Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #35 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Tom Derenick, Breakdowns; Jack Herbert, Artist; Jason Wright, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
WARNINGS: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: The battle of the Green Lanterns to save the remaining Guardians from the sadistic Controllers reaches its apex this issue, in a story that takes place over a very short period of time and uses a lot of intensity to cover up for a fairly thin narrative. The Guardians don’t get all that much to do this issue, as the Controllers have them captive, and one by one are torturing them and draining their life-force in order to resurrect their own kind. It’s a pretty compelling evil plot, but the problem is that it’s just watching heroic characters get tortured and killed while the villains gloat. They seem to have some sort of specific blood grudge against Ganthet, and plan to hurt him by targeting Sayd next, but it doesn’t get to that point. The Guardians have been wiped out and brought back so many times in my time reading GL that the impact isn’t quite there.
So why does this issue rank so highly? Because this is the first time in a long time we get to see all four original Earth Green Lanterns (not counting rookies Simon and Jess) work not just together, but as a unit, each bringing their own unique skills to the battle. The issue opens with them discussing their rescue plans, and Guy making the case that bringing in reinforcements won’t work because they’re stronger together than any other combo. It’s delivered in Guy’s trademark style, but it makes the point. The rest of the issue is one of the most thrilling battle sequences Green Lantern has shown off in quite some time, with a number of double-page spreads that deliver spectacular visuals. It’s been a while since John and Kyle, in particular, got to shine, so this issue should be a treat for longtime readers.
The real battle begins at the end of the issue, but Venditti’s done a great job of getting us excited for it.
Corrina: If you enjoy space battles and the old school Earth Green Lanterns, this is the issue for you. On that level, I enjoyed it.
But the other part of the issue, which relied on Ganthet’s anguish over his wife’s possible death, was not nearly as interesting. Yes, I know, all the Guardians were menaced but this particular anguish relied on, as happens too often in superhero stories, on a helpless woman in peril, and that’s only magnified by the lack of women among those come to battle the Controllers. It reminded me of why, until parts of this run and Green Lanterns, I didn’t much care for Lantern mythology.
As Ray said, it’s a visual feast and a treat for long-time fans. But it simply wasn’t to my taste.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.