Thursday, October 1, 2015

Green Lantern Annual #4 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Robert Venditti
Art By: Pascal Alixe, Martin Coccolo, Tony Avina, Pete Pantazis, Hi-Fi, Dave Sharpe
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: September 30, 2015

Reputation is Everything

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Hal has certainly gone through a lot of changes of late and that's saying a lot for a guy who's become the most powerful villain in the Universe at one point and then the actual wrath of god later....... yeah, Hal Jordan is a strange ass character isn't he?  Anyway, we've got his Renegade phase going on now and for this story we'll be dealing with some of his past, a bit of his present and where we're going from here on out.  Pretty much, it's the total package.  Let's jump into this Green Lantern Annual and see if we can get beyond the setup and see where our actual story lies.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our story begins with Hal Jordan recalling the time that he fought off an entire squad of Green Lanterns to Virgo and Trapper as a way to pass the time as Darlene computes their next destination on their journey to stop planets from turning to stone.  It's a huge over the top story that involves a brief run in with Lobo and leads to Hal almost killing a handful of Lanterns trying to bring him in.  Sadly, what it doesn't have is anything that the solicit promised.  We don't get a story about how Hal got Darlene, why he decided to grow his hair out like a bad ass or even why he chose his new Renegade look.  What we get instead is a story within a story, that we eventually find out is all hogwash and Hal simply tells it like he heard it from a drunk alien.  The point is, he's built himself up a reputation as a bad ass in the Universe and he intends to keep that rep since he's alone and can't count on the backup of the Green Lantern Corps.

With our story within a story thing going on, we also have a side story that shows us what Hal Jordan will be up against in the future.  At the space port where our former Green Lantern beat the holy hell out of some body modification loving Thanagarians previously, we see that this port has some new guests calling themselves the Gray Agents..........which I kind of wish were spelled Grey Agents because I just personally like the way that looks better........ but I guess that really has nothing to do with anything does it?  So these bounty hunter like intergalactic bad asses are sniffing around and looking for Hal because really, he's public enemy #1 and they figure if they tackle a big bad like Hal Jordan....... well, like Hal was talking about in this issue about how important reputation in the Universe is, they figure if they take him down the Universe will notice and they'll be considered the police force to take over in the Green Lanterns absence.  It's really not that bad of a plan, it seems like people in the Universe are dumb as hell and will believe anything they're told, plus I love this idea because eventually they'll have to go up against the Sinestro Corps, who are also vying for the job...........That's about it though.  We had Hal doing his story time bit and then recanting the experience to Virgo and then the Gray Agents letting us in on their future plans.

That's it for this issue of Green Lantern Annual and while I was really disappointed that we didn't get anything that the solicit promised us in this issue, I was surprised at how much heart this story had.  Besides for the info on the Gray Agents, this whole book really just dealt with the emotional state of Hal Jordan and how he's been coping since taking on this Renegade persona.  Yeah, there wasn't a whole lot, but I really dug the bits that we got.......heart man, heart.  Too bad that this Annual was just another chance to stall the story a bit and add more setup because I'm beginning to get really bored with this series not knowing what it wants to do next.  Should Hal search for the Green Lantern Corps?  Should Hal uncover the mystery about why planets are turning to stone or should he flee the Gray Agents?  Really at this point, you could pick any of these as long as it begins because it's taking way too long for this story arc to get started.  As for the art in this issue we have the more familiar art of Martin Coccolo for the Gray Agents bit, which you'll love if you're into the way this series normally looks, but for the rest of the story and for what I was really interested in seeing was Pascal Alixe's style.  It's really weird because for a lot of the book I was blown away by the way things looked and at other times I down right hated them.  It's really a mixed bag, but I want to say that Pascal's art, while not really consistent is really enjoyable when it's on and I think that the great pages he produces here outweigh the ones that felt off.

Bits and Pieces:

While you may not get everything that you wanted to get out of this Annual, you will get a good look at who Hal Jordan is now that he's taken on this Renegade persona and how his outlook on the Universe has changed a bit.  The art is a mixed bag between some of the most beautiful Green Lantern imagery that I've seen in a long time....... to what the hell were they thinking with this art...... it's very strange, but I think the good overshadows the bad and I'm sure you'll get over the parts that don't work as well.  This isn't a must buy issue, but if you're a GL fan, you should pick this one up.

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  1. Now, eventually you do plan to have dinosaurs on your dinosaur tour, right?

    1. What's all this dinosaur jibber jabber about?

    2. In this series so far we have seen Blackhand, Relic, Hal fighting other Lanterns, etc... But we haven't seen Blackhand do shit. Relic has been lame with no explanation on his character. And Hal lied about fighting the other Lanterns. I want to see something, anything besides flying thru space!


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