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Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #18 Review

Gather ’round friends, it’s new story arc time! Green Lanterns, Yellow Lanterns, the last Guardians of the galaxy and a lone Blue Lantern are all one big happy dysfunctional family in Robert Venditti’s epic space cop adventure. So let’s dive in and find out, is it good?

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #18 (DC Comics)

What’s the skinny you ask? The DC synopsis reads:

“THE PRISM OF TIME” part one! The Green Lantern Corps has united with their once mortal enemies the Sinestro Corps, but there’s a storm brewing on the horizon as an enemy from the future arrives to rip the two apart. There will be no peace in this time.

Now that the majority of the rogue yellow lanterns have been apprehended, the Green Lantern Corps and Sinestro Corps are settling in together on the sentient planet Mogo in space sector zero. The new leader of the Green Lantern Corps, John Stewart, has allowed the Sinestro Corps to build a power battery on the joint headquarters of Mogo.

It goes over with the rest of the corps about as well as you’d expect: everyone pretty much hates it. Even Kyle and Hal, two lanterns with experience in yielding other rings of power for good, are hesitant to support John’s decision. This was a bit surprising to me, as out of all the Lanterns present none have more experience with the other side of the coin than Kyle and Hal do.

I believe Venditti’s best moment during this story is a conversation between John, Kyle and Hal. It will strongly resonate with a lot of readers, especially those feeling turmoil over our political dissension. The rings and emotions the Lanterns use to police the galaxy, whether it be Will, Fear, Hope or Greed, are at their base level, tools. Tools aren’t good or evil and they don’t have agendas. It’s the wielder of the tool that makes the choice that dictates what’s done with it.

I was a little disappointed by Saint Walker’s very brief appearance in this story. He’s been one of my favorite characters in the Green Lantern stories since his introduction. The good news here is Venditti is setting us up for a much bigger story with Saint Walker. Ganeth and his wife/fellow Guardian Sayd have tasked Saint Walker with a new mission that’s sure to have large scale ramifications for the universe and all the Lanterns Corps should he succeed.

The partnership of V Ken Marion (penciller) and Dexter Vines (inker) does a nice job filling the giant shoes of Green Lantern artist legend, Ethan Van Sciver. Marion’s work is clean, sharp and while arguably simple/lacking in detail, very focused. I really enjoyed his presentation of will vs fear when in use by the two corps. Vines’ ink work brought vitally important pages towards the end of the issue (involving temporal portals) to life. There’s a great chemistry between the two artists that does a fantastic job illustrating the contrast between clean, focused will power and sizzling, electric fear.

I don’t want to take anything away from the fantastic work presented by Marion and Vines. They had a large task of bringing three Lantern Corps to life, along with two new major components and they excelled at both. But I have to be honest and say that my favorite piece of art in this issue is the cover. Mikel Janin’s cover is quite quite simply stunning. I love the representation and symbolism used for each Lantern Corps. The close up of Hal is especially noteworthy–it’s beautifully drawn.

There’s a lot going on in this issue! There are two Lanterns missing, a new quest for Saint Walker, a delicate peace to navigate between the Green/Yellow Corps and the astounding appearance of a new character.

Unsurprisingly Venditti does a masterful job handling all the balls in the air. I particularly enjoyed the writing for the conflict between Green/Yellow. There are two really important underlying messages here that I think everyone in our country could benefit from spending some serious time thinking on. Plus Guy Gardner is involved and I’m a sucker for pretty much anything Guy Gardner related.

The new story arc certainly starts with a bang. Two lanterns have gone missing, one from each corps and it’s on a planet that holds special significance to Hal Jordan. Readers of the previous story arcs may recognize the reference, but it isn’t a requirement to enjoy the issue.

We’re left with a mysterious and quite frankly concerning appearance of a new character bearing a dire warning. Venditti did a truly impressive job of starting a new story arc with so many different stories happening in one issue. I didn’t feel overwhelmed at any point, even though there was a lot going on. My one and only concern here is that I won’t get enough of the characters I love, because there are so many balls in the air.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #18
Is it good?
Robert Venditti has many balls in the air, but is giving every story thread the attention it needs. Great read.
Great start to a new story arc
Lessons from the writer that all of humanity should take to heart
Great artistic representation of each Lantern Corps
Exciting clues linking to Hal Jordan’s past adventures
As per usual, Guy Gardner rules
There’s a lot going on. My only concern is I won’t get enough of enough of all the characters I love in the next issue!
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