In Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #50

The Lantern and Darkstar conflict concludes, as does this series.

The covers: Two covers close out this series. The Regular cover is by Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, and Tomeu Morey. Hal Jordan screams “Zod, no!” as the Kryptonian uses his heat vision to vaporize a foe. Who just died is impossible to tell from this cover as the alien’s blasts have rendered the victim nothing but an outline. This is a great tease for what lies within and certainly will be in the back of the reader’s mind as he or she turns every page. The reds used for this blast make the unknown character’s death even more horrific. The Variant cover is by Tyler Kirkham and Arif Prianto. Eight lanterns are shown from the right emerging from the left side of the cover. They all look serious as they hold their rings up. In the bottom right is Hal, holding his fist over his heart. All the lanterns’ rings are glowing with energy. Behind them is a light violet background. This is okay, but just doesn’t do much for me; it’s too generic for a final issue. Overall grade: Regular A- and Variant B-

The story: Robert Venditti’s final Lantern story opens right where readers want it to: Hal and Tomar-Tu grappling, energy pouring out of their fists, all the while under the freakish visage of the Controllers linked up to Darkstar tech. In space the Green Lanterns and their allies battle the Darkstar forces. The action is great, but, once again, Venditti shows himself to be a master of dialogue from villains. As Hal and Tomar-Ru fight they naturally speak to one another, trying to convince the other that their position is the correct one. I could have had this conversation gone on forever. It’s just fantastic. The wild card in space is Zod, who’s giving voice to taking it too easy on the Darkstars. Last issue Hal said they won’t kill the Darkstars, because that’s what their foes do to criminals; the lanterns will not kill and Darkstars during the battle. Given the Regular cover, one can guess rightly that Zod reaches his breaking point. What he does is great, but there’s a solid twist in the climax. I practically screamed with joy at what’s shown on Page 22. The last few issues have been fairly dark, so this was an overdue turn for all the characters. Page 25 had me cheering and the dialogue on 26 just made me smile like I was ten-years-old. I was surprised by the final two pages. The character that’s shown has been absent from this series longer than I can remember — has this character even been in this series? It makes sense that the heroes would go to this individual, but it did come off as a little out of left field. The final page is the only way this series can end…Though I can’t help but think of the ending to The Flash #350: they did not live happily ever after. At least for the moment these two characters can. Overall grade: A

The art: Penciller Rafa Sandoval and inker Jordi Tarragona are responsible for the book’s illustrations. The book opens with a full-paged splash with the hero and the antagonist at each other’s throats, with Hal having his back to the ground. Behind the pair are the Controllers. I like that Tomar-Tu appears to be smiling as he has the upper hand. Pages 2 and 3 are a double-paged splash showing the Lanterns and the Darkstars going at each other in space. The protagonists look to be outnumbered five to one by the Darkstars. When the action returns to Hal and Tomar-Tu on Page 4 the panels are pointed shapes showing the pair fighting from several different angles. This layout makes the action intensify. I really like the background in the large bottom panel; it creates a sense of vertigo sensationally. The action at the top of 5 is okay, but there’s so much energy coming out of Tomar-Tu he’s barely recognizable. I wish it had been toned down a bit so I could more clearly see the villain’s reaction. The number of foes on 8 is fantastic and the heroes’ reaction to them at the bottom of the page made my heart sing. The action by Zod at the top of 13 is terrific, while the reactions from the other characters at the bottom of the page is flat out awesomeness. The action that occurs on the panel that stretches across Pages 16 and 17, though it’s not a double-paged splash, is great. It’s a simple thing that needs to be shown and the artists make it a WOW! moment. The action at the bottom of 19 is okay, but comes off as unfocused: seeing as how this item has been shown being used before, it never had this type of expulsion. It works, but I thought it would be tighter. The reaction from a survivor on 20 is good, but I really wanted to see more of this character’s face. My favorite page of the book is 22 because moments like this rarely happen in comics today and it was an absolute delight to see. Also a winner is 26 with the characters’ expressions complimenting the dialogue wonderfully. Overall grade: A-

The colors: The colors on the opening page are wonderful. I love the greens on the characters and the faded eerie colors on the Controllers in the background. Tomeu Morey also colors the yell coming out of Tomar-Tu which increases the impact of his words. The double-paged splash that follows is also full of greens and reds due to the battle, but Arkillo’s presence is also seen with strong yellows in the middle of the illustration. The reds on 5 are strong, but overwhelm the source. I’ve never seen this much energy come out of one of these characters. The greens at the top of 11 are terrific. I like how they’re so bright they carry over onto the character’s face. The crimsons on 13 are appropriately strong and tease things to come. The large sound at the bottom of 18 is great, with the colors intensifying the action. The sunrise on the panel that stretches across 24 and 25 looks as though the gods approve of the gathering and the action done. I’m liking Morey’s work. Overall grade: A

The letters: Dave Sharpe creates the scene settings, yells, narration, story title, book’s credits. dialogue, sounds, Darkstar mantle speech, weak speech, and the final three words of this series. The yells are great. There are many and they are done in different sizes and fonts to visually show the reader how loud someone is as they bellow. I love Sharpe’s yells. I also love his sounds. They are always strong and they’re just fun to read aloud. Go on. Give it a try. There are several to choose from: KKZZZZZAKK, WBOOOM, and KRAKKAKOOOOM. The Darkstar mantle dialogue also looks great; rendered in archaic computer font that gives the suits a highly mechanical feel. Overall grade: A

The final line: The Lantern and Darkstar conflict concludes, as does this series. The battle is good, the dialogue outstanding, the visuals strong. I’m sorry to see this conclude and Venditti leave Hal, but one can be safe in the knowledge that this is not the end of the Green Lantern Corps’ adventures. 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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