While the Rebirth issue didn’t click with me, I am still pretty interested in seeing the next part of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. Let’s see what Robert Venditti has in store for us. Is it good?
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #1 (DC Comics)
With the Green Lantern Corps still missing, the Sinestro Corps have risen to power under Soranik’s leadership and a change in company policy. However, Sinestro, who has suddenly gotten much older, has decided to switch things up. Meanwhile, Hal Jordan is looking for his buddies.
The Initial Impression
Upon finishing this issue, I reflected back on the Rebirth one and thought about the two comics. It felt like material from this issue should have been in that issue. In particular, the whole sequence with Sinestro and what happened with him should have happened there to give the Rebirth issue a bit more excitement and reason for readers to want to check out this new book. As such, it really feels like you can easily skip that comic and just jump straight to this one without much trouble, because this comic feels like a stronger introduction than the Rebirth issue ever was.
On a writing and technical level, Robert Venditti crafts a pretty solid start. The pacing is solid and the story flows well from page to page. There’s no awkward transitions between the panels and the dialogue and narration sound perfectly good (though I have no clue where the narration is coming from when the comic switches over to the Sinestro Corps). The characterization I found to be completely on point for every single character. Hal Jordan sounded right, Sinestro’s power grab and decisions were in character for him (I’m mixed on it, but I’ll get into it later), Lyssa Dark seemed right with her attitude and pose, and Soranik felt very much like her character we’ve seen in the recent Sinestro series (not sure about her Betty Rubble haircut though). On a technical and character level, this comic was on point.
Having your face stuck like that for eternity?
The strongest thing in the comic though had to be the art team of Rafa Sandoval (pencils), Jordi Tarragona (inker), and Tomeu Morey (colorist). The team does an excellent job with bringing the best out of this comic with its ability to draw the characters so well and having an eye for detail. Everyone looks great in this book, so full of life with how they hold themselves, convey body language, and their facial expressions (the first shot of Sinestro and just how worn down he looks says so much about where the character currently is). The layouts are put together well and flow smoothly from panel to panel. The small bits of action look nice and I do especially like how well Morey conveys the glow and colors of the lantern powers and constructs. I’m not sure how long this team will be on the book, but they absolutely knocked it out of the park here.
What’s most lacking is that this comic doesn’t have a lot going on in it. It brings back Sinestro, who I didn’t even think until recently was out of the picture, and puts him back in charge of his corps while the Green Lantern Corps finally gets back home at the very end of the issue. Other than that, there really wasn’t much to chew on here; little to no action and not much in the way character development. Just a lot of setup when all is said and done.
The only other thing I didn’t particularly like was what happened when Sinestro got back into power. Cullen Bunn’s Sinestro run was a particularly good and underrated series in my mind, pushing the Sinestro Corps into a rather neat direction and with a new set of goals. They were becoming more anti-villains and sort of stepping up to protect the universe with their power, while also building a new home for the Korugarians. While I can see what Sinestro does in the comic being in character for him, it does feel from a storytelling angle that we are losing out on potentially a good follow up on his solo series. Sinestro Corps going back to straight villains loses the potential of a gray, murky moral battle between the groups and returns this to being a straightforward black and white situation. While there is certainly no indication of this new direction being bad at this time, it just feels like we traded down instead of up.
Is It Good?
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #1 really should have been the Rebirth issue (or the two should have been combined), since it feels like a prologue and setup to the main series. It’s not badly written at all and the artwork looks great here, but it just feels like it’s lacking punch and excitement. Hopefully the next issue picks things up and really shows what this series can do.