Green Lantern (vol.5) #21 (August, 2013)
“Dark Days Ahead”
Writer – Robert Venditti
Penciller – Billy Tan
Inker – Richard Friend
Colorists – Alex Sinclair & Tony Avina
Letterer – Dave Sharpe
Associate Editor – Chris Conroy
Group Editor – Matt Idelson
Cover Price: $2.99
Following Flashpoint, it’s no secret that I whittled down my pull-list a great deal. Among those dropped were all of the Lantern books. I just couldn’t jump into four new titles. I stayed away for the first year and change… but then, found myself oddly curious about the direction the books might have gone.
I decided that I’d jump back in at the next “jumping on” point… which just happened to be the issue we’re going to look at today. Geoff Johns was stepping away… and we would be getting a fresh(ish) start… and hopefully a little less of the monthly crossover grind!
So, let’s take a look at how the post-Johns era of Green Lantern started…
We open with the Corps on the run. They’re fighting off… I wanna say Relic, and their rings are very nearly out of juice. As they begin to perish one by one, Hal and John order them to double back to the Central Power Battery for a recharge. Unfortunately for them, even that battery is dead!
That was “then”… so we shift into the “now”, where Hal is popping in for a visit with his sorta-kinda girlfriend, Carol Ferris. It’s more of the same from the two of them… do they love each other? Are they good for each other? Stuff like that. Hal’s cool with whatever, but Carol ain’t sure. So, it’s basically “Tuesday” for them. Before they can come to any sort of resolution, Hal is called away to Oa by the Guardians.
Upon arrival, Hal is offered… or given (it doesn’t seem like he has much of a choice here) a promotion… he is now the leader of the Green Lantern Corps. I mean, he basically has been for a half-century anyway… might as well push the paperwork and make it official. Kyle and Hal discuss all the reasons why this is a terrible idea… but the blue boys ain’t hearing it.
Later, Hal meets up with his his new Protocol Officer, Kilowog. Together they look at all of the orphaned Lantern rings… the rings of “the fallen”. Hal decides, that in his first official move as leader, to send the rings out to find new owners. Kilowog isn’t so sure this is the best idea.
Just then… the see a whole lotta orange on the horizon. Larfleeze is incoming! It would appear he wants all of those rings.
Hal assembles the Corps and takes the fight to the greedy beast. Larfleeze and his construct army prove to be a pretty tough fight for Hal and the Gang… but, not to worry, his new ring-bearers should be here annnnnnny minute. Well, don’t look now but here they are. Yikes.
Not a bad start to the post-Johns world.
There isn’t a whole lot “new” here, outside of Hal officially becoming the leader of the Corps. Feels like one of those “We can’t give you a raise, but here’s a new title” propositions so many of us have faced in our professional lives. New responsibilities, and… oh yeah, all of your current workload. No raise, but… your new business cards will arrive in 6-8 weeks.
I really liked the scene where Hal and Kyle talk about what a bad idea this all is. You’d figure, with how old the Guardians of the Universe are, the whole Parallax mess must feel like it happened like two weeks ago. Weird that they’d forget… or choose not to remember that. I mean, John Stewart… a trained field leader… is like right there. Why choose Hal instead of him?
Well, I guess Hal is still the star of the book… so, whattayagonnado? His impetuous ring-slinging in hopes of rebuilding the Corps feels in-line with his character… definitely something he would do before thinking of the ramifications. It’s no surprise that all of the pretty shiny rings might gain the attention of Larfleeze… and really, he is as good a baddie as any for Hal’s first time out as Corps Leader.
The Hal and Carol scene felt… a bit tacked on. I mean, it’s always the same song and dance with these two… and didn’t really feel necessary. I suppose it was as good a bridging scene as any… but I wish it would have added something new to the dynamic. It’s just more of the same from their dysfunctional romance.
Overall… not a bad start. Decompressed, however, things do actually occur. The art is pretty good, however, a bit scratchy at times. Tan’s work evokes a bit of the 90’s line-heavy aesthetic that hasn’t really aged well to me. I’d say this is worth a look… after all, back in 2013, I did come back for the next issue, and have been back “all-in” with the Lanterns ever since.