REVIEW: Green Lantern #38

2015 is here but the ramifications of 2014 will of course follow each the Green Lantern titles. It’s always been interesting to see how some characters react after a mega crossover. Sometimes the writer just plunges the characters into whatever the “next big crossover” but I know I prefer seeing a character unwind a bit, a breather issue if you will. Sadly some fans see issues like I’ve mentioned as “filler content” as overlook some great character moments. So let’s see what Hal Jordan does when on leave from The Green Lantern Corps.

If you wanted to read this issue and expected to see Hal Jordan confront the New Guardians, while still wearing his costume? Well then you’ll love the opening segment, after that this is a Hal Jordan centric issue from start to finish. The pacing of the opening is pretty quick, as if Venditti wanted to step away from the crazy world of Green Lantern for a bit.

While this isn’t the first “breather” issue during Venditti’s run I’m really glad that he actually incorporates issues like this one into his run. It makes Hal actually feel like a human being who needs to unwind his batteries, even though it’s the New Guardians who gave them his leave. In this context it feels a bit odd that the Guardians would let Hal have a small vacation after disobeying orders during Godhead. It’s a minor nitpick but I’m willing to let it slide just to see Hal away from his ring for a while.

Looking at the issue, the main crux of it isn’t about Hal sadly. In an odd decision Guy Gardner and later Barry Allen both force themselves into Hal’s solo time. The focus of the issue become about Barry and Guy as they play pool together telling Hal how much they miss him being around, with Hal saying little to nothing at all. Venditti does include a nice exchange of dialog between Barry and Hal of why Barry always admired him so much.

If this scene was a reuniting of Barry and Hal, given their history I would give this scene a more of pass, but Guy’s inclusion just seems so forced It feels like that should have been Green Arrow instead of Guy. However I’m not sure if there is a connection between the two green warriors to warrant such an inclusion. Eventually Hal let’s out his frustration on his crazy life style, and how simple life used to be before he became a Green Lantern. While some may find that blasphemous to hear from Hal (since he loves being a a GL) it makes him more approachable to readers since virtually anybody can understand loving something but then the aspect you love becomes routine or stress inducing. Sometimes well all need a time to ourselves, even superheroes.

After a pointless bar brawl, the three are thumped out of the bar leaving the one person Hal didn’t want to see on his return visit, Carol Ferris.While Venditti may have settled things between Kyle and Carol, there was still no resolution from the two themselves. With the art and the dialog working as one you can feel the pain coming from Hal as it pains him that he isn’t with Carol. The conversation between the two comes off as authentic and in Hal’s case very mature.

The art by Admira Wijaya has a photo realistic look to his individual characters in certain panels especially their faces. Other aspects (namely the intro) feels more as if it was painted but colored normally. The storytelling is good from start to finish, but the storytelling excels at the final scene between Carol and Hal. You can understand and feel both Carol and Hal’s emotions.

While this issue wasn’t all about Hal and we shared in his frustration for some time to himself, the ending scene made up for it.

Green Lantern #38 earns a 3/5

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