HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #44 BY ROBERT VENDITTI. BRANDON PETERSON, AND IVAN PLASCENCIA
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #44 starts this chapter of "Darkstars Rising" with introspection and a surprising recruitment drive. Robert Venditti keeps building the stakes for the eventual battle of two different kinds of justice.
88 %
Lowly Recruits

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #44 begins this installment of “Darkstars Rising” with a powerful start and some desperate stakes. Writer Robert Venditti continues to build the drama and characters, while the art team also gets plenty to play with.

Served Cold

The issue begins in an Iron Heights jail cell, which is visited by a Darkstar. The occupant turns out to be Goldface, making the Darkstar Tomar-Tu. Tomar wants revenge against his father’s murderer, and he gets it pretty quickly.

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #44
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #44 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

This is a scene that creates mixed reactions. On one hand, it’s a strong start to the issue and raises the stakes Venditti has been building. It fits Tomar-Tu’s character, and the art team (Brandon Peterson and Ivan Plascenia) adds vibrant colors, followed by the starkness of the death scene. On the other hand, Tomar-Tu’s need for revenge was a defining trait of his character. His desire to kill Goldface made him a prime candidate to be a Darkstar. Having the actual murder happen quickly and quietly feels a little rushed, and takes away any future drama the event might’ve had. However, that doesn’t mean the issue wastes the scene.

Hal arrives at the prison to investigate, and is met by the Flash. This is another nice moment for the art team, as they use Flash’s lighting and Hal’s green energy to great effect here. Venditti also utilizes these two old friends well, giving them ample space to talk as long-standing superheroes. Hal describes a clear sense of failure with Tomar, and wonders if the Darkstars are right after all. Flash reminds him how every cop feels a desire to break the rules at some point, but Hal never has. However, Hal reveals he does have a less then noble plan in mind.

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Friends In Low Places

The issue cuts to the other human Lanterns recruiting for the fight. This isn’t a noble act though; these heroes are looking in low places for allies. Guy Gardner finds Arkillo in an alien bar, Kyle Rayner shows up near New Genesis, and John Stewart shows up at Zod’s doorstep. Out of all these three, Zod has the most unique part to play. He rejects Stewart’s offer to join up and attacks the Corps leader. However, Stewart speaks to his ring and is able to break Zod’s hand in a scene that the art teams renders with surprise, intensity, and a little fun (just look at Zod’s face).

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #44
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #44 page 16. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Zod realizes that Stewart has gained a piece of Kryptonite, and becomes more willing to listen. We then rejoin Hal on his way to pick up his own recruit — Hector Hammond.

The whole idea of Lanterns recruiting criminals does make some sense. These are the people the Darkstars are targeting; it’s either work with the Lanterns or die. However, it seems strange that this is the first option for the Lanterns. They state the Darkstars outnumber them, but they have other resources to draw on. Tomar-Tu killed an Earth criminal in custody. It’s not hard to believe that other Earth heroes would have a problem with that. Instead, the Lanterns are just recruiting criminals right away, which robs the story of a fair amount of potential elements. It’s not the most illogical turn, it just feels that there are options that were sidestepped to get here.

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Final Thoughts On HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #44

Overall, HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #44 is a solid issue. The Darkstars continue to grow as a threat, and Venditti finds a new ally for Hal to bounce his thoughts off of. The art is continually strong, making good use of the elements on display. While the story does feel a little rushed in spots, it doesn’t fall into the realm of impossibility either. This is a good start to another Darkstar story that should continue to grasp the heart of GL fans.

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