In Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #49

Solid payoff as the Lanterns and the Darkstars hammer one another.

The covers: Two different covers for the penultimate issue of this series. Hector Hammond, Arkillo, Zod, and Hal Jordan brace themselves on the surface of a dead world against the onslaught of several foes who are only shown in white silhouette. By setting up the cover this way the heroes take the focus, but the overwhelming outlines that are reaching for them are delightfully inhuman and frightening. A neat idea for a cover from Fernando Pasarin, Eber Ferreira and Jason Wright that’s executed fantastically. This is a great cover. The Variant cover is by Tyler Kirkham and Arif Prianto and it connects to Issue #48’s Variant cover. The left side of Arkillo’s face is in the upper left, his left shoulder frames the top of the illustration, and his left arm drapes down the right side. The massive tongue of this villain curls out of his mouth to show Marvel’s Venom how it’s done. Under the Yellow Lantern’s arm is John Stewart with his arms crossed and Kyle Rayner ready for action. Behind the pair is a spray of yellow-orange that has them pop out. I like this, but I would prefer to see a complete image; I would have been happier if this was an open out cover. Overall grades: Regular A and Variant B+

The story: Robert Venditti has written a major blowout with the lanterns and their allies battling the Darkstars for their survival. Last issue both sides had just begun to fight and things are still raring at the start of this issue. The battle is split with sides fighting on Mogo, with the lanterns defending their base, and above the Darkstar’s headquarters, with the four leads and their enemy-now-allies assisting them. John stands apart from the brawl in space to make a possible final recording on his log in case the lanterns lose. Much of the battle will depend on timing, starting with Hal Jordan. Jordan and Hector Hammond are inside the villains’ base where they plan to disconnect the Controllers from the Darkstars’ tech so the lethal legion can’t communicate and attack in sync. Hammond has a funny, albeit frightening, moment on Page 5, which leads to some great reactions on 6. Tomar-Tu has a great scene on 7, as does Kilowog at the bottom of the page. A moment that readers have been waiting for happens on 10 and leads to a dramatic moment to the loser on 11. John enters the fray on 16 with a fantastic construct. Pages 18 and 19 have the beginning of the final battle and it leaves me eager to see how this saga is resolved. This story has been building to this showdown and Venditti doesn’t disappoint. Overall grade: A

The art: Rafa Sandoval and Sergio Davila create the pencils for this issue and Jordi Tarragona provides the inks. The book looks good, but there are moments where the art isn’t as strong. Perhaps this is due to a switch in artists? I’d like to specifically know who drew what, but, sadly, the credits for this issue don’t state this needed information. The book begins with a small vertical panel that shows the battle from a distance and then moves in close for the next two panels. However, these two panels are done diagonally which increases the chaos of the conflict. The lead four lanterns and their new enemies-allies are shown on the second page and it’s staged really well. The top panel has the protagonists back-to-back blasting baddies that are trying to swarm them. This form of combat looks too neat and completely dissolves by the final panel, with the heroes entangled with Darkstars. John’s introduction is a full body shot of him looking at the battle from afar. He looks great. Hal appears on the next page and his legs and feet look a little off. Hammond’s close-ups are great with him looking evil one moment and like a innocent child the next. I love when Tomar-Tu’s face is shown through his visor and that occurs on Page 7. The art looks the most different on Page 9 with Hammond’s face getting chunky, the constructs looking incredibly basic, and that fourth panel just looking poor. The full-paged splash on 10 is too far from the reader; look at all the empty space in this illustration. Pulling in closer to the characters would have made the blow more intense and filled those empty areas. A completely unnecessary computer blur is done on a character’s feet — the character’s feet — at the top of 11. Why? Wouldn’t the blur, to show speed, be done on the character’s trunk, not the feet? It looks awful. The double-paged splash on 12 and 13 is good with several characters appearing that haven’t been shown for some time. The construct on 17 is terrific, but again there’s an awful computer blur done on a Darkstar to show speed. Why? The visual communicates that speed clearly enough to the reader. 18 and 19 is a double-paged spread of the final battle beginning. The characters are fine, but there’s a ton of dead space around them. I’m feeling very mixed about the illustrations in this issue. Overall grade: B-

The colors: Better on the book are the colors by Tomeu Morey. The greens of the lanterns and the reds of the Darkstars show the reader the powers in play on every page. I like how some of the characters’ yells, such as from Kilowog on the first page and Guy on the second, are colored to make them stand out on the white of their dialogue balloons. Arkillo’s yellows also provide some fun colors during the battle. I like the coloring of the sound on Page 5, making it really strong. The blur of colors used for the Darkstars’ teleportation is cool. The splash on 10 is colored fine, but if there had been a background Morey could have done more with it. The coloring on 18 and 19, since they’re supposed to be one image, is neat: I like how one character is dominated by greens and the other by oranges and reds. I like this book’s colors. Overall grade: A

The letters: Dave Sharpe creates the dialogue, scene settings, yells, Hector Hammond’s thoughts, screams, Darkstar mantle speech, the story’s title, the issue’s credits, and the tease for next issue. The yells are the real stand out in this issue as they blast off the pages — I especially like Kilowog’s on the first page, Guy’s on the second, and Hal’s last speech in the issue. Hammond’s thoughts are in italics, which is another visual to further separate him from the other characters. The sounds are also big in this issue, with every punch and fall exciting to look at. I really love the computerized looking speech of the Darkstar mantles, which comes across as an inhuman version of the lanterns’ rings’ speech. Overall grade: A

The final line: Solid payoff as the Lanterns and the Darkstars hammer one another. The dialogue is terrific as characters battle and the visuals, though mixed, make this an epic struggle. I’m already sad that the next issue is the last issue, but I cannot wait to read it! Overall grade: A-

To order a digital copy go to https://www.readdc.com/Hal-Jordan-and-The-Green-Lantern-Corps-2016-49/digital-comic/T1616500495001?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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