The Darkstars Rising story arc has shaken things up for the Green Lantern Corps in a major way. We’ve already seen the Green Lantern Corps reach out to the Sinestro Corps, New Gods and House of Zod for help against the Darkstars. The biggest shake up came last issue as we saw Guy Gardner become a member of the Darkstars. That is a major shift in the new war between the Green Lantern Corps and Darkstars. This development has certainly provides a lot of uncertainty for the future of the Green Lantern Corps at the very least. Now let’s see what happens next with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #46.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Clayton Henry
Colorist: Pete Pantazis
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In Baltimore, Roland Gardner is standing outside a bar he used to go to. As he stands there in the rain Roland is still haunted by his memories of beating his son, Guy Gardner, as a child. Roland’s friends see him and invite him into the bar but he declines the offer and they go into the bar without him.
Suddenly a large explosion blows Roland to the ground. Guy appears in his Darkstars armor and declares that Roland will be getting the death penalty for knocking him around as a child.
Over in Space Sector 263, Hal Jordan has taken Hector Hammond to a dead world as Hammond requested to see another world. Though Hammond wished to see a world with living creatures and people he still thanks Hal for helping to fulfill his dream.
Hammond then says he will fulfill Hal’s dream. Hammond then shows Hal a vision of all of the Green Lantern Corps villains laying on the ground dead. Hal says that is not what he wants.
Hammond reminds Hal of a previous conversation he had with Superman. In that conversation, which Hammond was placed in an induced coma, Hal asks Superman what it would be like if they killed some of their villains.
Hammond then reflects on how Hal is clouded by his guilt about what he’s done and failed to do. Hal reflects on when he wore an Element X armor (during the Dark Nights: Metal event) that it must of reacted to the thoughts he was hiding. Hammond says he can fix that because he is Hal’s friend. Hal is suddenly changed into his civilian clothes and wonders who Hal Jordan is.
On Jekuul, Zod says he and the House of Zod will destroy the Darkstars and snap Tomar-Tu neck to kill the Tomar line for good. John Stewart says that is not how things will work. Zod wonders why John asked for his help then. John reveals that he wants Zod’s knowledge on sunstones to help them find a solution to properly battle the Darkstars teleportation capabilities.
Zod calls in the Eradicator to show John schematics on a Kryptonian Tele-Disruptor. John takes the schematics and uses his ring to create the Tele-Disruptor in front of Zod.
On New Genesis, Kyle Rayner and Space Cabbie are being held inside one of the New Gods’ prison cell. After some waiting Highfather and Orion show up to meet with Kyle. Highfather tells Kyle that Orion will not participate in the battle with the Darkstars. Highfather goes on to say as a courtesy he will only have Space Cabbie’s Mother Box taken since the Green Lanterns helped him in the past since he has his own people to worry about.
Kyle reminds Highfather that he saved Orion’s life. Highfather says he will only release Kyle and then walks away with Orion.
Back in Baltimore, Roland asks Guy about why he isn’t wearing a Green Lantern uniform. Guy reveals he is a Darkstar now and the armor made him realize all the misery that Roland caused him. Roland says he has stopped drinking and has been part of a program to help him recover. Roland goes on to say he stands in front of the once a week to test himself and walk away from it.
Guy says he knows who Roland really is and he won’t change from being the father that beat him as a kid. Guy then says his thoughts on Roland aren’t bad anymore, instead they are only of justice.
Roland pleads with Guy, admitting that he wishes to be a better man and that he regrets everything he did to Guy. Roland then tells Guy that he will accept being given the death penalty if that is what Guy thinks he deserves.
Just as Guy is about to kill Roland, Guy is struck by yellow tentacle constructs. Arkillo shows up and tells Guy that he will have to kill him to get to Roland. End of issue.
The Good: With how big the ramifications of the “Darkstars Rising” story arc has had on the Green Lantern Corps we have seen much more of a focus on the characters involved. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #46 was no different as Robert Venditti chose to focus heavily on how everyone involved is handling the Darkstars conflict. That focus made the ramifications of this story arc come off as being more personal.
Having Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #46 center around Guy Gardner’s transformation as the latest member of the Darkstars was a strong one. By doing so Venditti was able to explore more of Guy’s background, specifically how he was beaten as a child by his deadbeat dad. This spotlight was a reminder of how Guy, who has done a lot of good as a Green Lantern, has not been able to let go of his past. It something that makes Guy a sympathetic character as the trauma that was caused to him by his dad reminds readers what has been a motivator for his superhero career.
At the same time, Venditti does a good job at using this as a way to show how being a Darkstar isn’t a positive thing. Because while Guy’s dad deserves to be punished for his past actions it is tough to agree with Guy proclaiming his dad deserving a death penalty as we see how Roland is trying to fix his life in a more positive way. This change in Guy’s approach makes the Darkstars come off as an even more dangerous force than before.
Making Guy’s part in “Darkstars Rising” even more interesting is that it has given Venditti the chance to portray Arkillo of all characters as a hero. This is something that is extremely surprising since Arkillo has been someone that terrorized the universe for a while as Sinestro’s former muscle. Having Arkillo fill this role is even more interesting as it pays off all the character work Venditti has to create a sense of brotherhood between Arkillo and Guy during his run. Having that connection creates a deeper meaning for their latest fight beyond a just another brawl between the two.
With all that is going with Guy’s Darkstar transformation, it was interesting to see how Venditti gave each of the other four core Green Lanterns something completely unique to do. With Hal Jordan we see how his odd alliance with Hector Hammond just got weirdly deep. Hammond is showing to be an even more wildcard for this story than even Zod. Tapping into the recent events of Dark Nights: Metal was a surprising move as we see how Hal is still recovering from that event. Using that major event made Hammond pointing out that Hal’s secretly thinking that the Darkstars approach isn’t completely wrong something that may be a key point to this story. Where exactly Venditti goes with the closing part of Hal and Hammond’s story is a nice mystery to have with all that is going on.
On the other side of things, it is great to see Venditti use “Darkstars Rising” as another chance to solidify John Stewart as a strong leader. John’s entire interaction with Zod showed how badass he is as John never backed down against one of Superman’s greatest foes. There was never a moment that felt as though Zod was getting the upper hand in the alliance they have built. John’s attitude and actions in revealing his knowledge of Kryptonians showed why he is on equal footing with the other Justice League members.
Clayton Henry provided some solid artwork throughout Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #46. Henry got across how much rage was behind the eyes of Guy as he confronted his father for his past actions. That intensity made the way this issue closed with Arkillo’s appearance come off as more personal than their past fights. He added the same amount of appropriate facial reactions to Hal, John and Kyle’s faces with what they were doing in their respective sub-plots.
The Bad: The New Gods involvement in “Darkstars Rising” continues to feel out of place. While Venditti has done a good job integrating the New Gods into the Green Lantern part of the DCU it does not take away from how they aren’t adding much to this story. It would have made more sense to have Kyle try to recruit Soranik and the Yellow Lantern Corps or another Lantern Corps that have been forgotten. It would’ve added to the narrative Venditti has created with his run since we have seen the Lantern Corps start to get revitalized. The New Gods just do not feel like a group that should get involved in this type of story.
Overall: Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #46 was a very good chapter that added more of a personal touch to the “Darkstars Rising” arc. Centering the story around Guy Gardner’s origins how that motivates his first action as a member of the Darkstars made this a standout issue in the middle of this arc. Adding in what Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Kyle Rayner are doing makes things even more tense for whatever endgame Robert Venditti is building for “Darkstars Rising.” If your a Green Lantern fan this is story that you should be checking out if you aren’t already.