Here we are once again at the end of current Black Hand story line. Last issue I marveled at Venditti’s ability to stay true to Black Hand’s recent history, while simultaneously adding his own twisted spin on William Hand. Now that we are six months into this very different iteration of Hal Jordan, I can definitively say that the change of pace has been good for Green Lantern. The book still retains the epic scope, without the typical end of the world scenario in play. So let’s see how Venditti wraps up the first arc of Green Lantern Renegade!
After reestablishing William Hand as a critical threat in the previous issue, Venditti doesn’t shy away from the classic superhero/super villain show down. While my taste in comics definitely leans towards more alternative stories, I can’t that I do enjoy a slug fest (I mean just check out my reviews on Justice League). While some might see this a formulaic ending to an other wise interesting build up, I’ll slide my chips onto the category of “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” Even on the art side of this equation, Billy Tan doesn’t try to wow readers with amazing layouts or extreme detail, instead ( as per usual) Tan delivers solid artistic storytelling a skill that most comic readers sadly don’t factor in when judging the quality of comic art.
That being said though, after looking at Tan’s line work under Mark Irwin looks more refined than when Tan or another inker, inks Tan’s artwork. With Halloween occurring this past weekend, the final fate of Black Hand feels lifted straight from a horror movie. Tan did an amazing job of telegraphing Black Hand’s distress and sheer terror as he was absorbed into the Source Wall itself. These two pages hase no audible dialog, it’s all dependent on Tan’s underrated storytelling.
While I’ve been mainly positive on this issue, the only problem that I had was Relic actually being there. Yes it was cool to see Tan deliver a vertical splash page that once again establishes the scale that Relic is on, but outside of looking cool Relic doesn’t really serve a purpose to be here. Any of the action sequences that occurred didn’t need Relic at all. The only connection that Relic has is the source wall, but for me personally that isn’t enough, since this was a battle between two foes that has become more and more personal over the course of years. Relic just feels like the third wheel.
Even though this issue didn’t break new ground or bust open a secret long forgotten within the DCU, Venditti knew what the story needed and didn’t waver with something fancy. Despite the new arc seemingly heading back to earth, hopefully Darlene and crew factor in some fashion because their small sections add dimensions to this book. Either way if this issue was has proven anything about this arc of Hal Jordan, is that even though he doesn’t look like he once did nor does he have his trusty power ring, he’s still a hero and a Green Lantern.
Green Lantern #46 earns a 4/5
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