Now that he has returned Hal Jordan to his familiar role as Green Lantern, writer Robert Venditti launches his new series in earnest with “Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps” #1. Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona deliver an issue’s worth of strongly composed pages that stand up well against Ethan Van Sciver’s work in the series’ “Rebirth” issue, while colorist Tomeu Morey fills the art with proper tones befitting both the Green Lantern Corps and Sinestro Corps. With the return of both Hal and Sinestro, this creative team sets up a very colorful and promising confrontation.
Venditti ensures that, despite the issue being labeled as a #1, it’s a natural progression of the preceding one-shot as well as the existing storyline that predated “Rebirth.” At the same time, the issue is completely accessible to the newer readers it’s tailored to attract. While Venditti doesn’t spend much time explaining what came before, he doesn’t need to; his story focuses on the now, and the current premise works well enough to keep readers engaged without nagging them to wonder what might have happened previously. They might not know why the Corps was missing or what had happened to Sinestro, but the advancement of these characters’ stories will only make readers want to look forward.
Collectively, the creators tap into fan favorite elements of the franchise; the diverse imagery of Sandoval’s Corps evokes past incarnations of the team going back to the eighties, if not earlier, while Venditti builds off the legacy established by Geoff Johns a decade or so ago. As executed by Venditti and Sandoval, there’s also a comfortable but dazzling kind of “Star Wars” vibe to the issue. Venditti’s direct references to smugglers and an “outer rim” evoke this feeling on the surface, but there’s also a deeper connection; the issue’s cosmic scope, the rise of good and evil on opposite sides of the galaxy and widescreen-style visuals all combine to deliver thrills not unlike those felt whenever the Millennium Falcon launches into hyperspace.
“Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps” #1 typifies what has made the whole “Rebirth” event work so well thus far: it doesn’t alienate current readers, while still attempting to court new ones. This issue embraces the past while moving forward, rather than trying to shun it.