It looks like policing the emotional spectrum won’t be as easy as Hal Jordan assumes it will be. Considering this is still the same man who still even after several months doesn’t seem right for the job. This however has created an interesting story dynamic going forward with some of fellow Green Lanterns latest stance after the revelation of the emotional reservoir. The question that readers should be asking, is Hal Jordan going to far or not far enough. While he hasn’t entered bad guy territory similar to Tony Stark from the other side of the street in 2006, Hal’s stance has certainly raised eyebrows. Before all those questions can be answered however we have to see how Hal and Kilowog get out of the mess on Dekann.
If you’ve ever seen any sorta over the top cop movie, then this is exactly what this issue feels like. Add a little bit of a western flavor and Venditti brings back something that has been lacking from Green Lantern from the previous run. The combination of science fiction and western is a great device to ground readers into something familiar. Tan’s art certainly helps in this department as he able to capture the wonderful scenery that all western fans have come to know and enjoy.
Before the action begins Venditti shows that not everything is black and white. While yes they are criminals the people of Dekann believe they are not in the wrong and they simply trying to live their lives. It’s nice to be able to see two sides of the same coin, and this isn’t a negative Hal comes off a cop who is simply stopping the bad guys. This sorta paints Hal as a by the numbers character, but that pretty much changes by the end of the issue a tad bit.
The action quickly picks up with a two against enormous odds. Venditti and Tan use some pretty standard constructs that make sense for Kilowog or Hal to make, and a nice little comedic nod when Hal uses a serving tray to reel Kilowog from danger. Venditti puts Hals in a position to make a choice on who they should take out, but in true Hal fashion Venditti has him call in the cavalry. Tan’s art keeps pace with the bombastic action sequence, Add into the fact that unlike most battle scenes where it’s multiple enemies against fewer heroes, the villains would fight one on one so it’s cool to seem them actually gang up on them. It’s a nice touch.
Since the Corps continues to deal with the fall out from Relic’s revelations, the reader knows that some veteran lanterns refuse to use the ring but will defend their sector (no idea how they will get around since they are no ships docked on Mogo) but Venditti has veteran lantern Varth arguing what being a Green Lantern is about no doubt setting up future splits in the corps over the reservoir and Hal’s leadership.
Retreading beats of the Green Lanterns not being in the right in this once Venditti has Hal and Kilowog attacked by the children, which has led a confrontation between Hal and Nol-Anj over “the ends justify the means” and to anybody who’s been reading the series that same question could be asked of Hal. It all adds a bit more complexity into an already complex situation. Tan then treats us to a excellent double page splash of the rest of the entire corps.
The battle turns into an riot between not simply Nol-Anj’s men but the civilians as well. To end it before it all gets way to out of hand Hal calls for Mogo to mess the planets gravity causing for an immediate surrender. Here is where Venditti has the corps taken to task as they are accused of neglecting worlds due to fighting with each other. So Hal is lead to compromise as he takes the Star Sapphire ring so that her people will be protected and safe. Hal here comes off as excessive but even he realizes it, so Venditti appears to have Hal straddle the line from hero to while not being evil but being perceived as evil. It’s an interesting choice that should be fun to follow when 2014 kicks off.
Tan here on art delivered in what he has done since taking the book over back in May. The action sequences are where he shines the best but he continues to get better with talking head pages. Hopefully next year Tan gets more shots at drawing other alien creatures because those were some of the best pages in the issue.
Overall Green Lantern #26 was a space western battle turned riot leading Hal to a potential darker path add in some Combine that with some excellent battle pages and you have yourself a fun issue.
Green Lantern #26 receives a 4/5
You can find more of Ben’s writing at his blog
You can also follow him on Twitter