In Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #32

The visuals are outstanding, but this tie-in to the Metal saga is just an issue long fight.

The covers: Both covers for this installment feature Hal in action. The regular cover by Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright is a stunner with Hal confronting Bruce Wayne as the Dawnbreaker, an evil amalgamation of Batman and Green Lantern. Hal is holding his lantern as he raises his right fist to blast the baddie, while Dawnbreaker has energy powering up in his fist to strike his foe. Accompanying the villain are several constructs of monstrous creatures. The pair are fighting high in the sky above a desert setting colored in an extremely brutal orange. This is an outstanding cover. The Variant is by Barry Kitson with colors by Hi-Fi. This has Hal speeding forward accompanied by several construct bats, flapping their wings to keep up with him. I like the perspective on this and the colors make it pop against all other books. I like it, but I slightly favor the Regular cover because it has more details. Overall grades: Regular A+ and Variant A-  

The story: A long shot of the multiverse is shown until focusing on the planet Earth, and then narrowing until it falls upon Coast City. Helping with its reconstruction are John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and Kyle Rayner, all members of the Green Lantern Corps. Hal Jordan is giving his niece and nephew a ride through the sky on a constructed roller coaster car. He stops the ride at the welcome sign to the city showing them that it’s nickname is “The City Without Fear.” He tells the two tykes that all the citizens of Coast City, including them, inspire him. “You’ll never have to be afraid, because I’ll always protect this place.” He then then asks them, “No fear?” and they strongly reply, “No fear!” Writer Robert Venditti then moves to a different Coast City where the Metal characters rule. Hal is engaged in fighting Dawnbreaker, and that’s what this issue is all about, him trying to defeat this new villain. The two trade barbs in typical comic book style, with Hal figuring out to get a good swing at the bad guy. However, Dawnbreaker shows himself to be a difficult foe to defeat and the tables turn. The story continues in Justice League #33. This was an okay read, but it’s a tie-in to a series spanning saga I haven’t been following, so I’m not wowed by this story. There’s also not much for me to grab onto to want to pick up the other Justice League members’ books to see what happened in those issues. Overall grade: B-

The art: Since the story is primarily a slugfest, Ethan Van Sciver and Liam Sharp run with this book and it looks incredible. After the first four pages, the backgrounds disappear since the battle occurs in a dark cave. This provides plenty of opportunities for the artists to really shine and they do. They use the blacks fantastically to make the characters stand out. Page 5 starts the action in amazing fashion with the villain punching Hal with a right. Dawnbreaker then disappears and the fight becomes a game of cat and mouse. How Hal is able to finally land a punch on the baddie is great, with a nine panel page sequence being fantastic. The full-paged splash on 10 is awesome, and I admit to cheering when I saw it. This is followed by another nine paneled page showing how several familiar faces met their fate with the antagonist. Pages 14 and 15 show two panels that stretch across both pages, filled with past villains and Hal making a decision to fight or take flight. The visuals are a perfect match for what is said. The final five pages show what the Metal villains have done to the world and they look great, but because I haven’t read any other books in this story line, I wasn’t as involved with the visuals. They look fine, but they didn’t move me as much as the fight itself. Overall grade: A-

The colors: Jason Wright really uses every possible shade of green possible in this story set in the darkness. It’s impressive how every character and construct has so much depth because of the different emeralds in use. In addition to these colors, the opening three pages have the bright colors of the real world, while the final five pages have the dramatic dark, though varied, colors of the Metal ruled world. I especially like the use of pinks on 18 and 19. Overall grade: A

The letters: Narration, scene settings, dialogue, signage, the story title, the book’s credits, sounds, yells, the unique fonts of the Metal rulers of this horrible world, and the teases for two other books are all created by Dave Sharpe. Every bit of text is exciting to look at, from the sleek scene settings to the incredible sounds that ring out from Hal and Dawnbreaker’s battle. One can’t go wrong with Sharpe doing the lettering on a book. Overall grade: A+

The final line: The visuals are outstanding, but this tie-in to the Metal saga is just an issue long fight. It looks good, but I had no emotional buy in to any part of the story. I wanted this to pass quickly so the interrupted exceptional Lantern saga written by Venditti could continue. 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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