Current Reviews


Green Lantern Rebirth #4

Posted: Thursday, March 3, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell

"Force of Will"

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Ethan van Sciver (p), Prentis Rollins (i)

Publisher: DC Comics

Plot: As Kyle Rayner and Green Arrow face off against Sinistro in the JLA Watchtower, planet side pretty much the entire DCU has assembled to take on Parallax. The situation goes from bad to worse when seeing the opportunity for an even more powerful host body, the Parallax entity leaves Hal Jordan's body and makes its way into Ganthet. Before he's possessed, Ganthet makes a desperate but successful bid to bring back the one person who may be able to end this threat.

Comments: While the previous chapters of Rebirth have been able to offer up a big surprise, this issue ends with a plot development that readers knew was coming before the first issue even shipped. Now I realize it's unfair to complain that Hal Jordan's return wasn't surprising, and I'm sure that the fans of the character will declare this issue to be a triumphant success, but speaking from an entertainment standpoint this issue couldn't have done a more obvious job of telegraphing Hal's impending arrival. Pretty much the entire issue is devoted to making the situation look utterly hopeless, as the story is divided between two escalating crises, and Geoff Johns is far too obvious in his bid to make Hal Jordan into the bright shiny hero who is going to rush in and save the day. I also have to wonder openly what Green Arrow fans are supposed to conclude from the scene where Oliver almost gives himself a brain aneurysm trying to use the power ring, when it's been shown that almost everyone else who has ever put on one of these rings seems to have no problem. I guess he's trying to establish an explanation why Green Lantern's villains won't be able to steal Hal's ring and use it to cause havoc, but to me making the power ring user specific would be a more plausible means of preventing this problem. The way that this issue plays out, it makes Green Arrow out to be a simpleton, while Hal is made out to be a mental giant. Still, since I've never been a huge fan of Hal Jordan, I guess this issue's mission statement to make him out to be the greatest hero in the DCU simply isn't connecting with me. I will say the yellow impurity makes a welcome return to add a genuine sense of excitement to the battle against Sinestro.

Ethan van Sciver turns in some lovely work on this issue, but then given his previous work on this miniseries, this is hardly a surprise. Still, the reason why the battle with Sinistro holds up so well is due to the sense of danger that the art manages to convey, as numerous images show the yellow impurity is deftly exploited by Sinistro, and Kyle's defeat becomes quite easy to accept. There's also a lovely throwaway image of the possessed John Stewart and Guy racing into battle, and I loved the way that John's architectural experience is reflected by the energy pattern that surrounds him. Now the issue isn't quite as impressive on the page where we see the DCU heroes about to descend on Parallax, as the image lacked the sense that this was an overwhelming attack, and this illusion is further shattered by the action latter in the issue, as the images consist entirely of these heroes being knocked back, or lying unconscious.

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