You know what day of the year that could potentially ruin a day? No it’s shopping with only two days before Valentines Day, from my perspective it’s actually yearly evaluations. To some people yearly evaluations are nothing special and do little to nothing to make you more efficient at your job. more than often it’s a trivial process where both parties just want it done with. So imagine if you had to stand before The Guardians of The Universe who will decide your fate. That doesn’t sound fun in the least and that’s the position in which Hal finds himself. So with only one more issue before Convergence starts, what lies for Hal Jordan?
Thankfully Venditti continues to maintain the simplicity that began in the last issue of Green Lantern. With Godhead (and event’s prior) a simple Green Lantern story has been hard to come by. While the opening does hint at a ominous danger on the horizon, it’s only a few pages before the actual story can begin. It was a nice contrast to see a random planet and reactions from other DCU characters that you wouldn’t see in an issue of Green Lantern. Tan’s art made it difficult to tell whose some of the characters were, with the exception of Shazam. Even with Shazam it appears that a tiny Boom Tube is about to burst from his chest, and not lighting surging through.
Normally a simple issue of Hal arresting random space criminals would be seen as nothing special. Given the trend of Green Lantern it is special because of its simplicity. Lucky for us Venditti doesn’t make it completely simple and remembers the space cop side of Green Lantern as well. The exchange between Hal and this constable character was a nice reminder of the plot thread that most of the universe still despises the Green Lantern Corps.
The idea has been sadly pushed aside for obvious reasons and to see it brought back in the most blunt way possible is a nice touch to this seemingly straightforward story earns a bit more depth. That very story beat continues for the rest of the issue with various references to turmoil across the galaxy and with a little meta commentary coming from Jordan and Kilowog but I could simply be reading to much into the dialog. If anything this sequence shows the larger impact of what the Green Lantern’s mean to the rest of the universe, and that sadly their “epic cosmic adventures” while important, it also damaged their standings within the universe.
With the final scene for this issue I have the feeling that Venditti wanted to play completely against the “normal” meeting between Hal and Guaridans. It’s quite humorous to see Hal become speechless during this meeting, since he’s used to be being scolded for every decision he makes regardless of the outcome. In a way it does feel obvious to write a scene where it goes against what’s been done since the 1950’s, the fact that nobody has really written a scene like this speaks volume already.
So it appears that all is well and good for Hal going forward but the last page is puzzling, as it alludes to Hal doing something reckless even though he has no reason to do that. To some that might seem in line with the Hal Jordan of old but this Hal has at least matured a bit during his leadership tenure, so making throw that all away would make the previous stories pointless. That’ll be a problem for the next issue.
Billy Tan on art continues to be a solid story teller even with the horizontal panel layouts during specific pages but once again his facial featuers and body postures in some panels look fine but others just look terrible. It’s constantly changing from panel to panel leaving consistency much to be desired.
This was by in large a plain Green Lantern story with a nice surprise twist in terms of the Guardians and Hal meeting trope. It’s going to be interesting to see what the last issue of Green Lantern will about.
Green Lantern #39 earns a 3/5
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