Isn’t the objective of life, is to move beyond our past to find something new about ourselves as people. However that doesn’t apply to the world of comics (shocker I know) where the term “ending” is only used in pure sarcasm because the tale of superheroes is never ending battle and recycling events to fit the current generation of comics. I’m not against going back to older concepts because sometimes you need a back to basics approach. Now what in the world does this have to do with Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps? Well if you saw one of the covers to it then you already know. Read further on, but warning there will be spoilers.
You know one thing I didn’t expect is to complain about something twice in the same arc. I walked into my comic shop and the first thing I see is Kyle Rayner back in his classic Green Lantern outfit and at first I put it off as an homage cover. It goes without saying that showing Kyle in his classic costume on the cover killed any joy that I might have had if I didn’t have any inclination that Kyle would be changing costumes again. Some might argue that it’s not the costume reveal that’s important but rather the White Lantern Ring breaking into the seven rings, but I consider it one package. Once again I understand that this isn’t the fault of any of the creative team, it’s still a problem that needs to stop. Come on DC editorial.
As for the actual itself when it comes to Kyle, I’m overjoyed that they’re reverting Kyle back to just a regular Lantern. It’s the nature of the beast to put a character into something that changes their status quo until that becomes the status quo so reverting back feels fresh and original, it’s like when Coca Cola brought out New Coke only to then bring back old coke and label it Classic Coke. In short it puts Kyle on the same level as John, Guy, and Hal and even though he always was on the same level character wise, his own status said otherwise.
The true shining part of this issue was the interactions between Hal and Kyle, along with Guy and John. I’m not gonna lie I personally feel teased that all four Earth Lanterns were only together for one panel, and it’s a shame because I could feel the friendship brewing only for it to be stripped down to two equally great segments. Even though i didn’t get the expanded reunion I wanted, the two separate dialog pieces between are so beautiful done. They feel natural, the conversation carries the weight of their friendship that old readers can latch onto but also gives new readers something to latch on as well.
Ethan Van Sciver is known for his double splash pages, but the facial expressions from all the main cast of characters is what readers should be focusing on. It gives these already emotional moments even more impact when the human mind sees something that seems familiar. It might be easy to write how a character is feeling but the ability to do what with sequential storytelling is a gift that is extremely vital in today’s ever evolving comic market.
Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #17 earns a 4/5