This latest arc, titled “Prism of Time,” hasn’t reached the same heights of quality as other story arcs in this series. The action has certainly been there but in terms of character development we haven’t seen the same amount of quality. Part of this has been because of how Robert Venditti hasn’t hit his groove with how he wants the alliance between the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps to go. The other problem has been that Sarko has come off as a generic villain rather than someone unique. Hopefully Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #21 will turn things around and end things on a strong note. Let’s find out if that is the case now.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: V Ken Marion
Inker: Dexter Vines
Colorist: Dinei Ribeiro
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: While traversing through the universe’s transluminal pathway Rip Hunter tells Hal Jordan that time history has not changed and still shows the Green Lantern Corps disappear from existence today. Hal tells Rip that he won’t be boxed in by fate and that each Green Lantern Corps member can overcome great fear and channel will in different ways.
Hal goes over specifically how different Guy, John, Kyle and himself are in using the power of the Green Lantern ring. He then states that no matter what no member of the Green Lantern Corps is ever alone.
On Planet Mogo, John gives an inspirational speech to motivate the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps members into a fight against Sarko’s emerald creatures without their rings. Guy compliments John on his big speech as they begin their fight.
As they fight on the ground, Kyle and Soranik are in the medical bay watching the fight. Kyle says they should join their friends. Soranik suddenly kisses Kyle. They then take off their rings and rush off to help the others with Kyle saying that after this is over they are going on a date.
Over on the planet Sarko is based in, Sarko compliments the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps members for fighting without their rings but still says they won’t escape their fate. Hal suddenly appears with Rip by his side ready to make Sarko pay for his crimes.
Sarko is not surprised to see that Rip recruited Hal to help him and comments that Sinestro would laugh at how Hal is responsible for bringing the Sinestro Corps back to it’s former glory. Hal corrects Sarko by saying that Krona’s Gauntlet was just a weapon but it has become more now as it’s become alive.
Back on Mogo, John and the others are able to use their skills to push back against the emerald creatures. Kyle and Soranik join in on the fight and provide everyone with some blasters to further help fight off the emerald creatures vast numbers. Kyle and Soranik end up getting knocked down but for some reason the emerald creatures stop attacking the two. The same can’t be said for the others as John is knocked out and Guy becomes surrounded by the emerald creatures.
As the numbers become too much to handle Kyle finds the Green Lantern ring that Rip brought from the future. The ring detects Kyle’s presence and shows Kyle the true lineage of Sarko. Kyle is shocked at what he sees and puts on the ring to put his Green Lantern Corps gear back on and flies off.
Back in Space Sector 563, Rip is surprised to learn that Krona’s Gauntlet is alive. Sarko goes over how Hal ended up infecting the gauntlet with a conscious and how he transported it to this time period from the future to destroy the Green Lantern Corps.
Hal fights the creation holding Krona’s Gauntlet while the others on Mogo continue to struggle against the emerald creatures. Hal eventually is able to find where he buried the Krona Gauntlet in the present. Hal proceeds to destroy the gauntlet. The destruction of the gauntlet causes Sarko’s creation to start breaking apart. The energy from its destruction strikes Sarko.
While John and the others wonder if the emerald creatures disappearance means Hal won, Kyle arrives at Hal’s location. Kyle sees that he is too late but Sarko says he is just in time as he dies. Hal tells Kyle that things are okay but Kyle says they can’t leave Sarko there.
The next day Hal leaves Krona’s Gauntlet in a protective case and swearing to never out of the room again.
At the same time John and Guy thank Rip for his help. Rip says that he needs to leave for his next mission involving someone selling Earth’s historic relics on the open market. John gives Rip back the Green Lantern ring from the future, mentioning that as tempting as it was he never looked into the future data. Rip knew John wouldn’t do it since they are friends.
After Rip leaves Guy comments how nice it would’ve been to learn who the next twenty Super Bowl winners would be. John says they have enough to worry about in the present.
Elsewhere Kyle sits alone in his room still in shock after learning that Sarko was his son. End of issue.
The Good: As Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #21 came to a close Robert Venditti was able to show how he left the best for last for the “Prism of Time” story arc. This issue does not improve the stock of Sarko as a compelling villain. Where this issue obtains its successful is everything else that happens around the character, specifically the weight his death surprisingly carries for Kyle Rayner.
When it comes to delivering shock value Robert Venditti succeeds with how he ends Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #21. I will fully admit that I was not expecting the big twist of Sarko’s parentage and how it would impact the series. Learning that Kyle and Soranik are his parents made all of the actions Sarko made mean much more. This deeper connection to his cause of returning the Sinestro Corps to how it was when his grandfather created the Lantern Corps creates several questions as to how Sarko ended up the way he did.
Kyle using the future Green Lantern ring to learn about Sarko being his son also gave more weight to how Rip continued to mention how dangerous it is for everyone to learn about their future. Kyle’s immediate reaction to what he learned and how it caused him to mentally break down at the end of the issue showed how dangerous that information can be. It also makes you wonder what this information will actually mean for Kyle and Soranik’s relationship since Venditti has spent time reestablishing them as a couple. Now that Venditti has been brought some doubt into Kyle’s head it’ll be very interesting to see what this information does to him and Soranik.
Sarko’s plot also gave us an opportunity to see John Stewart, Guy Gardner and the other Lanterns to show off their true power is not just with the ring. Seeing them fighting the emerald creatures without their rings gave Venditti a chance to further establish what makes them worthy of being a Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps member is not just luck. Rather, there is something special to these characters that the ring chose them because of the strength of their will to fight even when that may not seem to be the smartest thing against incredible odds.
That showing by John and the others make Hal’s statement about what makes the Green Lantern Corps special an even more powerful argument. It goes to show that even threats from the future like Sarko do not scare Hal. Rather these type of threats just make Hal and the others understand that they are the only ones that can make the difficult decisions to save the day. Hal destroying Krona’s Gauntlet is a good example of that and made the item even more important than it previously was.
Speaking of Krona’s Gauntlet, Venditti was able reintegrating the gauntlet back into the series that added importance to it. It’s clear with how things ended this isn’t the last time we are going to see Krona’s Gauntlet. What I’ll be interested to see is if the gauntlet will be used as a way to return Sinestro back to life. It at least seems that way with how much Sinestro loomed over this story arc and was mentioned along with Krona’s Gauntlet.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #21 was also a good issue for John. Up until this story arc John has been one of the weaker characters of this series as he has come off as a generic leader. But with “Prism of Time” Venditti was able to grow John as a strong leader as it became clear Hal and the others are too much of an individual to be in a leadership role for a long time. And with this issue John was able to lead both Lantern Corps successfully against Sarko’s forces even without their rings.
V Ken Marion deliver solid artwork throughout Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #21. Marion’s artwork reminded me a lot what you expect from a 90s comic book, especially during Kyle Rayner’s era as the main Green Lantern. That is by no means a bad thing as Marion captured the big moments very well. The way Marion showed us how everyone on Mogo got overwhelmed by the emerald creatures looked great as it did seem like they were all outnumbered.
The Bad: As much as everything around Sarko was intriguing the villain himself proved to be weak. This issue did not do a lot to make him a compelling villain as Sarko still came off as a one-note character that had pretty generic evil guy dialogue. With how repetitive Sarko’s dialogue was throughout this arc I wished Venditti got the villain more involved in the action than he was.
Overall: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #21 delivered an impactful ending that sets the stage for some intriguing sub-plots to follow moving forward. Even with Sarko not being the strongest of villains, Robert Venditti’s clear understanding of the Green Lantern Universe continues to be the strength of this series and it showed throughout this issue.