Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #11 Review

After a few issues stuck in Green Lantern purgatory, known as Emerald Space, Hal Jordan has returned to the DC Universe. With Hal’s return now out of the way Robert Venditti can get back to focusing on the current crisis the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps find themselves in. Things only got worse for these two as it was shown that Larfleeze is responsible for their imprisonment at the hands of Braniac. Can the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps work together to get themselves out of Larfleeze grasp? Let’s find out with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #11.

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: Some time ago Larfleeze is on Planet Okarra going through his collection. As he sorts through it Larfleeze finds an inactive Brainiac 2.0.

Larfleeze uses his power to restart Brainiac’s system. Brainiac reveals that he is a collector and preserver of organic life-forms. This makes Larfleeze incredibly interested and uses his ring to gain control of Brainiac. He then orders Brainiac to show him his collection.

Click for full-page view

In the present Larfleeze takes the container holding Starro, the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps and other unnamed cities from Brainiac.

As Larfleeze adds the container to his collection he mentions how with Brainiac’s technology they could become friends. Brainiac is quick to deny the friendship and says that once he is able to override Larfleeze control of him he will collect him.

Larfleeze decides not to add the container holding the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps to his shelf. Instead he decides to hug it.

Inside the Xundar container John Stewart, Soranik and the others see the Orange Lantern symbol so they now know Larfleeze is responsible for everything.

Down in the city Tomar-Tu tells his people that things will be okay. They aren’t so sure since Tomar-Tu’s father died as a Green Lantern.

Above the city Guy can’t believe Larfleeze captured them. Soranik agrees with Guy and wonders why John is smiling.

John tells everyone that Larfleeze made two mistakes. The first is showing them who their captor is. The second is he trapped the Green Lantern Corps together.

Soranik reminds John the Sinestro Corps is there as well and they won’t sit out John’s plan. John powers up and says that they can take part in his plan if they are willing to listen.

Over on Planet Nok, Hal Jordan happily reunites with Kyle Rayner. Hal is surprised to see Ganthet and Sayd is also with Kyle. Ganthet reveal that when Sinestro killed the Guardians he spared them. Sayd continues by mentioning that after those events they both decided exile themselves.

Click for full-page view

Gathet then mentions that he is impressed Hal has been able to harness the Green Light and forge himself a new ring. He goes on to say that the power of Hal’s new ring helped Kyle bring Hal back to his corporeal form.

Kyle notices Hal’s mysterious look on his face and wonders what he is thinking. Hal reveals that he visited the Emerald Space where Abin Sur and other deceased Green Lanterns were also in. Ganthet and Sayd believe that is impossible and that Hal was in a place created because he altered his physical state.

Hal says that it was real to him and that it showed him his mission to find the Green Lantern Corps is not accomplished. Kyle takes that as Hal not knowing about recent events. Hal is confused and Ganthet reveals that the Green Lantern Corps has returned. Hal powers up and rushes to find the Green Lantern Corps.

Back in the container holding the Xundar city, Soranik overpowers John and smashes him onto the ground. John powers up and launches a counterattack that causes an explosion.

Elsewhere the rest of the Green Lantern Corps is busy fighting the Sinestro Corps, who are looking to defend Soranik. The Green Lantern Corps are able to surround the Sinestro Corps and corner them.

Down in the city Tomar-Tu’s mother tells her son that the Green Lantern Corps threaten everything he loves.

The Sinestro Corps rings suddenly get a power spike due to the Xundarians fear of the battle going on.

Over on Planet Mogo, Hal, Kyle, Ganthet and Sayd arrive on the planet. At first Hal is happy to be back on the Green Lantern Corps home world but quickly worries that there is no one around.

Back inside the Xundar city container, the Sinestro Corps are overpowering the Green Lantern Corps.

Larfleeze see all that is going inside the container and starts freaking out.

Click for full-page view

Meanwhile Hal and the others look for information on where the Green Lantern Corps is. Mogo reveals that the Green Lantern Corps responded to an incident in Space Sectro 2813 but their communication was disrupted.

Hal and Kyle quickly go to see if they can find any clues on their disappearance. Ganthet express his worry that the future is uncertain for the Green Lantern Corps.

Back on Okarra, Larfleeze continues to freak out that the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps are trying to kill each other. Brainiac tries to calm him down so Larfleeze doesn’t break the container. Larfleeze own greed for having everything gets the best of him and he ends up breaking the container.

The Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps return to their normal size. Soranik compliments John on his plan working. John reveals that he used Larfleeze own greed against him. He goes on to say that now Larfleeze has started a war with two Lantern Corps.

Back on Mogo, Hal and the others suddenly detect a communication signal from Planet Okaara. Ganthet wonders why a Green Lantern Corps signal would come from there. Hal knows why, it’s because of Larfleeze. End of issue.

The Good: Though “Bottled Light” has been an entertaining arc it’s been missing a strong balance between the multiple storylines. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #11 is the first issue in the “Bottled Light” arc that found the right balance between everything that is going on. In striking the right balance Robert Venditti was able to provide positive character development for everyone involved in the story, rather than just one or two characters.

Opening the issue with a flashback to how Larfleeze gained control of Brainiac 2.0 was a quick and meaningful way to bring the Orange Lantern into the mix. Larfleeze inclusion reminds us that the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps aren’t the only important parts of the emotional spectrum. Even though he continues to maintain his greedy control over the Orange Lantern Corp, Larfleeze is just as dangerous as the two main Lantern Corps we have seen battling for a while.

Click for full-page view

The way he gained and continues to control Braniac and have him use his technology to grow his collection showed us how powerful he is. Adding in the fact that Larfleeze was the one that came up with the plan to capture Starro and use him to also imprison the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps is a reminder that he is also a smart character. At the same time Venditti is able to show us how Larfleeze’s greediness, which is the source of his powers, is his greatest weakness.

Through the interaction between Larfleeze and Braniac, Venditti was also able to create an additional sub-plot that makes sense for the story. With Brainiac being well known as a Superman villain there needed to be a reason for his sudden turn of attention to the Green Lantern Corps. Having him be in the control of Larfleeze is the perfect way to integrate Brainiac into the Green Lantern Universe. Now, once he breaks free of Larfleeze’s control, Brainiac has a reason to hold a grudge and go after all the Lantern Corps. This opens up the possibility for a bigger story that could lead the Green Lantern and Superman comics to crossover with a strong foundation already set-up.

The conflict with Larfleeze and Brainiac was a nice compliment to how we finally saw the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps working together to escape their predicament. This was the first issue since the DC Rebirth relaunch that Venditti was able to show us why John Stewart is the current leader of the Green Lantern Corps. Using the known hatred of both Lantern Corps showed us that John has a great military mind when he focuses on the problem at hand rather than his personal grudges.

Seeing the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps was also great for all the members of both Lantern Corps. Far too often we have seen Hal Jordan save the day, as he did in the previous arc. The rest of the main characters in this series needed to show that they are capable of handling things in the universe without Hal around. This also makes the eventual reunion between Hal and his Green Lantern Corps brothers and sisters will be a greater mystery as to how it’ll turn out.

Speaking of Hal, it was a great fan service moment to see him happily reunite with Kyle Rayner, Ganthet and Sayd. Even though Hal has been back for a while we haven’t seen him interact much with Kyle. This is a relationship that has a lot of potential for exploration. With the upcoming arc focusing on the return of the Blue Lantern Corps it could be a good opportunity to see Hal and Kyle work together on a mission.

The reunion also worked well to bring Ganthet and Sayd back into the fold. As the two remaining Guardians of the Universe still alive these two can be important figures once again. As we have seen with the Green Lantern Corps reappearance and the Sinestro Corps rise to power there is a major leadership hole needing to be filled. And with Ganthet and Sayd’s experiences they can help bring some of that leadership the universe needs as we have more Lantern Corps reemerge.

Click for full-page view

Rafa Sandoval provided some excellent artwork for Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. Sandoval is one of the best artists to draw the Green Lantern Universe as he excels at drawing so many different looking characters in the same panel and spread pages. His design for Larfleeze gets over how greedy the character is, while also delivering on how hectic a clash between two Lantern Corps can be. Equal props go to Jordi Tarragona and Tomeu Morey for making Sandoval’s artwork pop of the page with their inking and coloring, respectively.

The Bad: Nothing.

Overall:  Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #11 is the strongest chapter of “Bottled Light” that we have had thus far. Robert Venditti was able to strike a good balance between Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps individual stories. He is also able to bring them together to set-up a reunion between Hal and his friends that could go many different ways. The introduction of Larfleeze as the main villain of the story was seamlessly integrated to the ongoing story. It doesn’t hurt that this issue feature some great looking artwork from Rafa Sandoval.