Green Lantern #23 – Unknown
They may have got Larfleeze off of Oa but the trouble is just starting.
The story opens with The Recruits, who get very space in the issue. The expressive art and dialog, however, give them a surprising depth and fleshing out, despite the constricted space. Natu is well used in this issue, and if she is not kept as part of the monthly supporting cast of this title going forward a serious mistake is being made. The “Unknown Lantern” is a very great concept and pulls you all the way in. It also speaks to how talented the Lanterns are who have worn the rings for so long.
Nol-Anj gets the basic table setting backstory, which does what it needs to do; it’s enjoyable enough to read. But the action steps into high gear when Hal shows up to arrest her and her gang. It is always a treat when two ring bearers throw down and this has the start of a good old fashioned throw down. But the recent problems of rings powering down pops up again and our fight is cut short. I for one have always liked storytelling that plays the long game and the rings going down has me looking forward to the next installment.
There is some very good humor worked into this issue. The comments about Larfleeze operating an intergalactic pawn shop and Kilowogs frustration leading to him throwing a chair threw a window are the very best examples of working humor into a serious story.
Hal may not be everyone’s favorite Green Lantern (and yes, over the years he has not been the most responsible guy that has ever put on a ring). I was under the impression that this Hal who was going to be the leader or the Green Lantern Corps was going to be a more grown up version. It’s not that the story is unbelievable, especially for those of us that have been following the character for years, but I was thinking that we were going to get a more mature version of Hal.
The fact that he was not nor shows any inclination to do something as simple as address the Corp and let the other Lantern’s know he is now in charge comes across as childish and petty. I assume that this is a set up for him being removed as leader as some point or him having a heroic “look mom I am grown up now” moment. To be honest, I have read enough stories where Hal does stuff half cocked and gets himself/the known universe in trouble over the years.
This is only made worse when Hal fly’s off when his ring gets powered back up to save Carol as opposed to taking care of the murderer he went there to apprehend.
It is another solid issue out of the new creative team. The splash page featuring Carol, Kyle, Saint Walker and Friends is the highlight of solid issue. If you were like me and had some concerns about life in the Green Lantern universe without Geoff Johns I am pretty sure we can sleep soundly at night.