Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #36 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Jack Herbert, Artist; Jose Luis, Penciller; Mick Gray, Cam Smith, Inkers; Jason Wright, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: The conclusion of the “Twilight of the Guardians” storyline in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #36 brings explosive action, as always, but Venditti’s really found his groove with the large group of characters he has to play with – especially the core four group of Lanterns. They’ve been split up for too long, but with Simon and Jess taking over the other book, Venditti has the opportunity to work with all four again. The issue opens with the Guardians facing likely extinction at the hands of the Controllers, as Ganthet reflects on his absurdly long life – just in time for the Lanterns to come to the rescue. Ganthet gets to assess the four Earth Lanterns, looking at their unique strengths as they hand the Controllers their heads. The Controllers, unfortunately, don’t quite live up to their promise as villains, with their main final play being some sort of sonic weapon.
Venditti loves to show off the unique skills of the Lanterns, and one of their tricks – a pinballing Lantern construction that confuses the Controllers and allows them to destroy their weapon – is a subtle, very clever moment in the issue. But while the action is possibly a little bit lackluster and over fairly quickly, the issue makes up for it with some great closing moments for the Guardians. They’ve too often been generic overseer figures who can often be rather cold and ruthless, but with their numbers dwindling, this story gives them some real pathos. Ganthet has always been the most human of them, being the last Guardian for a long time, and this issue he’s the one who manages to give them a new purpose as the two factions unite and return to where it all began for them. Next arc, Zod – but after a few trouble spots, this series has begun delivering great stories as an old-school GL book.
Corrina: Once upon a time, the Guardians used to be the benevolent head of the Green Lantern Corps. Then they were inflexible bosses. Then some of them were evil. Then they all made poor, if not evil, decisions, and were killed. And killed more than once.
But Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #36 resets the remaining Guardians as benevolent rulers again, aware of their mistakes and dedicated to justice. I like it. It’s about time because the story well on the Guardians doing sneaky underhanded things behind the backs of the idealistic Lanterns has run dry. (Also, I’m glad to see that none of the remaining Guardians were killed, as last issue seemed to promise.)
I also loved the slugfest that filled the pages. The artists go to town on the Lantern constructs, as you can see from the art above, and it’s a joy to see Hal, Guy, Kyle and John with such teamwork.
So, bring on Zod!
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.