Summer is right around the corner and the heat is starting to rise for The Green Lantern Corps. Venditti has positioned the Darkstars as a credible threat, while also making their plight feel personal by using Tomar’s inner turmoil turned violent. Even though I’ve read hundred of stories where former friends have to collide, I still anticipate each and every time because it will ultimately end in some sort of emotional gut punch. Warning the following review will contain spoilers. So remember to read your comic before reading this review. You have been warned.
Do you know what has been missing with Venditti’s run? A good ole Flash Green Lantern meeting, I was going to say team up but sadly Hal and Barry don’t partner with each other. Instead we get a heartfelt conversation between the two friends about crossing the line. While the conversation between Hal and Barry is nothing new as we’ve seen heroes have crisis of faith whenever they see way isn’t working. However it still works because we as humans constantly mess up and we on occasion need reassurance from a friend. This scene only works because it’s Barry and not any other of the Earth Green Lanterns. Barry is removed emotionally from this, so his words don’t come off like an echo chamber for Hal. I wish Flash would stick around longer but he’s got his own problems at Central City.
In case you haven’t heard, Robert Venditti will be leaving this series after issue #50. His final arc involving the Darkstars is shaking up to be a grand finale. but this issue is peppered with memories of his run on this particular series. What’s great about these cameos is that they nice reminders of what has come before but Venditti gives us a reason why these characters show up. Guy calls Arkillo to a bar, John Stewart visits Zod, Kyle heads to New Genesis to recruit Orion and Hal attempts to recruit Hector Hammond. Not only is this scene a nice call back to the Venditti’s stories but it also gives even more credibility to the Darkstars. The Green Lantern Corps isn’t above partnering with questionable allies, it isn’t something they do often. Plus it was just nice seeing Guy and Arkillo pal up for a bit and elude that they’ve been meeting in secret for sometime. Each recruitment segment oozes with character personality, each section is given just the right amount of screen time. Although I do question the recruitment of Zod, only because I have a feeling that Zod will do something to back stab the Green Lanterns.
Brandon Peterson is on penciling duties and I loved his art for this issue. It’s amazing to me that more readers don’t bring up Peterson’s art because of his line art looks really crisp and his storytelling is extremely good. I loved the small nuances that Peterson puts on certain characters facial expressions. A reader who takes their time to look deeply will be rewarded with these details that can sadly escape the casual reader. Even though this issue didn’t contain that much action, Peterson’s delivers on the personal moments, making it stick with readers. I also loved his rendition of The Atomic Skull at the end, a great final page.
It was a bit weird that this issue seemed to be the start of the arc, but this issue did feel like the calm before the storm at least. This issue didn’t need to have bombastic action pages for tension, the reader can feel that tension from the second Tomar-Tu kills Goldface. Another amazing issue of Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps.
Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #44 earns a 4/5