Comic Book Review: Green Lantern 43

Everybody loves buddy cop shows. The out of control, recluse cop gets partnered up with the by the book, golden boy. Hijinks ensue as they have to learn to work together all while saving the city from drug-lord kingpins in nice suits. It’s formulaic, but we love it.

What if instead of being in a city, the backdrop was all of the universe?

I’m on board so far. Go on…

What if instead of cops they were all magic ring wielding cops?

I like where this is heading...

What if both of those cops where the same person?

Wait… what?

Give me time, I’ll explain.

After “Convergence” the Green Lantern Corp has been through allot of changes with little exposition over the past three months to explain it all. We are slowly learning what has happened to the universal “peace-keepers” over that stretch. Hal seems to have gone renegade, raiding the armory of Oa for the power gauntlet that the Guardians fashioned well before the time of Lanterns, Manhunters, and most sentient life. Not only did Hal steal the gauntlet, but an AI controlled spaceship as well, all the while pretending he’s a cop even though his badge was taken away. He ends up finding a break in the “Source Wall” of the universe and that the Black Hand has escaped.

Oh, hey, I was just looking at this wall at the end of exsitance that I just escaped from. Wanna look at it with me?

Hal Jordan seems to be on his fifteenth or sixteenth identity crisis. You see, Hal was in charge of the Green Lantern Corp, bringing all other light wielders to bear for the crime of draining the emotional spectrum. The Green Lantern Corp exempted themselves from this rule, because, well… reasons. He became the tough as nails captain who didn’t take no shit from no body. Then, POOF, long haired vigilante constantly on the run from Johnny Law while doing their job for them. This isn’t the first time (or the twentieth) that Hal has been against the Corp; we just need to find out how he makes his way back.

Yet it seems all the main Green Lantern Corp players have been spirited away to the universe that existed before the big bang of this current universe. Krona, the Guardian who has caused the most harm to all of existence, is there too. John Stewart is keeping a dual ring wielding Guy Gardner from punching the Guardian in the face. Kyle Rayner is likely off with his White Lanterns somewhere and we haven’t heard a peep from Simon Baz.

Unraveling the origin of these events, I assume, is supposed to be exciting/enlightening to the reader. The same ploy is being done with Superman and Batman as well… and damn it, if it isn’t annoying me.

The results of all this are well known characters looking and acting completely contrary to their personality’s just months prior. I know that is the point. I just don’t like it. It’s like Hal is the embodiment of both halves of the buddy cop cliché and he can’t reconcile it with himself.

I’m not saying the writing is bad. In fact, Robert Venditti does a fantastic job with dialog. The witty repartee between as smart-ass sentient space ship is golden. The addition of Hal’s would be prisoner that seems to be able to escape at will, has turned out to be entertaining as well. The fact that Relic has also escaped the Source Wall brings me hope that we will see Kyle soon. We actually have the making of an interesting story here now that the Black Hand is loose again, though I hope this is for the last time because that is one character who has gotten tiring.

Hey, wait a minute, you're a green lightsmith guy! This of course means I'll kill you even though you might be able to help me figure out what the fuck happened.

Ethan Van Sciver’s work is phenomenal as always. Hal may look like a greasy, Tom Cruise stand in from over a decade ago, but it is done so well and with so much grandeur that the reader actually feels like they are looking out upon a vast nebulas at the end of existence. This issue contains two multi page spreads which isn’t interrupted by silly words. The art does all the talking.

Now we come to the crux of it. Is this story worth continuing? In DC’s post Convergence landscape where we have questions slowly being answered, I find myself waffling. I know I will buy every GL branded comic. I’m what you might consider the established ring slinger and will keep buying in hopes it will get better; and GL will always will get better. It’s just been a slow build up. I have faith. Yet faith and loyalty doesn’t always pan out.

I know, dear reader, that that wasn’t an answer.

Kevin Carley