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Old 12-28-2015, 06:24 PM   #1
Lundonj
Sinestro's Sparring Partner
 
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 133
Default Read all of volume five again...

--Some spoilers for the series over the last four years of the new run.--


The holidays opened up some serious free time, so I re-read volume five in its entirety, and I have to admit I enjoyed it more the second time through than the first. I had been dismissive of the Venditti part of the run. Then I started to see what he was building during the Renegade arc, and it looks have a chance to finish strong and be his be a substantive contribution to the overall GL legacy.

So, I thought I would go back and see if there was anything I missed.

I started with the end of the Johns' era, the first 20 issues. The opening Sinestro story was really well done. I initially hated the string Sin had Hal on, but it worked. Reminded Hal of who he really was -- not a guy ready to settle down on earth, but someone who still loved being a GL. The Indigo tribe twist was fun to me, to learn their secret as a pile of bad guys under the influence of compassion.

That said, I had enough time exploring the emotional spectrum at that point. Of course, Hal had to go away as the lead character for 6-7 months to introduce Simon Baz as a new GL. I wasn't reading the boards here then to see what the reaction was. First time through, I didn't see him as unique enough to need another earth lantern, but the way of the world the last year or so, and yeah, although controversial, I think humanizing a culture (through fiction or non-fiction) is an important addition. Slinging the side arm - which I realize is another way to visually and literally make him different -- but still silly for a GL. It makes it less interesting to me if a character is armed when the power ring runs dry.

The last Johns arc - started a bit slow, but finished in the way it had to, finally dispatching the consistently inconsistent characters of the GL Universe, the Guardians. Hal gets to break out of the world of dead (finally) and a decent hand off to the new series writer. The extra sized #20 is still my favorite issue of the current volume.

Venditti opened with an idea I still don't like -- some kind of weird analogy to me of our real world energy issues - we discover power rings are bad for the Universe. We get a group of pro-environment GLs who refuse to use their rings.

Hal being Hal, he considers the work of bringing justice to the Universe is more important than any sort of energy crisis. Regardless of personal politics, I thought Venditti's Hal was especially wooden and more thick skulled than usual, and not in a good way. Everyone should have some concern when energy is a finite resource.

Relic is a nice add to the GL stable of bad guys, although he is a bit close to the Krona prototype, long lived and curious, but not quite as powerful. Certainly a big enough threat to keep it interesting.

Ultimately, I think this is the arc that made me critical of the new direction, that and the whole Carol-Kyle debacle. Of course, the rift between Carol and Hal had been going since the New 52 kicked off, and yes, Carol is a smart, strong character who would be wise enough to eventually walk away from the non-relationship. But making Kyle the new guy? As lame as lame could be. And it is lame. Nothing against Kyle either, he seems like he deserves someone outside of the spectrum to hang around with. Cheap pull to kick up some faux anxiety between the two and that was even downplayed to dull. Life long love walks away? Kind of a big deal. Live long love goes to arms of a friend? Huge deal. Barely discussed in the books. So, that was big ugh number two.

The energy crisis and Carol aside, the rebuild of Hal has been interesting. Leader of the Corps, who ultimately gets called out by Sinestro for being too wooden, and not his normal, spur of the moment, do whatever it takes Hal. That was pretty cool. Sinestro was saying exactly what I was thinking - points to Venditti. He set it up nicely.

The Renegade arc makes complete sense, and it may yet be another bad call by Hal. Which is kind of fun. Another strength to this run is the Hal/Kilowog relationship throughout. And 'Wog thought it a bad idea and supported his friend anyway.

With Hal's luck, the GLC he is trying to restore by becoming an outlaw that can take any blame away from them -- they vanish. So, he did it all for nothing thus far. Except, he apparently will need this gauntlet to fight ghost of Christmas past - his old Parallax self. I think I had been in discussions with folks here before, years ago of the time traveling element of the original Parallax. He is always available.

One more chance to explore the original fall -regardless of what we thought of of the 3-issue transition that introduced Kyle, I think it has some potential to get back inside the head of Parallax and compare notes with the modern Hal. Hopefully, this does not have to be an issue #50 tradition until the end of time, but it could be the highlight of the Venditti run.

-Don
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