After recent events the Guardians have returned to overseeing the operations of the Green Lantern Corps. With how long the Green Lanterns have been operating without the Guardians watching over their shoulders this is a big development. It’ll be especially interesting to see how John Stewart, the current leader and commander of the Green Lantern Corps, takes the Guardians possibly usurping his position. Though they may not have too much time to adjust as General Zod and his Kryptonians are going to be making their presence known to the Green Lantern Corps. See how things begin with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #37.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Rafa Sandoval
Inker: Jordi Tarragona
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In Space Sector 2811 on the planet of Jekuul a bloody and broken Hal Jordan crawls while trying to call Green Lantern Corps headquarters for help but gets nothing. Instead General Zod, Ursa, Eradicator and Lor-Zod (not sure if it’s in continuity that he was ever named Christopher Kent like in the pre-New 52 DCU history) stand over Hal and Kyle, who has been knocked out, while welcoming them to the House of Zod.
Over in Mogo John Stewart tells the Guardians he quits as he is not going to just stand by while the Guardians take over leadership of the Green Lantern Corps because they feel it’s their right. Ganthet and the Guardians admit that they want to help repair their people’s legacy and help shephard the Green Lantern Corp and the Universe.
He continues on to say that unlike before they need John to stay on as the leader of the Corps so the mistakes of the past don’t happen again. John agrees to stay but that he will be ready to stop the Guardians if they cross the line again.
Ganthet then reveals that Salaak found information on something happening in Space Sector 2811 and they need a team dispatched immediately.
A little later John tells all the Green Lantern Corps members that the Guardians have returned to their post. While traveling to Space Sector 2811 Hal and Kyle both share their doubt about the Guardians. John says that they are getting a second chance but if they cross the line the Corps is in a better position to stop them.
Hal and Kyle finally arrive on Jekuul where they find a structure that looks out of place from where the planet should be in terms of era. General Zod suddenly appears and welcomes Hal and Kyle to his home.
Hal is quick to try to capture General Zod but the Kryptonian easily destroys Hal’s construct. Ursa, Eradicator and Lor-Zod join and with Zod they surround Hal and Kyle.
Hal goes after General Zod and Eradicator while Kyle fights Ursa and Lor-Zod. The two Green Lanterns end up being no match for the Kryptonians who easily demolish the pair. Kyle ends up getting almost beat to death while Hal is barely able to attempt to crawl to safety.
General Zod tells Hal that the Green Lantern Corps are unwise for coming to his planet. Hal tells General Zod that the rest of the Green Lantern Corps are coming. General Zod grabs Hal and says “Then the campaign begins.” End of issue.
The Good: There is no better way to start off a new story arc than how Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #37 kicked things off. In one issue Robert Venditti was able to establish what the Green Lantern Corps and Guardians relationship will be like moving forward. In the process it created several sub-plots to follow for different characters. At the same time Venditti created instant heat for the next big conflict for the Green Lantern Corps as Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner came face-to-face with General Zod and his crew.
Addressing the leadership of the Green Lantern Corps right out of the gate was a smart move by Venditti. This was obviously the biggest thing that needed to be addressed following the events with the Controllers reappearance. Showing that the Green Lantern Corps, specifically John Stewart, as not just falling in line because the Guardians have decided to take on their old role was great. It used all the development dating back to Geoff Johns run on the franchise to show that the Green Lantern Corps have moved beyond being told what to do by the Guardians. Things will never be as simple as they were in the past, especially as the Green Lantern Corps have been functioning on their own for a while during a very dark period and surviving while growing in numbers and power.
Having John as the only character to meet with the Guardians to voice this opinion of how thing will work was a great character move. John is the guy that has not only taken on but excelled as the Green Lantern Corps leader for the last few years. He has lead the Corps in a period where they had to deal with their darkest period and without a clear direction. Since then John, while making some mistakes, has righted the ship and brought the Green Lantern Corps back to being the policing force the universe needs.
So with that John immediately making it clear that the Green Lantern Corps won’t just let the Guardians walk all over them as they did before was excellent. It showed that the Guardians and Green Lantern Corps will be on more equal levels than before. At the same time it is clear that John and the other Green Lanterns will never fully trust the Guardians again. Establishing that the Green Lanterns will be keeping an eye on the Guardians, and vice versa, makes creates the possibility for a lot of great sub-plots to pop up moving forward.
As that happens Venditti does a good job moving to the next big conflict for the Green Lanterns with Hal and Kyle crossing paths with General Zod. Seeing General Zod was a refreshing change of pace for the Green Lanterns. This is a villain we have never actually seen any of the Green Lanterns actually take on directly. As soon as we see General Zod there is an immediate moment were you know Hal and Kyle are not going to be able to walk out with their own power. The sense of worry for Hal and Kyle was real as you wonder how exactly the Green Lanterns can defeat a character with the power level of Superman who also does not care about self-control.
What was more interesting is the fact that General Zod was not alone. Seeing Ursa and Eradicator added to how dangerous a situation Hal and Kyle are in. But what was more interesting was seeing Lor-Zod, formerly known as Christopher Kent, amongst General Zod’s ranks. Lor-Zod does not look like he is the Christopher Kent we knew. The way he was drawn, both in costume and facial reactions, made him come off as the anti-Superboy/Jonathan Kent. Setting the character up in this way creates some additional excitement past this story arc of seeing Superman and Superboy go up against General Zod and Lor-Zod.
Rafa Sandoval was at the top of his game with his artwork in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #37. Sandoval did a great job enhancing the tension between the Green Lanterns and the Guardians. John looked like a general who will not stand to side just because the old authority decided to return to their post. Similarly, Sandoval was able to convey the overwhelming power that General Zod and his House of Zod have with how easily they dominated Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner. The domination made you wonder how any number of Green Lanterns can hope to overcome the threat that is the House of Zod.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #37 is an excellent start to the “Zod Will” story arc. Robert Venditti did not waste time in creating domineering threat that won’t be simply overcome by punching harder in the form of General Zod and his House of Zod. Alongside that Venditti was able to build on the new status quo of the Guardians returning to their old post and showing how the Green Lantern Corps won’t just bow their heads like they did in the past. If you’re a Green Lantern Corps fan this is yet another story that you will not want to miss out on from Venditti’s incredible run.