Release Date: March 5, 2014
Cover Date: May 2014
Story: Robert Venditti
Pencils: Billy Tan and Martin Coccolo
Inks: Rob Hunter and Walden Wong
Cover: Billy Tan
Variant Cover: RC Stoodios
A Green Lantern finds the Durlan spy’s secret serum stash on Mogo, while Hal Jordan visits his family on Earth, telling them he’ll be gone for a while to deal with the war against the Corps. He’s leaving Simon Baz in charge of protecting the planet, and as Hal takes off to return to space, Saint Walker’s having a morose conversation with Mogo. Upon Hal’s arrival at Corps headquarters, he discusses war plans with Salaak, Kilowog, and Two-Six. First things first: they need to hunt down those modifying and distributing Relic technology. They track the devices to the planet Gwottle, and quickly overcome the defenders there. After arresting the opposing parties, they level the factory.
This issue felt like filler, to be honest. The plot moved forward only a little bit, and the brief Saint Walker pages seemed pointless. We know he’ll become a Blue Lantern again, even if his ring wasn’t following him around all of the time. Devote an entire issue (or at least half of one) to that; it’ll work better than shoehorning it into the larger plot where it can be easily overlooked or forgotten.
Hal taking more advice from the other Lanterns was good to see, especially since he’s using a rookie’s talents along the senior ring wielders. He knows skill when he sees it, and that makes him a more effective leader. Hal’s time on Earth, however, didn’t make much sense. His family was acting like they see him constantly…but when was the last time Hal was on Earth for a long period of time? He’s been a spacebound Lantern for quite a while now. Making a deal with the Red Lanterns and allowing a single Green Lantern to safeguard the planet was a cool idea, but doesn’t really jive with the Corps’ original treaty or the Red Lanterns’ plans. Of course, in the real world, we know it was just an excuse to keep Simon Baz around.
I should point out that I’m actually I’m sick and tired of self-described “hardcore” fans’ constant bitching about Simon. I’ll agree that we didn’t really need another human Green Lantern. But, Geoff Johns wanted to create one of his very own, and if these same fanboys are going to fawn all over everything else Johns did for the franchise, then suck it up. I refuse to join the chorus of fanboys calling for Simon’s maiming or death; I’d much rather see him written well and turned into an interesting character. Until then…if you don’t like him, then don’t read the book.
Let me go off on a tangent for a moment: do you realize that if the powers-that-be had kept Kyle Rayner as a Green Lantern, they could’ve left him on Earth instead? And — call me crazy — we could’ve had a book devoted to Kyle protecting the planet, just like the incredible Green Lantern (Vol. 3) run that made him a superstar to begin with. Hal and the Green Lantern Corps are out in space, Kyle’s having adventures down here…to quote the original (and best) Parallax: “Everybody wins!” But heaven forbid DC Comics do something that makes sense…
But I digress. Speaking of fans complaining, I’ve heard lots of grumbling about Billy Tan’s art, often unfairly. But here, there concerns are somewhat justified; the art doesn’t look so hot in this issue. Not all of this is Tan’s fault, as copenciler Martin Coccolo handled some pages, but many of the facial expressions in particular just didn’t look right. When Hal visited his family, it looked like he’d been hit in the face with a shovel. At least the aliens and such looked pretty good. Even still, the art just lacked a certain punch.
The war continues…sigh. I’m tired of the constant Corps wars, but I know there’s no end in sight. Can we at least wrap up the Durlan conflict soon, please?