[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Colorist: Jason Wright
Bolphunga has laid it out to John and Hal: unless he’s freed, the broadcast of a Green Lantern killing a Sinestro Corps member will go ahead. John takes Bolphunga seriously and Hal thinks it’s all a bluff. While Hal goes off to check on the ailing Tomar-Tu, John sends Guy and Arkillo to find the pirates hideaway and secure the source of the broadcast.
Meanwhile, Soranik is somewhat suspicious of Kyle’s desire to have Sarko buried on Mogo. She does a full autopsy on the body and just as it is disseminating due to a temporal flux, the genetic scan reveals what Kyle already knew about Sarko – he’s his and Soranik’s son.
As Guy and Arkillo return successfully with from their mission and turn over the evidence to John, Hal finally gets to Tomar-Tu’s quarters. Tomar has locked himself in his room. Hal overpowers the door and learns the same thing that John learns when he plays the video, Tomar-Tu murdered Romat-Ru.
It’s often very hard to continue to outdo oneself. However, the team behind Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps have crafted a tale that is plotted so carefully, that not only does one step lead to another, but each surprise plot reveal drives the story forward and at the same time continues to up the ante on the emotional tension for the reader.
The pacing and carefully devised plot keep one coming back issue after issue, anticipating “what could possibly happen next?” Like every issue, each reveal is played for maximum value while adding to the overall drama. This issue sets up John for a very difficult decision. Knowing the truth, can he keep it hidden to prevent the two teams from turning on each other? Beyond that, which direction will his moral compass point him? When he learns the truth, Van Sciver’s panels show the weight of the universe weighing his shoulders down.
Hal, on the other hand, learns the truth and is in disbelief as he learns why Tomar-Tu’s not been feeling well. It’s not just the guilt, but he’s been keeping Romat-Ru’s ring captive so it doesn’t go in search of a replacement Lantern. This a very clever scene and is proof of the tight plotting and planning necessary to paint such a complex and entertaining drama.
Let’s not forget about Soranik. She gives a great speech to Kyle on why she must remain leader of the Sinestro Corps, and then follows her deductions to discover the truth about Sarko.
There are no negatives, just disbelief that this can be topped. But they always do….
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #23 maintains the high quality story telling that it’s become known for. You don’t want to miss an issue. It’s one of DC’s best titles and every issue is accessible to new readers. Hard to beat.