The holiday season is a time where we gather around our loved ones (those we’ve lost and those that still remain) and exchange gifts. Most of the time we except the gifts with a smile, hug it out and then eat some delicious holiday ham. However every now and then, you run into a kid or someone your age who just isn’t satisfied. They’ll either cry or moan the rest of the day that they didn’t get what they wanted, or that they wanted….more…. How does this relate to this issue? Read further on to find out, spoilers are to follow. You have been warned.
When I tell people why Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps is one of DC’s best books right now. I tell them that it’s 1 part Venditti’s writing, 1 part Rafa Sandoval, and 1 part Ethan Van Sciver for it’s sheer goodness. It goes without saying that Sandoval and Van Sciver are an amazing duo for this book, but sadly neither of these phenomenal artists drew this issue, instead we got Ed Benes. In fairness to Ed Benes his art for this issue was above his normal output. In fact Benes art is scratchier, which means there isn’t a lot of detail on either characters of the back rounds. It almost gives the comic a more ethereal visual look than, which does make it the odd child out when you pair up these issues together. The ethereal style that Benes goes with, works well during Hal’s scenes with Abin Sur given they are in a limbo state, but it doesn’t mesh with the Braniac portion of this story.
To cap it off, Ed Benes art isn’t bad when you look at this one single issue. His storytelling is solid, but the overall quality doesn’t measure up to Sandoval or Van Sciver.
As for the story itself? This is one of those issues that I would like to dub as minimalist, there isn’t real plot progression up until the final page (more on that in just a later). Venditti actually slows the story down enough to get some character moments for Hal and Abin Sur. Despite the importance that Abin Sur has had on the Green Lantern mythos since his many deaths, Venditti brings up an excellent observation that Abin and Hal only exchanged a few words before Abin’s death. Not only can classic Green Lantern fans resonate with this scene, but I’m confident enough to say that enough context is given that if you just started reading Green Lantern with this issue you’ll get some emotional response. Also nice touch to include Green Lanterns of yesteryear such as Katma Tui, Tomar Re, and even Jack T. Chance.
The only aspect of this issue that has me groaning is the final page reveal that Larfleeze is in control of this Braniac robot. One thing that excited me about Brainiac showing up is that it gave me hope that outside of the Sinestro Corps being an ongoing presence, we would finally move past the emotional spectrum as a source of Green Lantern villains. I will admit that this one page of Larfleeze does look way more menacing than what we’ve seen previously. Perhaps this is Venditti’s attempt to bring back the terrifying version of Larfleeze that readers saw back in the Agent Orange arc and I can get behind that if that’s whats going to happen, otherwise using Larfleeze instead of Brainiac just seems like a step down.
Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #10 didn’t progress the plot and the art was on a lesser quality before but the moments between Hal and Abin and seeing dead Green Lanterns made my cold heart sing. Overall an enjoyable issue.
Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #10 earns a 3/5