Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #41 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Brandon Peterson, Artist; Tomeu Morey, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Hal the Hero
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: We got word this past week that Robert Venditti is wrapping up his run on Hal Jordan’s title with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #50 in a few months, so it’s entering its final act as the Zod storyline concludes in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #41. There’s a lot of explosive action (with some great guest art by Brandon Peterson), but it also has a few bigger issues on its mind, as the final pages arrive. As the issue opens, Kyle is clinging to life and Hal Jordan and Zod are in the skies, battling it out in a high-speed showdown. Although Zod has the edge in strength and speed, Hal has one thing he doesn’t – an utter lack of fear. Lots of writers play off Hal’s fighter-pilot past, but few of them show it organically in the same way this issue does – right down to Hal literally slamming green-energy planes into Zod’s head. Zod’s arrogance is as strong as usual, but Hal seems completely undisturbed and matches him step for step until Zod is finally captured.
With Zod chained up and Kyle rescued, the Lanterns begin to liberate the planet – that is, until the Guardians show up. The transition back to the leadership of the Guardians has been rocky, with John already clashing with their decision to take a more active role. This issue, however, they take an unexpected direction and instead order the Green Lanterns to release Zod. The Guardians have decided to turn their back on the interventionist past and not depose leaders of planets unless they cause trouble off their worlds. So Zod and his family are free to reign over their planet of cult-like worshipers, and Zod agrees to let the Lanterns leave alive. It’s a thoroughly unsatisfying finish for Hal and co – and that’s what makes it work. It’s a testament to the messy geopolitics of the galaxy, and the ending potentially sets up some conflict between John and Hal as Hal begins to broach the topic of taking a more war-like approach. I’m intrigued by where Venditti is going to take this in the last act of his run.
Corrina: Hal Jordan is still my least favorite Green Lantern but this story’s fight sequence, with Hal using constructs made of various Earth airplanes, shows Hal in his best light. For those who are fans of Hal, this would be a must-buy issue.
But let’s talk about the ending. On the one hand, you can see why Hal wants to remove the threat before it happens and have Zod arrested. On the other hand, the people are freely worshipping Zod and they should be able to choose. Of course, Venditti gives a hint where his sympathies are, as it’s revealed Zod got exactly what he wanted–information–from the Green Lanterns that could help him conquer the universe. That basically proves Hal was right to distrust Zod, tipping the argument in his favor and against the Guardians and John. For me, that’s too bad because there was a chance to prove that punching doesn’t always solve problems and provide some sort of innovative solution.
A final note: Though Hal may have defeated Zod, Zod’s family is very much free and able to fight at the point that Hal declares victory, so that victory may have been short-lived, even if the Guardians sided with Hal. So maybe letting Zod go didn’t make much difference in the end.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.