In Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #14

Hal and Kyle go on a mission to find hope and it's a mixed bag.

The covers: Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, and Tomeu Morey have crafted the Regular cover, showing Hal and Kyle coming upon Saint Walker who’s meditating in space. Hal looks happy to see his old friend, while Kyle does not. Could this be a clue as to what’s to come inside? Only one way to find out — buy it! Good teaser image that shows all three characters clearly. Inspired by the cover to Green Lantern #61 by Gil Kane, the Variant cover by Kevin Nowlan has a massive Hal Jordan angrily looking down upon Saint Walker, who’s facepalming. Hal’s dialogue is very similar to what Alan Scott said to him so long ago. Great cover and the one I had to purchase. Overall grades: Regular A- and Variant A+

The story: In Sector 2809, known as Smuggler’s Corridor, Space Cabbie is chased by an unknown force whom he hopes to outrun. He cannot, as it’s Guy Gardner. The two know each other, so Cabbie is quick to try and conceal the contraband he’s hauling. The lantern tells him he’s back on his beat and “That means I still own your butt, Cabbie.” Guy wants info and the pilot is willing to trade, so long as it doesn’t effect his customers. The yellow lantern logo is shown to Cabbie and asked, “You seen anyone wearing this?” The image startles the man, who answers, “Whoa…That information is going to cost you.” The story then moves to Mogo, the planet Green Lantern that’s now the base for the Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Corps, who’ve recently joined forces. Naturally, both sides are staring the other down. Hal wonders how John is going to make this work. It’s obviously going to be a rough process. This interesting scenario is pushed aside by writer Robert Venditti, albeit returning there for three far too short pages, to instead focus on Hal and Kyle Rayner who are sent by Ganthet and Sayd to look for hope. What that means, they don’t know, but their destination hardly inspires such wording. “Quest For Hope, Part 1: Light in the Darkness” is a building issue for a larger story. Both covers to this issue spoil the final panel of the story, which does create an instant desire to see what happens next. The action is generic at this point, and could become necessary with what’s revealed next issue, but as it stands, it comes off as filler. I’m not thrilled that Hal is once again separated from the corps after only being recently reunited with them. This seems like Venditti is writing two separate books merged into twenty pages. I’d enjoy this book more if the title character was working with the team. Overall grade: C-

The art: This is interesting art. The redesign of Space Cabbie is excellent. He and his ship don’t look like their classic 1950’s design, but have been modernized to fit in nicely with the twenty-first century. Guy’s introduction is a full page splash, capturing all the cockiness of the character, and Cabbie’s reaction to his arrival is good. All the lanterns, green, yellow, and white, look sharp, especially the alien ones, but the majority of the story is spent on Hal and Kyle. Their flight through transluminal space is very cool, with some sharp perspective work done on Hal as he’s speeding along, but the planet they arrive on is fairly generic. Granted, the story doesn’t give too much for penciller Rafa Sandoval and inker Jordi Tarragona to do, and they do what they can. The life forms they encounter are the visual high point of the book, but they’re so big compared to the lanterns, after their first appearance they’re too big to fit in a panel, leaving the lanterns fighting limbs. The layout is interesting, with a circular pattern emitting ray-like panels on several pages. This can make the action more intense, but it’s difficult to see much of the action occurring, especially on Pages 18 and 19. The final page is beautiful, but it’s difficult to know where this happening in relationship to the lantern who’s viewing it: atop a mountain, within a crater?–can’t tell. The character work on this is fine, but I wish the panels had been a little more conventional and the creatures not so massive. Overall grade: B-

The colors: Give Tomeu Morey credit, he makes the lanterns’ constructs look as though they’re created from the ether: they radiate and glow wonderfully. The opening panel of the book has got a beautiful background and exceptional shine coming off of Cabbie’s vehicle. The work done on the seats and compartments within Cabbie’s car are also really well done. When the corps are show, the characters have excellent skin work down, making them real. The work done on Hal and Kyle is exceptionally strong, with Kyle’s costume looking incredible. However, due to the panel layout and what’s within them, the ray shaped panels become a jumble because of the colors. Morey is coloring them as they should be colored, but they become a melded mess in some spots. I don’t know how he could have done them differently, given what he was. Overall grade: B

The letters: Dazzling Dave Sharpe creates scene settings, dialogue, sounds, yells, the book’s title and credits, ring speech, an alien’s unique dialogue, and the tease for next issue. I’ve nothing but praise for Sharpe, who’s scene settings, yells, and sounds continue to be some of the best in the comic industry. I am especially fond of this issue’s KRENNNCH. Overall grade: A+

The final line: Hal and Kyle go on a mission to find hope and it’s a mixed bag. I’m definitely interested to see where this is heading, I just wish that the entire corps could have gone and the art been a little more conventional. Overall grade: B

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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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