My final review of 2016 is finally here! Before I actually begin to review, I have to congratulate Robert Venditti, Rafa Sandoval, and Ethan Van Sciver for the new energy they have lent to this current series. I’ve been a fan of what Robert has done when he took over the title three years ago, but returning Hal back to his classic look and attitude just feels right. At the same time, I’m starting to warm up to the idea of the Sinestro Corps working in tandem the Green Lantern Corps brings in that new spice for the rest of our beloved corps. For now let’s see how the final H&TGLC ends 2016, warning there will be spoilers going forward.
Midway through this issue, I was prepared to write something really scathing, I was prepared to write that Robert Venditti doesn’t understand the voices for John Stewart and Natu. Given that in previous issues, the animosity for both is them is at the forefront for readers to see the “plan” that Stewart comes up with doesn’t feel like a misdirection but rather tense emotions coming to the forefront. I enjoyed this because it gave Venditti the opportunity to toy with the trope of comic characters fighting each other for absolutely no real good reason.
With that being said, the actual fight was the worst aspect of the issue, even though the twist is still cool when you boil it down it’s still an excuse to have characters fighting each other with only the small amount of excuse to fight. It’s a well drawn dynamic scene, and the facial expressions sell the idea that both John and Natu have had enough of each others bullshit. This action sequence doesn’t make me hate the issue but when I see the issue as one entire package this was the least enjoyable.
With the last issue revealing that Larfleeze would play a major role in this current arc I rolled my eyes. My feelings on the emotional spectrum are well known, but after seeing Braniac showing up I had high hopes that we would step out of the norm and have the Green Lanterns fight something that isn’t another ring slinger, but to my surprise this isn’t the Larfleeze that you remember. When Larfleeze first showed up in 2009, he came off as this menacing and creepy hoarder then Geoff Johns proceeded to turn into a looney toon. Larfleeze still has that inherent goofiness, but he doesn’t feel like the joke of a character he became once Blackest Night started. Most of the credit falls to Sandoval, as he puts Larfleeze in menacing looks and has him lording over his possessions. I wouldn’t take Larfleeze completely serious yet but this issue was a step in the right direction for his characterization.
What else more can I say about Rafa Sandoval? Well sadly I will say that certain facial expressions looked a bit stiffer than previous issues, but it’s rendition of Larfleeze is what shines as he brings back that intimidation factor that Larfleeze has been lacking for several years. Larlfeeze isn’t physically imposing it how Sandoval frames his face and where he puts his body. Not a bad way to end 2016 with Rafa Sandoval art.
Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #11 earns a 4/5