It’s finally time for the era of the New 52 to come to an end. Can you believe it’s been nearly five years since DC relaunched their entire. While this won’t be a discussion on the events of Green Lantern from 2011 to now, but more so how far Venditti has come since taking over the book three years ago. While he isn’t departing once Rebirth starts, it’s clear that despite editorial changes there is a through line within his run. Now with another cosmic shift on the way, let’s see how Venditti chooses to end this chapter of Renegade Hal Jordan.
Before I mention anything else, I need to make mention on Billy Tan’s art for this issue. Two issues ago Tan’s artwork was simply abysmal but as I’ve said before and I will say it again Tan’s art looks immensely better when Mark Irwin is the primary inker. No crooked eyes or off looking faces in this issue or disproportionate body, which is a testament that inkers when paired with the right artist can enhance a comic reader’s experience. Even the characters’ facial expressions seemed a bit more detailed giving a deeper sense of emotion, for example seeing Hal struggle against the onslaught of the Grey Agents. So for a farewell issue of Billy Tan, not a bad way to exit a book.
While some might find it confusing that Venditti continues to lay down track despite the fact that Rebirth is right around the corner, then it occurred to me. Venditti understands that despite “finales” or conclusions to story arc the nature of superhero comics is never ending. So instead of wrapping up everything in one neat little bow to satisfy readers, Venditti properly introduces us to the new threat of the Grey Agents and the “all green Hal” idea. This is most likely attributed to the fact that Venditti will steal be writing one of the new Green Lantern titles come Rebirth, but given that Rebirth could have been a clean slate I appreciate Venditti sticking to his guns and incorporating them in his Rebirth plans.
On the negative aspect of things, I felt that there could have less pages dedicated to Hal fighting the Grey Agents and more emotional moments between Hal and his crew. Even though readers were only with Trapper, Virgo and Darlene for less than a year , they were still intergral part of Hal as a renegade. I want to believe that they will show up as regular cast members again, but it seems highly unlikely despite every or aspect of this issue continuing forward. In short the goodbye felt to impersonal and cliche to have any true force.
For the last issue of the New 52 iteration of Hal Jordan, it remained consistent with what has been published before. If I have anything else to say about the “renegade” story line is that I wish it could have gone deeper into what that means for a man of the law like Hal Jordan. I enjoyed the elements that were played with but it could have been so much more expansive with Hal Jordan as a character. Next month Rebirth officially begins and it’s going to interesting to see how the next phase of the Green Lantern universe kicks off.
Green Lantern #52 earns a 4/5