Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps has been consistently one of DC’s better titles since Rebirth started. While it has had a few stumbles for the most part this series has maintained a consistency that has allowed the Green Lantern corner of the DC Universe to grow further. In particular, Robert Venditti has added a lot more depth to the Sinestro Corp part of the Green Lantern mythos. Now we are taking a bit of a break from the Sinestro Corp madness and move more over to build out the rest of the Green Lantern mythos. Venditti is doing that by placing more of a spotlight on the Guardians by bringing back the Controllers into the fold. These old Green Lantern villains bring their own sense of chaos to the DC Universe. Let’s see how the GLC deals with the Controllers by taking a look at Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #34.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artists: Tom Derenick and Jack Herbert
Colorist: Jason Wright
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: John Stewart demands to know what happened to the Guardians from Somar-Le. Somar-Le is to intimidated to talk. Kyle Rayner calms Somar-Le down with some of his art. Now calm Somar-Le is able to show John, Hal, Guy and Kyle that it was the Controllers who attacked and took Sayd and Ganthet.
In the Controllers’ base Ganthet wakes up and demand to find out what the Controllers are trying to accomplish by gathering all the Guardians in the universe. One of the Controllers reveals that he brought the remaining Guardians and Controllers together to make them remember they are Maltusians first.
Back on Oa John tells Hal, Kyle and Guy to search the universe for a trail on where the Controllers may have taken Ganthet and Sayd. The three Green Lanterns go to different planets to find information.
Hal goes to where the Barracks of the Mercenary Society in Space Sector 3063. Hal locks all the mercenaries in the building and demands to know where the Controllers are. The mercenaries reveal they turned down the Controllers contract.
At Smuggler’s Waypoint in Space Sector 2809 Kyle goes undercover as a poker player. While at the tables he overhears one of the Controllers who left the group talk about how he did not want to get involved with what the other four Controllers are doing with shadow-market type deals.
At Gravvin Cantina in Space Sector 1522 Guy finds a guy that sold the Controllers information on the Complex-Complex and beats the information out of him.
Back on Oa John hears all the information the others brought back and says he is going to be taking point as mission field commander moving forward. John tells Hal, Kyle and Guy that they will keep the team small with just the four of them so that they don’t risk the Controllers hearing that they are coming for them.
At the Controllers base Kellix, one of the Controllers, talks to Ganthet about Maltus being a progressive planet for them but now thanks to the Guardians they have regressed to only a handful of isolated people. Ganthet reminds Kellix how their people pursuits ended up destroying Maltus resources until the planet was destroyed.
Ganthet goes on to tell Kellix he will not be part of the Controllers plan to try to bend creation to their will. Instead they should accept their punishment for the damage the Guardians and Controllers have done.
Kellix yells at Ganthet that he is wrong and fires an energy blast at Ganthet. Kellix continues to say that the Guardians have become inconsequential but they must take something from them.
Kellix then starts the harvesting process on the Guardian name Yekop. The harvester takes all of Yekop’s DNA and puts it into another machine. Out of the machine a new Controller is created. End of issue.
The Good: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #34 does a good job following up on what happened in the previous issue. On top of that Robert Venditti is able to present the Controllers in a new reader friendly way while furthering their plot that could have larger ramifications for the DC Universe.
One of the things I have always been impressed with Venditti’s work on the Green Lantern franchise is his sense of scale. Venditti has been able to do a fantastic job shifting the scale of his stories so there is always something interesting going on, whether big or small. This Controllers arc is a strong example of that. So far everything that the Controllers are after is something that is self-serving. While, as Kellix explains to Ganthat, the Controllers are looking to reclaim their lost power in the universe right now they are just looking to rebuild the society they love.
Venditti takes that nostalgia the Controllers have for the past and turns it into something that is evil in nature. Ganthet pointing this out further drives home how the Controllers and Guardians obsession with knowing and controlling everything was what their downfall was. The Controllers trying to return to that status in the universe only furthers how bad their obsession with power is. Kellix show of force against Ganthet and then turning his device on another Guardians drives all of this home.
Ganthet’s speech to Kellix also works in showing that if the Guardians are to return, something that is highly possible, they need to do so in a different way. For far too long the Guardians have been not been able to balance their views. Instead they have taken one extreme or the other, whether it was to be to aggressive in policing the universe or stepping away from everything. Their needs to be some middle ground in how the Guardians need to act and the Controllers show of force may be the spark that shows Ganthet and the others that exact lesson.
On the other side of this conflict Venditti continues to do a good job showing how different Hal, Kyle, John and Guy are as Green Lanterns. Hal, Kyle and Guy doing individual investigations into Ganthet and Sayd’s disappearance was a good summary of the way each of them goes about being members of the Green Lantern Corps. From Guy’s straight forward, brutal way of getting information to Kyle’s more subtle investigation approach, each of these characters got time for how they shine.
Having all of this circle back to John Stewart taking control of the current crisis as field commander further shows how he has embraced being the leader of the Green Lantern Corps. Not having Hal, Kyle or Guy question John putting his foot down about being the mission’s field commander showed how far we have come under John’s leadership. The swiftness in how each one of these guys acted also added to how much they are all growing in their roles and their understanding that they can’t keep going around in circles about who does what.
While her role ended up being small Venditti added a nice bit of depth to Somar-Le’s character. As the newest addition to the Green Lantern Corps this was something that the character needed. Her connection with Kyle showed how she is still wide-eyed to everything going on. These fresh set of eyes within the Green Lantern Corps sets things up for Venditti to insert a new perspective as things progress in other story arcs down the line.
Tom Derenick and Jack Herbert delivered solid artwork throughout Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #34. Even though they didn’t get any big space battles they were able to deliver on the fun of the different ways Hal, Guy and Kyle went about their investigations. It further emphasized each characters personalities. This fun was nicely balanced out by the emotional battle that Ganthet was having with the Controllers dark actions.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Hal Jordan and the Green Lanterns #34 was a well executed second chapter to the “Twilight of the Guardians” story arc. Robert Venditti was able to get across what the Controllers plot is and why that would mean even greater trouble for the DC Universe if they are successful. The darkness of the Controllers plot was nicely balanced out by how John Stewart, Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner wasted no time in tracking the villains down. What happens next as both sides near a collision course should be a lot of fun.