In Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #34

The villains' plot is revealed and the lanterns are on their way to help.

The covers: Francis Manapul’s Regular cover teases much that’s to be found in this issue. In the foreground is Guy Gardner standing on a flying platform that’s got two blasters on either side of it; it resembles Orion’s flying sled. There’s a profile bust shot of John Stewart yelling, Hal Jordan is in the center with his ring ready to make a construct, and behind him is Kyle Rayner looking about at the chaos. Behind them is a giant green power battery that’s encircled by the Guardians. Yellow energy is snaking out of the battery, with a Controller flying out of it. Very nice. The Variant cover is by Barry Kitson and Hi-Fi and shows the after effects of a cosmic bar once Guy has a word with everyone. Gardner is at the bar, nursing a cold one, while sporting quite the shiner. I love the varied aliens, which is one of the reasons I buy this title. Overall grades: Both A-

The story: Robert Venditti starts off the second chapter of “Twilight of the Guardians” with Somar-Le being the focus of Hal, John, Kyle, and Guy, as she witnessed someone kidnapping the Guardians. The way in which Somar-Le communicates to the foursome who stole the Guardians was very neat. Most new lanterns never last long in Lantern series, so I’m hoping she remains for a while and Venditti gets to explore her ability shown on Page 3 more. Where the Guardians are and who’s kidnapped them is next shown, with the villains teasing why they need the little blue aliens. The four heroes, however, have to learn where the Guardians have gone and this allows Venditti to show how each uses his own unique strengths to discover the truth. This is a short sequence, but really defines the heroes for the reader. Being a long time Lantern reader of over four decades, what each does isn’t surprising, but it is incredibly fun reading. The remainder of the book returns to the Guardians and their captors, who finally reveal what the fate is for the creators of the Green Lantern Corps. It was a big surprise and it has me on fire to see what Venditti has them do next. Overall grade: A

The art: This is an interesting way to go for the visuals: Tom Derenick is responsible for the breakdowns and Jack Herbert is the penciller and inker. The lanterns look great when they’re the only ones in the panel; it’s the villains who leave me with a big question mark: how are their upper and lower parts of their garb, colored in pink, swirl about when there’s no source of a breeze? It’s a little thing, but it distracted me every time they appeared on the page. Beginning on Page 8 the lanterns are shown searching for leads on the Guardians and this was an extremely smart way to lay out a page, with one lantern’s tale at the top, one in the middle, and one at the bottom. This allows the reader to compare and contrast what each does. The aliens that are shown look awesome with those in the top looking really sharp. I love the look the individual makes in the middle panel on Page 11 — it’s perfection! 13 has a close-up of John rubbing his chin in consideration of information just learned. He looks great, but his hand is too veiny: I thought he was going to blow out a blood vein. 14 is a fantastic full-page splash of the heroes going into action, but, again, what is up with John’s hand? The final six pages have a lot of shadow work done on the characters. This makes the actions more sinister, I admit, but wouldn’t these ultra intelligent aliens create a few more lights? The final page of the book is a full-page splash and it had me thinking of David Cronenberg’s The Fly: the device is similar enough and the smoke that announces the character’s entrance is familiar. Overall grade: B

The colors: Jason Wright does an exceptional job on the shading of characters in this book. Every character, human and alien, looks life-like. Look at his tone work on the lanterns, with every shade of green used to make them believable. The colors on the Guardians give them a sensational sense of depth, and this also proves true with the book’s villains. On the pages showing how each lantern looks for a lead, the coloring, in addition to the art, separates their tales. The exploit in the middle is beautiful in red, which makes this lantern’s journey seem more perilous than the others. There’s a quick flashback on Page 15 with oranges and yellow to date the scenes. The color used to fill a tube on 18 was a surprising choice, as I’ve not seen this color employed for such an action. However, after seeing what this liquid would create, there could be no other color but that one to foreshadow the Guardians’ fate. Overall grade: A+

The letters: This book’s text includes scene settings, dialogue, the story’s title, the book’s credits, character identification, yells, sounds, groans, a musical whistle, screams, and the tease for next issue. Dave Sharpe’s contributions complete this issue sensationally. The scene settings are bold and slightly at an angle, leading into the story, making the reader unconsciously dip into the tale. The story’s title is a work of art, as all of Sharpe’s titles are. The sounds are spectacular, with those that come into being due to Gardner’s search are wonderful. Sharpe makes the visuals of this book complete. Overall grade: A+

The final line: The villains’ plot is revealed and the lanterns are on their way to help. Will they arrive in time to save the Guardians? This is a book that will please every Lantern reader, and create some new ones in the process. 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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