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Subj: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #12
Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 at 08:48:43 am EST (Viewed 1003 times)
Pleasantly widescreen and loud in its visual presentation the climax of Robert Venditti's Bottled Light story is given a suitable, but grossly excessive, finale thanks to the return of Ethan Van Sciver. I don't want to belabour the criticism I have here as I have found Mr Venditti's plotting and increasingly confident approach to this series a pleasure in its return to old fashioned super-heroics and layering of various plotlines. Green Lantern as a book has never been subtle or nuanced, but at its best it offers the opportunity for fine escapism and adventure that hallmarked the superhero formula of yesteryear, aand that in itself is no small achievement in today's trend for introspection and atrocious decompression in titles across DC and Marvel Comics.
But. And I have levelled this criticism before at Van Sciver. Why is it that so often when reading a current book contributed by him that the exercise feels more like an artist drawing for the original art market rather than an artist honouring his contractual agreement between publisher and consumer to serve the story and product at hand? By turns Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #12 is perfectly decent in its page layout and sees Van Sciver moving the plot along with reasonable economy per page. And then the pace is abrubtly interrupted for the money shot, literally the money shot, as page after page is lovingly crafted in full-poster-sized size and with a dramatic pose from the characters, or an eminently frameable action sequence rendered in resplendent double-page glory. And disconcertingly half this issue's total usable page count is unapologetically consumed by this overindulgence.
Is Ethan Van Sciver so confident in himself that he feels he has moved past working with a writer and therefore honing his own ability to translate the script and tell the story? Does he even consider himself a storyteller?
There is very little sign in his work on Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps to convince the cynic that after his failure on The Fury of Firestorms four years ago to prove himself a capable writer and teller of story he has spent some time analysing the reasons why that book failed. How he might learn from his experiences there and seek to move forward and adapt his craft to improve his technique and understanding of sequential storytelling principles. Instead for all the world he has rejected such a path and instead embraced being an illustrator, an artist who selects 'moments' from the script he has been handed rather than absorbing the script as a whole and planning each page allowed to the issue to maximise the readers right to have value for money and serve as many point of view within that script as is allowed. And so while each issue of Green Lantern he illustrates is certainly impressive to the eye the actual substance of the book as a read is not served at all well on the whole. It becomes a choppy uneven affair that is repeatedly interrupted for gratuitous full/double-page shots that serve no other purpose than to maximise the artists personal profit from this commercial assignment. The difference is put on full display here between an illustrator and his craft, and an actual artiste...
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