Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps has been on quite a roll lately with ‘Quest For Hope’ establishing the current status quo for the franchise. The last issue, which was dominated by Guy Gardner’s fight with Arkillo, was able to take the spotlight off Hal and give some attention to other main characters of this series. With how intense got between Guy and Arkillo it is now time to settle back in and see what else Robert Venditti has in store for the franchise, specifically Saint Walker and the Blue Lantern’s direction. That said, let’s get to checking out Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #17 turns out.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Colorist: Jason Wright
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: On Mogo at the Sciencells, where the rogue Yellow Lanterns are being held, Soranik and John Stewart bring in a heavily damaged Arkillo to the facility. After placing Arkillo in his cell Soranik sets up a life support system that will heal Arkillo.
One of the rogue Yellow Lanterns wonders how many Lanterns it took to take Arkillo down. John says it was only one, which the Yellow Lantern believes to be a lie. Soranik backs up what John just said and reminds all the rogue Yellow Lanterns that she is the leader of their Corps now.
Rogue Yellow Lantern Haasp wonders who took out Arkillo. John just states “The only one who could.”
In the infirmary John, Kyle and Hal are around Guy’s hospital bed when Guy wakes up. Hal and Kyle joke with Guy a bit. When he moves Guy feels all the pain of his injuries. Hal and Kyle decide to leave Guy in his room to heal while they go off to finish their work.
John gets on Guy’s case for taking off on his own. Guy comments he doesn’t look as bad as Arkillo does. Guy then states that the Yellow Lantern Corps needed to know what would happen if they stepped out of line. John says Guy made his point. John goes on to smile while telling Guy to heal up and get back into fighting shape ASAP.
Guy is left alone in his room and takes out Arkillo’s tooth, which he knocked out, and places it on a table next to his hospital bed.
Elsewhere on Mogo, while they fly around Kyle asks Hal why they aren’t taking a break for a bit. Hal stops and says that while his work is done Kyle still has something he needs to do. Hal then admits that Kyle is the greatest Lantern of them all, much to Kyle’s surprise.
Hal explains that while he is the top Green Lantern as he has used his willpower to push through every obstacle, even though he knows that eventually something will happen that he can’t stop. He then says that Kyle is different as Kyle is someone that creates things out of nothing like he did with the White Lantern powers that never existed before.
Hal then mentions that he now believes that Abin Sur’s message of “Find Hope” was meant for Kyle as the universe is calling out to him to create once again. As Hal flies away Kyle admits that he has always looked up to Hal.
At the Command Center, Space Cabbie walks out after John grants him the immunity that was part of their deal.
Soranik then comments that they’ve captured the majority of the rogue Sinestro Corp members. John mentions that Romat-Ru is still missing.
We then see Tomar-Tu with Romat-Ru’s ring, which is stating that Romat-Ru is dead.
John believes that they’ll find Romat-Ru and that they must focus on keeping the Green and Yellow Lantern Corps united.
At a special floating ceremony circle Kyle meets with Ganthet and Sayd. Kyle wonders why Ganthet thinks he can bring someone back from the dead. Ganthet states that as the White Lantern, Kyle is life and he was able to bring Hal back with his ring and now it is time to do it on grander scale.
Ganthet builds up Kyle’s confidence more by stating that he chose Kyle to be the Torchbearer. It’s through that role that Kyle showed Ganthet that even as an immortal he can still be surprised.
Saint Walker flies in and tells Kyle that the universe needs the Blue Light even more now. Ganthet and Sayd explain that they created the Blue Lantern Corps to save the universe from crumbling and that Saint Walker can’t do it alone. Saint Walker puts Kyle’s hands on his head and says he’ll act as Kyle antenna to help bring the Blue Lantern Corps back to life.
Kyle’s White Lantern power begins going crazy, releasing giant white light across the sky.
At the Sciencells, Guy visit a still recovering Arkillo. Guy gives Arkillo his missing tooth back. Guy apologizes for the fight they got into but can’t wait to fight bad guys together as a team since they are the only two Lanterns that get one another.
Back at the floating ceremonial circle Kyle sense that his White Lantern power is killing Saint Walker but Saint Walker does not want to stop the process. Ganthet and Sayd tell Kyle to not doubt himself and continue pushing forward. Saint Walker suddenly collapses.
Nearby, John sees the ritual that is going on but is stopped by Hal from interfering.
Kyle uses his powers to bring Saint Walker back to life. As he does so the White Lantern power grows even stronger and is bringing life back around him. Saint Walker suddenly senses someone’s presence and tells whoever it is to leave. A massive white light suddenly shoots out into space from Mogo.
In the aftermath Kyle is back in his normal clothes. A tired Saint Walker states that he felt an intruder blocking their ceremony, which leaves Ganthet and Sayd even more confused at what happened.
Kyle looks at his White Lantern ring and suddenly visions of Red Lantern Atrocitus return, Flash sensing something and Mr. Oz questioning what is going on are shown.
Kyle’s White Lantern ring suddenly breaks up into rings representing each of the seven Lantern Corps. All the rings except for the Green Lantern ring fly off to find a wearer somewhere in the universe.
Ganthet suddenly feels devoid of hope.Kyle picks up the Green Lantern ring that stayed behind and reminds Ganthet that he is the Torchbearer during a dark period. He goes on to say that now that the Green Lantern Corps are back that they have their hands full once again with the threats that coming.
Ganthet smiles as Kyle puts his Green Lantern ring on and creates his old uniform while stating “I’m back. Let’s get to work.” End of issue.
The Good: ‘Quest For Hope’ did not end in the way I expected it to, which is both a good thing for the most part. Furthermore, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #17 elevates the importance of the Green Lantern franchise tenfold with how Robert Venditti ties things into the grander story that has been going on since DC Rebirth started. That elevated importance creates a lot of interesting possibilities for the Green Lantern franchise moving forward.
One of the big things that happened in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #17 is Kyle Rayner’s return to being a Green Lantern. This was a move that completely caught me off guard given all the events that have been going on. As the costume showed us, the return did have a nostalgic feel to it as a fan since I grew up with Kyle being being my Green Lantern. That sense of tapping into a nostalgia was nicely built up by Venditti with how he teased us of Kyle returning to being a Green Lantern with his speech about Kyle being the greatest Lantern.
More importantly Kyle’s return to being a Green Lantern brings up a lot of questions into what it means for the Green Lantern franchise and DC Universe as a whole. Because as we saw, Kyle losing the White Lantern powers was done by an outside force rather than it being a case of Kyle losing control or the ring losing its power. The fact that the White Lantern ring broke up into seven new rings opens up the possibility for bigger stories involving the other Lantern Corps. What’ll be interesting to see is if these rings born from the White Lantern powers are more powerful than the normal Lantern Corps rings given their origins, similar to how Hal’s current Green Lantern ring works.
It’ll also be interesting to see who or what interfered with the ceremony that Kyle and Saint Walker were performing. From just seeing Mr. Oz’s quick reaction to what happened it does not appear that he was involved in interrupting the ceremony. This may mean that Doctor Manhattan, who we believe is responsible for reshaping the DCU, saw what Kyle was doing as the White Lantern as a threat following the events surrounding Superman. On another hand, there could be a third party we don’t know about that is closer connected to the Green Lantern mythos who may have interfered in the ceremony. Whatever the case may be, there are a lot of interesting angles for Venditti and DC writers to go with this new development.
Outside the big picture plot points, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #17 did a great job furthering the progression of Hal, Kyle and Guy. Even though he didn’t get the spotlight he got in the previous issue it was good to see how Guy matured after his big fight with Arkillo. It shows good character growth on Guy’s part that the fight meant more than just proving who was stronger. With Guy talking to the unconscious Arkillo about how well they understand one another, which makes their upcoming partnership something to watch in how it develops.
This was also a very good issue for Hal and Kyle continuing to develop their big-little brother relationship that Venditti has emphasized in ‘Quest For Hope.’ As with the other scenes they have shared over the course of this arc the two showed they have a very strong relationship even if they haven’t been paired very often. Venditti also did a good job in having Hal summarize how they are on a even level as peers even though it is in a different way we may think. It also goes to show that through all his bravado Hal has grown to the point he can identify the strengths of not just himself but others as well.
Ethan Van Sciver once again shows how much he is at home with the Green Lantern franchise with this issue. Even though there was no actual action sequences in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #17 that did not stop him from delivering some stunning pages. This was best shown during the ceremony between Kyle and Saint Walker with Sciver going all out with showcasing the crazy amount of power the White Lantern ring has. Sciver also was able to excel with the talking head scenes as he brought plenty of emotion to characters facial reactions to help elevate Venditti’s dialogue.
The Bad: The one gripe I have with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #17 is that the issue did very little in elevating Saint Walker and the Blue Lanterns. Though Saint Walker is a good character he isn’t someone that can prop up an entire Lantern Corps by himself. And for all that happened in this arc Venditti did not build the confidence in Saint Walker being someone that can rebuild the Blue Lanterns and lead the revitalization of hope in the DCU. While this lack of character development for Saint Walker didn’t take away from everything else that happened during ‘Quest For Hope,’ it was the one damper in an otherwise great arc.
Overall: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #17 did a lot in the way of bringing the franchise into the bigger picture of what has been going on in the DC Universe. Add in all the personal relationships that Robert Venditti developed over the course of the ‘Quest For Hope’ arc and you have the recipe for a successful issue. Now I’m even more excited to see where things go from here.