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Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #9 Review and **SPOILERS**
When Is a Door Not a Door?
Writer: Robert Vendetti
Penciller: Rafa Sandoval
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Sandoval, Tarragona, Morey
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: November 23, 2016
**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**
pristine, or somewhat funky
become so much Sea Monkey
city shrunk and made por-ta-ble
Brainiac, and his hoarder’s pull!
Finding themselves trapped on planet Xudar by
some unseen force field, John Stewart follows the Green Lantern Corps handbook
and creates a construct of multiple heavy guns to blast the shit out of it.
This is also what John Stewart does if he has trouble opening a jar, or if
there’s a stubborn hangnail that he can’t remove with nail clippers. I mean, I
know he was a Marine, but they are trained in more than just shooting things to
smithereens. John does Guy Gardner one better, since Guy shoots a bolt of ring
energy at the force field, and it ricochets down to the surface of Xudar,
almost incinerating Soranik Natu. The problem here is that we, the readers,
know that they are trapped by Brainiac, since that was the last page reveal of
the last issue. The Green Lantern Corps, however, seems not to know, which is
a) unlikely and b) disappointing. On Xudar, Soranik is tending to the Xudarian
citizens that are still controlled by the giant space starfish Starro, which
seems like a better use of one’s time than shooting an impenetrable shield
John busts Soranik’s chops for a page, to
remind us of what happened to Hal and Sinestro two issues ago, and also to
re-establish the fact that Stewart is a real hard-ass. Suddenly, the Xudarians
wake from their imposed slumber and begin to converge on the Green
Lantern/Sinestro Corps members, intoning “Starro commands us” with one voice.
Well, at least they’ve identified the culprit. Meanwhile, on planet Nok, once
the home of the Indigo Lanterns, ex-pat Guardians Ganthet and Sayd regard Hal
Jordan’s ring, which is still looking for Hal after Jordan went supernova in
order to destroy Warworld and Sinestro. Speaking of Hal, he’s in Emerald Space,
a kind of special purgatory for dead Green Lanterns, and he bumps into his
predecessor Abin Sur. Abin tells Hal that he doesn’t belong there, which is
pretty obvious since his name is the first thing in the title of this comic
book. I guess it could still be about Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps,
except Hal would be in Emerald Space forever, bullshitting with Abin Sur and
probably wishing he’d brought a deck of cards along. In order to revive Hal,
Ganthet and Sayd have to get the White Lantern, Kyle Rayner back in the mix!
Which is actually the cliffhanger, so let’s get back to Xudar.
The Xudarians keep pressing on the Corps, and
amazingly John Stewart doesn’t make a Gatling gun construct to fill the lot of
them with green bullets. Figuring Starro must be near enough to control his
slaves through the invisible barrier, John calls upon Rot Lop Fan, the only
blind Green Lantern who uses sound instead of light as a weapon. I love this
guy—I believe he was invented by Alan Moore in the pages of Tales of the Green
Lantern Corps, but wherever he’s from I think he’s really a clever and
underused character. Rot Lop Fan says his unique Lantern Corps oath, then rings
an F-Sharp bell that causes the mini-Starros covering the faces of Xudarians to
fall off and die. That being taken care of, John and Soranik fly into the sky
and use a construct telescope to see that there are other captured cities
around them, and deduce that they’re captured by Brainiac. Why they couldn’t
use that telescope on the ground, I have no idea, but at least we’re all on the
So there’s a lot of stuff happening in this
issue, most of it just compelling enough to keep me interested, but not
interesting enough to make me enthusiastic. I am sort of interested in what’s
happening with the last Guardians and Hal, plus Abin Sur’s ghost, but I could
really care less about this nonsense happening at Xudar. I feel like it has
been slipped in there just to give that team something to do. If they can wrap
that up in the next issue, I’ll consider it a nice diversion, but I have the
sneaking suspicion that the Green Lantern Corps are going to be trapped in
Brainiac’s force field for the foreseeable future. As always, the art is top
notch and makes otherwise mundane scenes much more dynamic. This issue is okay,
but I expect more at issue #9. I feel like Stewart in particular is completely
one-dimensional, and by now there should be some substance.
A fairly mediocre issue that moves some puzzle pieces incrementally closer to completing a full picture. But as it is, we're still getting a fractured story where protagonists aren't even aware of one another's existences--protagonistswho are named in the title of the series, mind you. The art is great, and Rot Lop Fan is in this issue, so that's something to celebrate. But the story is just plodding along, and I fear we may be staring down the barrel of another bloated seven-issue story arc. I hope I am wrong!