EP0022: Hal Jordan and the Green Lanterns Corps, Volume 4: Fractures (Review)

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Find out who breaks up the Green Lantern Corps/Sinestro Corps alliance as we look at Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, Volume 4: Fractures

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Transcript below:

Breaking up isn’t hard to do, not when you’re two enemy factions trying to forge a fragile peace, and Kyle Rayner ticks off the one person who can send it all into a tailspin. We’ll tell you all about it next as we look at Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, Volume Four: Fractures. Welcome to the Classy Comics Podcast where we search for the best comics in the universe. From Boise, Idaho here is your host Adam Graham.

‘Fractures’ is the fourth volume of the Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps trade for the current series. It collects issues Twenty-Two through Twenty-Nine, and contains two separate four-part stories. First up is ‘Fractures’, and to explain this story a little bit of continuity in the series. The Green Lantern Corps was thought to have disappeared from the galaxy, and Sinestro, a longtime enemy of the Corps stepped up to fill the gap with his Sinestro Corps. Unlike the Green Lanterns, the Sinestro Corps are Yellow Lanterns, harnessing fear in order to obtain their power. Joining Sinestro was his daughter Soranik, former Green Lantern.

However, when Hal Jordan exposed that her father was really behind the disappearance of the Lanterns, and that he was masterminding yet another really evil plan in his long history of really evil plans, Soranik, shocked that her father would have a really evil plan turned on him and joined forces with Hal in order to thwart Sinestro. Many members of the Sinestro Corps survived and she proposed banding them into a force for good and joining forces with the Green Lanterns. The Lanterns, while not eliminated from the galaxy, had their numbers dwindle and so, John Stewart the leader of the Lanterns was open to this alliance and it appears to be making some progress.

As in the last volume the two toughest, meanest members of each Corps – Guy Gardener of the Green Lanterns and Arkillo of the Sinestro Corps forged a friendship and partnership, and many were starting to work together. That leads to Sarko coming to try and break up the harmony of the two Corps. Sarko was killed at the end of Volume Three and shortly after that Kyle Rayner discovered that Sarko was his son with Soranik who he’s had a romantic interest in. And that is our story upon until Volume Four, even though that this was probably going to happen with a division between the two Corps. After all, the Yellow Lanterns kept the name Sinestro Corps. It would be like a branch of the Hitler Youth wanting to join with an international youth club after World War II and saying, “We realized Hitler was totally wrong but we want to join with you and keep together as a group”. Well, OK, you can do that, great. “Everyone remained being called the Hitler Youth.” Wait, what?

If you’re really making a break with the past and you don’t agree with the ways of Sinestro, why the heck would you still continue to call yourself the Sinestro Corps? But I digress…

Strains on the alliance come in two ways: first, both corps joined forces to stop the robbery of a great intergalactic bank. It’s an epic battle and it gives us a chance to see them really work together as a team before the fracture. However, the leader of the raiders reveals that a member of the Green Lantern Corps committed murder, and he is going to reveal it unless John Stewart lets the raider and his crew go. The murder itself turns out to be of little consequence, and is more a pretext for the fracture rather than the reason for it. The person who the Green Lantern murdered was a Sinestro Corps member who refused to join with the new alliance, and he was also a murderer of children from that Green Lanterns’ home world, and threatened to escape and kill again. And even the Sinestro Corps member who was accompanying the Green Lantern didn’t tell about it. The real reason the Corps breaks up is because of Kyle Rayner, and more specifically Soranik.

You see, Sarko, the reason he came back in time to stop the alliance of the Green and Yellow Lanterns is because he came up from a future where they had forged a peace, and the Green and Yellow…the Sinestro Corps ceased to exist. And they just all joined together and been Green Lanterns. And Kyle and Soranik were married and had a son.

Instead of thinking about this or maybe asking someone what might be the best course to pursue, Kyle Rayner decides to push Soranik to quickly disband the Sinestro Corps and to take her Green Lantern position up. Kyle’s odd behavior and his not talking to anyone really make her suspicious to the point that she goes down to view the body of Sarko, which for some strange reason – from her perspective – Kyle has had preserved. And so she does an autopsy on Sarko and is shocked by what she finds.

She’s furious that Kyle Rayner lied to her and confronts him in epic fashion, and of course her response to this is to turn full megalomaniac and take the name of Sinestro. I am actually a little bit disappointed…oh well, maybe even more than a little bit disappointed in the turn. I’ve only been reading this series for the last four volumes but I really like Soranik as a character, and I find this epic turn to, “My father was right to be a bit overdone,” but then again I guess you can’t really underestimate the trauma of the situation.

I will say this for the series: they do sell it with some great art. She attacks Kyle Rainer and it is an epic attack brilliantly, artistically portrayed, and it does its best to sell this. I do kind of look at a little bit of hope in this situation that she hasn’t really launched any particularly evil plan. She may become somewhat more of a gray figure but hopefully she doesn’t go all megalomaniacal forever like her old man. I think that would be a shame.

It is a sad turn of events when they begin to fight, Guy Gardener and Arkillo find themselves on different sides and neither one of them there they roughest and toughest of their particular corps, neither one of them will go ahead and take the first shot at the other. And the whole thing is ended by John Stewart in a brilliant way, and it’s possible through this story as you read about John Stewart trying to bring the Sinestro Corps and the Green Lanterns together to think that he’s a little bit naive or foolish in this effort.

But he shows at the end that he’s a clever leader who has actually planned for all eventualities, and I actually enjoy that and I think that. Initially when I started reading the book and it was Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, and it was John Stewart in charge of the Corps I would kind of question that. It’s like, wait, if this is Hal Jordan’s book why isn’t he leading the Corps?

But the more I read of Hal, the more I read of John, I kind of think that makes sense. Jordan is a good lead character and he is the most important character in the book, but I don’t think he’s the type of person you actually would want in charge of an organization. John Stewart, on the other hand, is – and Hal Jordan having to deal with an authority over him, I think that’s a perfect match.

I wasn’t happy with the story – I felt that it was very artistically well done, and it had some really enjoyable elements that worked. And like I said, it felt like it was kind of inevitable but it’s sad that it did end that way.

The second half of the book is the Fall of the God series and it involves the Green Lanterns running into Orion from New Genesis, and Orion is being pursued by a relentless, determined to wipe out everyone from New Genesis. This is definitely something that the Lanterns can’t allow to happen since they’re really key in keeping Apokolips in check. Of course, the ultimate target of these Golems is Highfather; and so Hal Jordan has to pursue Highfather who is being pulled by another New Genesis hero, Lightray, who is incredibly fast – far faster than Hal Jordan could hope to go in his space flying fighter jet which he made out of willpower.

And right in the middle of the second to last issue there’s a great moment where Hal’s dad appears in the backseat of the plane as Hal tries to speed up and catch Lightray. You can obviously argue and speculate as to what exactly is going on. I suppose you could say it was a ghost or it was a hallucination, or it was something caused by going so incredibly fast in space that it led to some sort of bending of the space-time continuum. However it is, it’s really beautifully portrayed and it provides some emotional moments and some insight into Hal’s character. This whole story is a really great action piece. I can’t emphasize enough that the art in this series is really phenomenal, and it makes all of this pop. I like this story as well because every member of the Green Lantern Corps, in terms of the humans that we know and care about – Stewart, Gardener, Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner – all get something to do, and it’s a very well-balanced story. I like this four-parter, it works great with the strength of the Lanterns.

Overall, while I didn’t like some of the plot points in this book, and there are a couple of moments I’m a little dubious about, I still enjoyed it and the art really does sell the book and make it worth reading. It’s great space opera fun and I gladly give it a rating of Classy.

Alright, well we turn now to listen our comments and feedback. Dave comments regarding our review of The War of Jokes and Riddles:

“I just recently started listening to this podcast based on my enjoyment of your old time radio Superman show podcast, and I’m enjoying it so far. I personally am more a DC guy than a Marvel guy, but I like both. On the strength of this episode I’ve requested from our local library system a copy of The War of Jokes and Riddles which I’ve not read before, so I thank you for letting me know about a story I’ll probably enjoy. Stay Classy.”

Thanks so much Dave, and you can also email us: classycomicsguy@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @ClassyComicsGuy. And as always check out our website classycomicsguy.com. From Boise, Idaho, this is your host Adam Graham signing off.

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