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Subj: Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #19...
Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 at 08:37:43 am EDT (Viewed 319 times)
It's worth a frown alone when considering just how utterly seperated and distant the Green Lantern books and their setting have tended to be from everyday normality, and the optional possibility of opening the front-door for a simple walk down an earthly street if Hal Jordan Guy Gardner or John Stewart so wished to do. Never mind that the last time John saw Earth was probobly the moment he confoundedly exiled himself from it, and his responsibilities thereon, back in 2011's Green Lantern Corps launch. For Kyle Rayner too earth seems to bring no real yearnings to be returned to, as he likely hasn't been there since midway through The New Guardians series - around the time he entered The Source and unknowingly brought back The Life Equation if memory serves. Indeed as we open up this issue of 'Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps' we are presented with three earthmen stood there in the Corps central chamber, and the fact that these three are all gathered together and stood over the dislocated figure of Rip Hunter tells of a series and concept that has degenerated into a very narrow focal point and accumulated altogether too much baggage if the only valid Green Lanterns allowed into the Corps upper hierarchy of influence are all earth-people. The growing sense of a book losing momentum is becoming hard not to notice, though being fair the problems in this latest issue are much the same problems that have dogged Green Lantern Corps for over a decade now - chiefly the perpetual recycling of the same basic plot and the choice in setting everything multi-light years away in unrecognisable locales.
Consider. A powerful new threat manifests that is of uncertain origin and with considerable malice towards the Corps in particular. This new opponent is familiar with the Green lanterns mythology and methods and has technology and resources of its own that are able to counter and neutralise the Power Ring energies. The Corps is therefore quickly seen at a serious disadvantage and put on the retreat by superior forces and forced to exploit desperate tactics to lead a fightback.
We could be discussing the rise of Relic. The Willhunters in 2011's Green Lantern Corps relaunch. It could equally be Invictus' return to the Vegan system. The Third Army's rise. The attack of The New Gods. You might even throw The Manhunters in here. All of these are examples of a now over-familiar storytelling formula, and as new opponent Sarko makes his introduction this issue the similarities to past stories are simply impossible to not notice and not be, somewhat at least, bored by. That Bryan hitch is currently telling a very similar time-travel story in Justice League does not help matters either no. But as we open the book and are greeted by John Stewart, Hal Jordan, and Kyle Rayner stood over a recovering Rip Hunter the deeper problem in Green Lantern as a series becomes readily apparent, as while the questions and concern over a mysterious visitor is understandable what is missing from the situation is any actual compassion or benefit of the doubt. And without those human components and the necessary figure for empathy the reader is feeling rather lost and detached, when what they should be experiencing is genuine concern over the prone Hunter as seen by at least one of our central cast. That figure might well have been Kyle Rayner, always the most human of the three main earth-Lanterns he has been seen to be the Conscience of the Corps and the most compassionate, Yet strangely despite the sight of this stranger being from the same planet as he himself is Kyle's attitude is all but indistinguishable from that of the militant John Stewart and the rigid Hal Jordan.
Greeted only by mild aggression and near contempt then it might be expected that the mysterious Rip Hunter would be left either very cautious or simmering with frustrated disdain for these three figures that tower over him. Some comprehensible human emotion to his situation at least. But no, no, again despite what appearances might suggest Rip Hunter is not any ordinary man. He has arrived from the future with the air of a man to whom all of this is buisiness as usual. He is here to warn the Corps of a threat to its existence that has slipped back in time by three decades and is intent on eliminating the union between Green Lantern's and Sinestro Corpsmen. And as we see the peculiarly unthreatening sight of a tall man with forgettably anodyne appearance one wonders what the fuss is about...
Did I like this issue? From the above you can hopefully judge my apathy very precisely. In its favour Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #19 does offer some crisp fresh visuals from newcomer Ken marion, it does offer a charming if out of place moment between Kyle and old flame Soran, which somewhat balances out Kyle's earlier out of character stance with the recovering Rip Hunter. It does offer a new threat who wastes no time at all in fully introducing himself to us and laying his intentions with a refreshing openness for a modern comicbook villain. But caught up in a plot that offers little that is actually new, that delivers characterisation that never strives to rise anywhere above the merely adequate, Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #19 stands as an example of a thoroughly commercial productline offering that is concerned only with going through the motions and keeping the wheels of production turning. Another sausage in the monotonous sausage making production-line. A reasonable assessment of it is that there is nothing about this book that is terrible as such, rather what we have here is something you will read, and will have completely forgotten about by lunch... as it is just that utterly forgettable.