Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #29 Review and **SPOILERS**

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Here’s Your Motherbox, What’s Your Hurry?

Writer: Robert Vendetti 
Penciller: Rafa Sandoval 
Inker: Jordi Tarragona 
Colorist: Tomeu Morey 
Letterer: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Sandoval, Tarragona and Morey 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: September 27, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Last issue was sort of…an issue that happened, and I’m quite interested to know what happens next. What’s up with these New God-killing golems? Who killed ‘em? How do their powers work? Why are they rocking Omega Beams? I hope some or all of these questions are answered in the new issue of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #29. And you can find out if they are in my review of that very issue, right here!


Explain It!

One of the most irritating things about serialized fiction, for reader and (I presume) writer alike, is the need to reiterate the same information over and over again for new readers. It can be downright annoying, when all we want is story progress, to spend precious page space going over the events of previous issues, or to present complex characters in brief so folks can hop and read along with minimal distress. This is why we get awkward phrases like, “Is that what you, Clark Kent, reporter for the city of Metropolis’ newspaper the Daily Planet, thinks about the situation?” It’s something that regular readers of comic books have come to recognize and, except for the crankiest among us, accept as part of the genre. Heavens forbid that someone picks up a random issue of Green Arrow and doesn’t know beforehand that he’s really good at firing arrows.
This issue committed a comic book sin, in that it invoked points of Green Lantern continuity without explaining them. There wasn’t even a caption from the editor indicating where the reader could learn about the reference—which is, namely, that Yuga Khan created the metal golems that pursue the New Gods’ heartbeats and kill them with Omega Beams. Now I know who Yuga Khan is, and of course anyone can hop online and become a Yuga Khan expert within a matter of minutes. But this is really something that should be revealed in the narrative, particularly when John Stewart reacts so severely to his reveal, and Highfather has a chat with his forebear while he’s still embedded in the Source Wall. Have we even seen the Source Wall in the last year or so? Did we Rebirth this universe or not?
As far as I’m concerned, that’s as much an editorial misstep as the creators’. Far less egregious but no better received is how the metal golems are finally blown into smithereens: Hal Jordan shows up in his construct fighter jet and leads those Omega Beams from last issue into a vulnerable point in a golem’s chest, and it explodes. So he directs the other Lanterns to chuck junk into these oversized pencil sharpeners…and they explode. Like, that’s it. Fire your weapon into the Death Star’s vent and it goes kablooie. A Freddy Krueger golem comes from nowhere without an obvious weak point, but John Stewart shoots a construct sniper rifle at just the right part, and everything’s fine. Why did Highfather bother hanging around? He could have just hung out on Mogo and watched basketball.
It all ends with Orion getting his original heart back, and Kyle Rayner taking a nap from having kept Orion alive with his ring for 48 hours or something. And so Orion is in his debt, which I’m sure will come into play down the line. But beyond that, the New Gods could have been excised completely from this story without any great effect. The metal golems could have been chasing the Lanterns themselves, or any singular member, or a whimsical sprite named Half Jack, with buckles on his shoes and his cap tipped at a jaunty angle and a spirited song for friend and foe alike. The artwork in this arc has been absolutely phenomenal, and this issue has them pulling out all the stops. There are scenes of fighting near the Source Wall that really have to be seen. But not much in this story needs to be read. As much as I appreciate a four-part story arc in lieu of the usual trade collection requisite number, this story fell flat.

Bits and Pieces:

An unexplained reference and the equivalent of a "self-destruct button" make for a very neat and rapid conclusion to this story arc featuring the New Gods. Not a satisfying ending for those of us that followed along, but I still say the artwork alone is worth the cover price. This Sandoval/Tarrgona/Morey team produces some really nice stuff.

6/10
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