Dark Days Ahead? Talk About Self-Fulfilling!
I'm still kind of shocked after reading this issue because it was just bad. Shockingly, surprisingly, terrifyingly bad. I always liked Green Lantern and enjoyed Johns' run, even if I rarely loved it but the drop of quality from the monster #20 issue to this one is astounding.
The problem lies mostly in the writing. I haven't read anything else by Venditti so I wasn't sure what to expect. The issue consists of five scenes.
Scene 1: An "In Medias Res" moment that is supposed to bring some opening suspense. I couldn't help but way for the moment where we see that it's all just a training session. Okay, it wasn't but the scenario seemed very over the top for me. New recruits, empty lanterns, strange emergency plans ("Our lanterns are empty during a huge battle, so we just all run to the central battery in the middle of a fight and refill them.") The scene was a bit weird, but okay standard GL fare.
Scene 2: This was the bottom of this issue's barrel. The conversation between Hal and Carol is indescribable. Hal is a complete jerk and enjoys it. The way he acts you can only wish that Carol dumps him and that no woman ever gets seduced by him again. He sounds so incredibly dumb that you just want him to stop. Then Carol explains her reasoning behind dumping him and she acts as if she sacrifices something because she has to because of her powers/responsibilities, etc. This scene should show that independent Carol shows stupid Hal the door because he acts like an idiot. Instead Hal doesn't really understand anything and Carol is the poor victim. The moment where she transforms into Star Sapphire is very awkward and it doesn't help that in the passage where she explains the crux of their relationship, she has no pupils and looks like a robot.
Scene 3: Hal becomes the leader of the corps. Suddenly, GL turns into a lame sitcom. Kyle makes odd jokes and Hal continues to be stupid. This is the major plot development? Not really impressive
Scene 4: Hal acts stupid, so nothing new here. Kilowog comments on it but as stupid as Hal is here, he doesn't care. At least there are more strange sitcom moments (Kilowog is hit on the head by a green ring - "Bink!" - a comedic masterpiece).
Scene 5: The attack by Larfleeze and company starts and it's amazingly unclear what exactly is going on. The surprise moment of the new recruits is somewhat spoiled by the fact that the issue has started with them.
The whole issue is so stilted and over the top, filled with clichés and incomprehensible characters, it's hard to bear. The art is mostly okay, apart from the Carol-Robot moment. I don't know if Venditti turns out to be a bad GL writer here of if DC editorial messed too much with it, but it pains me a lot to think of the fact Joshua Hale Fialkov was supposed to write this.
I didn't expect that to happen but after this issue I have to cross Green Lantern from my reading list because I don't want to know what happens and I can't bear to read more of this.