Release Date: December 4, 2013
Cover Date: February 2014
Story: Robert Venditti
Pencils: Billy Tan
Inks: Rob Hunter, Don Ho, and Billy Tan
Cover: Billy Tan
Hal Jordan and Kilowog are stuck between Prixiam Nol-Anj and her heavily armed clannsmen, so Hal calls for help in the form of all Green Lanterns. A bit desperate, sure, but it gets the job done: the Corps and even Mogo itself arrived to pacify their adversaries. As for those Corpsmen who refuse to use their rings, their hand-to-hand combat skills came in handy. Anyway, Hal and crew realize that they can’t leave Nol-Anj with a ring, and her people will right to the death. So, they make a deal: Nol-Anj gives up her Star Sapphire ring, but she goes free while her lieutenants are arrested. However, Nol-Anj knows that rings deplete the emotional reservoir, and she plans to tell everyone that ring-wielders of all colors are damaging the universe. Nearby, a local kid and his friend shapeshift into some familiar foes, pleased that their plans are moving forward as expected.
Not too bad of an issue, though Hal calling in any and all available Green Lanterns was a bit of a stretch. The resolution of the situation, though, I did like a lot. It proves that a power ring can’t solve everything, and there’s no black and white when it comes to complicated problems like this one. I also like that Hal tried to act like he was in complete control when he set Nol-Anj free, but if she starts spreading the truth about the rings, even allied races will beging distrusting Green Lanterns. That could set up some very interesting political conflicts down the road!
Bringing back to the rogue Durlans (if they’re really that species) from Green Lantern Corps was a great move, too. Their plans got sidetracked by “Lights Out,” but I’m much more interested in their story than another big crossover. If this plays out in Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps alone, I’ll be happy.
On to the art. Billy Tan’s been pretty good on Green Lantern, with some criticisms from other fans over consistency. I understand where they’re coming from; sometimes, faces and anatomy don’t match up as well as they should. That’s not to say that it’s horibble by any stretch of the imagination; it’s usually just slightly “off,” barely enough to be noticable, but it’s like an itch. That’s apparent here, especially during the scenes with Vath on Mogo. Some of the panels almost seem hastily drawn, but there’s no consistent pattern to this, so it’s likely just Tan’s style. Still, overall I’d give his art in general (and this issue in particular) a high grade, especially the battle sequences with Nol-Anj and her soldiers. Also, kudos for illustrating Nol-Anj as a Star Sapphire who’s mostly covered up! It’s good to see that the cringeworthy “Slut Sapphire” costumes of the Geoff Johns era seem to be firmly a thing of the past.
More importantly, Nol-Anj is an interesting enough character that I honestly want to see more of her adventures (or misadventures, as it were). I hope she appears more often in Green Lantern, as she makes not only a fine opponent, but she’d work equally well as a tentative ally.