In Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #10

Outstanding visuals, though the parts of the book without Hal are more exciting than those with him.

The covers: Hal Jordan has become nothing but the green energy of will. It appears that only Kyle Rayner, the sole White Lantern in existence, can save him. He’s sneaking up on Hal, but to do what? Below the lanterns are Ganthet and Sayd, the last two Guardians who seem to have any pull with their emerald warriors. This cover was illustrated by Ethan Van Sciver and colored by Jason Wright. Sciver is known for creating detailed work, and he does so here, but Wright’s colors really direct the reader to look at each element of this awesome illustration. As much as I love the Regular cover, the Variant was the one I had to pick up. There’s nary a lantern to be seen in this illustration and that’s because it focuses on the issue’s villain — Brainiac! He’s holding one of his collection bottles to his face, mesmerized by the bright glow that’s emanating from it, probably because the light is coming from all the lanterns using their rings to escape this miniature prison. Kevin Nowlan has created an awesome illustration that showcases the strangeness of the antagonist and the plight of the heroes. It’s just great. Overall grades: Regular A and Variant A+

The story: Aboard the reconstructed ship of Brainiac 2.0 in Space Sector 2821 the ship’s captain begins to catalog the species in his newest acquisition, a city from Xudar. John Stewart and Soranik began to spat over how their respective corps got themselves into their current situation but have to stop once the city begins to crumble due to Brainiac’s handling of the bottle they are in. The lanterns zip through the city, stopping the destruction and fascinating Brainiac at the “display of >TKTK< luminescence.” He adds, “The Grand Collector >TKTK< will enjoy this spectacle very much.” Who this “Grand Collector” is isn’t revealed until the final page and it’s a WOW! moment, but the action then moves to the planet Nok, where Guardians Ganthet and Sayd are instructing Kyle Rayner what he must do to rescue Hal Jordan. Where Hal has ended up makes sense, considering how he ended up at the end of the last Green Lantern series, but who writer Robert Venditti has him speaking with, let alone meeting up with, didn’t work for me. Having Hal meet with this character every two years is akin to having Captain America carry the guilt of Bucky for forty years. In fact, if Dave Sim were still doing living Cerebus adventures, I don’t doubt there wouldn’t be a Lantern Roach screaming this character’s name in anguish. How Kyle contributes to Hal’s story is very cool, I do admit, and there is a resolution for Hal’s state, which can now set this character on new adventures with the corps. That said, whom Brainiac delivers Xudar to has me eagerly anticipating the next issue in this series. I’m loving the corps and am just “meh” with Hal. Overall grade: B

The art: Ed Benes is doing some killer work on this book. The opening page is a full page splash that shows Brainiac’s ship making its way through space and it’s both beautiful and ghastly. It’s like a giant zombie head with tentacles in space. The close up of the villain in the second panel on Page 2 makes Brainiac look absolutely demonic — I loved it! The lanterns being scanned by the antagonist look terrific. The way in which Benes shows Kilowog’s displeasure at being scanned is awesome. When three of the lanterns go into action on 4 and 5 it’s beautiful; the reader will easily believe the characters to be that powerful with the many streaks that are shown zipping around the city. Hal’s first appearance in the book looks great and Benes makes the environment believable with terrific mists effects, which are shown handsomely on a double paged spread, Pages 10 and 11. Kyle really shows his abilities on 16, which shows him in the strongest possible light, no pun intended. The best illustrations of the book are on 17, showing the grisly state of one character. They are shocking and completely in line with the action that is occurring. The entrance on 18 is a full paged splash and returns a character back to their original state. Before one turns the page too quickly, take a look at the characters at the bottom of the page, because one individual’s smile had me smiling as well. The book ends with a full paged splash that is monstrously beautiful. Benes can draw the lanterns’ exploits forever, as far as I’m concerned. Overall grade: A+

The colors: I’ve always enjoyed Jason Wright’s coloring, but he really impressed with this issue. Having Brainiac’s ship colored in rotted flesh, flying against putrid, rust colored space gives this book a dark tone. The bright oranges used for the villain’s brain and the cables in his arms make him unmistakably non-human. The light red lines used for the robot’s scan increase the book’s sci-fi feel. Oranges are also used for the gigantic rumbling that occurs in Xudar. The lanterns get their moment to shine when the characters are shown flying about the city to save it. Wright really shows he’s talented when Kyle enters the story, as he’s got an incredible green glow on his white costume that truly makes him the shining knight of the book. There’s an incredible amount of green in this book when Hal’s tale comes to the forefront and Wright masterfully uses every shade of the color to highlight its power, never once making the emeralds look as though they were slapped down haphazardly. My favorite coloring by Wright is on the final page, but no spoilers! Overall grade: A+

The letters: Scene settings, the book’s title and credits, Brainiac’s dialogue, dialogue, sounds, yells, and the tease for next issue are created by Dave Sharpe. To put it simply, I’ve never seen Sharpe be anything but excellent. This is a dialogue heavy issue, yet he’s able to place all the text in their appropriate panels without overpowering them. I really like the font used for Brainiac’s dialogue, and the font used on the character on the final page is perfect. Overall grade: A+

The final line: Sadly, I like the parts of the book that don’t focus on Hal more than those with him. However, the visuals are outstanding and the ending has me excited to see where this is going. Overall grade: A-

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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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