Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #7 Review and **SPOILERS**


Late To the Party

Writer: Robert Vendetti 
Penciller: Rafa Sandoval 
Inker: Jordi Tarragona 
Colorist: Tomeu Morey 
Letterer: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Sandoval, Tarragona, Morey 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: October 26, 2016

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Alright! Another issue of Sinestro featuring Hal Jordan with special guests the Green Lantern Corps! This has been a very pretty, high-action book, but the contents implied by the title have not delivered. I mean sure, every issue has featured the Green Lantern Corps in some capacity, and there’s been plenty of that Hal Jordan swagger, but Jordan and the Corps have yet to even interact with each other, and it’s been more about Hal versus Sinestro and his strangehold on the universe. Well, they’re gonna battle this issue…I hope, so this should be it, right? The Green Lantern Corps swoop in to save the day after Hal makes a bunch of braggart quips? That’s what I’m expecting—let’s see if this issue meets or exceeds them! Because those are the only possibilities, right? For it to be good or great? What do you mean, I’m naïve? You’re naïve! Read my review of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #7 and see if I’m right!

Explain It!

This is it, everyone! The big showdown! Sinestro is all infused with Parallax and extra juice from the Fear Engine, and he’s going mano a mano with Hal Jordan and the ring he made from pure will resulting from the wearing of Krona’s glove? I think? They’re both beaucoup powerful, is what I mean. Sinestro sends his Corps off-planet so he can have a fair fight with Hal, despite their objections. What they should be objecting to are the parameters of this “fair” fight. Has there even been a weigh-in? Meanwhile, in outer space, John Stewart and the Green Lantern Corps—somehow shedding the fleet of ships that had been accompanying them for the past two issues—are headed straight for Warworld!
While pounding each other with hard light constructs, Hal Jordan and Sinestro have a little chat. And their talk consists of another reiteration of Jordan’s origin story and how Sinestro was once his teacher, until Hal dimed him out for being a despot. “Remember, Hal? Remember how I was totally a stern taskmaster but we came to a mutual respect? Remember that?” WHAM! “Oh yeah, gee, I do remember that, Sinestro. We were real good friends before you became a dictator and ruled your home planet of Korugar with fear.” POW! There are some great images, but it’s just more of the same ding-dong thing we’ve seen for seven issues. “I have a yellow dragon monster!” “Oh yeah, well I have green nuclear missiles!” Within the belly of Warworld, Guy Gardner is still being tortured by the Sacrament, in order to power the Fear Engine, while Lyssa Drak taunts him. Guy keeps reciting the Green Lantern oath, despite his tremendous physical pain, and his resolve inspires the other captives of the Fear Engine to recite the oath themselves! The tide turning, Soranik Natu pops in and wrecks shop, paying particular attention to Lyssa Drak who gets the taste slapped out her mouth. Soranik frees Guy, who then frees everyone else, depleting the Fear Engine of their fear. Because that’s what it runs on. It’s right there in the name.
As Soranik takes a nude Guy and the rest of the captives, now members of the Sinestro Corps, for some reason? Sinestro’s power runs low enough for Hal to pummel him with crap for a while before going all willpower supernova, a trick he revealed to Soranik when he was convalescing from major surgery a few issues back. Even though he was a real prick about having to do this alone, it looks like he did arrange for her to help, which is pretty slick. With Warworld evacuated, Hal is free to pop his cork and destroy the entire planet, whose only inhabitants were Sinestro, Lyssa Drak…and Hal. And probably the Sacrament. And maybe the janitor. Out in space, the Green Lantern Corps see a massive flash of green light, then throw up their shields to protect themselves from the blast. Following that, there’s a growing yellow light approaching the Corps’ position, but it’s only Soranik, Guy, and the former captives of Warworld! Hooray! The day is saved and the Green Lantern Corps didn’t have to do a fucking thing.
What a lot of shit. This is a gorgeous book, and it’s clear for this final conflict Sandoval pulled out all the stops. But for all the import of the Fear Engine, it turns out to be something that can be unplugged and set to idle mode by a high-tech disco ball. Hal’s fight with Sinestro is more of what we’ve been seeing all along, and the goddamned Green Lantern Corps still have no effect on anything! Not even Guy, who helps inspire everyone seconds before Soranik shows up and rescues them anyway. This story arc ran about four issues too long, and despite the death of the titular character, seemed of little consequence. Sinestro went from ruling the universe through fear to destruction in about a week, by my assessment, which means he didn’t even get to establish an Employee of the Month plaque.

Bits and Pieces:

The culmination of this opening story arc reads just like every other issue. Great art, disappointing story, no payoff. Entire arc should have been three issues at most. If not for the superior artwork, I'd consider this book a total rip-off. As it is, I'd say you can afford to avoid it and luxuriate in the bi-weekly preview pages.

6/10
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7 comments:

  1. 100% agree Reggie! The fact that this arc went 7 issues and we still don't get anything out of it is a total ripoff!

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    1. slow burn...ridiculous!!! It's bad enough, but couple this with the Lost Army and Edge of Oblivion books and now we have 19 issues with nothing for GL Corps fans. 19 ISSUES!!!!

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  2. Yeah. I stand by my earlier statement that this book should have been called Hal Jordan and the Sinestro Corps. Also, "cocksure"? All of the adjectives that exist in the English language for brash or headstrong, and Venditti goes with cocksure? I'm afraid to even Google the term to check its authenticity for, well, all of the reasons really...

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    1. It is a term...and do not google it. I think I just put myself on yet another list!!!

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    2. It's synonymous with "dickconfident"

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    3. Good to know. Here I was, all ready to start throwing the term around under the impression that it meant "dongcertain". Boy, how foolish would I have looked? You're a lifesaver, Reggie.

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  3. I maintain that this title is still trying to find a reason to exist beyond just being a glorified badly written war comic with ring-bearers instead of soldiers. I can't be the only one that thinks that neither the Green Lanterns or the Sinestro Corps ever actually protects the universe anymore. All they do is fight each other over the right to brag about being the top dog ring-bearers. And the big idea that Venditti has come up with is to team-up these two narcissistic embarrassments??
    Let me spell out the absurdity of the Green Lantern Corp being the universe's protector. First, there are only 3,000 of them (or less)and second, they NEVER actually patrol their respective sectors of the Galaxy because they are ALWAYS TOGETHER! If being a Green Lantern is so special and the ring so powerful, how come none of them can handle a battle on their own? Of, course, the obvious answer is that this title is titled Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps and so it would defeat its purpose if the members actually did their job and patrolled their sectors individually as originally intended by the Guardians (and therefore better serve the various life forms in the Universe). Let's be blunt, the only planet in the galaxy that has regularly encountered (or even heard of/seen)a Green Lantern is Earth --- since no members of the Corp ever seem to be anywhere else. (Heck, until recently, they never had the brain-power to even stay/get back to the very universe they purport to protect!)

    As a writer, Venditti, and even Johns for that matter, always thinks small when it comes to Green Lantern mythology. The universe if HUGE. REALLY HUGE. If one was true to the concept of Green Lantern, this title would not exist (as a Corps title). The focus should be on individual character and the actual implications , both negative and positive of transmuting willpower to energy.
    I long for the days when there was only one Green Lantern and he was stationed on Earth and protected his sector and only occasionally (and VERY rarely) interacted with other Corps members. There is simply too much evil to fight in the UNiverse for Green Lanterns to all fight together and against villains one-at-a-time. And it clearly makes for predictable stories. There are only so many times you can change the emotions and colors of rings and tell the same stories.
    They need to go back to formula. Ground Hal Jordan to Earth and actually develop his character. Because he simply does not have one. He is, at a minimum, rivalled only by Sinestro in terms of narcissism and is clearly, incapable of maintaining anything even resembling a functional relationship beyond stealing one-liners from Guy Gardner. Hal is the least introspective character in the DCU. Readers really do not know him and even Johns never delved very far into his head beyond depicting young Hal witness his father's death. Every single issue is yet another plodding narrative where the plot drives the characters instead of the other way around.

    And this latest gimmick is a further example of weak storytelling. How is Hal Jordan being the embodiment of pure willpower supposed to be interesting? Think about it. Who cares? ALL Green Lanterns have willpower. By definition every Lantern "embodies" it. And how is making Hal Jordan more powerful interesting? DC ought to know by now that increasing power levels of heroes only makes it that much more difficult to write compelling villains, with the inevitable result that every new villain ups the ante until such time as the stories follow the same patterns. Which is why actually telling character stories is so important; (and why it is so disappointing that we have not seen one in a Green Lantern comic in close to a decade).

    Bah.

    Rant over.

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