In Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #17

Heart, drama, and spectacular imagery make this a must read DC book.

The covers: A pair to collect, with both having radically different subject matter. The Regular cover is by Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright. This is one of the happier covers I’ve seen on a Lantern book in some time: Hal and John smile as they look upon Kyle Rayner who is beaming as he’s shown wearing the costume he wore when he was Ion. Even with this simple subject matter, Van Sciver puts a ton of details into this image. The heroes look sensational, with their faces and physiques being perfect. The beams of emerald energy radiating from Kyle are great, and check out the crackling energy emitting from Kyle’s ring — Wow! The colors are also gorgeous in green, with Wright using every possible shade of emerald to make this cover look real. He succeeds wildly. The Variant cover by Kevin Nowlan is the first one I’ve passed on purchasing. This cover features Kyle, as the White Lantern, standing behind Saint Walker, with his hands on the alien’s head. Walker is screaming, going down to one knee as blue energy erupts from him. Why Kyle would be doing to this friend is beyond me, but it’s not the content I didn’t like: Walker’s body looks awkward and stretched out strangely, while Kyle’s face has him looking like a simian. The coloring is good, especially on Kyle’s costume and the blue energy writhing about, but I’m not liking the art. Overall grades: Regular A+ and Variant C

The story: Within Mogo the living planet, home of the Green Lantern Corps, Arkillo is brought in, unconscious, to a sciencell, so he can do no more harm. The other imprisoned yellow lanterns want to know how many squads it took to bring him in. When told it was only one man, they want to know who did it. John Stewart’s answer is “The only one who could” — Guy Gardner. Guy is in the infirmary covered in bandages and casts from his battle with the massive yellow lantern. Kyle, Hal, and John are happy to see he’s recovering, and John gets the other two lanterns to leave the room. Alone with Guy, John presents him with a gift from his battle, the tooth he knocked out of Arkillo. He then leaves the man saying, “Guy, you crazy S.O.B.” Guy looks at the tooth grimly and puts on the tray next to him, looking uncomfortable. Robert Venditti does some cleaning up this issue, with Hal admitting something to Kyle, the villainous Tomar-Tu making an ominous change, and the Guardians revealing why they needed Saint Walker. How Kyle is dragged into the latter was very surprising, with the Guardians’ motives being extremely questionable. What happens to the green lantern should have been done years ago. Guy also has an incredible scene in this issue as he talks with someone unexpected. I’m grateful for what Venditti does to Kyle, but I’m impressed with what he does with Guy. For the last several years Guy hasn’t shown much depth, and in two issues Venditti has brought some refreshing depth to him that was overdue. Mr. Venditti, you’ve got me excited about the Green Lanterns again. Overall grade: A  

The art: Ethan Van Sciver knocks this out of the park with some mind numbingly beautiful art. The first page shows a terrific view looking down in the sciencells, filled with various evil yellow lanterns. Look at the detail in the second panel on Page 2 that shows Soranik using a construct machine to check Arkillo’s state. Guy Gardner is amazingly rendered with all his bruises, the shading on his skin, and the hairs on his chest. His recovery room is filled with plenty of details, and what Hal uses his ring for is hilarious. The final two panels on 4 contain no text, leaving Van Sciver to use his talents to tell the story, and he does to sensational effect: readers know exactly what he’s feeling. Hal and Kyle’s quick flight over Mogo has incredible settings, be they they on the ground or in the sky. Walker and Kyle’s scenes explode with energy that can be felt beyond the page. 14 has a great layout with the panels on the bottom of the page being shards, representing the horror that’s occurring. A few characters make some cameos on 17, and I hope that the last one shown makes an appearance in this book soon. The large panel on 18 is going to be in several end of the year reviews and will feature prominently whenever Kyle’s story is retold. And though the final page’s full page splash is ruined by the Regular cover, I confess to beaming like a child seeing Kyle in that uniform. This is how Kyle should be! Overall grade: A+

The colors: The coloring on this book is also exceptionally well done. Jason Wright’s work with the color green is fantastic. He’s not content to use the similar shade throughout the book, instead using every possible variation in green to bring a strong sense of reality to this book. On Page 5’s first two panels Wright makes the landscape look wonderful, while the clouds on 6 could be used in a film’s finale. Whites and blues come in to spectacular conflict on 14. Page 17 shows Wright using all the colors of the spectrum beautifully, with those on 18 making my heart soar. The final page of the book is textbook perfection. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Scene settings, dialogue, yells, ring speech, sounds, a character’s final words, the story’s title and credits, plus the tease for next issue are brought to life by Dave Sharpe. When characters yell, such as on the second page, it’s such a monstrous bellow it goes far outside the confines of the character’s dialogue balloon. His sounds are also stellar, with FFZZZSSSH and FMMMBLL stealing the show. Overall grade: A+

The final line: This issue has the heart and the look of what a Green Lantern outing should be. Heart, drama, and spectacular imagery make this a must read DC book. 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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