In Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #37

This series continues to impress, now with Hal encountering Superman's equal: Zod!

The covers: A pair to seek if your will is strong enough. The Regular cover is by Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, and Tomeu Morey. Hal Jordan’s ring fist is held in Zod’s hand as the Kryptonian pulls back his left to deliver a powerful blow to the Green Lantern. The characters look fantastic and the coloring makes them pop; I really like the energy coming off of Hal’s ring held by the villain. There’s a lot of power on this cover. The Variant cover is by Barry Kitson and Hi-Fi. This is an equally appealing frontpiece, though its imagery is the nightmare of every Lantern fan: against a crimson sky full of Kirby Krackle, the Green Lantern power battery stands. Below it are four pikes, each bearing the costumes of Kyle Rayner, Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner as flags blowing in the wind. In the distance are the silhouettes of several mourning corps members. A strong illustration with dynamic coloring. Overall grades: Both A

The story: The first three pages of this story by Robert Venditti shows a scene from Space Sector 2811, the planet Jekuul, in the near future. A lantern’s hand is shown on the ground, the glove ripped in several places, and the ring sparking eratic  emerald. It’s Hal. He weakly commands his ring to alert headquarters, but the device states, “Error.” Hal turns as a voice behind him says, “You and your comrade were unwise to come here uninvited, Green Lantern.” A turn of the page reveals it to be Zod speaking, flanked by Ursa, her son, and the Eradicator. In the distance Kyle Rayner’s body can be seen. “This world belongs to the House of Zod.” Blood is coming out of Hal’s mouth as he tries to crawl away from the Kryptonians. A turn of the page shifts the story to the present on Mogo, the headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps. John Stewart angrily proclaims “I quit.” as he holds his ring before the Guardians. He has issues with these Guardians inserting themselves over the Corps, given the past history of what the Guardians did. They argue that they are different than those others, and they need him, because they cannot force him to wear the ring. This is some very interesting conflict between John and these characters, with its conclusion very satisfying. While this is occurring, Kyle and Hal are speeding to Sector 2811 on reports of mining pirates. What the pair find they are not prepared for. Needless to say, the action is huge when Zod reveals himself. When the rest of his family join the battle the action gets even better. If you want action, this story has got it. Overall grade: A

The art: The art on this book is fantastic. Rafa Sandoval provides the pencils and Jordi Tarragona the inks. The opening page demonstrates the power that this pair has over the visuals with four diagonal panels separated not by a perfectly ruled border, but a white slash, like a tear in reality. The first panel shows the surface of a woodland area and then transitions to a close-up of Hal’s hand. The third panel is from Hal’s side and slightly from the back as he crawls away, before revealing his face in pain in the final panel. Pages 2 and 3 is a double-paged splash that has Hal on the ground with the Kryptonians, gods among men, behind him. This is a stunner of an image with every character fantastic. And you’ve got to love the broken Kyle in the bottom left. The scene changes dramatically on 5 with a full-paged splash of angry John resigning. The new Guardians are wonderfully impassive, their faces impossible to read as they speak or listen to the angry human. No wonder John can’t trust them. Page 8 has Hal and Kyle traveling via transluminal space and it, too, looks amazing. When Zod appears before this pair Hal’s reaction atop 11 is perfection, as is the villain’s response. The action starts on 12 and it doesn’t let up on any page. The escape on 12 is excellent, with the punch to the lantern on 13 absolutely painful. The arrivals on 14 invokes gods descending to Earth. The detail on the panel that spans Pages 16 and 17 is incredible. The layout that steals the show can be found on 18 and 19; fourteen panels in a spiral panel that contain Hal’s take down in explicit detail. The final page is the perfect closure — that’s a cliffhanger! If these illustrations don’t win you over, stop reading comics. Overall grade: A 

The colors: Equally impressive is the coloring by Tomeu Morey. The planet Jekuul is alien, but not overly so due to its slick colors: it has a yellow-orange sky with orange colored terrain, but similar to what one would find on Earth. The oranges allow Hal and Kyle to really pop in their emerald uniforms, while Zod and his fellow Kryptonians wonderfully suck all the life out of a panel with their gray-ebony outfits. The brief scenes set on Mogo have green resplendently displayed, though not so much that it overwhelms the panels. The sounds are also great, with bright yellows, oranges, and red making them echo off the page. Morey has got game and he’s bringing it. Overall grade: A

The letters: Dave Sharpe creates scene settings, dialogue, ring speech, the story’s title, the book’s credits, yells, beaten speech, and the tease for next issue. I’ve always loved his scene settings on this series which are futuristic looking and leaning slightly to the right, leading the reader speedily into each location. The yells are great, such as when Hal spies Zod, and the sounds are exceptional. I also love the tease for next issue, which has a classic Edgar Rice Burroughs feel to it. Overall grade: A

The final line: This series continues to impress, now with Hal encountering Superman’s equal: Zod! The story is brilliant, with delicious dialogue from the Kryptonians, and the visuals as bright as a lantern’s construct. If you don’t like this, you don’t like comics. 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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