As the summer heats up, so to does the Rebirth model of DC Comics. Finally releasing a whole month from Green Lanterns, the resident face of the Green Lantern mythos takes center stage. Since Robert Venditti returns to pen the adventures of Hal Jordan it’ll be interesting to see what Venditti brings from his previous run and what new concepts he’ll bring to the table. Having Ethan Van Sciver on pencils doesn’t hurt, but I’m hoping for a mix of something new along with something classic to create an interesting fusion. Let’s see how Hal Jordan brings back the Green Lantern Corps.
Before anyone calls me a hypocrite, I do see a big difference between including Sinestro and his Corps and reviving the Red Lanterns over in the sister title. Sinestro has a history (a personal one with some Lanterns) with Hal Jordan. Since both Hal and Sinestro have been completely separate from each other (with exception of God Head), it’s going to be interesting to see this classic battle revisited. It would be like an Aquaman book not having Black Manta, or a Flash book with no Rogues. Atrocitus doesn’t have that history
Moving on to Sinestro himself, I’m not sure what happened in his solo series but it’s clear that this is a Sinestro who is clearly older by the battles of the past. This is a Sinestro who has won the “war” between his Corps and the Green Lanterns (at least in his eyes). I personally felt that Venditti nailed that signature arrogance that accompanies Sinestro wherever he goes, but there is an added sense of weariness to him as if the absence of the Green Lanterns has made his victories feel less, I’m possibly reading to much into the situation but seeing Sinestro in that state makes me think he wants a challenge.
Focusing on the titular character of Hal Jordan it is with great pleasure that if you’ve never read a Green Lantern comic featuring Hal Jordan before issue tells you his origin and it even briefly touches the recent Renegade story line. Veteran readers will find most of this recap, but since the partial goal of Rebirth is to entice new readers to the series then I say for the most part it was a job well done. It does read a bit ham fisted at points, and even though new readers can learn about the Renegade arc it’ll still be confusing at first when Hal shows up as a construct then his Renegade costume. Thankfully those are just minor problems that new readers might have, as this issue is all about Hal Jordan reclaiming the Green Lantern Corps in all it’s classic glory.
It is interesting that seeing Hal forge a Green Lantern ring from his own will, it’s interesting in that it seems to an omen of ill tidings. Seeing several Kyle, Carol, Ganthet and (Sayd?) react in a negative way to this action is what has hooked me for the series. What are the ramifications because Hal created his own power ring? Needless to say the combination of seeing a worn Sinestro and the aftermath of Hal creating a ring has engaged me enough to see what Venditti does going forward.
Unlike the Green Lanterns Rebirth issue, Ethan Van Sciver is the artist from start to finish. One thing I have to admire from Van Sciver’s art from this issue was his character acting for Sinestro. Clearly Sinestro still holds that very prideful side of himself, but the years of battle have clearly taken a toll. This is something that isn’t seen very often in current continuity comics, an established villain clearly aging, yet still holds that classic personification of the leader of fear. I do have on criticism of Van Sciver’s art, those being Hal’s body proportion during the last two splash pages. His torso seems bigger than the rest of his body, it’s a bit distracting for the classic hero shot. Other than that seeing the camera angles during Hal’s forging sequence made it even more dynamic by having us look up at Hal. Hopefully the high quality of art continues for the series proper.
While Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps isn’t the best comic I’ve ever read, it is a damn good start and an even better introduction to new readers. Yes using Sinestro could be seen as going back to the well, but with Sinestro entering a new phase it could provide for a new take on this classic battle.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth earns a 4/5