DC Rebirth has developed a strong pool of comic books released on a monthly basis. Standing out amongst the DC Rebirth pack is Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. Robert Venditti has delivered on every aspect with how he has added to the Green Lantern mythos. The opening arc effectively introduced us back to what the cosmic side of DC Universe is about and furthered the rivalry between Hal Jordan and Sinestro. Now with those two characters out of action following their latest clash the rest of the Green and Yellow Lantern Corps members have the chance to take over the spotlight. Let’s see what’s next with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #8.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Colorist: Jason Wright
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Floating around the area where Warworld once existed Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern ring is unable to confirm if Hal is dead. It begins its search for Hal by flying past Mogo in Space Sector Zero.
On Mogo the Green Lantern Corps surround the surviving Yellow Lantern Corps members. Guy Gardner tries to calm the situation down by saying the Yellow Lanterns are good guys. John Stewart doesn’t believe him, instead thinking the Yellow Lanterns somehow brainwashed Guy. Guy assures John that he is still his old dirty self.
Soranik steps in to reveal that the Yellow Lanterns on Mogo are the ones who helped the prisoners of Warworld escape.
In another part of Mogo it is shown that the rescued prisoners are happily reuniting with their families.
Back with the Laterns, Iolande wonders if Soranik is with them. Soranik apologizes to Iolande for leaving her. Iolande hugs Soranik, happy that her partner is still alive.
John gets the other Green Lanterns on track by telling Salaak and Stel to reestablish the Corps long-range communication system. John then asks Soranik for an update on what the Yellow Lanterns have been doing.
Soranik explains how it was Sinestro who decreed that every planet pay a levy in people to help fuel the Fear Engine. She goes on to say that the Yellow Lanterns with her are the ones that did not want any part of Sinestro’s plot and decided to help Guy and the prisoners escape.
John wonders if the supernova that destroyed Warworld was Guy’s doing. Guy says it wasn’t. Soranik tells John that Hal was responsible for the explosion. She recaps how Hal was searching for the Green Lantern Corps but decided that he could not wait any longer to put a stop to Sinestro’s plan. She mentions how Hal used a Green Lantern ring he forged to become will itself to defeat Sinestro.
Soranik ends her story by admitting that if the Green Lanterns had flown even slightly closer to the explosion they would’ve died along with Hal and Sinestro. Soranik then admits that she shoulders the blame for what occurred because she should’ve been better prepared for what happened.
Kilowog suddenly speaks up to reveal that he knew all about Hal’s plan to shoulder the universe’s hatred towards the Green Lantern Corps.
Guy says he doesn’t believe Hal is dead. John tells Guy to recharge his ring and put his uniform back on. John then motivates all of the Green Lanterns that they will honor Hal’s sacrifice by continuing to honor their oath to guard the universe.
Over at the command center Saleek and Stel work on getting the communication system back online. They suddenly hear a broken transmission that is plea for help. They send over the message to the other Green Lanterns are able to figure out that Xudar, Tomar-Tu’s homeworld, is being invaded.
John rounds up all of the Green Lanterns to go help defend Xundar and show the universe that the Green Lantern Corps are back. As they all take off Soranik and the Yellow Lanterns watch on from Mogo.
The Green Lantern Corps soon make it to Xundar to find Starro has already taken control of the majority of the planet’s citizens. The Green Lanterns quickly scramble to hit Starro from all sides. They are unable to damage it so they all switch to a defensive strategy. Unfortunately for them, Starro is able to overwhelm the Green Lantern Corps by sheer numbers.
As the Green Lanterns are pushed back Soranik arrives with the Yellow Lantern Corps to back them up. John protests the Yellow Lanterns’ presence but Soranik reminds him that the Green Lanterns aren’t in charge of them.
Just then the giant Starro disappears, leaving everyone confused. John asks Soranik to stay on the ground to help get the Starros off the citizens of Xundar while he, Kilowog and Tomar-Tu check things out.
As John, Kilowog and Tomar-Tu fly up they hit a barrier that was around the planet when they first arrived.
It is then shown that Braniac has captured Xundar and Starro to make them each the latest additions to his expansive collection.
Over in Space Sector 2814 on Nok, the prison planet of the Indigo Lanterns, Hal’s Green Lantern ring heads to the planet. On the planet a couple senses the presence of Hal’s ring. As the ring appears in front of them they take off their hoods to show that the couple is Ganthet and Sayd, two former Guardians of the Universe. End of issue.
The Good: After such a heavy spotlight on Hal and Sinestro in the opening arc of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps it’s refreshing to have the focus shift to the latter part of the series title. By branching off that giant rivalry Robert Venditti is able to show us the greater universe that the Green Lantern franchise exists in. That potential in the series is what Venditti is able to use to its fullest in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #8.
The character that stands out from the pact is without a doubt Soranik. Being one of the few characters that was able to have some character development in the opening arc this isn’t too surprising. Soranik’s development continues here as Venditti continues to push her as the person in charge of the Yellow Lanterns. Her rebellion of Sinestro’s rule was a great step to establish how Soranik isn’t someone that is going to stick to being a background character anymore. Here we see more of the rebellious attitude as she shut down John Stewart’s attempt to tell the Yellow Lanterns what to do.
At the same time Venditti reminds us that Soranik does have a sense of honor. Her short reunion with Iolande was a good reminder that she has roots within the Green Lantern Corps. This sense of history nicely played into what she told John about how she plans to lead the members of the Yellow Lantern Corps. It all led to a fantastic character moment where we see Soranik leading the Yellow Lantern Corps to help out the Green Lantern Corps and forcing John to accept their assistance.
Speaking of John Stewart, Venditti did a good job giving the character some much needed character development. After spending the entirety of the opening arc flying around space and giving speeches it was great to actually see him actually fighting. Venditti also did a good job establishing how John’s current role as leader of the Green Lantern Corps isn’t as strong as the Guardians of the Universe. John is used to being a general and trainer but leading an entire group is tough for him. At the same time, when he is on a battleground there is no one better to lead a team to fight whatever threat is against them.
John’s rocky leadership nicely sets up the Guardians of the Universe to return to their position as leaders of the Green Lantern Corps. We got a nice glimpse of this with the return of the exiled Ganthet and Sayd. While these two haven’t had the best time as Guardians of the Universe their guidance is needed now more than ever. Hopefully that is the direction we are going as it will free up characters like John and Guy to do other things to help in reestablishing the Green Lantern Corps.
The fake out of the real villain of this new story arc was handled perfectly. Starro on his own is a great villain to have the Green and Yellow Lantern Corps to fight but instead we get Brainiac. While Brainiac is mostly tied to the Superman books his appearance here makes complete sense. Given his obsession with collecting things across the universe there is very little doubt he would come into conflict with the Green Lantern Corps from time to time.
This appearance accomplishes multiple things as Brainiac gets to expand his reach to other comic books outside of Superman and the Green Lantern Corps are given a fresh villain to fight. It’s a win-win for both sides of the conflict in this story arc.
Making the entire story even better is Ethan Van Sciver’s phenomenal artwork. Sciver was just born to draw the Green Lantern franchise. Even as the story shifts to a smaller scale Sciver is able to give everything happening on the page a larger than life feel. Even when he has to draw a lot of characters throughout the issue he is able to maintain each character’s different looks. And I absolutely love how he drew the chaotic nature of the Green and Yellow Lanterns brief fight against Starro. Sciver got across how powerful Starro is and that you always have to someone watching your back in the fight against such a villain.
The Bad: As much as I like the potential of where John Stewart’s character is headed I am getting slightly annoyed at how much talking the character does. His overcompensation makes it hard for any other member of the Green Lantern Corps to get a word in. With so many strong and unique characters like Kilowagg that make up the Corps I wish that we would see others get half the amount of time John gets to talk. It will only serve to further strengthen the series if other characters than the three Earthling Green Lanterns got some development.
Overall: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #8 is a strong start to the second arc in the series. Without Hal Jordan or Sinestro around we were able to shine the spotlight on other characters that deserve just as much as those two. The surprising ending that revealed Brainiac as the main villain for this new arc brings a lot of fresh new opportunities for Robert Venditti to take. Adding in Ethan Van Sciver phenomenal artwork makes this an even bigger must-read for Green Lantern fans.