HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #40 BY ROBERT VENDITTI, RAFA SANDOVAL, JORDI TARRABONA, AND TOMEU MOREU
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #40 brings the fight to Zod, as the Lanterns arrive to save Hal. Unfortunately, this issue isn't much more than a fight, which only serves as a warm-up for the next issue.
74 %
Epic Filler

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #40 brings the “Zod’s Will” storyline to an epic climax. Unfortunately, the issue isn’t much more than that and a promise for more next time.

Green Vs. Red

The issue begins with a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it spot where the Guardians and John Stewart talk. I said before that John and the Guardians’ new relationship could open new areas for a future story. Here it’s brushed aside as we get to the main focus — the Lanterns’ war against the Zod Family.

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #40
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #40 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment

Admittedly, this scene unfolds spectacularly. The artistic team (Rafa Sandoval, Tomeu Morey. and Jordi Tarragona) create epic spreads of varieties of alien Lanterns using their powers in creative ways. From restraints constructed for Ursa to Kyle’s supercharged rings knocking Zod for a loop, this is a battle of epic proportions. However, the issue suffers by not moving beyond that. Writer Robert Venditti reverts back to the brutality of the first issue, abandoning the philosophical points he raised in earlier ones. It’s especially sad to see Zod, who had shown new depth as a character, revert to just fighting. It removes the gravitas this storyline had before and returns it to plain old violence.

Religious War Begins in GREEN LANTERNS #42

A Few Surprises

Despite the heavy fighting, a few interesting elements do make it through. Zod’s son fighting Guy Gardner is somewhat amusing. Gardner refuses to fight a child, even a superpowered one. The boy has no such qualms, so we end up with this.

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #40
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #40 page 14. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment

Zod’s worshipers add another interesting element for the Lanterns to battle. The natives are essentially misled civilians, so there’s really only so much the Lanterns can do to them. It also gives them more to do than just fighting the same three foes over and over. There’s also the question of the super-powered Kyle. Wearing Hal’s ring infused Kyle with part of Hal’s personality, and a ton of extra willpower. It makes Kyle nearly a match for Zod and connects him mentally with Hal. These are all unique elements that this issue gets into. However, the confrontation is ultimately overshadowing said elements.

When Punching Gets Dull

The fighting takes up almost every page. Other elements shrink to allow it. Kyle’s plan to reunite the ring with Hal is so quickly explained that it’s not clear what he wanted, beyond getting close to Hal. Hal’s brief cameos in the issue don’t add much either; it feels like inserts to remind us he’s there. Even the Kryptonians add very little here. The Lanterns beat them initially. However, they decide to start fighting harder halfway through and then overtake everyone. This might play into Zod’s new nature, but because it isn’t explored, it’s not clear why they decided to hold back at first. It makes less sense knowing how much Ursa hates the Lanterns.

Zod’s bigger plan is pushed back as well. The Eradicator keeps analyzing Kyle’s ring, but we’re no closer to figuring out what he wants with it. At this point, one questions if there’s even a plan for. Hal’s return fares just as well. Kyle does get the ring back to him, but other then explosions of green (again done masterfully by the creative team) it leads to nothing as the issue ends. There’s just a promise of a much bigger fight in the next issue.

Final Thoughts On HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #40

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #40 doesn’t ruin the “Zod’s Will” story. However, it does damage to all the good the previous two issues have done. Venditti appears to struggle when he puts emphasis on fighting; all the plot elements go out the window.

He made this mistake in the first part of the story, so it’s not good to see him do it again. The artistic team does deliver some epic visuals, but it isn’t enough to fix this issue’s problems. Still, Venditti has left himself a good opening for next issue, where he can hopefully put this story back on track.

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