After the rather anti-climatic showdown between Parallax and Hal last issue, it made me wonder just how Venditti would actually wrap up this iteration of the Emerald Gladiator. The current state of DC feels similar to Flashpoint, a lot of waiting around before the change can happen. Granted the big story that Venditti wrapped up last year, but the introduction of Parallax gave the perception that a larger story line was on the horizon. Perhaps that leads into Rebirth? Who knows, but let’s see how this arc of Green Lantern wraps up.
I’ll be the first to admit that my distaste for this issue, was the recent announcement for Rebirth. To clarify, this issue is a tale of two stories that connect at the end in the sloppiest way possible. With the ending of the latest issue, the “construct Hal” gave readers the impression of a huge change to Hal as a person. This is where the Rebirth problem comes into effect, in that just a few pages Hal (with the help of his brother) “wills” himself back to his normal state of being. I’ll tip my hat towards Venditti showcasing the sheer willpower of Jordan, but it begs the question. What was the point of making him look like a construct at all?
It doesn’t help that the first half of this issue was a complete recap of events from the previous four issues, and from this reviewer’s perspective feels pointless with the series coming to a close with the next issue. Instead of giving us more character moments between Hal and his family or even more time from Trapper, Darlene, and Virgo, or even time on just who are these Grey Agent’s are it’s all dedicated to recap of previous issues and even small panel’s that retell Hal’s origin. That being said new artist on the book Rafa Sandoval does an amazing double page spread showcasing the history of Hal Jordan.
Entering the second half of this issue, it feels like a completely different comic. After spending a good amount time on Earth, returning back to space felt appropriate. Venditti turns up the action with the crew on the run from these mysterious new enemies who we have no idea who they are. Since this is the first time in quite a while that we’ve focused on these particular cast of characters, it was nice that before Rebirth Virgo has his own badass moment, therefore allowing readers a bit more insight into the character without to much dialog from Virgo.
New artist Rafa Sandoval joins the team and ho boy was he a shot in the arm that was needed after the Billy Tan’s last issue. It’s not the most amazing art in all of comics, it’s very workman like, meaning his line work is there along with being able to tell a sequential story. Sandoval’s action scenes are simply exciting to look at, as it felt cinematic without using the tools that some readers associate it with. The only problem I had with Sandoval’s art was a double page splash at the end of Hal attacking the Grey Agent’s with the ship’s hull shown as broken apart but from two different angles? With how that spread is laid out, it was difficult for me to decipher what was going on the page.
To be honest this issue of Green Lantern just feels like filler before Rebirth, with some nice action sequences but nothing of substance. It’ll be interesting to see how all this wraps up next issue, but my hopes are not high at all.
Green Lantern #51 earns a 2/5