Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #9 Review and **SPOILERS**

When Is a Door Not a Door?

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: November 23, 2016


On plane pristine, or somewhat funky 
You can become so much Sea Monkey 
Your city shrunk and made por-ta-ble 
For Brainiac, and his hoarder’s pull!
Explain It!

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 relentlessly.
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 same page.
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.

Bits and Pieces: 

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--protagonists who 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!


1 comment:

  1. I skipped a bunch of issues so maybe they covered it but i dont get why john is coming off as such a dick to Soranik because she is a yellow latern now? Thats dumb they have had so many battles where that had to work with other colors that a friendly taking another color shouldnt be that big a deal, but who gives a shit about any of that ny boy Kyle is back in white woot this book is now on my pull list