Green Lantern (vol.5) #41 (August, 2015)
Writer – Robert Venditti
Penciller – Billy Tan
Inker – Mark Irwin
Colorists – Alex Sinclair & Tony Avila
Letterer – Dave Sharpe
Assistant Editor – Andrew Merino
Group Editors – Eddie Berganza & Matt Idelson
Cover Price: $3.99
We took a look at some DCYOU Superman not too long ago… and I lamented the fact that the initiative felt kinda doomed from the get-go. Too many big changes all at once made it feel as though nothing much mattered.
I’m sure there’s a word for it… it’s like a bell-curve of engagement… you start off disengaged… then add some stimuli, and engagement rises… however, you reach a point where you get overloaded… and you just stop caring altogether. That’s how DCYOU made me feel.
It’s kinda like when I’m looking at my “to read” pile… as it grows, it feels kinda urgent, like I gotta make time to get around to it… but then it hits that “tipping point”, and I wind up just filing them all away.
Anyhoo… let’s get to it!
We open at the Gaming Dens of Y’Gaal, somewhere in Sector 3087. A well-dressed blue alien stands in the arena… ready to face off against a beast referred to as a “Kreeak”, very likely because that’s the sound it makes. The creature lunges, only to find itself impaled by an emerald construct sword. The fix is in!
Or is it? Well, the bloodthirsty crowd seems to think so, and I suppose that’s all that really matters at this point. Feeling as though the “house” scammed the gamblers, a riot breaks out… and the blue-skinned alien is returned to his cell. Later, he is joined by the man who put that sword in his hand… the Renegade Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. Hal looks quite a bit different than he used to… longer hair, longer coat… and a gauntlet in place of his ring.
Hal breaks this alien (named Virgo) out of his cell… the escape route, however, is blocked by a trio of guards led by a Darth Maul-looking fella named Trap. Despite the new-look, he immediately recognizes Hal… and a fight is on.
Hal eventually gets the better of things, however by this point the rioting patrons have begun to storm the pens. Hal headbutts Trap, and takes him hostage as he and Virgo attempt to make their escape.
To hasten their egress, Hal uses his gauntlet to open all of the creature cages… allowing them to run free among the rioters. Hal and the gang then hop on a construct aero-bike, and head off…
… Arriving some time later at Hal’s Class III Light Cruiser, Darlene! This is one sassy ship, who doesn’t shy away from talking back to Mr. Jordan. On board, we see that Hal has locked Trap away in a cell… and learn that he rescued Virgo in order to get payyyyyyed.
They’re heading to Ketleth Prime to return the blue prince, however are taking the scenic route through Sector Zero… where we see that the Green Lantern Corps have… vanished!
Ya know… as overwhelmed as I am by DC’s current bi-weekly shipping model, I gotta say, I think I’m a bit spoiled by it.
In reading this issue I just feel like we didn’t get quite enough. Knowing that we had to wait an entire month for the follow-up… I dunno. It’s weird, I never thought about stuff like that before Rebirth. Once a month comics were always enough… it’s just the way it’s always been, so I didn’t think much of it. Even as concepts like decompressed storytelling were introduced… and the entirety of the Bendis Avengers, I never felt like the these books needed to be anything more than monthly.
Nowadays when I think of DC’s “monthlies”, they almost seem like afterthoughts. Like, their stories don’t matter as much as the “flagship” titles… they’re a buck more expensive… and it’s almost as though they’re on-deck for cancellation.
It’s interesting to go back… even just a couple of years, and think about what it was like to wait for an entire month. This isn’t Green Lantern-specific or anything, just some thoughts that popped into my head while reading. Can’t really hold them against the book itself… but worth mentioning, if only to get it out of my head. Oh yeah, one more thing… this is a four-dollar book. For the amount of story we get… I gotta say, I’m really glad DC decided to “draw the line” one more time.
For the issue itself, it was really quite good. I actually dig the new-look Hal Jordan here. Feel like the longer hair and coat suits him… it’s different enough to stand out (could even get its own action figure), but not so alien as to look weird. Plus, seeing Hal in a hood takes me back to his days as the Spectre… which is a neat touch.
Renegade Lantern Hal Jordan rescues a rich alien… and takes a bad alien hostage, setting up an interesting Odd Couple… er, Triad (?) going forward. Outside of our cliffhanger, that’s really about all that goes down.
Now… speaking of the cliffhanger, this is one I was pretty excited for. Over the past decade-plus, I’ve grown a bit weary of constant Corps stories. I came in to the franchise during the Kyle days, where there was no Corps… and the stories were mostly Earth-based. I miss stories like that… where we’re not spending a quarter of each issue “checking in” on Oa, or Mogo… or wherever the hell the Corps is hanging out.
I think that might be one of the highlights of this DCYOU era of Green Lantern… the Corps were off doing their own thing, and Hal got to spend a bit of time on Earth. Of course, the eventual clash with Parallax was… a bit underwhelming. Okay, it was really quite awful… but that’s a discussion for another day.
Overall, an interesting “first chapter” for this (sadly) short-lived Renegade Green Lantern arc. Definitely worth checking out. Venditti gives us many questions… and thankfully, they’re all ones I want(ed) to stick around to get the answers for. Billy Tan’s artwork here is really good… despite the “new look”, Hal still looks like Hal.