Ever since taking over the reins of the Green Lantern franchise Robert Venditti has been quietly building a strong body of work all his own. That is no simple task as Geoff Johns left a powerful mark with his historic run that revitalized the entire franchise. But what Venditti has done is take everything that was done before and add to what it means not only to be a Green Lantern but how the other Lantern Corps work in the greater lore. Now with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps we have seen a revitalization of Hal’s rivalry with Sinestro intensify as the latter sits atop the universe unopposed. How will Venditti take this rivalry to the next level? Let’s find out with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #4.
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: On Warworld in Space Sector Zero several Sinestro Corps members bring Sinestro an offering. Sinestro goes to see what his Corps brought him. The members show Sinestro that they have brought him an unconscious Green Lantern Guy Gardner.
Sinestro quickly unleashes his rage on the Sinestro Corp members. He yells at them for bringing him a Green Lantern that is not Hal Jordan. As Sinestro’s rage builds he quickly realizes that if Guy has returned that it means the rest of the Green Lanterns that supposedly disappeared have found a way to return.
Guy wakes up to laugh at Sinestro which earns him a massive punch from a construct that Sinestro creates. Sinestro orders several members to take Guy to Adminster Lash while ordering others to find Lantern Strafe and get information about Hal Jordan’s whereabouts.
Elsewhere, in an unknown location Hal Jordan without his ring is seemingly being tortured by a member of the Sinestro Corps. The torture that he is put through is great enough that Hal loses the power to fight back.
Back on Warworld more Sinestro Corps members return and they present Sinestro with a bunch of frightened children they captured. Sinestro orders Lantern Strafe to show himself. As soon as Strafe presents himself Sinestro asks about Hal, who he thought Strafe and the others captured as well. Strafe informs Sinestro that Soranik arrived after they defeated Hal and told them that Sinestro ordered her to escort Hal to Warworld by herself. Not happy with the answer Sinestro quickly kills Strafe for not following his direct order of bringing Hal to him.
Sinestro tells the other members of the Corps that he will not allow them to capture children as the Sinestro Corps are enforcers not villains. He continues on to tells the members before him that to tell everyone in the Sinestro Corps that others will face Strafe’s fate if his orders are not followed. Sinestro then orders Kryb to return the children to their homeworld. As he is left alone, Sinestro wonders what Soranik has done.
In their unknown location, Soranik finishes whatever she was doing to Hal. She then tells an unconscious Hal to continue to fight.
Back on Warworld, Guy wakes up to find himself about to be baptized by Adminster Lash. Guy quickly goes on the defense and immediately launches an attack on Sinestro and Lash. Unfortunately for Guy his construct quickly disappears as his ring loses power. Sinestro informs a now naked Guy that he just wasted the little power he was left with. Sinestro then shows Guy the Fear Engine.
As Sinestro is about to explain what the Fear Engine is Guy interrupts him. Frustrated by Guy, Sinestro wonders how Guy ever ended up a Green Lantern. Guy believes that Sinestro is full of it which only goes to infuriate Sinestro even more. Sinestro tells Guy that under his rule Lash and the priests of the Sacrament are encouraged to use their faith to ensure the Fear Engine is used to ensure his order of fear is absolute.
Guy still doesn’t believe it since the Guardians supposedly wiped out the Sacrament long ago. Lash says that the Guardians let themselves believe that.
Sinestro reveals to Guy that it was supposed to be Hal in his place to find out about the Fear Engine and face his trial. Guy wonders what Sinestro would want with Hal after Hal abandoned the Green Lantern Corps.
Sinestro explains that Hal, the supposed greatest Green Lantern of them all, would’ve been broken by the Fear Engine in order to realize his willpower was not as powerful as fear. Sinestro then goes on to say that he does not plan on using the Fear Engine on Guy yet. Instead he wants to use Guy to learn about where he can find the remaining members of the Green Lantern Corps.
Before he goes through whatever Lash is going to do to him Guy asks for his bag. Sinestro throws it to Guy believing Guy will throw on some clothes. Instead Guy drinks some beer and slams the can on his forehead while asking Sinestro to bring on whatever he has planned.
Elsewhere, John Stewart hovers in the orbit above Planet Mogo wondering where Guy is as his 24-hour recon mission should been done by now. John returns to the surface of Planet Mogo and begins to talk about how hard the Green Lantern Corps had to fight to return to the universe. John tells the Green Lantern Corps they can be smart and continue to heal their wounds or follow Guy into the unknown. He then asks the Corps what they want to do. They all answer together by powering up their Green Lantern rings together. End of issue.
The Good: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #4 continues to move this series forward with the strong momentum established by the Rebirth issue. I cannot give Robert Venditti enough credit for creating such a big event atmosphere around the Green Lantern franchise with his work. It’s something that Johns was so successful at and he is continuing in fabulous fashion.
What makes Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #4 such a good read is how it continues to establish the Sinestro Corps unquestionable grip on the universe. There is a great sense of how much fear Sinestro and his Corps have instilled by what is said and shown throughout this issue.
Venditti made a great choice in making Sinestro the voice of this issue. While we see Guy Gardner and a few other characters come into the spotlight in this issue they never took the attention away from Sinestro. This not only helps to further establish how powerful Sinestro is now but also gives new readers a great look into what makes the character such a fan favorite. Even when he is saying something that is clearly written to make him the villain of the story Sinestro still comes off as a charismatic leader.
This charisma just adds more weight to what we are seeing on screen. Because it is one thing to see a villain violent knock someone out or kill someone. It is another when they are done with the conviction that Sinestro speaks with during all of his scenes. It’s that charisma that Venditti just nails and makes Sinestro feel like one of the most powerful and scariest villains in the DC Universe.
At the same time I love how obsessed Sinestro is with making the Sinestro Corps fear be the dominant order in the DCU. That obsession becomes clearer when we see how angry Sinestro becomes throughout this issue as he still has yet to have Hal Jordan there to face the Fear Engine. This tunnel vision with Hal is an intriguing character trait for Venditti to give Sinestro.
And I love how Guy was used to further get under Sinestro’s skin. Because if there is one Green Lantern that can get under anyone’s skin it’s Guy. It was a very good position to place Guy in and added a bit of comedy as he talked to Sinestro in his birthday suit the entire second half of the issue.
What added to these scenes between Guy and Sinestro is that it helped to kick start the Green Lanterns into action against the Sinestro Corps. Now it is not just Hal’s confrontation with Sinestro the we have to look forward. With the John leading the Green Lantern Corps to make a full comeback we have this new war to look forward to along with how the GL Corps deals with Hal.
Speaking of Hal, it was interesting to see him take such a backseat in this issue. Adding Soranik to these quick scenes with Hal added even more intrigue in what will happen next. Now you have to wonder where Soranik’s allegiances lay and where they will continue to be when this arc is over.
Adding to the story larger than life feel is Ethan Van Sciver’s phenomenal artwork. You know that any comic with his name on it will have an epic feeling and that is exactly how this issue felt. Even as Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #4 focus heavily on character development through talking head scenes it still felt like reading an issue of a big event. Everything that Sinestro told his Corps and Guy Gardner felt more important because of the artwork. The same goes for the pain that Hal Jordan felt with whatever surgical procedure that Soranik was doing on him.
The Bad: Nothing
Overall: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #4 is another strong issue in what is one of DC Comics best series. Robert Venditti continues to do everything in his writing power to make everything going on in his story feel larger to life. Even as he gives us an issue with almost no action scenes Venditti keeps your interest with how great character work for Sinestro, Guy Gardner, Soranik and John Stewart. All of this character work moved the overall story forward to make the reader look forward to the war between the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps. Add in Ethan Van Sciver’s phenomenal artwork and you have an issue and series that every Green Lantern fan should be buying.