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Member Since: Thu Sep 03, 2009
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Subj: Re: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #12: dumb question?
Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 at 12:14:00 pm EST (Viewed 939 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #12
Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 at 10:06:00 am EST (Viewed 17 times)

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    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...


    Above is an example of fine work from Ethan Van Sciver that arrives as the combined forces of the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps have broken free from Brainiac's bottled city taken on Xudar and confront both Brainiac, and his true master, Larfleeze. Both Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner are corpsmen thought to have died on duty by their friends and colleagues and so as Robert Venditti has has weaved his cast along seperate story strands the moment of their crossing together is intended as an important moment within the story. One that the script clearly signals deserves to be at least a half page shot, and possibly served best as a near full page shot of old friends meeting and the amazement that this arrival brings... In execution though, and as spectacular as the above scene is, it is one such 'dramatic' full page moment among many others. Indeed the very page following this is an eyewatering full page rendition of the reunited Corpsmen from earth taking off together, and tellingly Van Sciver illustrates even that for-the-art-market page with a bizarre composition of Hal and Guy zooming through the air(?) in one direction, and the bizarre sight of Kyle and John moving in the other direction. It is a baffling scene to look upon, like underwater ballerina's staging a display and going into a rotating motion. It looks impressive for ballet such as that, on the page of a Green Lantern book, and used within this context it looks exactly like what it is. One for the original art people. $1000+ perhaps...? A gross example of Shameful self profiteering in action, and an editorial not exercising its authority to press the hired hand towards serving the story rather than himself.


Have yet to read this issue...and I admit the artwork looks great to me. Though I can understand your frustration at the splash pages we have been getting for decades from all comic books these days.

I personally miss the 9 frames per page on a comic book that actually led to some real story telling in an issue...I hate decompression.

I am likely missing something obvious, but who is in the bottle
that Hal does not want broken? sort of looks like Lobo