Green Lanterns #57 – Dan Jurgens, Writer; Mike Perkins, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Corrina: Poor Way For Simon To Go Out
Ray: One of DC’s most original books in years, Green Lanterns #57 closes out the series with an arc that was unfortunately all too ordinary. With Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps concluded, this title has taken its place as the all-purpose Green Lantern book under Dan Jurgens, and for a final act he brings back his most famous villain – Cyborg Superman.
While Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz have headlined this title for most of the run, this arc turned the lead back over to Hal Jordan for a final showdown with the man who cost him his city and sanity decades ago. As the issue kicks off, Hal arrives in Coast City as the evil Henshaw descends, incinerating a large group of people to make his presence known. Mike Perkins’ art when drawing this final showdown is a highlight of the issue – he’s a grittier artist, best known for Captain America books, but his Green Lantern constructs have the vibe of classic 1950s sci-fi. Visually, the book is compelling. I’m not sure the story lives up to that.
Ultimately, Hal is able to defeat Henshaw with the help of some of his fellow Green Lanterns – including a surprise appearance by Sodam Yat, the Daxamite Green Lantern. Meanwhile, the rest of the human Lanterns take on the B-task of rounding up the Ravagers and Eon. Eon, in particular, is sort of a disappointment in this arc – he’s a stock villain who displayed massive power early in the arc only to ultimately be defeated like a minor threat. The issue’s best scenes come in the final act, as the Lanterns regroup from the tragedy that unfolded this arc. With a proper memorial for Penelo in place, the Guardians reveal that they’re relocating to Oa, which has been rebuilt.
This feels a bit like a forced reset for Grant Morrison’s run, but I’m not objecting. The real emotion of this issue comes in the scenes between Simon and Jessica, as she temporarily disbands their partnership to head off to space. Although their team-up is over for now, this book has made them two of DC’s most compelling characters, and I’m hoping they’ll be sharing a title again soon.
Corrina: Poor Simon. He’s played for a chump by releasing Henshaw, mind-controlled by Henshaw, and then he’s barely there in the conclusion of what was once his own book.
Of course, it’s not as bad for him as for the mother and child who are simply vaporized by Henshaw at the beginning of the book and are never mentioned again. The murder of the crowd is a frustrating use of cannon fodder. And Coast City itself seems to suffer a ton of damage in the battle between Hal and Henshaw, not that Hal seems to notice, so long as most of the city is standing at the end.
I suspect much of this is because Jurgens was rushed to conclude the arc and he was saddled with integrating Hal’s cast into this series. But, as a reading experience, it lacks.
I’m glad Hal got his closure with Henshaw, I guess, but I’d have been much better with this last arc being about how Simon and Jess have grown from the beginning. Instead, there is a small sequence in the end where Jess decides she has to go off into space and Simon wants to stay home. That makes sense, having agoraphobic Jess truly learning to explore, and Simon, who resented the world, staying at home, but the story never led up to these realizations. They’re simply dropped in there.
It’s a disappointing end, for me, to what was my favorite Green Lantern book ever.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.