In Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #22

This could be the beginning of the end between the cooperating corps. Great issue.

The covers: A Regular and a Variant cover for this issue are available for those who have the willpower to track them down. Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright are responsible for the Regular cover which features an incredibly detailed cover with Soranik on the left, holding her left hand out to show her ring, and on the right is Hal, also holding out his ring hand. There are circles of energy emitting from where their fists bump and within each ring emanation are several members of the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps. I’m always impressed by the amount of detail that Van Sciver puts in his work and the colors by Wright are equally well done — it’s cool to have Hal and Sora so brightly colored and the other lanterns have lighter work on them. Just excellent. The Variant cover features full figures of Hal and Sora, back to back, with half of Hal’s corps logo behind him and half of Sora’s logo behind her. I love this image by Kevin Nowlan. It was an extremely tough call deciding which one to purchase, but I had to go with the Variant cover. Overall grade: Regular A and Variant A+

The story: Well, the two corps working together looks to be extremely short lived as Robert Venditti begins the “Fracture” saga with this issue. Space Sector 1800 contains the planet Vault: “A constructed world. Its extreme value surpassed only by its security. A neutral site in free space, Vault holds no allegiances. It abstains from politics and war. It is the largest bank in our cosmos, and its loyalty is to its depositors alone.” One man with a specific job is followed for the first two pages, ending with him observing a planetary invasion. The Green Lantern Corps are called for assistance, as Vault is being looted, and John Stewart sends a team of equal number of green and yellow lanterns to assist. The Cepheid Raiders, led by Admiral Bolphunga, are plundering and destroying the world, until the heroes arrive. The battle is good, expected, but good. However, one lantern falters during the battle and another goes after him when the fighting has stopped. Additionally, Hal makes a discovery that places this planetary robbery into question. The conversation that occurs on Page 17 is truly the calm before the storm. The most drama comes from 18 and 19, where two characters return to an earlier conversation, with one person privy to information the other is not. This was a terrific rip out your heart moment. The final page is a cliffhanger, with the danger not really known, save the final statement by the villain. Wow! This puts all the action of the issue into question. Venditti provides lots of action and an impressive number of dramatic scenes. Come for the action, stay for the drama. The only reason this issue doesn’t receive a plus with its letter grade is because it teases much, with reveals promised for later issues. Overall grade: A

The art: Ethan Van Sciver should be a familiar name to Lantern fans and he continues to solidify himself in the pantheon of outstanding Green Lantern artists. No lanterns appear on the first two pages, but Van Sciver creates a fantastic setting with Vault. Look at the incredible detail in the second panel on the first page: it’s not a big one, but the the depth of the panel is staggering. The character’s reaction on Page 2 is recognizable by any reader and is brought to life by the wide range of ships that approach Vault at the bottom. If those pages haven’t knocked the reader’s socks off yet, take a gander at the full paged splash of Page 3, which features several lanterns flying above the power batteries over the sprawling headquarters of both corps. Kilowog is the most predominate character on the page and he looks amazing. 6 features the introduction of Bolphunga and his raiders, with the first panel on the page being a slick, almost horizontal panel showing the villains using anchors to ascend and descend from their ships. Balphunga looks fantastically scuzzy: he’s ugly, his teeth are a mess, his armor is spiked and features several skulls. It doesn’t get more delightfully garbage an antagonist than this. Pages 8 and 9 are a double-paged full bleed splash that shows the arrival of both corps, with Hal front and center, with his fist in the reader’s face. This looks awesome! Lanterns are flying everywhere with all types of constructs being made. Hal ends the fight in spectacular fashion and then the drama begins. Even if one doesn’t read the dialogue, Van Sciver is clearly communicating how characters feel: check out the second panels on 15 and 16, the joy in a gesture at the bottom of 18, the importance of distance between individuals on 19, and the final three faces of the issue on 20. This book looks fantastic. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Making Van Sciver’s work look even more dazzling are the colors by Jason Wright. The pink clouds and violet shading of shield on the Vault’s blue surface make it look mysterious. The pink sky continues whenever the heavens are shown and this gives the world a really alien feel. The variety of colors used for all the ships is equaled by the colors used for all the lanterns shown on Page 3, with the shading done on characters’ costumes and skin exceptional. Bolphunga’s crimson armor has a spectacular shine due to Wright’s work and the close-up of him at the bottom of 7 is great because the character’s colors have gotten darker due to the figures that are eclipsing the light source. This was great. The many greens and yellows that follow this page make all the characters and action seem completely believable. Two characters receive considerable shading on 15 and 16, increasing their uncomfortable moods. 17 is a much more upbeat page, yet it, too, receives darker colors, suggesting that all is not as well as one character believes. 18 and 19 are incredibly bright, given the joy they should contain, but when things go south for the characters, the colors remain bright, leaving the reader to feel much as the last character on 19 does. Wright is on fire with this issue. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dave Sharpe contributes scene settings, narration, dialogue, the story’s title, the book’s credits, a broadcast, yells, sounds, and the tease for next issue. There’s much narration that Sharpe has to insert on the first two pages and look how masterfully he can place it without covering any key elements of the art. A trademark yell of Sharpe’s first appears on Page 8 and it’s terrific. The sounds that follow this on the next page are tremendous and fun to say aloud. The best sound of the issue is on 13. How could one not enjoy looking at what Sharpe brings to a book?  Overall grade: A+

The final line: A mystery begins after a major action sequence. This could be the beginning of the end between the cooperating corps. Great issue. 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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