Green Lantern #175 Review

Reviewer: Chris Delloiacono
Story Title: Wanted: Part 5

Written by: Benjamin Raab
Penciled by: Andy Smith
Inked by: Rodney Ramos
Colored by: Moose Baumann
Lettered by: Rob Leigh
Associate Editor: Stephen Wacker
Editor: Peter Tomasi
Publisher: DC Comics

In movies when the action is moving to a grand climax the music often builds to a wonderful crescendo. Well, this comic is that wonderful crescendo laid out across 38 pages. Benjamin Raab pulls together all of the elements that have spun through his all-too-short run on Green Lantern, and brings us a magnificent payoff for our continued attentions.

While I wasn’t crazy about the “Black Circle: Urban Knights” crossover with Green Arrow which introduced Amon Sur (son of Abin Sur) and led to him becoming Kyle’s regular foil. Sur has turned out to be a well conceived villain that has been worthy of his featured role. The idea of the book veering heavily toward sci-fi, as Kyle battled Amon’s Black Circle criminal organization really caught and held my interest throughout. I don’t remember the last time that Green Lantern spent such an extended period away from Earth, but it was a very fresh spin.

Kyle has spent the first four issues of “Wanted” infiltrating the Black Circle disguised as a villain named Vasquez. Last month, his ruse was discovered, and this month, Kyle comes face-to-face with Amon Sur for the all the marbles. Raab intersperses some nice ring-moments this month, as Kyle finds some ingenious ways to fight Amon and his thugs. It can be said, Kyle actually steps over the line with his guerilla tactics. The stakes are massive for Kyle and the universe as a whole—Amon Sur is unleashing quantum singularities that could wipe out much of existence—so Kyle’s aggressive actions do make sense.

The other success of the issue is Raab’s ability to continue developing situations that most GL fans have been begging for. While Raab wasn’t responsible for bringing Kilowog back to the DCU (thank Joe Kelly for that), in his time on the book Kilowog is back to his old lovable self, transformed from the wraith-like being that Joe Kelly gave us. The other aspect of Raab’s run that will endure is the work he did with the Guardians of the Universe. Judd Winick started the Guardians on the road back, but as this issue closes out, they’re well on their way to being the hard to figure group they were prior to “Emerald Twilight.”

One factor that I’d like to note about Benjamin Raab’s entire run are the wonderful moments with Jade, Merayn, John Stewart, Terry Berg and the rest of the supporting cast regular Green Lantern readers have come to love. Raab has spent a portion of nearly every issue focusing on these diverse characters. Unfortunately, Raab only has a few pages to develop any of these characters in this anniversary issue. Hopefully Ron Marz continues the fantastic job that Raab did across the entire cast list when he jumps aboard as writer next month.

Sadly, this was Benjamin Raab’s final issue on the title; his skillful wrap-up of the storyline was much appreciated though. I give Raab big kudos for setting the stage beautifully for Ron Marz and what should be one hell of a storyline. Trust me the last four pages of this issue will make your jaw drop!

Artistically, Green Lantern has seen myriad faces on the penciling duties recently. Andy Smith does a nice job filling in this month. He captures the high speed action of Raab’s script and adds some nice touches to the issue. There were a couple panels that were a little confusing, but with the extreme amount of action that can be understood.

Let’s talk about Hal for a moment!

The issue has a number of what would certainly be considered spoilers that I won’t go into detail on. While changes have been underway for a while now with the Green Lantern franchise, with this issue, it becomes a little clearer as to what’s going to happen in the next few months. It’s seems obvious that Hal Jordan will soon return from Spectre-dom and get back to old Lanterning ways once again.

Can it ever make sense? No!

Does it wreck a lot of great stories? You bet!

Do I care about Hal Jordan returning? Maybe….

I can live with Hal Jordan coming back, but only if Kyle Rayner remains a fixture of the DC Universe as one of the central Green Lanterns. Kyle’s been the man for ten years now, and deserves to be a featured character as much, if not more than Hal Jordan. Hal’s a fun character to read, but he’s really not much more than a stereotype of a superhero. In my mind, Kyle is more realized, and far more interesting to read. The Hal/Kyle situation is very similar to the one with the Barry Allen and Wally West versions of The Flash. There’s simply no comparing the two as characters. Wally, like Kyle, is infinitely more fascinating. And this is coming from a Silver Age Flash fan. It’s just how it is.

So, if we must see Hal Jordan again, let’s not do it at the expense of an outstanding character!