Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Carlos Pacheco (p), Jesus Merino (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
Plot: The alien visitor continues to advance upon Edwards Air Force Base while Hal Jordan is busy investigating the mystery of the alien technology that the air force has been experimenting with. A pretty big clue arrives when Hal finds himself battling an old enemy, and the situation becomes even more dire where this old enemy is replaced by an even more imposing version. Also the reconstruction of Coast City hits a bit of a snag.
Comments: When I first started to take notice of all the fuss and bother that Hal Jordan's fans were making, I was a little surprised that the character was able to provoke this much emotion. I realize that everyone has a favourite character, and that there are many readers who would express surprise that a reader like myself is annoyed at DC for killing Blue Beetle and turning Maxwell Lord into a cookie-cutter evil mastermind. However, I would simply look at those fans as being unfamiliar with Giffen/DeMatties JLA era, and as such they would have no emotional connection to these characters. On the other hand, I followed Hal during his adventures in the Justice League of America, plus I've read at least a few dozen issues of Green Lantern before Kyle Rayner took over, and the only lasting impression that Hal managed to leave me with is how boring the character was. But the demand for his return left me thinking that perhaps there was something more to the character that my younger self simply didn't take notice of. Well, I'm two issues into the new title, and Geoff Johns has only managed to reinforce my initial impression of the character as Hal Jordan is sporting a dull as dishwater personality. Geoff Johns isn't exactly helping matters with this opening plot-by-numbers adventure that has Hal dealing with a new, improved version of an old enemy. In fact, the only section of the issue where Hal managed to grab my attention was when he started acting like a mindless thug, as frankly the complaints that the Major was making against Hal seemed perfectly valid, and instead of offering up a reasonable sounding argument that would explain his actions he decides the best response is to sucker-punch the man, which frankly struck me as being rather cowardly, but I'm guessing this was supposed to leave us with the impression that Hal is one to blindly follow the orders of his superiors. However, for this character type to work the commanding officer has to be shown to be making unreasonable demands, and Geoff Johns didn't hold up this end of the bargain, which in turn makes Hal out to be a bit of a tool.
Carlos Pacheco is a very good artist, and that's why it's so disappointing to see him stuck working on a title that affords him so few opportunities to show off what he's capable of. If I had Carlos Pacheco as my artist, I'd ensure that at last half the issue was a popcorn movie style action sequence, but Geoff Johns has apparently decided that talking heads and the occasional explosion plays more to his strengths of his artist. Still, there are some moments in this issue where Carlos Pacheco is allowed to show what he can do, as there's a lovely reveal shot where we see what has emerged from the truck explosion, and there's a nice sequence where the older version of the villain is replaced by a new, improved version on the final page. The art also does a nice job on the little moments, like the fact that Hal's ring constructs are more than his standard boxing glove/power blasts, and I hope that this trend continues, as I'd love to see Carlos Pacheco given the freedom to exercise his imagination when it comes to the attacks that Hal delivers. The cover to this issue is also a lot of fun, as Hal's expression is quite endearing.
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