Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps has been a solid book. Though the previous arc had it’s rough moments it did create the opening for some intriguing plot elements that “Fracture” has picked up on. Now that they have established their partnership we are getting to see how the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps operate together. At the same time their is some drama from previous arcs that is starting to creep up that threatens the alliance between the two Lantern Corps. Will the two Lantern Corps maintain the peace with each other as they patrol the universe and ensure chaos does not erupt? Let’s find out with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #23.
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: With Bolphunga in chains John Stewart and Hal Jordan argue if they should believe Bolphunga has evidence a Green Lantern committed murder. Bolphunga says he has proof that a Green Lantern murdered a Sinestro Corps member and it would cause a war between the two sides.
John says they he needs to confirm this. Bolphunga says that the murder will be broadcast to everyone unless he is there to stop the broadcast.
John and Hal fly off and discuss if they should trust Bolphunga. John says they have a lot at stake right now with how the Sinestro Corp has agreed to work with the Green Lantern Corps and they are finally gaining the trust of the universe again. Hal wonders if John wants this “New Corps” to work out so bad that he would let himself to be played by Bolphunga.
Hal takes off on his own. Now that he is alone John says that even if it is true he will never allow Bolphunga to prove it.
In the mess hall, Kyle Rayner joins Soranik at her table. Kyle apologizes for coming on to strong earlier but still believes that Soranik should be a Green Lantern rather than part of the Sinestro Corps. Soranik doesn’t get how Kyle, someone that sees the good in others, can’t see the good in what is happening and how she has led the Sinestro Corps on a better path and they need her to stay that way. Kyle doesn’t think that will last. Soranik gets angry over this and leaves as is clear he isn’t proud of all she has done.
Kilowog sits with Kyle and goes over his and Soranik’s individual journeys and still ended up in the same mess hall. Kyle doesn’t get where Kilowog is going with this. Kilowog says that Kyle should stop being scared of what the universe is trying to tell them. Kyle mentions that it isn’t that easy.
Hal runs into Soranik and asks her if Tomar-Tu cam to see her after their last mission. Soranik says he didn’t but she is willing to help him if he needs it. Hal mentions that Tomar-Tu hasn’t been the same since fighting Sarko and he will make sure he gets check out by Soranik. At the same time Soranik realizes something when Hal mentions Sarko’s name and walks off.
Just outside of Mogo, Guy Gardner and Arkillo are flying through space to find the Cepheid Raiders for John. Guy contacts Space Cabbie to get info on Cepheid Raiders location. Space Cabbie mentions that they’ll need bring big guns to do the mission.
In Space Sector 1798 the Cepheid Raiders’ stronghold is floating in space. Inside two Celpheid Raiders talk about Bolphunga’s status.
Guy and Arkillo suddenly show up and start attacking the stronghold and the Cepheid Raiders inside. Arkillo is struck by a strong laser. Guy tries to counterattack but the two are soon surrounded by the Cepheid Raiders.
Back on Mogo, Soranik gets Voz to allow her to run an autopsy on Sarko’s corpse. Voz mentions that Kyle wanted to bury Sarko in Mogo as he thinks Kyle is all heart. Voz leaves Soranik to do her work while he goes to check on the inmate count.
Soranik gets to work as she wonders why Kyle cares so much about Sarko.
Back in Space Sector 1798, Guy and Arkillo have broken through the stronghold and demolish the Cepheid Raiders. Guy and Arkillo make it to the strong room where they find a Vuldarian Spy Imp. Arkillo piles the Cepheid Raiders up so the cops can come to arrest them.
Back on at Mogo’s morgue Soranik is running her autopsy and has her ring start running a full genetic profile on Sarko. Soranik’s ring detects that Sarko is 50% human and that it matches Kyle’s DNA. Sarko begins to disappear so Soranik tells her ring to continue the report, Just as Sarko’s body disappears Soranik’s ring says that the other 50% of Sarko’s DNA matches her. Soranik unleashes a massive amount of energy in anger.
At John’s office Guy and Arkillo give John the Vuldarian spy they found. John compliments the pair on working well together. Guy and Arkillo try to ask John what this was about but John doesn’t say.
After being left alone John has the Vuldarian spy show him what information he has. John gets a playback of Tomar-Tu killing a Sinestro Corps member.
At the same time, Hal finds Tomar-Tu on the ground and losing energy fast. Tomar-Tu apologizes and says he tried to keep something locked away. Hal looks in Tomar-Tu’s room and finds a Sinestro Corps ring trying to escape a case to find a replacement Sinestro Corps member. End of issue.
The Good: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps has been a good to great series thus far. Robert Venditti has balanced strong action and character development to drive the stories we gotten to this point. Now with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #23 takes everything that was established so far and shifts the series to full blown space opera.
The shift is immediately seen with the opening scene between Hal and John. The back and forth between the two was executed perfectly. Hal and John did a great job in playing both sides of the conflict as we aren’t 100% certain at this point if Bolphunga was telling the full truth. The scene showed us where both characters are at this point as Hal was full on rebel that believes in the Green Lantern cause. At the same time, we see how John is trying his best to keep things together.
John stating that he will do anything to maintain the alliance between the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps was a powerful moment for him. Up to this point we have seen how John has been the driving force leading the current alliance to maintain a sense of stability. After getting such success it is not out of character to have John, as the leader of everything, to take the stand of trying to do everything in his power not to let it fall apart. This puts greater weight on what John’s responsibilities are and makes what he will do next even more interesting to see play out.
The fact that Bolphunga had nothing to lose in revealing a Green Lantern killed someone from the Sinestro Corps made the villain stand out even more. With Bolphunga being the first villain that does not have a connection to one of the Lantern Corps he was already a villain much different from what we have seen thus far. Portraying Bolphunga in a way that he knew he was in the driver’s seat in the situation was a smart choice. He knew exactly what to say in order to drive a wedge between Hal and John. The wicked smile Bolphunga gave while delivering his dialogue made the presence he maintained around this issue even more prominent, as his threat loomed over the entire issue.
Putting Tomar-Tu in the middle of all this instantly places an importance on a character that was previously nothing more than a side character. Tomar-Tu, as shown with the Brainiac arc, has a lot of potential for untapped character development. Now we are going to get to see Tomar-Tu be the focal point of what is going on moving forward with the murder he has committed. The fact he is trying to cover it up, and struggling to do so, puts everything about the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps alliance up in the air.
Continuing the space opera of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #23 was Kyle and Soranik’s continuing to develop where they stand with one another. It’s a good thing that Venditti didn’t just have the two get back together and show us that they do have issues they must deal with. Though Sarko wasn’t the greatest of villains the impact he left was clear, especially for Kyle. Everything that Kyle tells Soranik about joining the Green Lanterns again was clearly based on trying to prevent recent events that their future son caused.
Soranik standing her ground and telling Kyle about how her leadership has helped changed the Sinestro Corps to be good guys was a strong character moment. Everything that she said was true and made Kyle look selfish for his request. Having Soranik realize that Kyle acting distance was because of Sarko further showed us how perceptive Soranik is. And with how things went with Kyle, seeing Soranik unleash a rage-filled energy burst after learning about Sarko’s lineage was justified.
This reveal was elevated by how we saw Sarko’s body disappear, signifying that the future has already changed. What those changes are creates a lot of questions into the future of the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps alliance. Because now we see how it may be more than just John’s lie that could destroy the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps alliance.
Breaking up all the drama was the continued partnership between Guy and Arkillo. Venditti is doing an excellent job developing the the two as a strong pair now that they have settled their rivalry. With the two being the biggest bruisers of the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps alliance, it’s a lot of fun seeing them tear apart the Celpheid Raiders. The pleasure they take in getting to fight shows how Guy and Arkillo are becoming brothers-in-arms now and they are an unstoppable tank together.
With a balance between action and drama, Ethan Van Sciver took the full opportunity to show off his artistic skills with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #23. While short, there is no one that draws big event action sequences like Sciver. The way Sciver draws characters when they are angry particularly stood out as the rage in each character’s eyes came off the page. At the same time, Sciver did a good job capturing the shock John, Hal and Soranik individually had when they learned things no one wanted them to learn.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Robert Venditti and Ethan Van Sciver delivered an expertly told story that continued to develop the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps alliance. The revelations several characters have in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #23 will be major driving forces for the series moving forward and it’ll be excited to see how they all play out.