“I’m not a Green Lantern anymore.”
We open up our tale racing across the stars in dashing fashion as the crew of a class 3 light cruiser named Darlene is streaking post-haste through the cosmos. As we adjourn inside captain: Hal Jordan, former Green Lantern turned renegade is transporting some very important cargo on a tight schedule. The cargo’s name is Trapper. He is a bounty hunter who tried to collect the wrong check and now finds himself in the comfort of a plasma barred cell. Hal seeks to show him the error of his ways via the means of taking a trip. The destination: Ketleth Prime, a distant planet. Hal is transporting Trapper as well as a native of that World, Virgo there.
Along the way Hal receives much heckling from both his captive and his spacecraft (and you thought Michael from Knight Rider had a raw deal) but he remains focused on his objective. However Hal receives a big surprise when he arrives at the coordinates where Ketleth Prime should be. When he investigates closer it appears to be that the planet, is now made entirely out of stone. This sends Virgo spiraling into grief. After a few tough moments, Hal not knowing what to do allows Virgo to grieve.
Before any kind of reprieve can be made, Hal’s ship Darlene warns him that a full-fledged armada is right outside his window. Now not being the one to shy away, Hal makes ready for confrontation. What makes the dynamic so interesting is even though he is a pariah in the eyes of the Green Lantern Corps, he’s still not willing turn his back on them. It’s very old school honor and I like it.
Trapper’s buds show up with an enormous fleet and he laughs thinking that Hal is all but done for. A great moment of dialogue is exchanged as Trapper says to Hal “You against my whole crew? Does this heap even have cannons?” Hal just brazenly replies “No, because I don’t need any.” He then shows why he is the Embassador of Badassery as he fires up his Krona Gauntlet and floats outside the ship to handle the whole armada himself.
Hal then shows us why “will is skill” and any weapon is the greatest one in his hands, as he fully unleashes unbridled power on the fleet. On a personal note here, I go back and forth on Billy Tan’s art a lot but it’s the moments like this one that he makes me eat my words and just smile back at the page slack-jawed. I’ve heard people also give a lot of criticism on Hal’s new duds (which I absolutely love btw) and I think it’s unfounded. This is comics and entertainment folks, things will come and go and things will change (remember all the guns and extra pouches and cheesy violent code names in the 90’s?) but as long as the creative teams tackling this, respect and honor the essence of the character it’s perfectly fine. Besides I think Hal’s new costume is great and encompasses the changes to his character. It makes complete sense as he is now an individual and not considered a “Space Cop” anymore. No need for a team uniform. The long coat and costume change give him a much more lone gunman style look which I just think is freaking cool. Bottom line to me, if it walks like Hal Jordan, talks like Hal Jordan, and kicks an incredible amount of ass, then it’s Hal Jordan.
The remainder of the issue shows Virgo dealing with his grief, Hal having some trouble asserting dominance over his gauntlet (it’s sentient and strong willed too, giving a great dynamic as open’s the question as to who wields whom?) and the return of a very powerful Green Lantern villain who finds himself in despair as well.
Overall: This was a fun read that took sci-fi and gave Hal a touch of Chuck Norris (Hell I bet even Hal wishes he was Chuck) as he took on the entire fleet himself. After last months issue which started slow it turned it around for me, and I absolutely dug it. I liked the story and the art and they meshed great for some entertaining moments. Seeing Hal cut loose with the Gauntlet had me cheering. This is how you do a GL book, adventure, witty banter, and action..action..action! With the return of a classic lantern villain at the end, I am excited to see where this one goes next. We may be in for some strange alliances. It’s true he may not have the ring anymore, but if this momentum can continue there are sure to be plenty of “Brightest Days” ahead. Till next time guys, I gotta recharge the battery. Over and out!
Story: Robert Vendetti Art: Billy Tan
Story: 8.5 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy