Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps has entered an interesting point with its “Darkstars Rising.” Instead of building up the Darkstars numbers we are seeing the Green Lantern Corps trying to build alliances to fight the new threat. Some of these questionable alliance has shown readers how big of a threat the Darkstars are to the DC Universe. Though not all the recruiting has gone smoothly as the Darkstars have added Guy Gardner to their ranks and Hector Hammond has caused Hal Jordan to forget who he is. These two developments could turn this war with the Darkstars against the Green Lantern Corps if they stick. Let’s find out if that will be the case with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #47.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Fernando Pasarin
Inker: Oclair Albert and Eber Ferreira
Colorist: Jason Wright
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: On a dead planet in Space Sector 263 Hal Jordan does not know who he is. Hector Hammond tells Hal he is his friend who will protect the universe. Hal suddenly hears someone telling him not to listen to Hammond. Hammond tells Hal to ignore the voice.
In Baltimore Arkillo tries to reason with Guy Gardner to not kill his father. Guy punches Arkillo across the street and says nothing will stop him from doing that. Guy says his dad is guilty of murdering his youth and must pay with his life.
Arkillo takes off his ring and asks for this to be a “Title Bout.” Guy tells Arkillo to stand down because his father deserves this. Arkillo reminds Guy who he is as one of the greatest Green Lanterns, and while no one deserves a father like Roland, Guy is above this. Guy gives Arkillo one last chance to step away but Arkillo doesn’t.
Guy starts knocking Arkillo around the city streets while talking about how criminals will no longer be allowed to plea for a bargain. Heavily beaten, Arkillo reminds Guy that he was a criminal once and that Guy gave him a second chance because he believe in Arkillo and they became friends.
Guy suddenly starts tearing up and the Darkstar armor suddenly is taken off his body in a green explosion. Roland tries to apologize to his son but Guy says he wants to stay angry to fight the Darkstars. Guy then says he wanted to see how the Darkstars work and that it is bad as the power took the thoughts of punishing his dad to the max. Before they leave Guy tells his dad that he’ll be back to grab some coffee with his dad so they can catch up.
As Guy and Arkillo leave Roland says he is proud of his son.
At a prison cell on New Genesis Orion shows up and dismisses the guards protecting Kyle Rayner and Space Cabi’s cell. Orion powers the prison cell down and tells Kyle they have to hurry before Highfather is alerted. Space Cabbie says he won’t go without his ride.
Orion helps Kyle and Space Cabbie get to where the latter’s cab ship is located. They quickly get inside as Highfather has sent guards to arrest the trio. Unable to open the door to escape Orion uses a Boom Tube to open a portal for them to escape through.
Back on the dead planet Hal is still confused at what is going on while Hammond tries to convince him that he will kill all the villains of the universe. Hal suddenly hears a voice calling out to him from a nearby cave telling him to remember. Hal runs to the cave but Hammond knocks him out with a psychic attack.
The voice tells Hal to not give up and Hal starts to get back up even though Hammond tells him to quit trying. Suddenly a strong green light consumes Hal from the cave.
The voice reminds Hal that his strong will helped him chase down a speedster from the New Gods, craft his own Green Lantern ring and defeat Sinestro. The cave suddenly has a large Green Lantern symbol on the wall and reminds him he is Hal Jordan.
A construct version of Hal as a Green Lantern appears and says the planet they brought Hammond to is where Hal created his new ring. The voice reveals Hal brought Hammond there just in case Hammond tried to overcome his mind. Hal reaches out to the light and it blows Hammond back.
Hal shows back up in his full Green Lantern costume brimming with power. Hammond commends Hal for overcoming his mental powers. Hammond continues by saying that while Hal felt his feelings of what to do about criminals waver his willpower proved that he would never actually kill anyone.
As Hal and Hammond fly away to join the others Hammond calls Hal a real hero.
On Mogo Kilowog and others attend to the injured Green Lanterns in the medical center. Kilowog tells the Guardians that with the injured out of commission the Darkstars now heavily outnumber the Green Lantern Corps, leading to others in the universe to believe in the Darkstars method.
The Guardians question why the four Earth Green Lantern left at a time like this. Kilowog says he believes in John Stewart and the others plan and that they will come through.
In the command center Sallak suddenly detects something above Mogo and alerts Kilowog to this.
Above Mogo the Darkstars have created a ring with all their members to surround the planet. End of issue.
The Good: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #47 does a good job finishing up this recruitment period. Continuing where the previous issue left off, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #47 did a lot of set-up to position 3 of the 4 Green Lanterns to properly fight the war with the Darkstars. That set-up turned into a strong character study for both Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner.
Even though Kyle Rayner’s role in recruiting Orion to their side is big this issue was all about Hal and Guy. Robert Venditti spent the most time developing Hal and Guy’s personal character arcs. Guy’s arc in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #47 in particular expanded on how dangerous the Darkstars are. As we learn from Guy, the Darkstar armor actually amplifies the sense of justice for the wearer to the point that they see a death sentence as the only option. That is something that will make the Darkstars even more dangerous as not all the members have experience with these type of powers like Guy has.
Guy being able to break free from the Darkstars armor influence thanks to Arkillo’s help was a great payoff to all the work Venditti has done to build their friendship. Seeing how Arkillo is actually thankful for Guy giving him a second chance to turn his life around showed how far he has come. Arkillo’s turn thanks to Guy helping him made him being the one to stand between Guy and Roland an even more powerful statement. It was exactly the reminder that Guy needed that he can’t let the past guide all his view of the present and future.
That change made Guy’s arc even better as he was able to actually confront a demon from his past that he has been holding onto as motivation. Venditti having Guy tell this to his dad after recovering as he wanted to stay angry to fight the Darkstars was a nice move. It showed that there is a lot of things that Guy and Roland have to talk and work through together if they want to repair their relationship. Guy saying he’ll return to get coffee with Roland at some point is a good first step that can lead to even greater character growth for Guy.
Guy’s growth also worked as a good compliment for the arc Venditti set Hal Jordan on the other side of the universe. Since carrying the mantle of “Greatest Green Lantern” it is rare to see Hal be in such a vulnerable state that does not involve his father. Seeing Hal face the questions of whether the Green Lanterns should use lethal force has hung over his head for a long time. Now that he has a physical representation in that big question in the form of the Darkstars, Hal was sent on a uncertainty. That uncertainty added to how has more layers to his character than just being the Superman of the Green Lantern Corps.
Hector Hammond was oddly an appropriate choice to have Hal confront these insecurities he was faced with. Venditti’s writing of this long time Green Lantern villain to fill this role was a refreshing turn. Throughout this portion of this issue Venditti highlighted how Hector Hammond likes to manipulate every situation in his favor. Changing things a bit to have Hammond go on what he envisioned as a heroic path made Hal overcoming his mental attack with his willpower a greater moment when it happened. That moment was made even better with how Venditti had a physical representation of Hal’s hero side through his best recent moments to showcase this.
Though it was a smaller part of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #47, Venditti having Orion actually repaying Kyle for saving was a solid payoff to the recent New Gods arc. This segment also gave this issue a nice comedic moment involving Space Cabbie saying he won’t leave unless he gets his taxi ship back. With how serious things were in this issue it was something that broke up all the emotional character arcs.
With all the recruiting done it was good that Venditti didn’t end the issue with just that. Seeing how the Green Lantern Corps are still against the wall with many of their members out of commission was a reminder why all this recruiting happened. It also further established how quickly the Darkstars have established themselves as a threat to the order of the universe. This made the ending with the Darkstars completely surrounding Mogo a much more effective. Having that visual as the ending ending created a sense of urgency for the Green Lanterns and their allies to return.
Venditti also brought up an intriguing sub-plot involving the Guardians doubt in the four Earth Green Lanterns current plan to recruit allies. With the Guardians still trying to reestablish their place within the Green Lantern Corps this was an interesting thing for the group to state outloud. It makes you wonder if they have their own endgame in mind with the Darkstars presence or if they are just starting to make the same mistakes their predecessors made.
Fernando Pasarin delivered a lot of great artwork throughout Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #47. Pasarin’s artwork help elevate the emotional journeys that Venditti gave Guy and Hal during this issue. Everything from the rage of Guy to the confusion of Hal was more effectively communicated by the way Pasarin drew their facial reactions. Pasarin also did a good job giving a heavy weight to each of Guy’s punches as Arkillo did not fight back against his friend. It made how far gone Guy was as a Darkstar even more well executed.
The Bad: Now with how Venditti drove home how the Green Lantern Corps have been outnumbered by the Darkstars it was odd to not get more out of the recruiting. Because as off now the Green Lanterns only have Arkillo, House of Zod, Orion and Hector Hammond on their side. While powerful allies that does not seem like it was worth how much time was spent on the recruiting.
It’s especially odd given that we do have Arkillo on the Green Lanterns side but not the rest of the Sinestro Corps. Given the recruiting efforts, it would’ve added to the emotional journey of this arc if we got to see the Green and Yellow Lantern Corps setting aside their difference to take on a bigger threat. It would have been an even bigger payoff to the New Gods or Hector Hammond parts of this arc since the Sinestro Corps have played such a big role in Venditti’s run.
Overall: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #47 was a great character study for Hal and Guy Gardner. Robert Venditti’s understanding of both characters came through extremely well as he gave Hal and Guy personal arcs that made them stronger than when “Darkstars Rising” started. Given how the Darkstars are now ready to launch a full strike it is going to be exciting to see how Venditti pays off all the recruiting the Green Lanterns did to gather allies for the upcoming battle on Mogo.