Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #40 Review and **SPOILERS**


You Can Take the Ring Outta Hal 

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: March 14, 2018


It’s a prison break! And it ain’t one of those surreptitious “Oceans Eleven” style jobs, either! Get ready for some loud n’ rude light construct conflict, as detailed in my review of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #40, appearing right here!

Explain It!

There was a time, not long ago, that people thrown in prison were not expected to reform. Conditions in these “gaols” were so deplorable and unsanitary, that merely surviving was considered a feat in itself. Prisoners were not fed by any governing agency, instead it was expected that the convicted person’s family or some charitable sort would give them some scraps; if not, then they could catch and cook the rats in their cells. Torture devices were employed, but not to extract contrition as much to extract confessions, many times to crimes that had not been performed by the accused. Jail was essentially a squalid holding cell where some slighted landowner—who owned the prison, naturally—could exact spiteful revenge on someone who had committed the transgression of stealing a head of lettuce from their garden.
It wasn’t until the 19th Century, and the creation of the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, that the idea of someone entering a prison as a hardened criminal, and exiting a completely penitent (that’s where they got the name) and reformed member of society, became manifest. Eastern State was initially set up as a series of cells promoting solitary confinement, where they would never see another prisoner or human aside from the priest assigned to pray with the convicted prisoner for an hour a day (they also got an hour to stand outside in a tiny cage attached to their rooms.) Of course, solitary confinement can bring about its own psychoses, but the point is that attempts were made. Jails would not be mere “holding cells” but places of personal renewal and rebirth, where one could spend their prescribed prison time wisely and leave a better person than when they entered.
I mention all of this because Hal is imprisoned on Jekku by General Zod, and because there is virtually nothing to write about the action in this book. The Green Lantern vigilante squad attacks Family Zod and seems to have ‘em on the ropes, and then later the Zods kick their asses. Kyle is still surging with the extra power from Hal’s ring, and even manifests a new power when he exchanges his body for Hal’s in the heat of battle, leaving his own battered body in place of Hal’s on a BDSM rack. And John Stewart catches some shit for the Green Lantern Corps having defied their direct orders, which members of the Corps hadn’t yet heard. But the big ending is that now, Super Hal™ and General Zod n’ co. are going to face off next issue, so that will be a thing.
This is one of the more egregious cases of a story being teased out over six issues in order to justify a trade collection that I have seen in recent memory. Almost nothing of consequence happens in this issue, and I’m positive that you could skip it and go right to the next without missing any important plot points. The only saving grace is that this art team is doing some phenomenal work, and frankly it’s worth a look even if you have no intention of paying three dollars for four minutes worth of story. And I wouldn’t blame you. This looks to be a two-issue story drawn out for four additional issues, and that is the height of current-day industry bullshit.

Bits and Pieces:

Here's an issue that exists so that there could be six chapters to this story, justifying a neat trade collection. As such, it's a total rip-off. Visuals are absolutely gorgeous, but if you could use three bucks for better things than a staged conflict that leaves things more or less as we found them at the end of the previous issue, then I suggest you do so.


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