DC Comics’ Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps will come to an end with its 50th issue due out this Wednesday. Written by Robert Venditti, drawn by Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona with colors by Tomeu Morey, the finale promises to be one to remember before Grant Morrison takes over Hal Jordan's path. The Green Lantern Corps take on the Darkstars, who have been slowly whittling down the Corps’ forces and converting them to the Darkstars values. John Stewart continues to step up as the Corps leader while Tomar-Tu, the former Lantern son of the late Lantern, Tomar-Re does battle with Jordan.
“I thought the Darkstars was an interesting concept, we could do something new and original while giving a nod to the original incarnation of the characters,” Venditti told SYFY WIRE. “They’re an interesting conflict for the Green Lanterns, not just in a physical action space battle but in a philosophical sense.”
Reformed villain Hector Hammond also plays towards the philosophical side of the story and is one of the more surprising components of the last arc. Jordan uses Hammond’s immense telekinetic powers as ammunition against the Darkstars, but he has to keep Hammond in check, as he offers the ability to kill all the villains that Jordan had a passing thought, to help end him of his troubles.
“In a lot of ways, (Hammond) represents a lot of what this arc is about. He is the reformed villain, who now wishes to be a hero and do good, but the problem is that he’s super-super powerful and very dangerous. Being extremely powerful has made him detached. He’s operating on a higher plane than everyone else is. He has also made Hal his role model but tends to overreact, so Hal has to tell him to dial it down. You just can’t blow up someone’s head, that’s not how heroism works.”
But there was a real plan to utilizing Hammond’s gifts, as seen in issue #49. Meanwhile, John Stewart, the leader of the Green Lantern Corps, tries to maintain an uneasy alliance with the likes of General Zod and God Brain Hector Hammond to obtain the edge in defeating the Darkstars without a casualty on either side if he can help it.
“It’s more than just the combat,” Venditti explained. They have to do it in a way that shows a philosophical high ground as well as a physical one. If they kill all the Darkstars in order to take back control of the primary police force of the universe, would that really be a victory? What would that say of the people of the universe that they’re trying to police? It seemed like an important decision that John had to make, given the nature of the specific conflict, given his background and what he’s trying to do as leader. Even though it was a decision John had to make, it helped me get to other character moments and it impacted others in various ways.”
Venditti had been writing Hal Jordan since the New 52 in Hal’s solo book, but added Guy Gardner, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner to the cast in the Rebirth title, and made it even more enjoyable for him as he was able to write the book as four friends hanging out, drawing from his own tight-knit group of friends that he’s had since he was young, each carrying characteristics of one of the featured Earth GL Corps members.
“There’s a Hal, a Kyle, and Guy in the group, and I’d probably be the John of the group because I was the one that the parents would pull aside and ask to make sure no one got in trouble. Venditti said laughing. “I was the one who had to be the responsible one. The series was like how we would get together and talk about things, how would we would deal with things individually and differently.”
Through all of the nearly 100 total Green Lantern stories that Venditti wrote, Hal Jordan and the Green Lanterns is the biggest chunk. Guy Garner was the one character that surprised him the most because he genuinely disliked him at the start of the series, but looking deeper at the causes of why he acts like a jerk and a doofus appealed to Venditti, to the point that he hopes to one day write a solo series featuring Gardner.
The new Hawkman writer is specifically proud of Issues #16, #28, amongst other moments like the long Sinestro arc, Hal forging his own ring, and Hal becoming willpower itself, but when it comes down to what drove the series, it comes down to friendship.
“That’s really the core of the series, to be good friends with someone,” Venditti summed up. “You have to see the good qualities that you admire that you wish you had in yourself and I think that’s true in these four heroes and how they view each other.”
The following is SYFY WIRE's exclusive six-page preview of the issue before you can get your hands on it this Wednesday. Check it out and let us know what you think about Robert Venditti’s run on Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps.