REVIEW: Green Lantern #40

Put this scenario in your head for just a second. You love your job and everyday you strive to do your best no matter what obstacle comes your way. That’s how a lot of people can feel when doing something they love for a living, but eventually we all hit a wall. Sometimes a person needs a change of pace, whether that’s the best interest for the job of the individual. In the last issue of Green Lantern before Convergence that is where we find Hal Jordan. A man given leadership under a tumultuous time for The Green Lanterns, now faced with his toughest challenge yet.

After the previous issue of Green Lantern ended, I stated that having Hal go rouge just seemed so out of character. Given the fact that Venditti’s character arc for Hal since his run began in 2013 was to mature Hal by giving him a leadership role. I’ve also stated that I have enjoyed seeing Hal strive and fail in this new dynamic. So with Hal alluding to reverting back to his gun ho style I was a bit disappointed.

That’s what happens when you judge something before an actual resolution is presented in front of you. What’s interesting is that the opening for the issue Venditti allows for the readers that Hal has lost it and with Kilowog’s dialog simply reinforces this notion. He plays to the readers who excepted a rash choice by Hal by showing off a scene without context. In that design, it’s pure brilliance.

If this issue of Green Lantern is an example of anything is the powerful friendship between Hal and Kilowog, and of course Hal’s maturation. Hal see’s the problems that continue to plague the corps and in his eyes if he left the problems could be alleviated. While some readers may see this a foolish, naive, and possibly pointless. What I see is a character who has acknowledges the problems facing the ideas he represents and instead he willing offers a solution where only he get’s blamed for going rogue.

Reading the dialog exchange between Hal and Kilowog made me a tad emotional and just reassures that Venditti understands how their friendship works and what makes it different from any friendship within the DCU. This is also carried through their “fight” sequence as Kilowog still to this day pushes Hal as if he was still rookie. While the fight is pretty meaningless in the larger scheme of things, it’s one weighed down by emotion and makes the fake fight have meaning. It’s painful to see friends fight and Venditti and Tan nailed that pain perfectly.

This was Billy Tan’s best art yet, I could read a book with his storytelling skills for hours. In two different scenes involving Hal and Kilowog, his simple poses for the characters in talking and action sequences tell the tale of what cannot be conveyed with words. The best example of this is the splash page of Hal hugging a bloodied Kilowog. Letting an artist tell the story is something more comics need to do. I know Tan doesn’t render the prettiest or most stylized comic out there, but I personally prefer an artist who can tell a story before he can wow me with layouts and details.

Green Lantern #40 earns a 4/5

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