The war with the Durlans takes an interesting turn, and Robert Venditti continues to work wonders here and make me of all people start to like Hal Jordan as a character. I’ve said before that by the end of his run, Johns had sort of Stockholm-syndromed me into accepting Hal, but Venditti has turned him into a much more well-rounded character and, by putting him into new situations, has actually forced him to grow.
We begin on Mogo, where a Fish Lantern finds a hidden stash of the radioactive materials Durlans need to transform, but soon move to Earth, and this might actually be the first time Hal has actually been on his home planet during Venditti’s run, if it isn’t, it’s the 2nd or 3rd time at most. Hal is there to visit his brother, and tell him that he’s going to be gone for a while due to the big War that’s a-brewin’ out in space. He assures Jim that Earth isn’t going to get involved in the War, because it’s now in a Red Lantern sector, and also introduces him to Simon Baz, who, as the only GL allowed on Earth nowadays, has been assigned to protect him. It was good to see Simon again, I think he’s a good character, and with Hal coming back from the dead and Justice League Of America being turned into the Martian Manhunter and Stargirl show lately, he’s kind of disappeared. I hope this signals a larger presence for him in the Green Lantern books.
We get a short scene where Saint Walker talks to Mogo, which, despite the cover focusing on Walker, doesn’t really go anywhere. He’s still depressed and sad. We do discover that Mogo is moving to the front-line of the Durlan War, which is a cool move. The Lanterns having a mobile planet as their base is certainly coming in handy.
The following scene is where the big character development for Hal comes in, as he confesses to Kilowog, Salaak and new recruit Two-Six, that he’s struggling as Leader of the Corps. Even though they were evil, there were still 10 or so Guardians doing that job before, and it’s too much for just one guy to handle, especially when that one guy is Hal Jordan. So… Hal asks for help. Can you imagine the Hal of a few years ago asking for help? I certainly can’t, but then I’m biased. However, just because Hal is stepping back a bit, that doesn’t mean he’s not going to lead the Corps into battle, as he and a bunch of others fly off to the hilariously-named planet Gwottle, where it is believed the draining devices the Khund are using are being manufactured.
The Lanterns are able to stop the Khunds, and disable to the drainers (thanks to Gorinn-Sun, a Lantern made of Lava), but the real big deal here is that the Gwottlens haven’t been conquered by the Khund and forced to join them, they wanted to help, as they see the Corps as tyrants after the revelations about the Energy Reservoir, and they aren’t the only ones. The Durlans really have out-maneuvered the Corps here, and it’s making for a fascinating epic story. However, it’s not all rosy for the Durlans, as Venditti finishes up by showing the last Durlan spy on Mogo freak out because his radiation has gone missing. Soon he won’t be able to transform, and everyone will be able to see his true form, so that’s either going to be good for the Corps, as they’ll find him, or very very bad as he tries to do something drastic to get more energy.
Billy Tan’s art was once again solid, and whilst Martin Coccolo’s fill-in pages weren’t as good, I did appreciate their similar styles, as always for me, artistic consistency is key.