A massive golem is hunting Orion and will stop at nothing to kill the New God. He seeks the aid of the Green Lantern Corps, however this creature is not going down easy. It is a relentless killing machine and it will only stop once Orion is dead. Fortunately, he’s got Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner nearby, two of the most talented and creative Green Lanterns around.
Where the previous issue of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps was an introduction to this cosmic showdown, this one is about 90% battle. Hal and Kyle have saved Orion, but that rescue is short-lived. The two Lanterns are throwing everything they have at the golem, stretching the limits of their rings and the willpower that fuels them.
This is where artist Rafa Sandoval shines. Hal and Kyle appear like flies to the golem. It’s basically like any human trying to fight Galactus. Sandoval shows the Lanterns in such a way that you can see how they have a shot. Hal is in the thick of it, throwing more than just energy beams and boxing gloves at the creature. Despite the difference in size, he is right in this thing’s face and doing everything he can to stop it.
These two were chosen for their ability to overcome great fear and this is one such situation where that ability is greatly valued. Any normal person would have turned and run in the opposite direction, but these two are diving straight in. Hal is often credited as the greatest Green Lantern of them all, which has to be annoying to others in the Corps. This issue shows why he has that title. He’s like that Chumbawumba song. He gets knocked down and he gets up again and again and again. People’s lives are on the line and it’s up to him to keep them safe. That’s his job. That’s what drives him. He’s not going to let some otherworldly monster stop him.
As impressive as Hal is, it’s Kyle that really comes through when it comes to Orion’s safety. He uses his ring in some of the most unique ways. His talents as an artist prove incredibly useful coupled with his sheer will and determination.
Sandoval also shows some brilliant art direction with some very creative panel layouts. There’s one page that’s in the shape of the Green Lantern logo with each panel taking up a portion of it that stands out, but that’s just one of many. It makes a very dynamic reading experience. Even a scene that’s chock full of exposition becomes far more intriguing with such a unique layout.
I mentioned in my review of the last issue that I’m not a huge New Gods fan. I have to say that’s changing with this book. Writer Robert Venditti is quickly pushing Orion up my favorites list. The character is like a gruff Clint Eastwood-type. He’s tough-as-nails and won’t take any crap from anyone or anything. His interactions with Kyle are particularly fun.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps has expertly shifted focus from one terrifying enemy (the Sinestro Corps) to another (the golems). It has all the Lanterns working together like a well-oiled machine. Each is unique and brings something different to the table, however they come together as a unified force for good when it matters. This book is a showcase of the vast scale of DC Comics’ cosmic heroes that has become a must read for any sci-fi fan.