The epic conclusion of the Controller story arc! Warning before reading this review, be sure to read your comic. There will be spoilers going forward. You have been warned. That was a warning. Warning. There it was again. No more though, that’s all you get.
While on the surface, this issue a fun end to the Controller story arc, for long time Green Lantern fans this last issue takes on a deeper issue. It’s fitting that Venditti uses Ganthet’s perspective as the driving force, since this chapter feels like a soft reboot of The Guardians of The Universe in the classic sense. If you’re like me and you started reading right after the Sinestro Corps War (that was over ten years ago btw), then you saw the Guardians begin to descend into darkness. So thematically to see the Guardians brought to their knees by a mortal enemy, only to escape and realize their roles again. It’s been a while since we’ve had everyone’s favorite blue elves not be evil maniacs.
Even the focus of this issue centered around The Guardians, Venditti still left enough pages for the Fours Corpsmen. Granted it’s limited in comparison to previous issues, Venditti still finds unique ways to allow the Lanterns to play off each other. This time it’s through the use of Frank Herbert’s art and his amazing action sequences. Personally my favorite sequence is seeing panel by panel the Controllers being decked around. It’s only one page, but it oozes personality. Thankfully Venditti managed to squeeze one more wrestling reference and it centers around The Nature Boy. Yes only wrestling fans might understand what their arguing about, but as a wrestling fan myself I couldn’t help but giggle as they argued. It’s Hal, Hal is the Ric Flair of The Four Corpsmen, end of story.
I was initially worried that the Controllers would be killed off by the end of this arc. Going off the final page of this issue, it seems that Venditti has bigger plans for the Controllers going forward. Thankfully the emotional spectrum hasn’t really been a factor since Rebirth started, but I love bringing back classic Green Lantern villains (besides Sinestro). We already had Sonar show up in Green Lanterns last year, so I hope this a continuing trend between the Green Lantern titles. While there was promise of deeper characterization for the Controllers, they pretty much become your simple villain fodder before they pull a disappearing act. Perhaps that’s asking a bit to much, but if they remain simplistic then I’m fine with that.
Can I continue to repeat myself even further? Jack Herbert’s pencils on this arc remain god like. Each page booms with personality, the level of detail on any given panel is almost mind blowing. Herbert’s style evokes the silver age of comics without actually drawing in the same vain. It took me a while to realize this but I finally figured out why Herbert’s art has resonated with me, he reminds me of Jason Fabok. Not in terms of similar styles but rather the aesthetic they bring when they work on a comic. [Editor’s Note: Jose Luis also contributed to this issue with his own pencils and we’d be fools not to give him spotlight as well]
Overall I really enjoyed this arc, it reintroduced a classic Green Lantern villain, plus this arc was a great team study between the four original Earth Lanterns. You combine that with Jack Herbert’s amazing art then you have one helluva story from start to finish.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #36 earns a 4/5