Reviewer’s End: Green Lantern

I’ll be reviewing every issue of DC’s ‘Futures End’ month, in which every book of the line skips ahead five years to tell a story set in the future of their current narrative. Will the books be good? Doesn’t this sort of wreck the tension of all the current storylines? Why does everybody still have the same costume? All will be found out in what I’m calling ‘Reviewer’s End’.

Green Lantern hangs out with his ghost dad in an issue written by Robert Venditti, drawn by Martin Coccolo and Aaron Lopresti, coloured by Alex Sinclair and lettered by Dave Sharpe.

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It’s interesting to see how many of these Futures End issues use the characters from last year’s Villains Month, as Relic reappears here for another story written by Robert Venditti. I suppose it’s a good way of taking the villains and adding importance to them – if they managed to stick around for five years, readers will think they must’ve done something right. Here we get a little definition for the character, which adds to his humourlessness in an interesting and engaging manner. Now he’s teaming up with Hal Jordan rather than trying to wipe out his power, you get to see and actually understand his perspective a little more.

The reason the two are teaming up here is because the black lanterns are back, which also allows for the best scene in the issue. Lopresti draws a flashback sequence where Hal Jordan is told all about the return of the black lanterns by his father, who has been recruited into their corps, and Venditti handles this scene fantastically. He demonstrates how similar the Jordans are in mindset, sense of humour, and sense of self, and reunites them in a warm and thoroughly entertaining manner.

Venditti has been doing super work with the Green Lantern book, especially recently, and he uses this book as an opportunity to really refine the voices for his characters. Whilst the black lanterns themselves never come across as anything other than generic, the core three characters of Hal, Relic, and Hal’s father all feel realistic (y’know, to an extent) and individual. They all have different agendas and ideas, but manage to find ways to align them to one another. It’s a team up where nobody has to surrender their individual value in order to blend into the team dynamic.

Perhaps the one issue here is with some of the storytelling from Coccolo, which is a little obtuse towards the end. He keeps up momentum and retains a focus on the core characters, but on several panels he doesn’t quite explain to the reader what is happening. The aliens are all varied and detailed, but their actions are a little confused and visually hard to understand – there’s also Hal’s final desperation move which ultimately carries the day, which takes a few reads to understand. It’s not off-putting, but just a little unclear on first read.

All in all, this is another solid read. Green Lantern has been a consistent book, and this offers another angle on the life of Hal Jordan.

[Spoilers below]

From what I know, the next Green Lantern storyline is meant to be about exploding the source wall and revealing that the New Gods are living inside it. So the ending of this issue, which sees Hal stuck into the source wall, caught me offguard. It’s not a complaint or criticism at all, because who knows what’ll be happening in the New Gods story – I just found it interesting that this is where the future takes Hal Jordan.

In fact, I’m more likely to read the upcoming New Gods storyline because of this issue, as I want to see how that connects or leads into this issue. What’s going on with the source wall? DC have done an excellent job of building that up across the Green Lantern titles (and Wonder Woman, too!) and I’m intrigued to see what’s going on here.

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