In Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #24

A "must-read" saga for every comic book fan. Wow!

The covers: Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright have again created a spectacular frontpiece for the Regular cover. At the top of the illustration Soranik and Hal are crackling with the respective energy of their rings, while waving a fist at the other. In the middle of the image Tomar-Tu is shackled, his head down, as John tries to protect him from the Sinestro Corps members showing their anger. The art is top notch and the colors outstanding. This needs to be a print. The Variant cover is by Kevin Nowlan and features the other story in this issue: Soranik is ripping Kyle’s costume open to burn the Sinestro Corps logo onto his chest. A powerful image with great coloring. Both of these covers are winners. Overall grades: Regular A+ and Variant A

The story: Robert Venditti is having a masterful run on this series, with this issue being the strongest yet. The third part of “Dead Legacy” begins in Sector 2265 in the fairly recent past. Tormar-Tu and Fantas-m have cornered villainous Romat-Ru, a yellow lantern that refuses to join his brethren in joining with the Green Lantern Corps. When told his crimes will end in this asteroid belt he says, “Does it? Arrest me, convict me. I’ve been in your silly sciencells before. I’ll find freedom. I’ll kill again. The children will be waiting.” A notorious child killer, this enrages Tormar-Tu, who kills the murderer. The ring flies from the villain’s finger to find a new bearer, but is contained by Tormar-Tu. He says to witness Fantas-M, “I accepted that surrender and gave him the punishment he earned. We went searching for Romat-Ru, but our information was bad. We didn’t find him. Can I count on you?” As a reformed killer, he will remain silent, but “You cannot comprehend how this act will weigh on you.” Venditti then moves to the present where Hal has entered Tormar-Tu’s quarters, where he’s writhing on the floor in guilt and from the continual drain of maintaining a construct to keep Romat-Ru’s ring from flying free. John Stewart arrives and demands the lantern’s ring and Hal objects. After all, he’s a good lantern. When confronted with undeniable evidence, Hal denies his friend’s guilt. This sets up further conflict between Hal and John and it’s terrific. Hal’s used to being superior to John, but since Stewart is the leader of both corps, his judgment overrules his own. This forces John to make a decision that is surprising, though perfectly in line with his character. The issue ends with a cliffhanger that will have major repercussions for every character in this series. In addition to this story, Soranik confronts Kyle with the information that she’s learned that a recently killed antagonist, Sarko, was their child from the future. He chose not to tell her and she’s not happy about that. She does something to him that shows she is indeed a child of Sinestro. Wow. This whole issue is filled with several Wows. Venditti is on fire. Overall grade: A+

The art: Just as impressive as the story are the phenomenal images by Ethan Van Sciver. The opening pages show Tomar-Tu’s crime and his conversation with Fantas-M. Take note that all the panels for these three pages are not straight; they’re all angular, thematically showing how the lantern’s world is skewed. The close-up of boastful Romat-Ru in the fourth panel on the first page is terrific — it’s the perfect snapshot of the disdain the villain has toward the heroes. The second page is a full-page splash showing the death of the antagonist and it’s shocking. This is followed on the next page with the charred corpse smoking with the lantern’s shadow falling across the body; another thematic visual that insinuates that the lantern is as dead as the body before him. Page 4 is also a full-page splash, bringing the reader into the present dramatically as Hal rages before the pitiful Tomar-Tu. The final two panels on 5 show Van Sciver really showing his talent by having a tight close-up of Hal, looking confused and then angry. The visuals are telling the story as much as the text. That’s what happens for the majority of this issue: heroes aren’t battling others, they’re having conversations, with each speaker delivering emotions that are amazing. John’s resolve when he speaks with Bolphunga is awesome, as is his broadcast at the end of the issue; Kyle is lost and drowning in guilt, while Soranik rages at his secrecy; and Tomar-Tu is a quivering mass of fear and regret. This issue is undeniably impressive. Overall grade: A+

The colors: With such detailed artwork, it’s amazing that Jason Wright hasn’t gone Tomar-Tu on Van Sciver. On the first page take at look at the asteroid field that establishes the setting. It’s not a blanket green, but a swirling miasma of emerald to make this sector seem constantly changing. As if it were alive. Romat-Ru’s costume is exceptionally colored to accentuate the muscles of the villain. And take at look at his face and hands; they, too, also have wonderful tones. This is continued throughout the book on every character. The energy and constructs of the lanterns’ rings are incredibly luminescent, undeniably powerful, whether it be the outline that surrounds them as they fly or the blasts they hurl at others, as is done on the second page. The setting on Page 8 has a beautiful sky that lures the reader into a peaceful state, only to be interrupted by the fury of Soranik. The sounds are also spectacularly colored, with the gigantic one on 10 being transparent, allowing the massive amount of energy in the art to be seen, but allowing the sound to be bright enough to become the reader’s focus. Perfection in every way. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dave Sharpe creates scene settings, dialogue, laughter, sounds, yells, ring speech, the story’s title, the subtitle, the book’s credits, and the tease for next issue. Sharpe is a master of sound, of which there are several outstanding ones, with a frightening one horrifically used on Page 3 and repeated on Page 15: what does that say about the second sound? It’s the yells in this book that are really impressive. They’re done in several fonts and sizes, showing the reader how loud a character should be heard. Their impact is increased when they’re large enough for Wright to color them. The visuals of this book increase the mood and tone. Just awesome. Overall grade: A+

The final line: This is a fantastic time to be a Green Lantern fan! Epic storytelling has every character effected by this tale. The visuals are stunning in their details. A “must-read” saga for every comic book fan. 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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