Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Green Lantern Vol. 3 Wanted: Hal Jordan Trade Paperback Review

Green Lantern Vol. 3 - Wanted: Hal Jordan
DC Comics
Softcover Trade Paperback
$14.99 (2009)
$19.99 (2007) Hardcover
ISBN 9781401215903

Contributors: Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Daniel Acuna, Oclair Albert, W. Moose Baumann, Travis Lanham, Rob Leigh, and Ethan Van Sciver

Reprints: Green Lantern #14-20

Synopsis: Two story arcs:

Amon Sur vows revenge!
"Wanted: Hal Jordan" - Hal Jordan's fellow pilot Cowgirl runs a solo mission in Chechnya to try and pay back the terrorist group who captured the three pilots one year ago.  She gets shot down again and captured.  It's up to Hal as Green Lantern to rescue her, but just as he's about to learn her whereabouts the Global Guardians show up to capture him.  It turns out they're being manipulated by an outside party.  What does this have to do with Abin Sur's son, Amon Sur?  Can Hal survive long enough to save Cowgirl?

Meanwhile a hiking couple uncover a pink, glowing sapphire.  On the planet Qward in the Antimatter Universe the Weaponers have been enslaved by Sinestro.  He is slowly amassing a group of his own, but what is his ultimate goal and who will join the Sinestro Corps?

Star Sapphire always gets her man
"Mystery of the Star Sapphire" - The Star Sapphire once possessed Carol Ferris, the girlfriend of Hal Jordan, and turned her into one of his greatest enemies.  Now that Hal has returned the Sapphire is back to finish the job!  It's been a long time since Hal and Carol were an item, she's married (not so happily) and he's interested in fellow pilot Cowgirl.  The Sapphire only cares that it possess the heart's desire of Green Lantern Hal Jordan in order to 'mate' and preserve the entire planet in a crystalline substance.

What is the origin of the Star Sapphire?  Is it unique or one among many like the rings of the Green Lantern Corps?  The origins of both items are more similar than anyone could suspect and Hal must defend himself while trying to avoid harming the two women for which he cares.

Example of Acuna's art
Pros: Reis delivers some quality artwork in the first story arc, interesting stories by Johns, subplot of the Sinestro Corps advances nicely, Star Sapphire is hot with a majorly skimpy outfit, Acuna's art in the second story arc is interesting

Cons: Acuna's art is very cartoony - you'll either love or hate his style, what's up with the pilots getting shot down so much?, the art style shift between the two story arcs (from Reis to Acuna) was jarring, Global Guardians are a joke, Tales of the Sinestro Corps backup stories are not collected here - they're collected in the Green Lantern: Tales of the Sinestro Corps collected edition)

Mike Tells It Straight: The real story from this third collected volume of Geoff Johns' rebooted Green Lantern series is the Sinestro Corps subplot.  We get the conclusion to the One Year Later (OYL) storyline begun in the last volume (Vol. 2 Revenge of the Green Lanterns) which merely serves to tie up some loose ends and then the seeds are fully planted for the Sinestro Corps War.  Amon Sur first appeared as a villain fighting Green Lantern Kyle Rayner (along with Green Arrow), but having him take on Hal Jordan fully realizes Sur's character potential.

The Star Sapphire story gets the most criticism for Acuna's artwork (it's not too bad, but cartoony compared to previous artists on Green Lantern).  Johns has been building up the Sinestro Corps War, but we get the first hints at his grand plot involving the full emotional spectrum which plays out in the Blackest Night crossover.  He gives the origin of the Star Sapphire and builds it into an even larger mythos.  If I wasn't impressed with Johns' writing after Green Lantern: Rebirth then I'm completely impressed with his ability to build up to these big storylines like the Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night.
Guess who is chosen for the Sinestro Corps space
sector 2814 (same as Hal Jordan's) for his
ability to instill fear in others!?

New readers will be lost if they don't read at least the previous volume and preferably Green Lantern: Rebirth and then Green Lantern Vol. 1 No Fear in addition.  Taken alone these two stories are good, but definitely not great.  Put them in perspective with the events before/after and they add to the grander story of Hal Jordan's return as the prime Green Lantern.  John's run is an excellent cosmic superhero story and one of the best in the 2000s.

TO BUY and Recommendations: