By Cat Wyatt
Are you ready for another issue of buildup? No? Well, then I’m sorry but I have some news for you (but in all seriousness it wasn’t the frustrating type of buildup, it simply is what it is). Things pick up right where we were left off in issue 33; John, Hal, Guy, and Kyle are all brainstorming for causes and solutions to their problem, while also pestering little Somar-Le (the only witness to the Guardians kidnappers) for more information.
It probably goes without saying that Guy really wasn’t the best one for the job here; he never struck me as the type that was good with kids (but hey, I could totally be wrong on that count). Thankfully Kyle gets kids, and better yet, he gets constructs. Fun fact; did you know that you can use the ring to create whatever you’re imaging? Well, Somar-Le learned that one pretty quick, showing massive constructs of a bunch of angry Collectors.
Unsurprisingly John immediately recognizes them for what they are (I know I really shouldn’t have been surprised here, there’s a reason they made him the leader of the Green Lantern Corps). Any good leader should be able to instantly identify their oldest enemies. They know the Collectors are the cause of everything that’s occurred, but they do not know the location. Fortunately it isn’t easy to take down (or keep contained) a Guardian, and the materials to do so would be traceable in one way or another. Thus our wonderful Honor Guard (Hal, Guy, and Kyle) all run off to collect information in their own unique ways (you can probably take a guess at who does what).
Meanwhile things aren’t going too great for Ganthet and Sayd, which considering the method in which they were taken isn’t terribly surprising. Both are trapped in some sort of pod like contraption, along with all the other Guardians we’ve seen in the past (including the Temple Guardian seen in the last issue, as well as Rami, which was a bit of a surprise), making their collection of Guardians complete (I hope you can forgive me for the pun there). The real question is why though. Why do the Collectors want the Guardians contained so? I think we can all safely assume it isn’t for a nice chat and a tea party.
Luckily for us Kellic is a natural villain, which means he’s inclined to monologue when given the chance. Unfortunately his monologue ends with a display of his intent, which in turn appears to have cost Yekop (the Temple Guardian and possible Gathet’s brother?) his life. Apparently once upon a time the Guardians and the Collectors were of the same race, but through their own interests and experimentations both diverged into what they are today. Despite the changes however, they are at their core still Maltusians (the race they originated from) which means something (nothing good I’m sure) to Kellic and his crew.
By this point Hal, Kyle, and Guy have all regrouped with John, each with a different piece of the puzzle. With all the information they’ve collected they believe they know where the Collector base is, and thus where the Guardians are being held prisoner (which they can only assume is the case, based on the fact that they didn’t just kill them and leave their bodies on Mogo). None of this is really surprising, what is surprising is that John Stewart is going to lead the assault personally and that it‘ll consist of just the four of them. I understand their decision for this (stealth and discretion) but I’m concerned about the ramifications of it. Cue the dramatic flying scene! (Seriously though, nothing looks more badass than a bunch of Green Lanterns flying in formation).
The next issue is titled the Controllers of the Universe. This certainly doesn’t sound great, but then again they’re not exactly known for their soothing titles. So, grain of salt? As I mentioned above, you can pretty much tell that this issue was mostly buildup. Which I personally don’t mind; it makes all the actions scenes have actual meaning. Thankfully we were graced with enough dramatic poses (Green Lanterns are exceptional at this) to help keep things interesting.
The artwork for this issue was pretty on-point, if I may say so. Along with all the aforementioned posing scenes, there’s quite a bit of texture shown, especially on the cover (the stars strewn about almost read as something you could touch or feel, giving it a more layered look). Little Somar-Le’s constructs were fantastic – the size and details on all of them were almost something I would expect from Kyle, and they were rendered in such a way as to make that obvious for us. Last I love the distinctions created between the Guardians and the Collectors. Despite the fact that they originated from the same race, they look drastically different (which makes it easier to tell who is who at a quick glance). Where the Guardians are shorter and blue, the Collectors are tall and red (or it may be pale and I’m just interpreting it incorrectly; they call themselves pale). I’ve also yet to see a Collector with hair, while many Guardians have white hair. There are more differences too, but those are the most obvious ones.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #34
Publisher: DC Comics