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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Subj: Re: Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #21...
Posted: Mon May 29, 2017 at 12:28:32 pm EDT (Viewed 629 times)
Reply Subj: Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #21...
Posted: Sat May 27, 2017 at 10:04:58 am EDT (Viewed 685 times)

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It's been a particularly disappointing week for Superhero comics, the ones I pick up at least, with Action Comics offering little that is original or interesting and Wonder Woman ending a long-running storyline with a sigh rather than a hurrah I wasn't expecting 'Hal Jordan and..' to offer anything exceptional as the title hasn't been exceptional for several issues now... which is as well given the final chapter of this ongoing storyline predictably concludes as it began - Dull, unengaging, and with flat lifeless art carrying things along.

Should I put effort in and analyse why Robert Venditti's time-travel vendetta falls so flat? Well, no, the ingredients used are very familiar ones, with time-travel terrorist Sarko arriving from the future with advanced technology that exceeds the Green Lanterns capacity to cmnbat so too does Rip Hunter arrive to warn and aid the Lanterns to Sarko's intentions. It could be the plot to JJ Abrams' Star Trek revival, but of course the plot goes back much much further than that and it in fact a well worn science-Fiction trope. Sarko is a completely one-dimensional creation, completely forgettable on every dramatic level, he serves merely as a plot-point, and as this story ends that point is to act as a surprise twist that on one level works, by being linked to one of the most popular Green Lanterns, but in immediate terms falls flat as the story at hand has been so unengaging an experience it is hard to feel much else about Sarko than one might feel about the face on the billboard you quickly passed by on your way to the superstore this morning. But the point to Venditti's tale has been built around this reveal, the suggestion of Sarko's parentage being quielty developed as a side-plot these last three issues and this payoff as to who's destiny leads to Sarko being a quite powerful one. In the hands of another writer, someone who had put more thought into the build-up to the moment of reveal, this would indeed have been a powerful idea as despite the negation of Sarko's future the fact that Venditti tries to suggest is that that man from the future will still come to pass. Some day Sarko will be born, that damaged and corrupted descendent will be the creation of Kyle Rayner's attempts to rekindle his long dormant romance with the daughter of Sinestro, and as we reach that final page of a crushed Kyle this is the knowledge, the reality, that is affecting him so deeply. Not the fact that the anonymous foe from the future was his son, rather the fact that whatever he does destiny has already been shown to him that any serious relationship with Soran Natu is going to lead to this inevitable product. The idea is a powerful one. But not altogether put across in the end as Venditti relies on the fact of the *'plot-twist'* to end the story rather than the obvious emotional implications as discussed above. That the twist and the emotional impact is all done on that final page of a seated Kyle, hand on face, sobbing "My Son, Sarko was my Son." is something of a sight that is more comical rather than affecting. The reaction from this reader at least was more derision than the genuine sense of shock and sympathy that such a reveal should have, and this in itself tells of failure on the writers part as despite watching the charming flirtations of Kyle and Soran none of this storylines elements have drawn the attention or engaged any investment.

In the end the idea is there for something worthy of a plaudit, the finished result however is a largely forgettable mish-mash of well worn science fiction tropes and the heavy
recycling of past Green Lantern plotlines. One has to hope things will improve with this book, as when on form and with a capable artist as partner Robert Venditti has shown us he is capable of better...

I can't help but agree with most of what you said here. Up until this particular storyline, this book has been pretty good with some solid writing.

This storyline had the potential to be a great one, the elements were there. But I wasn't given a reason to care about Sarko because the writer didn't provide any. What made Sarko turn out the way he did? He was the Alley Rat's son for crying out loud. Why did Sarko think that reviving the Sinestro Corps was the only way to go? That and more the writer fails to answer. There was no proper set-up and the reader was not given a reason to care. Sarko was nothing more than a one-note villain. His death and the pain that it brought the Alley Rat fell flat on it's face. All of this would have had far more impact had proper storytelling techniques been used.

Then there's Krona's Gauntlet. It gained sentience and yet this isn't explored in the least little bit. We're given a half baked explanation as to why and how it gained sentience and then it's left at that. The Gauntlet changed Hal into a being of willpower. How did it do that? The gauntlet gained sentience? How did it gain it? It's not entirely clear since the writer focused so little on an explanation. Worse, instead of reasoning with it, or trying to, Hal simply kills it.

Twenty-one issues in and we still haven't seen any exploration into Hal being made of pure willpower. Does he have any additional abilities aside from being able to create a ring from willpower and sensing fear? Does Hal still need to recharge his ring or does his body of willpower keep it charged? What else can his ring do? Is it more powerful than a standard power ring? Being made of pure willpower, does Hal even need the ring? There are so many questions about this and yet, they are all going unanswered. Which begs the question, why even turn Hal into a being of pure willpower if nothing is going to be done to explore this?

Looking at future solicitations, I hope things will get better for this book. Venditti can do better than this and I hope to see better from him.

It's interesting that a hero/villain performs one amazing feat, or use a power they haven't used for 20+ years, and that automatically propels them to a high status despite scans and evidence to the contrary. I don't know what is worse, selective feat picking that has only been done once or twice 20, or more, years ago or ignoring evidence from scans or the lack thereof. We need to stop putting our favorite heroes/villains on pedestals and start putting them where they really belong. But it's evident that people never will because they would rather accuse others of cherry picking feats, when they don't, and being 'morally superior' when they aren't. I guess being honest and as fair as possible only opens one up to being the target of childish accusations and fault finding by those who insist on acting petty and childish. What happened to a good debate between two civil, mature, adults?