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Subj: Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #21...
Posted: Sat May 27, 2017 at 10:04:58 am EDT (Viewed 515 times)
It's been a particularly disappointing week for Superhero comics, the ones I pick up at least, with Action Comics offering little that is original or interesting and Wonder Woman ending a long-running storyline with a sigh rather than a hurrah I wasn't expecting 'Hal Jordan and..' to offer anything exceptional as the title hasn't been exceptional for several issues now... which is as well given the final chapter of this ongoing storyline predictably concludes as it began - Dull, unengaging, and with flat lifeless art carrying things along.
Should I put effort in and analyse why Robert Venditti's time-travel vendetta falls so flat? Well, no, the ingredients used are very familiar ones, with time-travel terrorist Sarko arriving from the future with advanced technology that exceeds the Green Lanterns capacity to cmnbat so too does Rip Hunter arrive to warn and aid the Lanterns to Sarko's intentions. It could be the plot to JJ Abrams' Star Trek revival, but of course the plot goes back much much further than that and it in fact a well worn science-Fiction trope. Sarko is a completely one-dimensional creation, completely forgettable on every dramatic level, he serves merely as a plot-point, and as this story ends that point is to act as a surprise twist that on one level works, by being linked to one of the most popular Green Lanterns, but in immediate terms falls flat as the story at hand has been so unengaging an experience it is hard to feel much else about Sarko than one might feel about the face on the billboard you quickly passed by on your way to the superstore this morning. But the point to Venditti's tale has been built around this reveal, the suggestion of Sarko's parentage being quielty developed as a side-plot these last three issues and this payoff as to who's destiny leads to Sarko being a quite powerful one. In the hands of another writer, someone who had put more thought into the build-up to the moment of reveal, this would indeed have been a powerful idea as despite the negation of Sarko's future the fact that Venditti tries to suggest is that that man from the future will still come to pass. Some day Sarko will be born, that damaged and corrupted descendent will be the creation of Kyle Rayner's attempts to rekindle his long dormant romance with the daughter of Sinestro, and as we reach that final page of a crushed Kyle this is the knowledge, the reality, that is affecting him so deeply. Not the fact that the anonymous foe from the future was his son, rather the fact that whatever he does destiny has already been shown to him that any serious relationship with Soran Natu is going to lead to this inevitable product. The idea is a powerful one. But not altogether put across in the end as Venditti relies on the fact of the *'plot-twist'* to end the story rather than the obvious emotional implications as discussed above. That the twist and the emotional impact is all done on that final page of a seated Kyle, hand on face, sobbing "My Son, Sarko was my Son." is something of a sight that is more comical rather than affecting. The reaction from this reader at least was more derision than the genuine sense of shock and sympathy that such a reveal should have, and this in itself tells of failure on the writers part as despite watching the charming flirtations of Kyle and Soran none of this storylines elements have drawn the attention or engaged any investment.
In the end the idea is there for something worthy of a plaudit, the finished result however is a largely forgettable mish-mash of well worn science fiction tropes and the heavy
recycling of past Green Lantern plotlines. One has to hope things will improve with this book, as when on form and with a capable artist as partner Robert Venditti has shown us he is capable of better...
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