In Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #2

An okay issue, but there's nothing special about it.

The covers: The returning members of the Green Lantern Corps command the Regular cover, created by Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, and Tomeu Morey. Several key members are shown flying through space, including John Stewart, Kilowog, Arisia, Ch’p, Galiius Zed, and Iolande. This is a typical hero shot done on most comics to show the heroes to the readers and this one hits all the right notes for me. I love seeing the Corps in action and they look fired up to reclaim their spot as the enforcers of justice. The Variant cover is by Kevin Nowlan and it shows Hal Jordan engaging a creature that looks like the Minotaur, or is that Buster Oakley from the Hellboy one-shot that Nowlan illustrated from 2011? Anyhoo, Hal’s using his ring to construct a giant wrench to capture his opponent who’s got a battle mace in addition to his monstrous claws and mouth to take down the Green Lantern. I love me some Kevin Nowlan, but this is so far from what occurs in this issue that even I had to pass on purchasing this variant. Overall grades: Regular A and Variant C-

The story: “Recon” by Robert Venditti begins with John Stewart looking upon the long abandoned Green Lantern base on Mogo. The injured who made their way back in time and space are being looked after by other lanterns, though some still die. In fact, their numbers currently stand at 399 active members out of 7,200 lanterns. Replacements are unable to be found due to the systems on Mogo being down. Kilowog brings this fact to John, who makes a decision on their next move. He finds Guy Gardner who’s working out his aggression at not being allowed to go out and protect and serve as lanterns are supposed to. John is able to halt Guy’s venom by saying, “I’m sending one lantern out to do recon. Forecast is cloudy with a high chance of pain and suffering. Know anyone dumb enough?” Guy smiles and replies, “I’ll grab my gear.” The story then moves to Hal who’s about to go on the attack against Maash and Slushh, two members of the Sinestro Corps who’ve stumbled upon the most famous green lantern. Maash thinks they’ll easily be able to defeat Hal, but the lantern’s actions on 6 and 7 show he won’t be a pushover. Venditti has one additional story going though this issue and that’s Sinestro speaking with his daughter Soranik. Their conversation is cut short when a transmission from Slushh informs the yellow lantern of Hal’s existance. This changes Sinestro’s plans, but how so is unrevealed as the action returns to Hal. There’s some fine ring slinging in this issue, with Hal fighting the two members of the S.C, and some foreshadowing of stories to come as Guy sets out to see the state of galaxy. If a reader has read more than an issue or two of any book featuring Hal Jordan, there won’t be any surprises as to how his fight will play out. However, it’s still enjoyable to see Hal back in action, wearing the suit he was born to have. The last two pages set up the conflict for next issue and it appears Hal might need some back up. A fun read, but nothing surprising. Overall grade: B

The art: The visuals by penciller Rafa Sandoval and inker Jordi Tarragona are good. The opening panel of the book has a great view of GL HQ being broken and empty. John’s posture tells the reader exactly how he feels looking upon this setting. Kilowog looks good on Page 2, though I do with that both characters weren’t in silhouette in the third panel: it gives a sinister tone, rather than the broken one their dialogue suggests. The full paged splash on 4 shows Hal and the Sinestro Corps members seconds before they clash and Hal is great; he’s clearly shown and his ring is electric, ready to take on the bad guys. Maash looks really good in this issue, with his triple faces looking really bizarre and twisted. Not looking so good is Slussh. He (It?) is fairly chubby and there’s only his skull floating around within him; the majority of objects within him are bubbles. His girth and lack of creepy innards really lessened his visual presence. One character who had a dominating presence was Sinestro, who was glorious. His first appearance has him commanding the reader’s eye with his tremendous cape flowing about him. When shown in close up on 8 his head is raised up, as if the reader is beneath his notice. Soranik looks terrific as she tries to take a swing at him, but she really stood out on 11 when some new information is revealed. The construct that appears on 14 is an excellent creation, looking completely alien and out of place. The action in the large panel on 15 is indecipherable; one cannot tell what’s going on. This could be due to the art or the colors, though the colors could have straightened things out. The exit of the characters on 17 in the final panel is okay, but the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and given how these lanterns have had their rings, their paths seem more arty that practical. The final page of the book is a splash and it perfectly whets the appetite for the reader to see what Hal will do in the next issue. There’s a lot of character work on this page and eveyone looks great. A solid job on this issue’s art. Overall grade: B

The colors: The greens in this issue reinforce much of the book’s tone. The opening page has the bright, neon greens to set the scene, the dull glow from Mogo’s lantern emblem, which is present on the energy emitting from the power battery, but the green on the lanterns’ uniforms are dull, almost dead, which reflects the corps’ present state. This is a very smart way by Tomeu Morey to show how the greens reflect characters’ level of strength. Even the green used for Guy’s constructs seem darker than usual. The glows that surround the green and yellow lanterns give them an otherworldly feel which is exactly how they should be perceived by the reader. Mention should also be made of Sinestro and Soranik’s skin, which is gorgeous in dark pink. As much as I enjoy Tomeu Morey’s work, that large panel on Page 15 is difficult to make out; yes, green is supposed to be overpowering the yellow, but it’s to the point where it’s very difficult to make out the artwork. The colors could also have been stronger on the final page, where the new characters that appear all have a washed out flesh. Lantern books should be bright, not dull as this page is. Overall grade: B

The letters: Dave Sharpe brings to life scene settings, narration and dialogue (the same font), coughs, ring speak, yells, sounds, the story’s title, the book’s credits, Slushh’s one utterance, and the tease for next issue. Coloring could have saved the sound on 15, but all the other pieces of text in this book look great, with the sound on 14 being jointly gross and cool. Overall grade: A-

The final line: An okay issue, but there’s nothing special about it. The story and visuals are fine, but it seems as though this issue could be skipped entirely and nothing in the larger saga of the Green Lantern Corps be missed. 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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