Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #21 Review – An Artistic Step Backwards But Predictable Conclusion
This issue brings us the ending to the time-jumping conflict of "Prism of Time," where a young man known as Sarko has come from the future to end the alliance of the Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Corps. He has done so by manifesting insectoid prism creatures made out of pure will through the use of Krona's Gauntlet, which Hal Jordan himself had used not too long ago. This story has also brought us the guest star and Time Master known as Rip Hunter to aid the GL Corps in this fight.
In this issue, Hal Jordan and Rip Hunter arrive on the planet that has become Sarko's staging area for his attack on the Corps, and Krona's Gauntlet has manifested itself into a large armored creature based off of Hal's conscience. Hal and Rip have to confront Sarko, the Gauntlet, and find a way to shut down his attack. Meanwhile, the rest of the two Corps are having to fight the prism creatures without their rings, as the creatures are immune to the rings' energies.
Robert Venditti has shown a talent here that is difficult for many writers. He manages to balance many characters with big personalities, all of whom have a claim to main character status in certain issues (even those without their name in the title). Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner, and even Kilowog and Soranik Natu are all given their fair share of the spotlight and are allowed to breathe. Each of them have something going on in this story.
That being said, the art in this issue didn't really impress me too much. It's sort of a more cartoony look, and some of the faces made by many characters border on goofy at times. The previous artistic team of Jordi Tarrogona and Rafa Sandoval was an artistic powerhouse, and I hope they make a return to the book. To show a comparison, on the left below is the art from this issue, and, on the right, is art from last issue.
The art isn't outright bad, though. The design of the manifestation of Krona's Gauntlet is fairly awesome. The prism creatures are a little lackluster by comparison, though they look by no means bad. The powers on display by Hal Jordan and the fight scenes with the other Lanterns do look cool.
Spoilers ahead, though, if you've read the earlier issues of this story, you probably have guessed the twist here. In any case, here is your spoiler warning.
So, Sarko is Kyle and Soranik's son. That's not too big a surprise already, but they signal the hell out of it in this issue. The prism creatures won't attack Soranik, Sarko has her and Sinestro's skin pigment, and he talks about Sinestro with a special kind of reverence that definitely seems familial. Kyle figures it out towards the end of this issue and joins up with Hal and Rip just in time to see his be killed by the detonation of the prism creatures.
As previously stated, this was an unsurprising twist. It didn't have to be hinted at has hard as it was, but the actual execution and reveal were handled fairly well. When Kyle figures it out, you get that "oh no" feeling which comes to bear when Sarko is actually killed. The dramatic ending with Kyle coming to grips with the death of his future son is emotional and saddening.
This was a damn fine book. Venditti has come to be a great scribe of the Green Lantern mythos. He understands the characters, puts them in interesting and complex conflicts. The art isn't as good as it was, but it's still solid enough to support the comic. Give this one a read.