In Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #9

The Corps is great, but without Hal alongside this is only an average tale.

The covers: Two covers are available that are both aces for collectors to scoop up. The Main cover is by Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, and Tomeu Morey. This is an huge action piece showing Green and Yellow Lanterns doing battle with Starro. John Stewart is in the foreground punching at several purple arms, while behind him Soranik is leading several members of the Sinestro Corps to rescue several GLs from the monstrous antagonist. This image is full of exceptional details and the coloring is fantastic. This is poster, print, and tee shirt worthy. The Variant cover is by Kevin Nowlan and this is the cover I purchased. The reader is looking down upon John Stewart on a vivid violet background as he struggles against the Starro parasite that’s attached itself to his face. This is drop dead gorgeous. Overall grades: Both A+

The story: Last issue readers learned something the characters do not know: they are prisoners of Brainiac inside one of his miniature bottles. The heroes only know that they are trapped under a forcefield on the planet Xudar. Robert Venditti opens this issue with Green Lantern John Stewart testing the strength of the field by blasting it with several guns he’s constructed with his power ring. When they don’t work, Guy Gardner decides to shoot a beam of emerald energy at the wall, which bounces off, hitting Tomar-Tu, in an interesting way. Their efforts worthless, the four lanterns head to the ground where they see Soranik and other Sinestro Corps members assisting the wounded. A conversation between John and Soranik comes to a quick conclusion when a large force appears to fight them. Writer Venditti then moves the story to Nok, where two characters make some comments that will effect a lantern soon. Where’s Hal Jordan? Even he doesn’t know. The last thing he remembers is fighting Sinestro and then everything went green. He discovers he’s not alone in this setting when a familiar face finds him. Who this individual was had me groaning; this character’s appearances are no longer thrilling and become practically annual. I would like to see this character avoided for a year. The Hal sequence is short and does nothing but set up a tease of more to come. Having Hal separated so soon from the rest of the GLC is a downer: wasn’t the whole point of this title to have them reunited? I’m tired of Hal being separated from them. The lanterns are able to beat the book’s villains smartly, but Hal’s pages left a really bad taste in my mouth. Not helping is the reveal of another familiar face on the final page. Is anyone really wanting to see this character, let alone in this book? Overall grade: C+

The art: The visuals on this issue come courtesy of Rafa Sandoval on pencils and Jordi Tarragona on inks. Their work is very strong. The opening splash with John firing his constructs on the forcefield is outstanding. It’s very powerful. The perspective that this pair is able to work on the lanterns as they fly about is also really good; an example can be found in the large panel on Page 4. Guy gives a nice look of fear at the bottom of Page 5 and the full paged splash on 6 effectively will give the reader chills at the number of foes the heroes are going to have to face. The energy that emanates out of 7 is really well done, as is the setting atop 8. Another full page splash occurs on 9, and it looks great, but the character left me bored. The character that saves the day is really well rendered, leaving me hopeful that this pair of artists will be allowed to illustrate this character again soon. As much as I like this book’s visuals, the character that appears on the final page isn’t working because of the perspective — it looks as though this character is missing his legs. Also, the energy emanating from this character is happening behind him, which would mean that his hand is behind is head. This is nitpicking, I know, but these flaws impact the art’s grade since they occurred on the final page. Overall grade: B+

The colors: Tomeu Morey does a super job on the colors. The opening page has strong art and the colors are tremendous, with the green of the constructs contrasting with the beautiful violet sky. The colors from the energy of the guns’ blasts are reflected on John’s costume well. That pale purple sky really sets of the greens in the lanterns’ costumes on Page 2 and 3. When the lanterns fly down to the surface, the city is given light brown earth tones to make them “grounded.” The dramatic splash on 6 puts the villains in lighter colors, making them seem even more like an endless mob and it draws the reader’s eye back to the heroes in the foreground who have to battle these baddies. The colors really come to life on Nok, where the emerald coming from the power ring is mesmerizing. Page 9 also has some tremendous coloring, such as on the character’s skin. Every page shows Morey a master of colors. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Scene settings, sounds, the story’s title and credits, dialogue, yells, the villains’ chant, one character’s new logo, and the tease for next issue are done by Dave Sharpe. Sharpe is an outstanding letterer and his sounds are always superior: his villains’ chant is visually creepy and the characters’ yells always show their strength as they go beyond the borders of their speech balloons. Overall grade: A+

The final line: I’d prefer this book to be Hal Jordan with the Green Lantern Corps, because his not being with them seems to be leading this book into the recent past. The Corps is great, but without Hal alongside this is only an average tale. 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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