“Bottled Light” created a great amount of momentum for Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. The partnership between the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps has thrown this series into an exciting new direction. That exciting direction was severely halted by Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #13 that did not add to what has been going on in Robert Venditti’s Green Lantern saga. Luckily we are getting right back on track as Venditti looks to bring back another Lantern Corps into the fold: Blue Lantern Corps. Will Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner’s search for Saint Walker successfully bring the Blue Lantern Corps back to prominence? Let’s find out with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #14.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Rafa Sandoval
Inker: Jordi Tarragona
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Space Cabbie is speeding through Space Sector 2809s Smuggler’s Corridor, using his transluminal accelerator to boast his cab away from whatever is chasing him. Green energy chains wrap up Space Cabbie’s cab, stopping him in its tracks. Guy Gardner appears and greets his old friend.
Space Cabbie hides all his stuff and let’s Guy to welcome him back. Guy says the rest of Green Lantern Corps is also back and that he is not after what illegal things Space Cabbie is hiding. Guy says he is looking for information about a member of the Sinestro Corps.
In Space Sector 0 the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps gather at planet Mogo. Outside the conference room Hal Jordan asks John Stewart how he expects the two Lantern Corps to work together. John says that he’s not sure but that gathering them together is step one of the partnership.
Hal is about to apologize for what happened when he was leading the Green Lantern Corps and took the blame for everything. John says Kilowog already explained things and he doesn’t doubt it was Hal’s plan because of how dumb it was.
Hal then says he knows John is the best to lead the Green Lantern Corps now. John agrees and asks Hal to participate in the meeting as Hal vouching for Soranik and the Sinestro Corps will go a long way. Hal says he is going to have to bail because he has something else to do.
John starts by talking about the unprecedented meeting between Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps partnership being one for the history books. Both John and Soranik then mention that their recent battles have caused great damage to both sides. John then mentions now they must come to an understanding about fighting together.
While John and Soranik continue talking Hal pulls Kyle Rayner aside for a mission they have to do together. Kyle wants to stay to listen to the speeches but Ganthet convinces him to go with Hal.
John continues the meeting and reveals that one Green Lantern and one Sinestro Corps member will be paired up per sector. Soranik then reveals one of the current missions is to bring in the scattered Sinestro Corps members to make this planned pairing even.
In the transluminal space Kyle asks Hal about the job only they can do. Hal only says that he brought Kyle along because as a White Lantern he can tap into the emotional spectrum.
They arrive in the middle of a volcanic planet. Kyle jokes about their location being a “tourist trap.” An explosion destroys a boulder. Hal creates a barrier around them both and reminds Kyle that it’s only the two of them on the planet so no one cares about his jokes so he should focus.
Hal then says that he wants Kyle to find some hope on the planet. Kyle isn’t sure they’ll find anything but Hal reveals that Ganthet and Sayd told him to start on this planet. Kyle uses his ring to tap into the Blue Lantern’s hope spectrum and is able to detect something on the planet.
Another explosion is set off, forcing Hal and Kyle to block the lava. Two massive flying creatures suddenly arrive to attack the pair.
Back on Mogo, Kilowog and Soranik express how tough it’ll be to find the missing Sinestro Corp members. John says that since there tech isn’t helping them in the search they’ll have to rely on human intelligence.
At that moment Guy suddenly appears with Space Cabbie. Guy introduces everyone to Space Cabbie though John is hesitant to rely on a criminal as a reliable source. Guy says that they need a scummer to find out where the scummers are. Space Cabbie says that he transports people around that want to be off the grid and that he and Guy already worked out his payment.
Guy says they first have to repair Space Cabbie’s cab and that he’ll also receive immunity for all his past charges. John agrees as long as his information is good.
In Mogo’s command center Space Cabbie reveals he recently provided transport for Arkillo, Karu-Sil and Romat-Ru. After seeing the information John agrees to the deal Guy struck with Space Cabbie.
Back on the volcanic planet Hal tells Kyle to search for the hope that they detected while he deals with the massive creatures. Kyle agrees and goes off to find the hope signal. Both struggle with their respective mission as the volcanic planet continues to erupt.
Kyle soon finds a blue light which leads him to come across Saint Walker, who is struggling to hold off other creatures with his Blue Lantern power. End of issue.
The Good: After taking a break from the main plotline Robert Venditti returns to building on the aftermath from “Bottled Light.” He does so by continuing down the route of splitting characters up to handle multiple plotlines at the same time. This type of storytelling further establishes how both names in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps share an equal amount star power.
Continuing the development from the end of the previous arc, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #14 further established John Stewart’s leadership. Unlike early on in this series run Venditti is able to humanize John’s character as he admits that he has to wing how things go with this Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps partnership. That admittance helped give us a good idea how the new alliance won’t be an easy one but that the top leadership on both sides are doing all they can to make it work. John’s speech with Soranik did a good job in establishing the groundwork for an intriguing combination of characters from both Lantern Corps.
Along with that plan Venditti added another layer of depth to this story by reminding us that not all of the Sinestro Corps is part of this alliance. Highlighting that that three of the missing Sinestro Corps members are Arkillo, Karu-Sil and Romat-Ru make this unsteady alliance even harder to maintain. Given that these three were high on the hierarchy they were before Sinestro went crazy with power their hiding can lead to severe consequences for both sides.
Learning this information from a classic DC Comics character like Space Cabbie was great to see. Space Cabbie added a unique dynamic to the entire proceedings as he forced John and the two Lantern Corps make some questionable decisions. Seeing how he was given immunity right away it’ll be interesting to see if that will come back to bite them in the ass since questionable decisions lead to the Green Lantern Corps previous downfalls.
While all that was interesting, Venditti continued down the path of redemption that Hal Jordan was on. Giving Hal the mission to restore some of the other Lantern Corps is something that provides him with a unique challenge to face after defeating Sinestro. Bringing Kyle along for the ride allowed Venditti to play with a pairing that has never been actually explored, since writers have kept Hal and Kyle separate. If Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #14 showed us anything than there is plenty untapped potential when it comes to the buddy cop pairing of Hal and Kyle that deserves even more screen time beyond this arc.
Given the planet that Hal and Kyle found Saint Walker was on a volcanic planet it’ll be very interesting to find out how he got there. Adding to that will be whatever Saint Walker’s current state of mind is. Because he obviously still has hope enough to power his ring but for him to be alone seems like he isn’t will need something to jumpstart his drive to give rebuilding the Blue Lantern Corps a shot again.
Rafa Sandoval made his return to the series and once again shows how comfortable he is with the Green Lantern universe. His work in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #14 was possibly his strongest showing. He nailed the authority that John and Soranik carried during their speeches to the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps. Sandoval also excelled in the big action moments as he got across how terrifying the massive creatures Hal and Kyle were confronted by.
The Bad: The one miss that Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #14 had was the use of Ganthet and Sayd. Their presence did not add much to the story as Hal convincing Kyle to go along with him could’ve been accomplished without them. As the only Guardians left, Ganthet and Sayd can play important roles in the rebuilding of the Green Lantern Corps status within the DC Universe. Hopefully they become more involved with the rest of the Lantern Corps rather than just being around to be characters on Hal’s shoulders to further his plotline.
Overall: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #14 got things back on track for the series as Robert Venditti developed several intriguing plotlines to follow. The Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner team-up in particular showed how Venditti is going to have a lot of fun with different kinds of pairings now that the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps alliance is moving forward. That dynamic was made even stronger by Rafa Sandoval artwork, which continues to get better with every issue of this series that he gets to draw.