After the three month long exhausting Godhead crossover event, which left myself and I assume others with much to be desired, Green Lantern #38, titled “Leave”, brings us back down to Earth, both literally and figuratively, to explore a bit of the more human side to our heroes. With Light’s Out and Uprising immediately preceding Godhead, this rather grounded issue is a surprisingly satisfying breath of fresh air after the non-stop chaos that has been the run thus far of writer Robert Vendetti.
Green Lantern Hal Jordan is told by the Guardians that they need time to dwell on his successes as corps leader thus far versus his failures, so he’s told to head home for a little R ‘n R before the inevitable next load of you-know-what hits the fans (going out on a limb and assuming the creature beyond the Source Wall revealed on the final page of last month’s Green Lantern Annual #3 will have something to do with it).
Hal runs into previous Green Lantern and current Red Lantern Guy Gardner, who quickly reminds him of the pact they made previously that sector 2814 is off limits to anyone else but the Reds. Hal explains the situation, promising to remain as a civilian for the entirety of his stay on Earth. He flies down to his old favorite water-hole to get good and lacquered on lager, when in walks Guy, spoiling the time alone Hal was looking forward to.
Not to be forgotten on his big anniversary month, in zips Barry Allen, leaving his familiar red Flash costume at home, and simply hoping to catch up with his old friend, who has at this point, been off-world for at least a full year. The three get to playing pool and get into an amusing bar-fight with some tough marines, all without the use of any super-heroics and sticking with good old-fashioned fist-in-face tactics.
As the three are tossed out, they run into Carol Ferris, who has been looking to talk to Hal since his return. Guy and Barry go off to continue their drunken shenanigans elsewhere while the two ex-lovebirds discuss the recent revelation that Carol is now dating Kyle Rayner, a fellow Lantern and friend to Hal.
This is just what the title needed. To see so many Lanterns in their normal, human attire, having normal, human discussions about normal, human things. The art of Aomira Wijaya is also quite fantastic and fairly dynamic for such an issue that relies on almost none of the flashy tricks that they normally could get away with. This feels like real characters we love working out those emotional beats that help keep us invested in their long-term narratives.
Honestly, none. The best issue of the title in some time.
While not filled with the bloated buddy-cop space opera stuff we’ve come to expect from the title, Green Lantern #38 is still a welcome and much-needed simpler issue to give us and the characters a moment to breathe, assessing their situations, and figuring out where to go next. It’s fun, poignant and honest. Well written, well drawn and certainly recommended.