Written by: Robert Venditti
Art by: Brandon Peterson
Published by: DC Comics
Reviewed by: Simon “BlaxKleric” Moore
Featuring a truly gripping opening as the demented Darkstar Tomar-Tu suddenly surprises Keith Kenyon’s alter-ego inside Central City’s Iron Heights Penitentiary, and cold-bloodedly murders Goldface whilst he’s ‘sleeping off’ a custodial sentence for knocking “over a couple of jewellery stores”, Robert Venditti’s narrative for this inaugural instalment to “Enemies Closer” sadly soon degenerates into little more than a disinteresting recruitment drive for the Green Lantern Corps. True, the comic’s subsequent brief cameo from “the fastest man alive” is enjoyable enough, especially when it initially appears that Barry Allen’s incarnation of the Flash will be teaming-up with Hal Jordan to further investigate the gold-skinned prisoner’s partial disintegration. But before long all the Florida-born writer’s plot actually provides is a string of scenes featuring fleeting appearances from the likes of Guy Gardner, Arkillo, Kyle Rayner, John Stewart and General Zod.
These word-heavy, dialogue-driven sequences would arguably be perfectly stomachable if they were interwoven between some pacier, action-orientated panels, yet as they stand the constant conversations and dreary discussions arguably do little to encourage any perusing bibliophile to keep on reading. Indeed, in many ways the former “Top Shelf Productions” author may well have been better served to simply have extended either the renegade Kryptonians all-too brief violent altercation with the “second African-American superhero to appear in DC Comics”, or alternatively bring forward the titular character’s cliff-hanger confrontation with the “boss turnkey” Atomic Skull, and leave part of this twenty-page periodical’s patter for its following publication; “You’ve miscalculated… You’re alone! One meagre ring against a family of Kryptonians gifted with the power of this world’s yellow suns!”
One thing Issue Forty Four of “Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps” does not suffer with however, is substandard artwork. Whether it be Jordi Tarragona and Rafa Sandoval’s outstanding cover illustration, which rather delightfully seems strangely reminiscent of the classic “Judge Dredd” ‘I am The Law’ covers used for the “weekly British science fiction-orientated” anthology comic “2000 A.D.”, or Brandon Peterson’s boldly coloured, highly-detailed story-boarding, this book is a treat for the eyes. In fact, what little energy this magazine potentially generates, such as Joseph Martin’s sensational entrance to thwart Hector Hammond’s shock escape from Stryker’s Island, is debatably due to the “X-Men spinoff” illustrator rather than anything which Venditti himself has penned.
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