morey is outstanding. Hal is standing in full flight gear, with his jacket open to reveal a white tee shirt featuring the Green Lantern logo. His scarf is being blown in the wind as he looks confidently to his right. He’s on a poster that states “Have the Willpower? Join the CORPS, No Evil Shall Escape Our Sight!” I love this. The illustration is perfection, as is the coloring. Overall grades: Regular A and Variant A+

The story: On “An unexplored world” during “A tribe’s day of mourning”, a funeral ceremony for an elder is halted by the arrival of Black Hand. He approaches the corpse, hoping to use his abilities to restore it to life. He touches the man’s forehead and it turns ashen, but then the effect spread down his body and into the ground, killing all that can be seen by turning them to stone. Black Hand screams, “S-Stop it! STOP! I don’t want to be alone! Why won’t the dead p-play with m-me like back home? The mortuary. C-Coast City Cemetary. The good times. Everything was b-better at home. H-Home…I’m going HOME!” This insane death wielder’s story is put off for another issue as Robert Venditti’s “A Wounded Universe” goes to elsewhere in space where aboard the class III light cruiser Darlene Hal Jordan pauses in building a spacesuit. Darlene (the ship’s AI), asks what he’s doing, but gets no response. Hal has stopped his construction to look outside. Virgo and Hal share a moment before Hal puts on the suit and goes outside, because they’ve come upon Relic, whose size could give Galactus a run for his money. Venditti nicely splits the story into two parts: Hal and Relic’s conversation and what Virgo is doing aboard Darlene. There’s some nice tension in both stories with Hal’s being more ominous, for should the gigantic scientist realize who he is there would be a battle that Hal has little chance of winning. Virgo does something he shouldn’t have that changes the direction of the story and things move very quickly. I wasn’t keen on Relic’s first storyline in the Lantern books, but he’s working better here: he’s powerful, but not all-knowing, leaving Hal to know all about him as they meet. This issue serves to reintroduce this villain, who’ll undoubtedly reappear again, but outside of this introduction, which is okay, and the first two pages with Black Hand, as well as the tease on the last page, nothing substantial happens in this issue. It’s fine, but not spectacular. Overall grade: B

The art: Ethan Van Sciver does the artwork on this issue and does a really impressive job. Black Hand looks amazingly rotted on his two pages, especially in that final close-up. Readers can easily seen his anguish, but his appearance will have them fearing him. The entrance of Darlene on Page 3 is very cool (and I’m not much of a ship fan), as in the Hal’s introduction. There’s lots of detail on him, the suit he’s building, and the ship’s interior. Pages 4 and 5 is a double-paged spread of Hal’s view out the window. It’s nice, but it’s more impressive for the coloring than the drawn work. However, Van Sciver shows he was just saving up for the double-paged spread on Pages 8 an 9 when Relic is revealed. The pages are drawn to be held vertically to take in all of this monstrous villain. I love what’s done with Relic’s costume, Darlene and Hal’s scale, and the backdrop, which I’ll not reveal to stay spoiler free. Relic has several holographic screen projections before him displaying readings of what he’s studying and they’re really cool. Page 14 has a great layout as what’s happening with Virgo and Hal are intercut, giving a solid sense of timing for what’s going to occur on 15, where that third panel looks great. Page 18 has got Hal using his powers to amazing effect, with a gigantic construct being realized on 19. This is all that Hal does with the gauntlet this issue, but it looks beautiful. And that’s what this book is — beautiful. Overall grade: A

The colors: There’s a unusual color used by Alex Sinclair for the planet that Black Hand visits. It’s a pale, practically sickly, green that foreshadows the illness that arrives as Black Hand. This green also serves to magnify BH’s costume. The starfields that appear on Pages 3 – 5 are stunners in blue and purple. Often space is as black as night, but not in this sector of the universe, and it prompts Hal to stop what he’s doing to appreciate it. It is beautiful, and Hal’s greens magnificently pop out before it. There’s also a wonderful stone color used for the background when Relic appears. It’s not white, but a mix of white and green. This color allows Relic’s reds, blues, and yellows to stick out every time they appear against it. My favorite coloring is on Page 15 — any reader will be able to feel the energy that Sinclair has brought to the image. Overall grade: A+ 

The letters: Scene setting, dialogue, sounds, screams, opening credits and title, Darlene’s dialogue, snoring, Relic’s computer, and next issue’s tease are all brought into existence by Dave Sharpe. It only seems to be that Green Lantern books have spectacularly rendered titles for their story titles anymore, and Sharpe has created a cool one for this issue on Page 3. I love when letterers do this, and Sharpe consistently gives the stories an opening punch that goes beyond the meaning of the text. Overall grade: A

The final line: An entertaining reintroduction, but nothing spectacular. 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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