Written By: Robert Venditti
Art By: Billy Tan & Vincente Cifuentes
Inks By: Mark Irwin, John Livesay & Vincente Cifuentes
Color Art By: Alex Sinclair & Tony Avina
DC enters a month of landmarks issues this week in which we get the first #50 issue with Green Lantern. As a DC fan that’s feeling a little jaded, the anniversary issues always get me excited to try the books I love, so I was happy to be picking this issue up. Also, I’ve been loving Venditti’s work on Wrath of the Eternal Warrior, so the bar was a little high.
For an extra sized issue, very little happened here. This whole issue is more or less the new 52 Hal Jordan going toe to toe with Parallax, who is now in this world thanks to the Convergence event. The issue felt very quick to me, and, in many ways, felt rushed (more on that later). To that end, the moments of Hal we got felt true to the character, and the unhinged Parallax Hal Jordan also felt right, which is really the first time I’ve felt that way in the New 52. It’s a hard feeling to explain, but Venditti’s grasp on Hal, outside of the Relic stuff he was doing early on in the run, just felt right. I’ve never been a Hal fan outside of Geoff Johns’ work. Much like I mentioned last week with Superman, I feel bad that this is finally happening as the DC status quo is about to change. Speaking of Superman, the story there is looking to be similar to this one, as two Supermen meet from different worlds. That said, will this be the case in the other 50th issues, in books like The Flash or Aquaman? I know this won’t be the case in Batman, but it seems like this could be leading to the Rebirth event that’s coming this summer. That said, I wish I had more to discuss in terms of the story. Even though the final sequence looks to put Hal in an odd place as a person, it’s nothing earth shattering just yet.
While the story was solid, I can’t say the same about the art. The first half of the issue felt incredibly rushed. Almost every face looked unfinished, and the eyes were all over the place, but not in an endearing way like Kirby. When a book is rushed like this, you can tell straight from jump. The lines look unfinished, there are still, large chunks of color to fill in panels, and the storytelling is lacking. I’m not sure who worked on that first half, so I’m not calling anyone specific out, but it’s not surprise that the art team was as large as it was. That said, this issue got really weird when the art abruptly picked up in the middle of the big aforementioned battle, and by the end, the rendering and storytelling was there. While I’m all for building stories, I don’t necessarily need that in terms of art going from rough to solid. I spent half the issue almost wanting to put down the book from the artwork, and found myself growing more and more confused as the story went on. Due to that, I get the impression that if this was a standard size issue, the art would have been considerably stronger.
This issue of Green Lantern was incredibly perplexing. I didn’t outright hate it, but I definitely left the issue feeling hollow, specifically from the art. I’ve seen work from all the people on the book before, and I know there’s quality in their work, which only adds to the confusion.
2.5 Rings out of 5