Green Lantern 23.3
Special “Villains Month” Title: Black Hand 1
Charles Soule, Alberto Ponticelli
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
The newest Green Lantern tie-in to Villains Month and Forever Evil was downright creepy. In a great way. Writer Charles Soule has really tapped into the primal fear behind the inspiration of two of the greatest underrated villains of the DC Universe this week, both with Swamp Thing’s Arcane and Green Lantern’s Black Hand. (He also did a pretty good job with A-list Superman villain, Lex Luthor, for those keeping score.) Joined by artist Alberto Ponticelli, Soule proves once again that he knows evil. And death. And lots and lots of chaos.
William Hand is resurrected, yet again, and is seemingly purposeless for the first third of the book. Senselessly killing all who cross his path, he eventually is jailed, escapes, and begins recruiting the dead around him (some of whom he is just flat-out murdering) for the middle third of the book. And the final act of the one-shot has him returning to the very cemetery where Hal Jordan’s father, Martin, is buried. It is there that he remembers the purpose of not only his return, but his very existence. But there’s plenty of time to get Hal’s attention. In the meantime, he’s going to find his dear old departed dad something to eat. Or rather, someone.
This issue is well worth the extra dollar for the fancy cover. And I think the most interesting (but possibly most dangerous) part of Villains Month is the fact that the issues, for the most part, have nothing to do with one another. They are all essentially one-shots. Some, like this one, reference older stories (such as Blackest Night). Some, like this one, retell or continue explaining the origin of the title character. And some, like this one, hint toward the future stories that will make the character’s return worthwhile. Soule is on fire over at DC (and he’s not doing too bad over at Marvel, either). After Forever Evil, I’d love to see him tackle Hal Jordan on a permanent basis and be upgraded to head writer of the franchise. He’s certainly paid his dues over on Red Lanterns, not to mention his already stunning body of work in a relatively short amount of time in the industry. The first Green Lantern story (Relic) was okay. The second Green Lantern story (Mongul) was better. But this one was great. It’s going to be hard to top this one next week with the Sinestro issue.
My Rating: 4.5/5