Writer: Robert Venditti / Artist: Ethan Van Sciver & Jason Wright / DC Comics
So far,Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps has proven to be a well-balanced, action-packed series that knows when to throw its titular character head first into danger for some basic old school lantern action and when to let Hal take a side seat so that his colleagues can get in on the fun. Robert Venditti has switched his style up to deliver a book that’s a far cry from his old GL titles. This is probably the best time to be invested in a GL book since the much-celebrated Geoff Johns era.
With that in mind, Issue #5 poses a bit of a problem. I’ll start with the good stuff. First of all, the little handful we get of Guy Gardner is still awesome. I’ve never been much of a “Warrior” fan or anything, but I suspect this might be the book that sells me on Gardner as “the other resident badass.” Also…more John Stewart. His role as Corps Leader is the capacity he deserves to be represented in even though I’m looking forward to him diving into the impending action. Speaking of action, here’s where we get to the downside of this issue. I appreciate the moments of character development and exposition, giving the audience some time in between the action to catch a breath, but much of the book feels too much like filler. It’s not that the story isn’t moving, but it just seems like there’s not as much movement as there should be five issues in. Art-wise, it seems like somehow Ethan Van Sciver missed a step. Usually, his style is well suited for Green Lantern fare, but the panels featuring Hal Jordan and Soranik feel clunky and unfinished, like a retrofit to the already finished (and far better looking) rest of the book. Hal’s body looks downright uneven and Liefeld-esque, making for a contrast in quality that borders on Mr. Robot season finale level bizarre.
Bottom Line: Despite some odd artistic choices, this is still a good book. Well, at least I know it’ll still be good as long as I know it’s still going somewhere.