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Green Lantern #43

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By Robert Venditti, Ethan Van Sciver & Alex Sinclair

The Renegade arc of Green Lantern continued in the forty-third issue of Green Lantern on a pretty solid note that saw the return of Relic, who featured pretty heavily as an interesting antagonist before the Convergence event. Hal himself is journeying to the furthest reaches of existence, but despite being in close proximity to Relic himself, will have to avoid detection and operate deep undercover in order to avoid the death of them all. The stakes are ever present and Robert Venditti, working with artist Ethan Van Sciver and colourist Alex Sinclair, serves up a solid chapter that continues the former Green Lantern’s quest to save the Universe.

The inclusion of Relic was handled very well as Venditti showcases a calm before the storm. It might not be the most action packed issue ever, but it forces Hal to operate without his usual powers to bring character development to the forefront. It also sees another one of Hal’s rogue gallery return as well, with Black Hand making an appearance in the opening act of the issue as we follow his character struggling to react to what has happened in the aftermath of his encounter with the Source Wall. The decision to include both the Black Hand and Relic in one issue could have gone badly wrong and led to not enough focus on one of either of the antagonists, but Venditti does both justice well enough, in particular, giving some nice character development to the Black Hand.

Fill in artist Ethan Van Sciver takes over for this issue and it’s great to see him return. The character work that Van Sciver does for Hal Jordan, with his new renegade look, is excellent. The attention to the characters is among the strongest part of the issue, with the emotions going through Black Hand’s character really portrayed effectively.  And with Alex Sinclair working on colours we really get the feel of a proper space opera adventure here, with a fantastic atmosphere that’s created, the book works really well.

However, there’s one problem that this book seems to have at the moment and that’s the supporting cast, who aren’t the most interesting of the lot and that is something that this book needs to fix if it needs to maintain the momentum. They’re not really that interesting enough when you have the more high-profile characters alongside them but hopefully there will be plenty of time to change that because at the moment, despite this minor problem, Green Lantern is still a decent read that marks a continuous compelling storyline, even if there’s nothing mind-blowing here. Thankfully at least, the book has so far avoided returning to yet another crossover, which is just what this series needs.

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