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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 38,619
Subj: Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #20...
Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 at 09:08:56 am EDT (Viewed 562 times)

With a sense of dissapointed resignation I must report that I can add nothing much to say about Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #20 that I did not already lay out for the Previous Installment. Over-familiar, predictable, lacking in depth, and an over-emphasis on the earthmen Green Lanterns at the expense of the many other varied Corps and their potential to add a genuine sense of scale and depth to the series.
What did stand out this issue was the remarkable first page with John Stewart's admission he was once a member of the Justice League, a fact which while flying against the revisions of 2011 reinserts some of the characters most popular history and suggests that perhaps Kyle Rayner too might have benefited from this reversion to the previous canon. Quite why Robert Venditti felt a need to drop this detail into his opening narration here would be difficult to rationalise other than the distinct possibility of it being a directive sent from up above to reinsert such bridges to the past. The point is speculative certainly, but with news that next weeks Green Arrow will feature a similar introspective from Roy Harper that will rationalise his own past their does appear to be truth to the claim.

As John takes us through his resume' and sprinkles in some due pathos on how tough a chap he is one wonders whether he feels the familiarity of it as much as the longtome Green lantern reader will, but on the optimistic side this may just be writer Robert Venditti showing a faithfulness to the characters well established character flaw of repeating his own mistakes thanks to a subconcious ingrained self doubt and destructive impulse. Certainly as the story ends on an equally familiar gesture from John one might call it brilliant character work as as Volthoom himself once observed John Stewart is a man who seemingly shapes his own downfalls and would have it no other way. As he monologues and boasts of greater tactical sense than the Batman himself there is an inescapable sense of self-damnation at work, a man who's focal point is so unyielding he is incapable of balancing it with the knowledge of his own limitations and past failures in such situations. Which as a flaw is a very serious detriment indeed for an esteemed leader of a pan-galactic police force.

With an unstoppable tidal wave of approaching attackers that their Rings have no effect upon how familiar it must all be for Hal, John, and every surviving Corps member sent up from Mogo to face it. That it takes the captive Gorin-Sunn to point out previous such incidents, with New Gods and Relic, points to the fact Robert Venditti surely knows how formulaic and recycled this slim plot is, a time-traveller from the future returned to eradicate the Corps with what turns out to be the Gauntlet of Krona which Hal Jordan discarded at the beginning of this series. But even this face from the future lacks anything of interest about him by which the reader might be distracted - no operatic costuming or sense of presence to announce the drably dressed Sarko, what we have instead is an anonymous cipher sent back from a universe where the Green and Yellow Lantern developed together and this disgruntled apostle to the fear based origins of the Sinestro Corps cannot abide by the change so heads back in time to put it to the sword at birth. Neither man nor his mission has anything about it that interests the reader or carries much in the way of high stakes as we know the Lanterns will survive and we know without even considering the point that dear Sarko will not even be a memory come next year anymore than anyone now remembers The Keepers... if only he had any sense of the bigger picture and his own utter sheer irrelevance in it Sarko might at least be semi-amusing as a figure who knows he is doomed to the power of history. But the world is after all filled with people convinced they are somebody's when the reality that they are nobody is far too much to have to face up to. Robert Venditti miight be using Sarko and his holy mission as an allegory for real world terrorism ethics, he might even be cribbing ideas from JJ Abrams Star Trek, but his is a story that lack any moral or dramatic purpose to it and filled with characters who are written so blithely and by rote' what we receive on the finished page is a book that is almost worthless. No one can ever call these last two issues their favorite Green Lantern story. Indeed I feel strongly enough convinced that no one can even call this current issue a potential book of the month, as there is nothing here here that at all convinces or appeals...

A mixture of the dramatic and the padded. Rafo Sandoval's work for this issue is urged on and informed by the mediocrity of the script he is given. Using a pleasing mix of different page arrangements the flow of the issue does unfortunately become altogether too stretched and padded thanks to the decision to rely on huge action shots that lend a false sense of the over-dramatic to a scene that in itself means nothing in the story itself. In this though I cannot fault Sandoval as the sheer weakness of the material he is asked to bring life would present exactly the same challenges to any artist. In the end Sandoval does a fine enough job, yet is unable to lift the script from above the utterly pedestrian and even the woeful design of main protagonist Sarko becomes irrelevant in the face of such written mediocrity.

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