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Green Lantern #162

Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Judd Winick
Artist: Charlie Adlard

Publisher: DC

Plot:
The book opens with Green Lantern & Green Arrow attempting to explain the rather confusing situation to the arriving police, but after the two make their way to a nearby rooftop we see the tensions between the two resurface. As Oliver plays the "I knew Hal Jordan, and you're no Hal Jordan" card, we see Kyle responses by dismissing Oliver as an old fart whose time has past. However this exchange stops short of coming to blows, as Connor Hawke arrives to break them up, and he takes some time to give them both an earful for being obstinate blowhards. As the two head their separate ways, we join Kyle back in New York as he lets off a little steam by taking out a group of thugs, with Jade providing a somewhat sympathetic ear to Kyle's complaining. We then follow Kyle as he continues his investigation of the alien plot, as he questions the gangsters who had dealing with the aliens. As Kyle learns that bleach is being sought by the aliens, as to them it's a highly additive narcotic, the book jumps back to Oliver as we see he's busy leading a group of children on a camping trip. However when an alien vessel comes to ground nearby, Oliver rushes to the scene, where he arrives in time to be greeted by an alien who should be quite familiar to Green Lantern fans.

Comments:
I had just assumed that last issue was Judd Winick's last, but I guess he's on hand for these next three issues, to provide the Green Lantern chapters of this crossover. If nothing else I had hoped that this issue would tie into what we had been getting a little better, as Kyle looks to have settled back on Earth without much trouble, and he's not really all that disturbed by the level of violence that he's encountered thus far on this adventure, so I assume he's willing to protect humanity in spite of their capacity to commit violence. Now the involvement of aliens might alleviate some of Kyle's concerns, as the underlying threat is from off planet, but this issue has Kyle & Jade making no real mention of their previous adventures, nor the reasoning behind Kyle decision to leave Earth, and I couldn't help but find this a bit odd, considering Judd Winick is the one writing this issue. Still, this issue does tie into the opening chapter over in Green Arrow quite nicely, as the action picks up right where that issue left off, as does the tension between these two characters, who clearly have serious issues with each other. The book also adds Connor Hawke to this encounter, who intervenes before this issue exchange between Kyle & Oliver can come to blows.

This issue continues the trend where Kyle & Oliver don't really work together, as we're two issues into this crossover and while they've both been working on the same case, the only real interaction these two have had is to get on each otherís nerves. I guess what I'm trying to say is that thus far this hasn't been much of a team-up, as the characters have spent far more time apart than together, and when they are together they spend the time doing little more that expressing their mutual dislike. Now the big surprise on the final page should act to draw these two heroes back together, and it also provides a pretty solid mystery as well. However I suspect the next chapter will go for the easy answer, as I don't believe Oliver ever met this character before, and as such this could very well be a simple case of Oliver leaping to a conclusion before he gets all the facts, or the "they all look alike to outsiders" argument could also easily apply. However, if this does turn out to be the real deal then one does have to wonder if they've decided to make a fairly major change to Green Lantern's back-story. If nothing else it's a fun little moment to end the issue on, and one has to enjoy the more cosmic aspects of this story, as Oliver is so ill-suited for this type of story.

It is nice to see Charlie Adlard is going to be providing the art for all six chapters of this crossover, as this will establish a nice sense of artistic continuity. I also feel his art is a pretty solid fit for this material, as he delivers some pretty impressive action, and unlike the first chapter this time out he displays a little more imagination when it comes to Kyle's ring constructs, as one has to smile at Oscar the Grouch cameo. The fire-fight later in the issue is also pretty impressive, though I do have to wonder why this gunfire didn't attract the attention of the police. The arrival scene in the final pages of this issue is also pretty impressive, as Oliver's expression after he sees who is stepping out of the ship is priceless. The art also does some nice work showing us how the tension between Kyle & Oliver builds up, as one can practically see the steam coming out of their ears when they start to really go at it. My one quibble with the art is that Kyle's new costume looks awful under Charlie Adlard's art, but I think that this is largely owing to the fact that it's simply an ugly costume design, rather than any real problem with the art itself, as Oliver, Jade & Connor's costumes all look fine. We do get a pretty nice cover though, even if the cover tag-line is a bit confusing.

Final Word:
An enjoyable enough issue, but there is a very real sense that this book is following an established formula, instead of making its own path. I mean on one hand I enjoy the idea that Kyle & Oliver are at each others throats, but I also can't ignore the feeling that the only reason both characters are being so bullheaded is because it is more entertaining. Now I like to be entertained and that should be the aim of every comic, but while Oliver can be excused for acting like this, Kyle's willingness to mix it up feels like a contrivance of the story, as he's long since past the stage where comparisons to Hal would get under his skin. The whole plot involving aliens and their attempts to establish a drug running business involving bleach feels a bit weak though, as one wonders why they simply didn't take control of a factory to mass produces the product. Plus, the whole team-up element hasn't really come into play, which is a bit disappointing, given it's the main draw of this crossover.



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