After only 3 issues, I think I already like Robert Venditti’s characterisation of Hal Jordan a lot more than I ever did Geoff Johns’. I know I’ve said that I kind of came around to tolerating Hal by the end, and that’s true, but under the pen of Venditti, Hal seems like much less of an asshole. This is probably down to the story, rather than Venditti’s characterisation really, making Hal leader means he has to act differently, and can’t just be a jerk.
This issue picks up the plotline of Prixiam Nol-Anj, the escaped Star Sapphire prisoner. Hal tracks her down to her planet to try and bring her in, but of course, he fails. I thought it was clever how Venditti brought in the ‘rings keep malfunctioning plotline’, Nol-Anj’s planet has an atmosphere that will kill anyone after 30 seconds, and what do you know, the rings malfunction for 24 seconds! This managed to keep the upcoming ‘Lights Out’ crossover story in the back of the reader’s mind, whilst also adding some extra drama to the actual plot. Nol-Anj defeats Hal not by brute force, but by making him see his lost love, Carol Ferris, and what she’s up to in the pages of New Guardians with Kyle. Hal runs off to try and find her, and it looks like the GL books are right back to connecting directly. Hal may not know what Relic is, but he’s seen him now.
I’m also really enjoying how Venditti is depicting the current depleted state of Oa. We find out more about some of the new, weedy recruits, who look to be like fun characters, and any of the scenes with Kilowog struggling to take over Salaak’s role are gold.
I am still a bit annoyed that the GL books are still so similar to what Johns did, I’d probably like to see a few more Earth-based adventures, but this is a good comic, and Hal’s not an asshole! Billy Tan continues to be a good fit on the art as well, he draws aliens well, and I do like the way he does ring-constructs.