Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner ran into what may be their toughest foe to date as they clashed with Zod and his House of Zod. To say they got their assess handed to them would be an understatement. The House of Zod broke the two Green Lanterns to the point they looked like they were drinking their own blood. Now with Hal and Kyle out of commission how can the rest of the Green Lantern Corps hope to stand a chance against the House of Zod? Let’s find out with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #38.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Colorist: Jason Wright
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Zod puts all the people of Jekuul to finish work on his Fortress of Zod.
Meanwhile Hal finally recovers enough to stand up while Kyle is not so lucky. Hal surveys things and figures out that Zod was after his and Kyle’s Green Lantern rings, which he already took.
While Eradicator analyzes the Green Lantern rings Zod and his family have some dinner. They end up inviting Hal to the dinner. During the dinner Zod reveals that Tomar-Re was assigned Krypton as part of his sector though he failed them as the planet was destroyed. Zod and Ursa believe it was actually for the best that Tomar-Re failed the Kryptonians since it allowed them to realize their full potential under the yellow Sun. Zod then calls Hal and Kyle’s investigation a turning point for them just like Tomar-Re’s failure was.
Placed back in the prison cell with a barely breathing Kyle, Hal uses his connection to his ring to call it to him. Hal is successful and his ring ends up going straight through Eradicator’s head.
With his Green Lantern ring back Hal powers up and helps Kyle escape. They end up finding the Jekuul people working on the Fortress. Believing them as Zod’s slave Hal tries to recruit the Jekuul people to rebel against Zod.
Kyle notices a painting that shows the Jekuul people worshipping Zod and realizes things aren’t as they seem. Just then the Jekuul people start attacking Hal and Kyle.
Eradicator boots back up and informs Zod that Hal got his ring back.
Figuring that they can’t both leave Hal gives Kyle his ring and orders his partner to go back to Oa in order to inform John Stewart and others on what Zod is up to. Not waiting for Kyle to argue Hal orders his ring to fly Kyle away.
While Zod and Eradicator notice Kyle’s departure Hal tells the Jekuul people to take him to their leader.
Back on Oa the Green Lantern Corps communication team detect Hal’s ring returning. When John and Kyle go to check things out they find a powered up Kyle. Kyle tells John and Guy that Hal needs help. End of issue
The Good: Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #38 is purely a set-up issue for the next big stage of “Zod’s Will.” Robert Venditti puts a lot of effort into adding a layer of history between the Green Lantern Corps and Krypton. In doing so we the House of Zod comes out looking better in the process. Though the same can’t be said with how Hal and Kyle are portrayed in order to further the story.
Zod has always been an intriguing villain as he is the perfect antithesis to Superman. Now that he has his shot to write the character Venditti is not wasting it. He spends most of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #38 building up the fact that Zod has much greater ambitions this time around. This confident approach by Zod as he reveals how he has now come to believe the destruction of Krypton was the greatest thing that could happen to his people. Seeing as Superman, Zod and Ursa all now have the power rivaling a God in the DC Universe the latter two coming to love what they discovered by being under the yellow Sun is not surprising.
Adding depth to Zod’s words was the connection he drew to the Green Lantern Corps role in everything. Specifically bringing up the name of Tomar-Re instantly hooks Green Lantern fans as that is a name that holds a lot of weight within the GLC. And the fact that Tomar-Re is seen by Zod and Ursa as doing nothing to save Krypton or its people made how they saw their planets destruction even more villainous. Venditti executed each line of dialogue during this dinner scene so well that by the end you wanted to see Hal punch him in the face.
Zod’s attitude makes the swerve that the people of Jekuul actually worship Zod an even more interesting twist. This plot point is reminiscent of how characters in Star Trek have to be careful about interacting with primitive environments. By Zod doing just that as it is clear before the House of Zod appeared before them they never saw an alien or understand advance technology. And given the power and skill of Zod, Ursa and Eradicator it is not without reason that the people of Jekuul would worship them as Gods who came down to spread their wisdom and power.
Making the story in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #38 stronger was the fantastic artwork by Ethan Van Sciver. Sciver is just at home with the Green Lantern franchise as he nails how to draw compelling scenes as Hal has to drag a broken Kyle around. And while this issue was very talking heavy Sciver is able to give a sense of power to when Kyle reacted to wearing Hal’s ring. That power extended to Zod who oozed confidence in the way he spoke to everyone around him.
The Bad: One thing that hurt this issue was the fact that Hal Jordan was treated as the Superman of the series. While he is considered the greatest Green Lantern of them all it was odd that Venditti would drive that point home by showing him barely with a few scratches while Kyle could barely stay conscious. To make the beating that Hal and Kyle suffered even more effective it would have been best to see that they were both heavily injured, not just the former.
This makes Hal look overly powerful even though he should’ve been suffering from some sort of injury like a broken rib. It would’ve added to the tough stop Hal and Kyle are and made Hal being able to muster enough strength to get his ring actually an impressive feat. But since that did not happen Hal getting his ring back just came off as a typical character move since there was no real struggle to get it.
Lor-Zod also does get the same amount of quality screen time as his parents. So far the kid has just looked like a one-dimensional brat kid with the power of Superman. That does not make for a compelling character that you want to see more of. Which is a shame because there is a lot of potential in Lor-Zod as he could become the Anti-Superboy that we have now. Adding in a little depth to Lor-Zod’s character will do the character a lot more favors.
Overall: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #38 is purely a set-up issue. There is nothing wrong with that as there is a lot of quality character for Zod and the planet of Jekuul. Unfortunately the portrayal of Hal Jordan left a lot to be desired as his status as greatest Green Lantern of all time made for some questionable story decision. That said, the strength of Zod’s character development and Ethan Van Sciver phenomenal artwork elevated what happened in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #38.