By Robert Venditti, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona & Tomeu Morey
Zod has always been one of Superman’s greatest villains, so it’s rather interesting to see how he fares against a different hero, or more accurately, a different group of heroes. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps brings him into direct conflict with Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner themselves, wasting no time in throwing readers into the action with a flashforward that establishes that things will no doubt get worse for the Corps before they get better.
Venditti is experienced with writing the Green Lanterns and he shows it in the first issue of Zod’s Will, which debuts on a very strong note, balancing time between the Guardians and John Stewart and the more action-orientated parts that deal with Hal and Kyle encounter with Zod. The book clearly establishes the relationship between the Guardians and the Green Lanterns and lets readers know where both sides stand, making it a great jumping on point for newcomers to the series. It’s quickly established that the Guardians have taken things into their own hands so many times before that the Green Lanterns’ patience is wearing thin and John is on the verge of quitting the Corps altogether, and their conflict is very much a key factor in this issue.
Venditti’s decision to split up the three core characters into two seperate groups works well. The inclusion of Zod shakes things up a bit and makes a fantastic addition to this arc. It remains to be seen whether we’ll get any other good-guy Kryptonians show up, but for now, it’s also important to note that Zod’s not alone. He’s joined by multiple allies that will no doubt give Venditti multiple options to explore. The establishment of the villains this early on gives all of the Lanterns involved in the conflict a clear sense of agency over the course of the issue, and over the rest of the arc as well, which immediately helps in the building of suspense going forward. Readers familiar with the character know how scary Zod can be as an antagonist and by including him early on, Venditti does a fantastic job at upping the stakes from the get go.
Rafa Sandoval’s artwork is excellent here and really emphasises several scenes in this book, as he handles the action scenes just as well as he does the scenes between John Stewart and the Guardians. John’s emotions and anger at the Guardians are clearly felt in their scenes together thanks to not only to Sandoval’s pencilwork, but also the addition of Jordi Tarragona and Tomeu Morey’s inks and colours, which help provide an added amount of depth to make John’s big speech feel all the more important and vital. It’s certainly the strongest scene of the issue, no matter how cool the action is.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #37 may see the Corps pitted against one of Superman’s most famous foes, but it’s a very new situation that the Green Lanterns find themselves in. This shake-up is a welcome one that forces the Lanterns to think outside the box on how to defeat him as he represents an entirely different threat compared to what they’re normally used to. Robert Venditti wastes no time in getting the arc started and based on what this issue has given us, Green Lantern fans should be in for a real treat with this upcoming arc, which puts all the pieces in place for a memorable storyline full of agency and intrigue.