Hal Jordan is often described as the greatest Green Lantern of all. It seems that even General Zod is taking that title to heart as he’s locked him up in a windowless cell designed to hold Kryptonians. It’s somewhat understandable after Hal used his specially designed ring to break Kyle out of a different cell and send him back to Mogo to warn the rest of the Corps. We all know what’s coming and it’s going to be a huge battle between Zod’s family and the Green Lanterns. This is the path of how we get there and it’s a pretty fun ride.
Let’s start back on Mogo where Kyle is wearing Hal’s ring. As a reminder, Hal created his ring himself out of his own willpower so it’s way different than the others. Kyle is supercharged and practically bouncing off the walls from the energy coursing through him, despite his numerous internal injuries. He’s also starting to show some of the cocky traits of Hal, complete with cheesy one-liners. There are several scenes where Kyle will shout some dopey line like “I’m fueled up and ready to fly” and then quickly chastise himself for it, wondering where it came from.
The capper to these out-of-character lines is when the Lanterns arrive on New Krypton. I don’t consider this a spoiler because it’s on the cover and we all know that’s where this is going. Hal senses their presence and says one of the lines with a smile. It’s a great way to bookend the whole issue.
Kyle is sporting a new look with this different ring, like a blend between his costume and Hal’s. It’s a nice design from artist Rafa Sandoval. You can also see the energy coming off him in a pulsing green light from colorist Tomeu Morey. It’s a wonder the Corps had the capability to contain him and this power. How does Hal do this every single day?
Guy Gardner wastes no time rallying the troops, calling on a number of trustworthy ring-slingers to rescue Hal. Meanwhile, John Stewart goes to plead his case in front of the newly reinstated Guardians. This is the one aspects of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps that I don’t like. The Guardians may have created the rings and the Corps, but they have lost the right to lead them. Their path has always led to more death and destruction so putting them back in the role of the all-knowing, stoic council is a backwards way of thinking, especially since John has brought the Corps back from the brink of annihilation.
The Guardians are depicted as cold and emotionless. Although they’re smaller in stature, they sit above anyone that comes to speak to them, looking down at their subjects. Their eyes are blank and without pupils, making them look robotic in nature.
Back on New Krypton, there is a mix of emotion. On the one hand, Zod is a tyrannical leader and a villain that should be stopped. On the other, the native people of this planet worship him and have allegedly welcomed him with open arms. Who are the Green Lanterns to come in here and destroy everything he’s built? It’s a strange feeling.
Zod has an ax to grind with the Green Lantern Corps as he blames them for the destruction of Krypton. If they had done their job, his people would still be alive. We don’t know why the Corps didn’t intervene just yet. Zod has the Eradicator hacking into Kyle’s ring looking for some information, so presumably we’ll get some answers there. Odds are, it was something stupid the Guardians decided way back when.
The General delivers an emotional speech to the captive Hal Jordan, explaining how he can’t just let his home planet die. New Krypton is something he’s built for his family. He wants his son to grow up experiencing Kryptonian culture which is not a horrible thing by any stretch. His methods may be somewhat questionable, but his intentions are pure.
Writer Robert Venditti has been delivering some of the best Green Lantern stories since Geoff Johns was penning the title. Every issue is solid and this one is no different. The events of this issue were a foregone conclusion so we could have just skipped to the Lanterns arriving on New Krypton. I’m so glad we didn’t because there’s so much to enjoy in this chapter. Each of the main Lanterns get some time in the spotlight and although the action is a little light, it sets up what is sure to be one of the biggest battles the Corps has ever seen.
As an added bonus, check out the recent issues of Action Comics as they deal with the possible future of Zod’s rule on New Krypton.