Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #34 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Tom Derenick, Breakdowns; Jack Herbert, Artist; Jason Wright, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Almost All the Earth Lanterns Assemble
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: As “Twilight of the Guardians” continues to unfold, this title slips into an interesting groove of balancing cosmic stories and threats with a surprising number of great character-driven moments. The issue opens with the Green Lanterns working with new child Lantern Somar-Le to reveal what she saw when the Guardians were taken. It’s Kyle’s expertise as an artist that’s able to get through to the girl, allowing her to create a splash page of the Controllers. Realizing their oldest enemies have returned, John deputizes the rest of the Honor Guard Lanterns to track down the Guardians. This leads to the best segment of the issue, as Hal, Kyle, and Guy each take their own unique approaches to interrogation. Kyle appeals to better natures, Hal stays professional, and Guy punches everything in sight.
Less effective are the scenes with the Guardians and the Controllers. We know the Guardians are (mostly) benevolent and the Controllers are more of the sadistic mad scientist type, but the fact that they’re from the same original planet doesn’t add much to the story beyond a few monologues. It seems like Venditti might be going for an allegory for humanity here, and the division between those who believe we’re there to serve and honor our planet and those who believe it’s here to serve us. I just wish there was a better way to get that across than yet another evil alien species that was into elaborate torture segments, and it feels like the Guardians have died so many times that one more doesn’t really make much of a difference. However, Jack Herbert’s art is strong and the Controllers make for creepy visuals. Overall, a decent issue, but this series still lacks the punch of its sister series.
Corrina: The character moments in this series are everything, especially Kyle’s rapport with Somar-Re. It’s sweet and touching and has an emotional punch that’s not often seen in this big-space faring series.
Similarly, long-time GL fans will be thrilled that this issue focuses so closely on the traditional Earth-based Lanterns. It’s clearly going to be a team-up story with the most popular Lanterns of all time saving the day. (Simon and Jess are left out but they’re doing fine in their own book, so I’m fine with that.) What I worry is that DC will take this storyline as a chance to kill off one of these Lanterns, John Stewart, especially. John has been cast as that typical “officer in charge” since the Lanterns reformed rather than being given any meaty plotlines of his own, like Guy warning to his enemy, or Kyle and Soranik, or Hal and, well, everything.
John looks like the most expendable and that would be a mistake.
I’m less interested in the Controllers and the Guardians and the torture sequence. it’s more like horror than SF and the Controllers come off as one-note villains, which has been a problem with some of Venditti’s previous arcs.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.