Thursday, February 23, 2012

Comic Review -- Green Lantern #6: The Other Hero / Geoff Johns & Mike Choi

Decent cover, and actually fairly indicative of what Sinestro ends up doing to Hal, even if it's not until the very last page of the issue.  Who'd have thought he'd have to force Hal to put on a Green Lantern ring?

Hal Jordan actually seems to be getting along fine without being a Green Lantern any longer, enjoying his life with Carol and getting his heroic fixes in other, smaller ways.  Sinestro, in the mean time, is on the hunt for Lyssa Drak, and uses a former villain named Starstorm to track her down.  She captures both of them, and comes into contact with a page from the Book of the Black, where he experiences a surge of apocalyptic images, including his own death.  Once he defeats her, he decides Starstorm is useless, and de-powers him again, reluctantly deciding to enlist the help of the one man he can't stand: Hal Jordan.  He appears to Jordan and forces a Green Lantern ring back onto his hand, stating that Jordan's time as a Green Lantern is far from over...

It just goes to show you that sometimes the best break-up stories are about the ones you get reminded of right as you finally get over them.  Hal actually appears to be loving his life, now that he's gotten over the need to be a superhero.  Sinestro is perfectly happy to not have to put up with Hal ever again, even as he hunts down the rest of his traitorous Yellow Lantern brigade.  But Starstorm's cowardice proves to Sinestro that, despite all his faults, Hal is a damn good Lantern, and that he may really need him in the face of such catastrophic possibilities.  He clearly doesn't want Hal's help, but he's level-headed enough to recognize that he needs it, much to Hal's chagrin.

I'm not familiar with Starstorm, but the story gives enough context as to who he is, was, and what he's likely to be in the future that I'm able to appreciate his role as a foil to Hal Jordan, at least in Sinestro's mind.  Lyssa Drak is also unfamiliar to me, and if she weren't in possession of the artifact that gave Sinestro such traumatizing visions, I probably would just write her off as some generic monstrous, semi-mystic female antagonist.  I'll be interested to see what part, if any, she plays in the rest of this story.

Mike Choi's art is a definite stylistic change from the first story arc, with a smoother, more painted appearance and quality than Mahnke's line work in the previous issues.  Hal has a noticeably different appearance, though it's close enough to a general description of Hal Jordan to cause only a momentary double-take.  Sinestro, Lyssa, and Starstorm all look good, and the bits of interaction with Lyssa Drak and her chains was interesting from a visual standpoint.

Overall, I like the start of this arc.  Now that Hal's been dragged back into the mantle of the Green Lantern after accepting his ouster and moving on, it'll be interesting to see how he handles himself.  The introduction and setup is good, the art isn't bad, and I'm interested to see what's next.  Bring on more!  Highly recommended.

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