Hal Jordan has a new status in Green Lantern #42: he is the last Green Lantern. Needless to say, he doesn’t take the news very well, especially with the pirate Trapper sitting in the prison cell right behind the cockpit. Hal takes command of his ship, the ever-witty Darlene, and flies out to Ketleth Prime to drop both Trapper and the young viceroy, Virgo, off on the latter’s homeworld.
Unfortunately, the disappearance of the Green Lantern Corps is just the beginning of the group’s trouble. Not only do they discover that Ketleth Prime has been turned into a desolate wasteland, their ship is quickly ambushed by Trapper’s allies. Using the unwieldy gauntlet, Jordan tries to dispatch of the pirates in as peaceful a manner as possible. But when Trapper’s friends do not retreat, Jordan is forced to use more power and risk the lives of everyone around him. And even when it seems that he has done enough, it is revealed that there are forces at work that are out of his control…
Writer Robert Vendetti has come up with a great four-man cast between Hal, the criminal Trapper, the young royal, Virgo, and Hal’s ship Darlene. The interplay between the four makes for some great moments of both humor and drama as Hal tries to keep them from killing each other. And though their time in the issue is short, Trapper’s old crew sparkle on the page. And the final moments between the crew highlight the tension and potential synergy they have as a cast.
Billy Tan’s linework impresses here. There’s a panel here where Hal walks out from his ship and into the void of space as if he were walking on land, and it’s a moment in which the art speaks to his power and his assertiveness. The designs of the spacecraft in this issue are also a lot of fun, and its nice that Darlene is unique in her form when compared to the other ships.
At the same time, however, some of the art comes across as flat. Part of this is the design. The interior of Hal’s ship Darlene isn’t visually striking enough to differentiate it from the void of space outside, and so there’s a stagnancy that hangs over the comic. In addition, Hal’s powers aren’t displayed nearly as inventively as they were in the previous issue. Here he simply hurls rocks at his foes in an attempt to ward them off, and its disappointing that there wasn’t something more dynamic for him to do here.
Green Lantern #42’s storytelling feels off as well. The developments in this issue don’t quite feel natural, and while the story demands a bit of mystery, it would be nice for there to be some real moments where the characters drive the plot. Right now, the book reads fairly simply as, “Hal discovers a problem. Hal fixes problem. Hal discovers bigger problem.” If Green Lantern can get to a point where these new problems occur because of Hal’s actions, then the book will really pick up steam.
The second installment of Hal Jordan’s new role is a rocky one. Green Lantern #42 lacks some of the creative punch of its predecessor, and the setting in his spaceship is not visually interesting for the issue to keep any momentum. The new cast shines together, though, so Vendetti and artist Billy Tan should be able to get the series back in the air.