I review Robert Venditti and Billy Tan’s Green Lantern #23 from DC Comics.
Green Lantern #23
Story: Robert Venditti | Pencils: Billy Tan | Inks: Rob Hunter | Cover: Billy Tan, Alex Sinclair| Publisher: DC Comics | Price: $2.99
Hal struggles with his new role as leader of the Green Lantern Corps while he tries to solve the mystery of why the universe is atrophying! And an escaped prisoner has gotten hold of a power that makes her nearly unstoppable! The stage is set for the ultimate test against Relic!
Well, that was interesting. Having only been following Green Lantern since #21, I’ve missed how the Corps have come to be in the state that they are now (but with NetGalley copies of Rise of the Third Army and The End for The Founding Fields, except that to change), Venditti allows for an interesting take on Hal Jordan and his fellow Lanterns, with an impressive, if flawed third issue.
The issue itself deals with Hal’s new role as leader of the Green Lantern Corps and as you can imagine, he isn’t really doing well, mainly because of the escaped prisoner, Prixiam Nol-Anj, who escaped from Oa after being selected as a Star Sapphire ring in the previous issue despite the fact that there may well be a reason behind her imprisonment. The plot is fairly solid, but it doesn’t help matters that it seems to tie into Green Lantern Corps and New Guardians, much like #21 did, which I feel these particular tie-ins should have been left until later in the new creative team’s run, and it should allow each title to stand on its own feet more – a similar problem which I had with Teen Titans and Superboy earlier in the New 52, they always seemed to be involved in some sort of Crossover and never really got their feet off the ground.
The book also has a lot to deal with. Not only do we witness Hal chasing after Prixiam Nol-Anj, but also his attempt at dealing with the new recruits of the Green Lanterns – which isn’t going well, and the fact that Hal is also worrying about Carol whilst struggling to deal with the power fluctuations of the Corps’ rings. That’s a large amount to deal with in one issue and it feels like Venditti is trying to deal with too much, too soon.
The artwork from Billy Tan is pretty awesome, and whilst there are a few moments where it doesn’t quite work, there are some pages where it does. I liked the use of the white background in one panel, and the Cover is another highlight for me as well – all the Green Lantern covers have been very striking so far since #21.
This issue effectively shows that if you want anybody to lead you, it shouldn’t be Hal Jordan. The events that unfold are pretty interesting to read and I’m super excited for #24 and the Lights Out Crossover, despite the fact that I wish that this had come later during the new creative team’s run. However, I don’t think I’ll be picking up any of the Villain’s Month titles for this series unless in the case of Relic where they may be important to the storyline.