With so many of DC’s titles being Earth based Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps has been able to take firm hold of the cosmic side of the DCU. Robert Venditti deserves a lot of credit as he has crafted a compelling story in the latest chapter of Hal Jordan and Sinestro’s long history together. Now after 6 issues we have finally reached the conclusion of the latest battle between the two rivals. Will this fight finally resolve the conflict between the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps? Or will it add even more friction between the two Lantern Corps? Let’s find out with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #7.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Rafa Sandoval
Inker: Jordi Tarragona
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Hal Jordan thinks back on how when he saw his father crash his plane when he was young caused him to fear flying. He was able to overcome this fear by becoming a pilot. This led him to meet a dying Abin Sur, transferred his Green Lantern ring to Hal. At that moment Hal understood the uniform he would wearing when he died was from the Green Lantern Corps
In the present Hal begins his battle with Sinestro. Arkillo offers to take on Hal in Sinestro’s place. Sinestro commends Arkillo for his seniority in the Sinestro Corps. He then proceeds to grab Arkillo by the throat. As he is choking him out Sinestro tells Arkillo that he ordered the Yellow Lantern Corps to leave Warworld during his fight with Hal and that his command is not to be challenged. Sinestro let’s go of Arkillo and creates pillars of yellow light to surround himself and Hal.
Hal thinks that Sinestro just made a bad move. Sinestro corrects Hal by saying that by the end of their fight it will be Hal who wishes they weren’t alone.
Elsewhere, out in space John Stewart continues to lead the Green Lantern Corps to Warworld. As they fly through space John gives the Green Lantern Corps an inspirational speech about their strength.
Back on Warworld, Hal mocks Sinestro for always losing to him in their fights. Sinestro says he has already won and will teach Hal he has no alternative but to join the Yellow Lanterns. They then fly at one another with their own constructs.
After their constructs clash Hal is left injured on the ground while Sinestro flies over him. Sinestro continues to try to convince Hal to join the Yellow Lanterns reign of fear. Hal continues to oppose Sinestro’s views and attacks his former mentor.
Over at the Fear Engine, Lyssa Drak tries to convince Guy Gardner to give into his fear. Guy continues to resist the torture Lyssa and Lash are putting him through the reciting the Green Lantern Corps over and over again. Lyssa tells Lash to increase the levels of the Fear Engine’s torture on Guy. Guy resists the pain and continues reciting the Green Lantern Corps oath. As he does this the other prisoners of the Fear Engine join Guy in reciting the oath.
Suddenly Soranik arrives and uses her ring to smash Lyssa and Lash’s head on one another. With the two down Soranik breaks Guy free, who is happy to see his former teammate even if she is now a Yellow Lantern.
Lyssa mocks Soranik by telling her she does not deserve to be Sinestro’s daughter. Soranik agrees because she deserves better than Sinestro. Guy wonders when the two will begin to fight. Soranik takes Guy up on his dare and throws the first punch on Lyssa.
Sinesro and Hal continue their fight with Sinestro easily getting the upper hand. As he drives Hal through a building Sinestro says that while loathe Hal for taking his best friends, Abin Sur, place he came to respect Hal. After crushing Hal on the ground Sinestro once again offers Hal a chance to join the Yellow Lanterns or die at his hands.
Sinestro’s ring starts losing its power thanks to Guy having control of the Fear Engine.
As Sinestro is left wondering what is going on Soranik leads the rest of the Yellow Lanterns in freeing the prisoners from the Fear Engine. As Soranik and the Yellow Laterns take everyone off Warworld Guy wonders if they are going to help Hal. Soranik says that Hal made his choice to fight Sinestro one-on-one.
Sinestro spots his daughter flying away as his power continues to decrease. This distraction allows Hal time to recover and smashes Sinestro with a train construct. Sinestro wonders what Hal is fighting for. Hal says, while Soranik was on a rescue mission, his mission is to resolve things with Sinestro. Hal tries to get Sinestro to back down but Sinestro says he will do what he must do.
Hal says he has to the same and suddenly absorbs all of the power from his ring into his body. As he is powering up for his last attack Hal says that after becoming a Green Lantern it was Sinestro who gave him the will to overcome his greatest fear. Sinestro tries to launch a counter attack but Hal easily repels it.
Hal finally finishes powering up just as Lyssa joins Sinestro’s side. Hal unleashes all of his power which consumes himself, Sinestro and Lyssa. The power Hal unleashes is so great it ends up blowing up Warworld in a giant green explosion.
John and the rest of the Green Lanterns see the explosion near their current location and create shields to protect themselves from the explosion’s aftershock.
As they try to figure out what just happened at Warworld the Green Lanterns see a giant yellow light coming towards them. Guy appears with the Yellow Lanterns helping him out. He then tells his friends that the Yellow Lanterns are the good guys. End of issue.
The Good: During the course of ‘Sinestro’s Law’ Robert Venditti has continuously found ways to up the ante. Whether it’s the dramatic return of the Green Lantern Corps or how Sinestro regained control of the Yellow Lanterns nothing about this story has been small. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #9 is no different as it delivered the impact needed to launch future storylines for the series.
Even though the fight between Hal Jordan and Sinestro dominated this issue there was no shortage of character development. Venditti properly mixed in plenty of character development between all of the punches, or constructs in this case, thrown by both combatants. By focusing on why each character was fighting we were able to understand why Hal and Sinestro did not want anyone involved in their battle. For all of their differences both characters are hard headed people who feel like taking on the weight of the universe on their shoulders. That type of burden amplified what we were seeing take place on Warworld.
I particularly enjoyed the voice of superiority that Venditti had Sinestro speak with. There was so much conviction to everything that Sinestro was saying that you hate to be on his side but a part of you wants to be. Even when he was treating his subordinates, like Arkillo, as being no better than trash there was believability to his authority. That sense of authority extended to everything he said to Hal.
At the same time we were able to see just how all of the power Sinestro was wielding was getting to his head. Even with all his previous defeats, Sinestro clearly felt as though no one that could touch him. And seeing how he used the power he received by combining with Parallax and the energy from the Fear Engine it was hard to not believe it. The brutal beating he gave Hal made you wonder how our protagonist would even defeat such a powerful foe.
By characterizing Sinestro in this way Venditti was able to make Soranik’s mission to save Guy and the prisoners feeding the Fear Engine an important sub-plot. Because it was clear from the fight that Hal would not have been able to find the time to fully power up and take out Sinestro. So getting Guy and everyone else out of the Fear Engine was vital to the fight’s outcome.
This successful mission also presents Soranik as one of the standout characters of this entire story. Now that it is clear that Soranik is not only going to continue on as a Yellow Lantern but also lead the Corps she is an even more important character. Because not only was she able to save everyone on Warworld but she showed herself as the one person in the Yellow Lantern Corps willing to defy Sinestro’s authority. This air of rebellion sets Soranik up to be a character that is not living in her father’s or any other Lanterns shadows. It’s a type of character set-up that makes me want to see what she would do in her own series.
While he didn’t have as a big role in the story’s outcome as Soranik it was great to see how Guy resisted Lyssa and Lash’s Fear Engine powered torture. Guy is someone that can easily be the least likeable of the Green Lanterns but with this story Venditti was able to show us why he isn’t someone fans should overlook. Seeing Guy go through an intense amount of torture without his ring made the character come out much stronger than when he started this series. His banter that ended up making the torture worse only made it easier to get behind the character.
Speaking of strength, Hal Jordan’s display of power was something to behold. Even as Venditti telegraphed Hal’s final sacrifice, seeing Hal do what he did was a powerful visual. The sacrifice not only further weakens the ranks of the Green Lantern Corps but takes two of the Yellow Lanterns most powerful members out of action. With three important characters not around there are a lot of questions to be had. Will the Green Lantern and Yellow Lantern Corps get along now or kill each other? And who is in charge of the laying down the law in the universe? This all creates further interest in what happens in the future of the series.
It’s tough for any artist who is paired with Ethan Van Scivers artwork, especially on a Green Lantern title, to standout. But even with such strong artwork to be compared to Rafa Sandoval delivers the goods with his work on Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #7. With no shortage of high impact action scenes to draw Sandoval more than stepped up to the plate. Everything he had Sinestro do to Hal while he was ranting was brutal. It made you wonder how exactly Hal was even standing by the end of the issue.
The Bad: The one misstep that Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #7 trips over itself is with the heavy focus on Hal’s backstory. At this point we all know all about Hal’s history from witnessing his father’s death to Abin Sur giving him his Green Lantern ring. It’s an old story that we’ve been told many times and it was unnecessary that the issue opened with it. This quick recap actually hurt some of the dialogue in the issue as Venditti went back to Hal’s origin many times in the dialogue.
So instead of opening the issue up with that retelling he should’ve let the back-and-forth between Hal and Sinestro tell us the backstory as things progressed. It would have also freed up a page for us to possibly get more time for the sub-plot involving Soranik or the Green Lantern Corps flying to Warworld.
Speaking of, John Stewart and the Green Lantern Corps journey to Warworld was by far the weakest part of the entire ‘Sinestro Law’ story arc. Not only John and his crew add nothing to the storyline but every time we saw them together it was the same old thing. This ended up portraying John and his group of Green Lanterns as nothing more than unnecessary and boring. Hopefully without Hal and Sinestro around Venditti can focus on developing more characters to be as compelling as the stars of ‘Sinestro Law.’
Overall: Robert Venditti continues to show that he has a firm grasp on the Green Lantern franchise and the cosmic side of the DCU. Even as the ending stumbles a bit Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #7 does a great job closing the door on ‘Sinestro Law’ while setting the stage for several potential story arcs. Hal Jordan and Sinestro final battle more than lived up to expectations as both sides got to show why they are the alpha males of their respective Corps. But now with both characters out of action there are a lot of exciting possibilities for this series to take hold off. If you are into sci-fi stories I highly recommend picking up Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps series.