Green Lanterns #56 – Dan Jurgens, Writer; Mike Perkins, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Corrina: Feels Like a Reset
Ray: The penultimate issue of Green Lanterns, Green Lanterns #56 reunites the entire Green Lantern Corps against Cyborg Superman, as the classic Superman villain makes his move to finish the job on his most famous atrocity. When we last left Simon Baz, he had realized he was played by Hank Henshaw and was determined to fight back – including digging up the old gun he had given up early in this series after embracing his role as a Lantern.
The Green Lantern Corps, meanwhile, had been defeated and were now Henshaw’s captives, while John Stewart languishes in a coma. Now, Henshaw, Eon, and the Ravagers descend on Mogo to finish the living planet, just as Simon arrives to fight back. Much of the first third of the issue is just Henshaw torturing the Lanterns to show the extent of his powers, but Simon is making his own moves – including getting John Stewart in a makeshift healing pod. Soon, the GLC’s two most hard-boiled Lanterns are ready to turn the tables of the battle.
Here’s the problem with this issue – more so than any other issue in this run, this isn’t ultimately about the title Lanterns. Simon does get a few good moments, mostly at the start, while Jessica is largely a supporting player.
Jurgens never seemed completely comfortable writing them, but the reason they’re on the back burner is even clearer. This issue is all about setting up the final showdown Jurgens has been building towards for twenty-five years – Hal Jordan vs. Cyborg Superman. Henshaw’s destruction of Coast City is one of the defining moments of Hal’s life. It cost him his friends and family, his sanity, his ring, and eventually his life. While Cyborg Superman has more often fought his namesake in the years since that destruction, the final showdown between Hal and Henshaw being penned by Jurgens makes a lot of sense. I have little doubt that this will be a compelling final issue in two weeks as Cyborg Superman descends on the rebuilt Coast City – but shouldn’t it have taken place in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps instead?
Corrina: I understand that Jurgens is interested in Hank Henshaw and Hal Jordan. I understand that this showdown has been building. But this issue is aimed squarely at fans of old-school Hal Jordan and not at newer Green Lantern fans like myself, who love Simon and Jess.
It’s a running joke in these reviews that I hate Hal Jordan and that’s basically true. He offers little I’m interested in as a character. I’ve only found him entertaining in two or three stories. I certainly don’t find test pilot/reckless Hal Jordan compelling but that’s where we are this issue, as we revisit that time period so Hal can have the last showdown with Hank Henshaw. (I hope it’s a final showdown because while regular Hal is annoying, evil revenge-hungry Hal was tiresome.)
I miss Simon and Jess. I hope neither one will be sacrificied on DC’s current need to kill off characters.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.