“Bottled Light” started slow but with each passing issue of this arc it has gotten better. Now with Hal Jordan back in the world of the living with Kyle Rayner by his side it is time for the Earth Green Lanterns to reunite. It couldn’t come at a better time as John Stewart and Guy Gardner are leading the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps in a battle against Larfleeze and Brainiac. With two of DC Universes biggest villains teamed up do the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps stand a chance? Let’s find out with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #12.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Colorist: Jason Wright
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: Larfleeze assembles his Orange Lantern Corps and orders them to attack the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps.
While they all build a fence using their rings John Stewart reminds everyone how crazy Larfleeze and not to let their guards down.
Guy checks in on Tomar-Tu, who can’t respond as he is using all of his rings power to maintain the pocket environment around his hometown that is still miniaturized.
The Orange Lantern Corps soon break through the fence the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps created. The two Lantern Corps decide to switch from a defensive position to an offensive one and start attacking the Orange Lantern Corps.
Somewhere in the Transluminal Space, Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, Ganthet and Sayd are traveling to where the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps are fighting Larfleeze. Hal is confident with the four of them helping the others that they can defeat Larfleeze. Ganthet voices his reluctance in sharing Hal’s confidence.
Back on the Planet Okara, Larfleeze’s Orange Lantern Corps continues to build in numbers in order to overwhelm the two Lantern Corps he is up against. With the two Lantern Corps coordinating their attacks the Orange Lantern Corps numbers continue to fall, much to Larfleeze’s displeasure.
While Larfleeze is distracted, John, Guy and Kilowog are destroying Brainiac’s machines. As they gather everything Larfleeze had Brainiac capture for him Hal arrives and grabs the container holding New 52 Lobo from Guy, saying they shouldn’t set him free.
Everyone on the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps are shocked to see Hal, Kyle, Ganthet and Sayd are alive, given how they last saw the four of them. John gets everyone focused on the situation with Larfleeze and save the reunion talk for later.
Hal, Kyle, John and Guy go on to lead he attack on the Orange Lantern Corps. With everyone fighting together the Orange Lantern Corps are quickly overwhelmed.
Larfleeze starts freaking out even more and asks Brainiac if he knew this would happen. Brainiac counters by saying that he has only done what Larfleeze programed him to do with. Larfleeze proceeds to rip Brainiac’s body in half in response.
Brainiac is glad Larfleeze destroyed his body as that sets his system free from his control. Larfleeze uses his rings energy to create a construct of Brainiac’s body and says that Brainiac will always be his.
Larfleeze then decides to retreat with his Orange Lantern Corps as he knows he can’ with the fight against the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps.
The two Lantern Corps decide not to go after Larfleeze. Instead they decide to regroup and get Tomar-Tu’s hometown back to where it belongs.
Back on Planet Xudar, Tomar-Tu’s home is returned back to normal. Tomar-Tu is barely able to stand as he used most of his power to save his hometown. John tells Tomar-Tu to get up as Xundar wants to thank him. Tomar-Tu says he only has one person’s approval after everything.
Tomar-Tu goes to his mother and says that he hopes she sees why he became a Green Lantern was to protect everyone, including his mom. Tomar-Tu’s mom says she is proud of him as a citizen of Xundar but as a mother still does not want to ever mourn the loss of another Tomar.
As she walks away Hal goes up to Tomar-Tu and says he can relate to him as Hal’s mom also didn’t want him to become a pilot after his dad died. Hal goes on to say that he knows both their dad’s would be proud of them. Tomar-Tu is not so sure about that.
Hal suddenly remembers his time in the Emerald Space and reveals that while he was there he saw Tomar-Re, who was incredibly proud of Tomar-Tu’s decision to take up his ring. Tomar-Tu thanks Hal for mention that but wonders if Hal ever reconciled with his mom. Hal says he missed his chance to but that Tomar-Tu should not make his same mistake.
Tomar-Tu takes Hal up on his advice and goes after his mom to give her a hug.
As the rest of the citizens of Xundar cheer the two Lantern Corps on Soranik tells John that she thinks that Will and Fear can work together. John instead offers Soranik her old Green Lantern ring back. Soranik says if she is to make things right for all the things her father the Sinestro Corps need her and she needs them. She hopes that it would lead people to think of the name “Sinestro” as a something that stands for good.
John and Soranik shake hands and decide to give the partnership between the Green and Yellow Lantern Corps a shot. Hal and the others stand in shock from what they just heard. End of issue.
The Good: When it comes to understanding how to end a story while also building towards the future Robert Venditti has nailed it. What makes the ending of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #12 even more impressive is how many characters are being built for future plotlines. Not only do we have Hal and the GLC but now Sinestro Corps, Orange Lantern Corps and Blue Lantern Corps to look forward to with were they are all going.
All this interest comes from how Venditti is able to give a distinct voice to each character he is using. With such a large cast where we have members from various Lantern Corps getting moments to shine that is no easy task. Seeing how Venditti is able to capture the distinct personalities of Hal, John, Kyle and Guy when they are together we get a better idea of how that bleeds into the how everyone else is portrayed.
As a fan it was a long time coming to see the Hal, John, Kyle and Guy back together and fighting on the same side. For all of their difference and the recent events they’ve been through when needed the four of them can instantly pull the switch to work together without talking about a plan. This helps to provide more credence to what Abin Sur telling Hal about how he and the others can bring hope back to the universe, leading us to the next big storyline involving the Blue Lanterns.
At the same time, Venditti is able to show us why something as unthinkable as the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps working together to protect the universe actually makes sense. The entire “Bottled Light” storyline did a good job providing us with strong foundation for why this partnership between former warring factions can be beneficial to both sides. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #12 also provides with a good look at how effective this partnership can be as they were able to defeat Larfleeze and Brainiac.
Soranik is the character that gets the biggest push when it comes to being elevated to the level of her peers. Turning down John’s offer to rejoin the Green Lantern Corps was a big moment for her because we know of how many connections she has in the GLC. But to hear her say that she needs to help the Sinestro Corps be reborn as a force for good added to how heroic she is. This helps in elevating what the rest of the Sinestro Corps will do moving forward as the road Soranik is looking to lead them on isn’t normal for most of them.
As much development all of these characters got the one that comes away looking even better than they started was Tomar-Tu. Venditti did a fantastic job developing Tomar-Tu, a background character at best, to make you care for his story as much as the main members of the Green Lantern Corps. His relationship with his father and mother are something that any reader can connect with. He was also able to show how powerful he is in a way that does not involved fighting as he was able to keep his hometown protected from the fight through his ring.
And with all that happened on the good guy side of things Venditti made sure not to make Larfleeze look like a complete punk. The fact that it took two Lantern Corps to take him and his Orange Lantern Corps down is an impressive feat for the greedy character. John mentioning that Larfleeze is now even stronger given that he has a reason to hate both the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps makes you wonder what an angry Larfleeze is capable of. It was also good that even after everything that Larfleeze still has control of Brainiac. There is still a lot of potential to come out of this villainous partnership that we can look forward to seeing more of in the future.
Now as strong as the writing was Ethan Van Sciver’s artwork was just phenomenal. From beginning to end there was a big event feel to the entire ending. Whether it was seeing the two Lantern Corps fighting together or Larfleeze destroying Brainiac, there was no shortage of big moments. And with so much going on Sciver is able to capture the scope of these moments through his artwork. Even in the quieter moments like John and Soranik agreeing to have their respect Lantern Corps work together felt like there was a big shift coming to the DCU because of how it was drawn.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #12 is an example of exactly how you end one story while building a strong foundation for future storylines to branch out of. Robert Venditti and Ethan Van Sciver combined their talents to continuously throw us one big moment after another. Every character involved in “Bottled Light” got some moment to shine, whether through a show of power or personal development. Now that the conflict with Larfleeze is over and there is an alliance between the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps what happens next is incredibly exciting.