Green Lantern #23, I felt, has been the weakest issue we have seen from Robert Venditti. Now, I understand that isn’t a huge statement. He’s only written three comics so maybe I’m just being overly critical. However, believe me, I still enjoyed it. Personally, it’s hard to see anyone besides Geoff Johns writing a Green Lantern title. This issue had its ups and its down, but there are two major aspects I really enjoyed about this.
The first thing I enjoyed was seeing Hal as a person. As you know, Hal is now leading the Green Lantern Corps, and saying he is struggling would be an understatement. I like seeing Hal have no clue what he’s doing. He is normally always in charge and knows what to do. Things have changed a bit now, because he feels his newest recruits are a joke and wants to send out new rings. Kilowag talks Hal out of doing this as the rings have already selected the best they had to offer.
As Hal is frustrated and short tempered with a few of the new recruits (Gazzl and 2-6-8-1-7-9-5) he is approached and asked to come to the sick bay where we find a body lying on the table. After some dialogue we find out this was a new lantern, and he was killed and eaten by some of Larfleese’s pets during the attack on Oa (see issues 21&22). In the last issue Prixiam Nol-Anj escaped the prison on Oa, killed a Green Lantern, and was given a Star Sapphire ring. The Sapphires are known for their ability to show great love, so it’s ironic that she was selected. We hardly know anything about her, but that is tied up at the end of this issue.
Hal decides he needs to be the hero and go after Nol-Anj. Kilowag disagrees with this and they continue to argue. Kilowag makes the statement that if Hal wants to be respected and admired, he needs to act like a leader and inform the Corps of the change of management (you think this would have been done right away). Of course this pisses off Hal and he storms out in a hissy-fit. This is the second thing I enjoyed: Kilowag stars as our comic relief in this issue. Kilowag sits in a tiny chair, and it breaks and throws him out of a window (I think? The physics behind this seemed a little wonky. I don’t understand how he sat down but was launched to the left?) I might have enjoyed this because I really wasn’t too sure what was happening and for some reason, I was ok with that.
We appear on the Outer Territory, which has a major Star Wars feel to it, and we are introduced to some sketchy-looking bounty hunters, rebels, criminals or something of that sort. Then we see Nol-Anj and that she knows these men. She is somehow their leader and drops the commentary “You’ve always trusted me Gramack, now I’m back. Things are going to be how they were.” Looks like trouble for Hal!
Then right on queue Hal shows up to save the day. Before Hal finds Nol-Anj on this planet we learn that no one can breathe on this atmosphere, and it seems odd anyone would want to make this their basecamp. So, Hal breaks into their little reunion and one of the corniest lines I have read in a while is dropped: He is amazed to find that Nol-Anj is a Star Sapphire and he drops “Love? I’ve sworn off the stuff.” Reading this I felt embarrassed and I cringed for him.
During the fight the rings turn off, they begin choking on the non-breathable atmosphere, and sadly Hal goes one way and Nol-Anj goes the other. Hal gets the idea that the rings turned off somehow because of his “love” on Earth, Carol Ferris. He races off to Earth to find her, but the ring says it can’t find it. The ring also can’t do any of the other things he asks it to. So, will Hal be able to function without his ring? I guess we’ll have to tune in next month to find out!
With all this being said, I think I would give this issue a 6/10.
It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible. For me, it was just a little bit better than mediocre.