Looking Forward by Looking Back in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 30

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Green Lantern is a mythological big bang, constantly expanding outward into space at an alarming rate. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps writer Robert Venditti usually participates in these kind of elliptical expansions that loop back around on information or concepts that readers are already familiar with and then venturing out further into the undefined depths of space. That’s how Hal’s relationship to the New Gods of New Genesis was fleshed out, that’s how Soranik Natu temporarily re-joined the corps before betraying them and defecting with her father’s evil army. But those are whirling galaxies of mythology, and in issue 30, Venditti and artist Patrick Zircher bring that same cyclonic energy planetside.  Continue reading

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A Missed Opportunity in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 29

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Robert Venditti and Rafa Sandoval have been weaving a story about fathers and sons during the “Fall of the Gods” arc, and while they still deliver an issue with the interesting character moments, deft balancing of Lantern personalities, and exciting action they have become known for, the narrative threads fail to fully come together in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 29. Continue reading

Blowing Off Mythology to Focus on Hal in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 28

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

I want to start this piece with a pretty fundamental question: what is compelling about Green Lantern? It’s a tough elevator pitch, right? Part of that is because the great mythological expanse of the franchise is part of the appeal. How do you articulate the emotional spectrum with about babbling like a rabid fanboy for 20 minutes? Or how about trying to explain the always-in-flux state of the Corps, and their shifting relationship with the Guardians of the Universe? In the “Fall of the Gods” story arc, Robert Venditti and Rafa Sandoval are folding even more complex mythology into the dough, twisting their own narrative into a Kirby-ian pretzel. Issue 28, however, slows down just long enough to pitch the reader a different answer to the question I posed up top: Hal Jordan’s relationship to his dead father. Ingredients don’t get much more fundamental than that. Continue reading

Scary Space Science in Green Arrow 30

by Michael DeLaney 

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

My name is Michael and I learned the basics of satellites from Green Arrow 30. Along with the series’ social justice narrative, “Flash facts” like this are what makes Green Arrow such an impressive book.

Continue reading

Driving Toward the Single Arresting Moment in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 27

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Y’know that scene in Raging Bull  where Jake LoMatta (DeNiro) is in the ring and takes that slow-motion jab right to the nose? Sure you do — even if you haven’t seen the movie, it’s one of those moments that’s been parodied and emulated hundreds of times in the four decades since the film’s release. The punch slowly ripples across Jake’s face, breaking his nose and forcing a geyser of blood to erupt from his head. Its a explosive moment of physical horror which comes after nearly two whole hours of slowly unspooling emotional horror — effectively, it is thematic material of self-destruction made literal and permanent. There’s something about the violence of that choice that shakes the audience awake, casting everything that happened before it, however gradually, in to sharp, sudden relief. In Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 27, writer Robert Venditti and artist Rafa Sandoval drive towards a similarly gross moment, and while they steer into the silliness of it, the inherent gore in cutting out Orion’s heart serves the shake the reader awake. Continue reading

Mythological and Emotional Mystery in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 26

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner and Hal Jordan are interesting characters. They’re all men with tremendous baggage, and perhaps the decades of dragging around said baggage have trained them to just blurt out their feelings with the blunt force of a green-light mallet. All of them are reeling from Soranik Natu Sinestro’s heel turn, and the defection of the Yellow Corps, and maybe they’re all a touch too eager to yell about their feelings. That emotional transparency is at odds with the opaque plotting of issue 26. The inherent mystery in “what is Orion doing here again?” makes the reader double back on those seemingly clear emotional statements. Continue reading

Dark Days: The Casting: Discussion

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Bruce. We need you to explain what’s going on here.

Hal Jordan

Michael: Recently I watched the entirety of HBO’s “The Leftovers,” which I enjoyed immensely. One of the show’s theme songs is Iris DeMent’s “Let the Mystery Be,” which means exactly what it sounds like: don’t try to find the explanation in everything, just enjoy the ride that the unknown provides. Mainstream comic book readers don’t subscribe to this philosophy when it comes to the capes and tights crowd, myself included. Dark Days: The Casting is a dense issue that will likely have our kind baffled as to what we just read. Continue reading

It’s One Step Forward and Two Steps Back for Barry in The Flash 26

by Spencer Irwin

This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Guilt alone is not usually enough to help somebody change for the better. It’s an important first step, of course, but unless it leads to self-reflection, guilt can often do more harm than good. That’s certainly true for Barry Allen throughout Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter’s The Flash 26, where Barry’s overwhelming guilt leads him to make yet another stupid decision, despite the best of intentions. Continue reading

Who To Protect and Who to Serve in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 23

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

“To Protect and to Serve.”

LAPD motto

The motto above (or some variation thereof) is so commonplace among police forces that it’s easy to forget that the saying originated from a contest the Los Angeles Police Department held in 1955. They were gathering submissions for slogans for the police academy, and Officer Joseph P. Dorobeck submitted the now-famous five-word phrase. By the end of 1963, the motto was officially adopted by the LAPD. Less than two years later, the Watts Riots pitted police against civilians, in a role that was neither serving nor protecting them. The Los Angeles Police have had a rough history with the people they’re meant to protect, often revealing the population they serve to be themselves. In this week’s Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, writer Robert Venditti reminds us that the Green Lanterns are just cops, with all the same failings as the LAPD. Continue reading

Knowledge is the Key to Victory in the Flash 24

by Spencer Irwin

This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Knowledge is power. Yeah, it’s cliche, but that doesn’t make it any less true; it’s especially true throughout Joshua Williamson, Carmine Di Giandomenico, and Pop Mhan’s The Flash 24, where the power dynamics between each character are defined almost solely by how much they know. Not only does the Flash’s victory over Multiplex come, not from brute strength, but from using his CSI skills to learn about his opponent, but Reverse Flash’s utter domination of all who face him is largely powered by his knowledge of the time before the New 52. Continue reading