HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #45 BY ROBERT VENDITTI, ETHAN VAN SCIVER, AND JASON WRIGHT
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #45 continues "Darkstars Rising" with the Lanterns finding new, criminal allies. The setup is good, but it's hampered by odd story choices and some false advertising.
80 %
Alliance-Building

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #45 continues “Darkstars Rising” as Hal and the other Earth Lanterns search for allies. Robert Venditti builds some unique interactions, but a few problems keep the book from hitting its stride.

Warning, potential spoilers are below!

Shadowy Recruitment

The issue begins with an alien prisoner being taken to Oa by a Lantern. The Darkstars intervene, since this particular prisoner is a murderer. The Lantern resists. The results are… unsurprising, but still gruesome.

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #45
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #45 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The art team of Ethan Van Scriver and Jason Wright create a horror-movie in space with this scene. I watch plenty of films where the heroes are mutilated, torn apart, or even eaten. This lone scene gives me pause though. The subtle darkening after the battle gives a sense of death, and the body is… well look at it. It grants the Darkstars even more menace and makes the Lanterns’ need for criminal partners even more apparent.

Speaking of which, the story moves through Lanterns trying to recruit old enemies. The book advertises Kyle Rayner, but he’s never shown in the pages. It’s unclear why this happened, but it diminishes the book by falsely advertising. The stories that remain move through a variety of familiar foes. Hal attempts to grab Hector Hammond from prison, Guy talks with Arkillo, and John Stewart negotiates with Zod. Venditti does a good job selecting people for the Lanterns to recruit. Guy arguably has the easiest task, since he has something of a friendship with Arkillo. Hal and John take different routes, and the results are as unique as the people they’re talking too.

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Weird Tactics

Of all three recruitments, John Stewart gets the most interesting one. Zod remembers the Lanterns’ previous assault on his world. John manages to keep him at bay with Kryptonite. Stewart’s thought this encounter through. He uses multiple pieces of bait to attract Zod. John tosses the threat of the Darkstars, and military honor, at Zod. The Kryptonian spits it all back, still bitter over the Lanterns’ failure to save Krypton. However, that’s precisely what Stewart uses next, since the son of Krypton’s original Lantern is now leading the Darkstars. It’s a great strategy that shows why Stewart leads the Corps.

Guy and Arkillo are a different story. Arkillo is more willing to join, especially after the Darkstars attack. The art team has another great moment here, as the two Lanterns suit up in an epic pose.

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #45
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #45 page 12. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Darkstars reason that Guy is similar to them. He seems to agree. A Darkstar suit overtakes him… and that’s it. The rushed scene makes it seem unlikely that Guy was serious about joining, and it doesn’t show any evidence that Guy has another plan. If the scheme was to show how tempting Darkstar justice can be, Venditti makes it feel hollow.

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Hal’s story isn’t as bad, but his scenes with Hammond don’t have as much drama to them. Hammond tries to act more like a hero but Hal still has to hold his violent impulses in check. The story treats Hammond as a violent child, which doesn’t seem quite right for him. I’ll admit Hammond was never a favorite GL villain for me, but the whole scene, coupled with him basically being an invalid, makes me wonder why Hal is even bringing him along.

Final Thoughts on HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #45

This issue contains some strong moments. However, it gets bogged down a bit. Venditti adds strong work with Stewart and Zod. However, he struggles with Hammond and Hal, while Guy and Arkillo are up in the air right now. Including Kyle’s adventure on New Genesis might’ve added more but, with what we have, the story stumbles a fair amount. It’s not unsalvageable though, so let’s see what next month brings!

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