Writer: Robert Venditti
Artists: Billy Tan, Martin Coccolo, Others
Collects Green Lantern #47-52, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1
It goes without saying that the last twelve or thirteen years have served as a veritable renaissance for Green Lantern comics. Many of those modern classics were written by the likes of Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi – as well as a few by Robert Venditti, the very man who penned this particular volume. Although this book had its strong points, it ultimately wasn’t as good as some of its predecessors and somewhat encapsulates the strange beast that was the short-lived DC You era.
In case you need a reminder, DC You was that one year period sandwiched in between The New 52 and Rebirth. While it did spawn some great titles like Justice League 3001, Cyborg, and Starfire, it decided to get highly experimental with its big guns such as Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern, making one recall the 1990s and its die cut covered overhauls.
This volume contains a fine example of that when Hal Jordan visits Gotham City in the attempt to get a lead on a case looking for Bruce Wayne/Batman and instead finds Jim Gordon in a mech suit (let it be known Hal didn’t know who was in it). The scene itself functioned well in the context of the story, but seeing Hobo Hal consulting Bat-Chappie really paints a fine picture of what DC You yielded and provides one more reason why Rebirth has us dancing in the streets.
Let me say this book had so much potential that it didn’t quite live up to. The bits with Hal visiting his family in Coast City were great and provided an intimate glimpse into his personal life that we don’t often get in the midst of all his space policing. It’s just that he deals with two major threats – Sonar and a terrorist group and then later, Hal’s Parallax doppelganger from another universe – neither of which see any proper resolution or feel wrapped up in the slightest. Hell, Parallax just turns around and flees in what I remember being a very underwhelming Green Lantern #50. Maybe Venditti felt he had so many plot threads to wrap up quickly with Rebirth looming. I really don’t know.
And just when we’re introduced to an exciting new concept in Hal becoming a living construct – which will probably be explored further in Rebirth – we take a hard left turn and mix it up with some space pirates. To think that this is what capped a Green Lantern run that spanned five years leaves one a bit unfulfilled.
What is undoubtedly the best inclusion is that of a supplemental bonus in the form of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1, also written by Venditti and drawn by Ethan Van Sciver, who happens to be the best GL artist alive. This is proof that Venditti still has many great ringslinging stories left in him and should instill confidence in others who may have been lukewarm regarding this volume to continue reading GL books with his name on the cover.
Believe me, Reflections was a book that I wanted to love, but it serves as a reminder that not every offering from a given writer will be a home run. Despite some nice eye candy from pencillers Billy Tan and Martin Coccolo, I just wasn’t satisfied.