Growing up in the state of Texas, children are taught at a very young age the definition. Whether you were a Longhorn and you were raised to see Boomer Sooner as the enemy, or you grew up in Bryan Texas and the boys in Austin needed to get a beat down the day after Thanksgiving. Robert Venditti is tapping into the visceral nature of the rivalry between Hal Jordan and Sinestro. A conflict that’s been almost nonstop since 1961. Now after a few months of buildup, the rivalry is officially renewed. Warning there will be spoilers, you have been warned.
Even though the first five issues had their big action set pieces, it’s clear now that Venditti wanted to take a slower approach to telling this particular story. I was critical, but after reading this issue it all makes sense. It doesn’t change my feelings when I read them but as usual it’s always impossible to see the bigger picture vs. the day to day. Yes Venditti did manage to move the plot along just enough to keep readers satisfied, while also delivering one hell of a sci-fi battle sequence. Before I get into what made the action sequences thrilling, I have to mention the great way Venditti reminds readers of Sinestro and Hal’s never ending battle.
Chances are if you’re reading this, then you already know about the well established history between both of these characters, but not everyone who will read this comic will know the history between Hal and Sinestro. In expert fashion, Venditti incorporates Sinestro’s own spiteful dialog and keeps their history down to one page. It doesn’t take over the rest of the comic, it fits the real estate that is needed and Venditti moves us back to the intense action sequences. In the hands of a lesser writer, the flashback sequence would have been extended and make it out to be a bigger part of the issue.
What made this issue’s action sequences stick out, is because Venditti reminds the reader about Hal’s roots as a fighter pilot. Meaning that these sequences read like classic aerial dog fight from World War II, granted Hal was created till the 1950’s but the sentiment remains, and with Hal taking on the entire Sinestro Corps by himself speaks to Hal’s personal bravado and with Venditti keeping Hal’s dialog to an absolute minimum which allows Rafa Sandoval to tell more of the story.
Speaking of Rafa Sandoval, after two issues of Van Sciver Sandoval returns and his art hasn’t missed a beat. His execution of the dog fight pages were absolutely spectacular, and while I marvel at how dynamic he made those pages look, what impressed me more was Hal’s facial expressions. Looking at Hal’s face it’s not a face looking for revenge for what Sinestro has done to this universe, that may be his prime motivator but once the fighting started, that beautiful thrill that Hal Jordan thrives kicks in and Sandoval does a great job of getting that point across. Even in the face of death, Hal Jordan will have a smile on his face.
This issue of Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps is a great example of what makes this book amazing. Great character work from Venditti, and Sandoval’s pencils work great together. Both creators are channeling what made readers fall in love with not only Hal Jordan, but the rest of the Green Lantern mythos as well. This is the Green Lantern book that everyone should be reading.
Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #5 earns a 5/5