[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Robert Venditti
Penciller: Rafa Sandoval
Inker: Jordi Tarragona
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #43 opens with the Corps investigating reported assaults by the Darkstars. It becomes clear quickly that the Darkstars have expanded their roster in record time. Hal, John, Kyle and Guy go to the Guardians to get their immediate approval for a strike on the Darkstars.
When the Corps arrives at the planetary home of the Darkstars they are ambushed by teleporting Darkstars. The Corps retreats back to Mogo, but Hal ends up inside Darkstars headquarters. Instead of having to fight his way out, he ends up in a conversation with Tomar-Tu, former Green Lantern, now Darkstar-1. Has is in denial that Tomar would’ve chosen the murderous path of the Darkstars. Tomar does his best to convince him otherwise.
Tomar returns Hal to Mogo and to what appears to be a showdown between the Darkstars and the Green Lanterns. John Stewart realizes that there are just too many Darkstars to confront at this time. Tomar leaves with the rest of the Darkstars leaving the Corps to plan their next move. Hal confirms that the Darkstars have too many members for the Corps to face them, so Hal, John, Kyle and Guy go out looking for some friends in low places, allies and enemies alike.
There’s one scene that is representative of this series as John, Hal, Kyle and Guy each state their own opinion about the Darkstars that shows how these Corpsmen differ and yet exemplify their character at the same time. Hal’s adamant view of Tomar-Tu’s true feelings is incredibly hopeful and is representative of his depiction and his historical significance as the first Green Lantern of Earth.
It’s always good when conflict in a story seems insurmountable. Robert Venditti has a true record of success in surprising readers with a victory that seemed impossible. To his credit, it’s always depicted differently as well. This arc anticipates another such resolution, in a “darkest before the dawn” moment bathed in Green Lantern’s light.
Perhaps, the most interesting aspect is the moral conundrum that is depicted in Tomar-Tu’s attitude. It’s one of those points-of-view that seems right viscerally. However, a deeper look requires the reader to consider the true meaning of justice and appropriate punishment and the value of life. It’s not easy. No one wants murderers running around, but how to deal with them justly and morally has troubled society for centuries.
There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of negatives this month. Maybe some other comic….
You can’t go wrong with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. Month in and month out this title continues to entertain and challenge the reader with surprising story lines and philosophical insight into the human condition. Most importantly, character is always the first priority, and it’s no different this issue as the emphasis on character create the conflict and plot direction.