Best Shots Review: HAL JORDAN & GREEN LANTERN CORPS: REBIRTH #1 'Pulpy '70s Space Opera'

"Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1" preview
Credit: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Rebirth #1
Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright
Lettering by Dave Sharpe
Published by DC Comics
Review by Justin Partridge
‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10

Credit: DC Comics

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1 doesn’t read like a regular DC comic book... it reads like a pulpy 70s space opera. Returning Hal Jordan to the depths of space, Robert Venditti provides an exposition-heavy but epic in scope sneak preview of the challenges Hal will be facing as a lone Lantern amid the stars. Also making a return is artist Ethan Van Sciver, coming back to the character that fans most associate his work with colorist Jason Wright along for the ride. Sending ripples through the entire spectrum of Lanterns, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1 is a welcome return to the large scale ring slinging that makes these characters so fun to follow.

Credit: DC Comics

First and foremost, this debut is big - planet-sized warships taking over full sectors of space big. Using the action of all the pre-"Rebirth" Green Lantern titles as a groundwork, Robert Venditti focuses this one-shot on Jordan, his taking the fall for the Corps' mistakes, and his wielding of Krona’s Gauntlet. But while his focus is mainly on Jordan, his newfound mission to find the mission members of the Corps, and his unstable powers, Venditti also widens his script’s gaze to establish the title’s big (and I do mean big) bad and how Jordan’s actions in the story puts the rest of the Lantern colors on notice.

Credit: DC Comics

While Hal is trying to steady his power through the forging of a new power ring which provides the one-shot a seriously stirring moment, Sinestro and his Corps have run roughshod over the entire universe and made a home in the ashes of Oa thanks to his Parallax-powered Warworld. To complicate matters further, after Hal creates his new ring, a feat the Guardians said was impossible to anyone other than them, the energy from the new ring reverberates through the galaxy drawing the attention of everyone from Larfleeze to White Lantern Kyle Rayner. Though his one-shot falls into the same trap of all the other "Rebirth" one-shots of being all exposition and no real follow through, Venditti goes very big, laying out a huge implications for his upcoming series and showing that he plans to make full use of the deep bench of Green Lantern characters with Hal Jordan once again at center stage.

Credit: DC Comics

Making an always welcome return to the Green Lantern line, Ethan Van Sciver, along with colorist Jason Wright, absolutely nail the expanse of this debut. From distant star fields to massive looming creatures and with densely packed and energetic panel layouts in between, Van Sciver on a Green Lantern title is always a treat and this one-shot is no different. For example, after showing us the looming presence of Sinestro’s Warworld with a single page splash of the planet taking up the majority of the page itself, he moves on to present the surface of the world with slanted panels packed with details like the vast cities that make up the surface of Sinestro’s flagship.

Credit: DC Comics

Van Sciver’s attention to scope is to be expected at this point, but seeing him rendering the energy output of the Lanterns provides the issue its most visually interesting moments. Aided by Wright’s luminescent colors, Van Sciver throws himself back into ring-slinging with gusto even before Hal gets his ring back, rendering his unstable powers with trippy swirling pencils punctuated with green lattices and shining grids. These are just a few examples of Van Sciver and Wright’s sense of scale that lead to Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1 feeling like "Rebirth"’s largest-feeling one-shots.

Though unable to break out of the "Rebirth" mold, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1 starts off huge and promises to only get bigger once the title kicks off properly. Robert Venditti, employing momentum and blockbuster-scale storytelling, promises space-faring fun and big threats for the wayward Hal Jordan, along with hints toward who else is going to be standing alongside Jordan or in his way. Bolstered by the fan-favorite artist Ethan Van Sciver and colorist Jason Wright, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps may not bust up the format, but it certainly presents it as something bigger than it has been before now.

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