Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps has been firing on all cylinders since DC Rebirth began. Even though Hal Jordan is the headliner of this series he isn’t the star. Robert Venditti has gone to great lengths to show us that the real star of the series is the Green Lantern mythos itself. Through that we have had character development from both sides of the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps. Now that these former rival Lantern Corps have agreed to work together what comes next is anyone’s guess. That said, let’s see what Venditti has in store for us next with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #13.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: V Ken Marion
Inker: Paul Neary and Dexter Vines
Colorist: Alex Sollazzo
Story Rating: 1 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Sixty years from now on the thriving planet Xundar, Xundarians named Zumol and Somar are cleaning up after having dinner. Their grandchildren rush into the kitchen and drag Somar away so she can tell them a bed time story.
In the kids room Somar decides that they are old enough to hear one of her tales from when she was young.
Sometime in the past Somar’s parents took her to Tomar-Re Plaza when she suddenly heard loud commotion throughout the city. When Somar turned around she saw people running away from Starro.
Though Somar’s parents tried to get her away from Starro it ended up getting control of all the people in the planet. The next thing Somar remembers is seeing a green light.
Somar tells her grandchildren that when she saw the green light she was sure she was dead. It got to the point while under Starro’s control that she lost all sense of time.
As her grandchildren are trying to hide their fear of the story Somar reveals that soon she ended up looking up and seeing the Green Lantern Corps in front of her. She went on to witness the entire Green Lantern Corps saving Xundar from Starro’s control and defeat Larfleeze to reclaim Xundar’s home and put it back where it belonged.
Over time that was not the only instances where Somar remembers the Green Lantern Corps saving the universe. She goes on to recount the Green Lantern Corps fights with Romat-Ru, Evil Star and the other Lantern Corps.
Somar notices the time and decides it is time for her grandchildren to go to sleep. The kids are scared after the stories they heard but Somar says that as long as they have the willpower they can push through any sort of evil. This calms the kids down and they go to sleep.
Somar rejoins Zumol in the kitchen with Zumol commenting how amazing it is what Xundar has become. Somar grabs a box out of hiding. When she opens it she pulls out her Green Lantern ring and puts it on.
Zumol states that he is always amazed at seeing Somar in her Green Lantern form. They then decide to go out flying outside together over Tomar-Re Plaza. End of issue.
The Good: After coming out of the box with thirteen strong issues that have told two engaging story arcs Robert Venditti brings Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps series to a screeching halt. While a deviation to tell a side story is all well and good, to have a story that feels nothing more than an extended back-up tale that adds nothing to the characters or stories being developed is inexcusable. This results in wondering as a reader if I just threw away $2.99 by purchasing Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #13 rather than continuing to look forward to what is coming next.
The only passable thing about Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #13 was V Ken Marion artwork. While Marion style does not completely fit the space adventure tone of the Green Lantern franchise he does deliver a fully realized future version of Xundar. He does a good job capture the alien nature of planet Xundar and its citizens. And while he does a good job with the two double page spreads he is given the rest of the instances where he draws the Green Lantern Corps is not something that stands out.
The Bad: As we have seen with issues over in Batman and Superman ongoing series, one to two issue stories can work extremely well for bi-monthly comic books. These types of issues actually offer up the potential to tell quick stories that flesh out characters or relationships that may not be highlighted in longer arcs focused on a conflict between heroes and villains. With Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern #13 we have a clear example of a comic book that adds absolutely nothing to what we have been reading.
The worst part of this issue is that the entire time I was reading it was constantly reminding me how much of a wasted opportunity this was. Because this one-shot type issue should have offered up the opportunity for Venditti to highlight someone other than the four Earth Green Lanterns and Soranik, who have dominated the screen time of this series. One of the things that have made this series so great is that we actually care about all the side characters that help provide depth to the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps. But instead trying to give these side characters or even rarely seen interactions between former partners, such as Soranik and Iolade, we get characters we don’t even know or care about.
A big reason Venditti is not successful in making us care about Somar, Zumol and their grandchildren is that he places them in a story that is nothing more than a glorified recap of events we just saw. The recap nature of events that took place in the issue preceding it instantly makes this story feel like stretched out back-up story. And even with how Somar stated how incredible these events with Starro and Larfleeze were we never get to see how that changed things for the people of Xundar. Instead we just see a planet that just continued to progress as if they never went through these events.
If Venditti wanted to make Somar recounting the conflict with Starro and Larfleeze have a sense of importance he should’ve prefaced the story with how the Green Lantern Corps weren’t well liked before this happened. Somar should’ve painted a greater picture of how the Green Lantern Corps brought back a sense of hope to the planet and a better relationship with the GLC. Because as we saw through Tomar-Tu’s relationship with his mother the Green Lantern Corps weren’t liked because of what happened to Tomar-Re. If Somar actually brought this up it would have actually added some insight into Tomar-Tu’s struggles with being accepted when he returned to save Xundar with the Green Lantern Corps.
Hurting Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #13 is the teaser for future stories that we got at the end of the issue. These teasers just further drive home the fact that as a reader I paid $2.99 for a story that just ended in the previous issue and glorified marketing promotional images that I could’ve gotten on any comic book news website. This all just makes me feel cheated as a loyal reader who has been greatly enjoying everything Venditti and his team of artist has been doing.
Overall: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #13 halted all the positive momentum created by the first two arcs of the series for a one-shot story that added absolutely nothing to the series. It’s something that is very hard to say because I’ve been such a big fan of what Robert Venditti has been doing with the Green Lantern franchise up until this issue. Unfortunately the recap and marketing nature of this issue only left me with a feeling that I had money taken from right under my nose. Hopefully this was only a minor slip up for this series and Venditti returns to moving forward with all the wonderful things he has done with his work on Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps.