Green Lantern #32
By Robert Venditti, Billy Tan & Tony Avina
Although Green Lantern #32 is labeled as part three of the Uprising crossover, this is a story that has truly been building since November of last year. Venditti and Tan’s tale has been a slow burn. This might turn some people off. That’s their loss. This story has also been in constant crossover with Green Lantern Corps, another strike that might turn some people off. Again, that’s their loss. In place of action ratcheted up to obscene levels, we get a story with some deep character beats, and characters who are showing growth and evolution.
The story builds off of the momentum from the climax of Green Lantern Corps #31, and we see the alliance among the Khund, Durlans, and Outer Tribes fraying considerably due to the Corps’ battle victories. This sets up a scene between Hal Jordan and Nol-Anj, the leader of the Outer Tribes, that fully demonstrates how far Hal Jordan has come. The last time these two characters interacted, Hal Jordan was still an arrogant, jump-first hot head of a character. Here, we see the impact being the leader of the entire Green Lantern Corp has had on Jordan’s being and his thought process. Furthermore, the interaction between these two shows that Hal Jordan has some brains. He’s typically thought of as a senseless character who just throws himself in harm’s way. It’s nice when he’s shown to be much more than that. Venditti is showing how multi-faceted Hal Jordan is.
Billy Tan and Tony Avina provide great visuals, as usual. Tan’s pencils on close ups continue to be some of the best in all of comics. The level of detail, emotion, and expression is fantastic. Going back to the interaction between Hal and Nol-Anj, Tan draws both characters’ expressions in a way that elevates Venditti’s script. Avina’s colors, especially the scenes in space, give rich detail showing the uniqueness of each setting. Simply put, this is another book that is a joy just to look at.
A story such as this, taking great lengths to weave in subtle intricacies scaffolding upon each other, can be a letdown to some comic fans. Today’s audience, generally speaking, wants immediate payoffs and immediate gratification. This story doesn’t do that. We do get some answers, especially in the last two issues of this crossover, as to just what the Durlans are planning. Those rewards for the reader, however, are only a strong suit based on the seeds Venditti and Jensen (over in Green Lantern Corps) have been planting for months. The final page in this issue would be a meaningless payoff without Venditti’s character work he began in November. As this story slowly builds towards its crescendo, this reader is left with great anticipation for the next chapter.