The Stars Go Dark in HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #42

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HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #42
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #42 BY ROBERT VENDITTI, ETHAN VAN SCRIVER, AND JASON WRIGHT
Art
Characterization
Plot

Summary

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #42 brings the Corp up against a new threat -- the returning Darkstars. Writer Robert Venditti falters slightly, but still improves from the previous issue as he gives the Lanterns a new threat with a personal edge.

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Dark Returns

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #42 begins a new story with “Darkstars Rising.” However, this familiar foe has gained a new edge– the face of an old friend. Warning, there are potential spoilers below!

Back In Jail

The issue begins with the Controllers readying their new weapon– a robotic version of the Darkstar suits. Unlike their previous attempts, these Darkstars will link to the Controllers’ minds directly, without any input from the host. The idea fits the Controllers to a T, and the art team of Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright do an amazing job bringing them to life. These two have brought Ivan Reis’ style to mind in the past, and they do it again here. The Controllers look like space Nosferatu — aged beings with great power. They practically vibrate with control and danger, while the art team’s deep lines and colors hold everything in place.

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #42
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #42 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Meanwhile, young Lantern Somar-Le meets with her imprisoned predecessor Tomer-Tu. Writer Robert Venditti flexes his dramatic muscles here, as Somar-Le keeps trying to understand why Tomar is no longer worthy of his ring. Tomar’s explanation is simple — he killed a murderer. The whole scene syncs with the last issue, as Hal talked about putting threats down for good. Venditti shows how heroes are fallible, and not the purely good figures people (especially children) see them as. Hal arrives and echoes the point, before sending Somar to her training.

Tomar feels regret for how his actions have tarnished his father’s name and disappointed Hal. However, he doesn’t regret what he did; in fact, he questions why the Lanterns allow criminals to live at all. The scene is reminiscent of Hal’s conversations with Sinestro after “Sinestro Corps War.” It’s somewhat lessened by Hal’s shock at Tomar, since he echoed similar ideas in the previous issue. The scene still carries good weight though, and Tomar’s words have more impact then he realizes.

GREEN LANTERN: Essential Reading In Brightest Day

Darkness Rising

The Controllers continue describing their plans for the Darkstars when, suddenly, a suit activates on its own and begins scanning for a “volunteer.” It’s a nice touch that the suits operate similar to a GL ring, and the power the suit holds is beautifully shown by the art team. The harsh reds add a touch of menace to the whole page. Even the Controller looks frightened by what he and his brethren created.

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #42
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #42 page 13. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Controllers lose control (and possibly their lives) as the suit rockets off. It scans for a volunteer and seems to find one. It warps through space before literally emerging inside Tomar’s cell. The suit asks Tomar if he wants to enforce lethal justice. Tomar agrees, and the suit wraps around him, changing to fit his physiology. Hal tries to free him, but Tomar uses the suit’s power to warp away, telling Hal he chose this freely. That leaves Hal to let the Corps know that the Darkstars are back.

The Ride Ends In GREEN LANTERNS #43

Final Thoughts on HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #42

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #42 stands as a solid start to a new storyline. Venditti seems to have realized his previous problems with the “Zod’s Will” storyline and balanced out action and drama. The art recalls the glory days of Ivan Reis, and the story flows like something from Geoff Johns. The Darkstars’ brutality and harsh justice open up all sorts of questions to be debated as the story goes on. Hal’s previous thoughts seem to be on the back burner for now. However, the writing appears ready to bring them up again later. In addition, the lack of a Zod-type figure eliminates the chance for the big bash-em-up fight that plagued previous issues. Tomar-Tu’s involvement is just the icing on the cake. The story may go off the rails later, but for right now, it feels solidly on track.

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