Warworld is destroyed and most of the membership of the fear-empowered Sinestro Corps are dead. Also presumed dead is Hal Jordan of Earth, who launched a suicide run on Warworld to destroy the massive Fear Engine that threatened the universe. Jordan did this believing that he was the last of the Green Lanterns—the peace officers empowered by the collective willpower of the universe and their own brave hearts. He was wrong.
Though pushed past the edge of oblivion into a dying universe by a clever trap, the vast majority of The Green Lantern Corps survived. Now under the leadership of the earthling John Stewart, The Corps have returned to find a universe in turmoil. More, they’ve discovered one of their own, Soranik Natu, leading a group of Sinestro Corps members who claim they fought against the building of The Fear Engine, wanting to use their fear-based powers to maintain peace—not facilitate tyranny.
The two teams have little chance to discuss matters, however, with both answering a distress call that places them in the clutches of Larfleeze. Sole wielder of the Orange Light of Avarice, Larfleeze has appropriated the technology of the world-killing villain known as Brainiac to solve his storage space problems, shrinking whole planets to add to his collection. Despite their animosity for one another, Will and Fear must unite in order to escape the clutches of Larfleeze and save the captive worlds.
Meanwhile, Hal Jordan finds himself in The Emerald Space—an afterlife of sorts for those Green Lanterns who died in battle. Told that his time has not yet come, Jordan must accomplish one thing above all others upon his return to the world of the living—he must restore Hope to the universe.
Bottled Light proves an incredibly engaging chapter in the on-going saga of Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps. Though the Green Lantern books have one of the most involved continuities in comic book history, writer Robert Venditti does a masterful job of explaining the current status quo in the opening chapter of this volume. The exposition is handled naturally through the characters informing one another of the events of their respective subplots. There’s also a number of great character moments, particularly for John Stewart and Soranik Natu, who must weather their own distrust for the good of their teams and the greater good of the worlds they are both trying to save.
The artwork for the issue is wonderful throughout. Ethan Van Sciver and Rafa Sandoval—who worked on the first volume of Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps– return as wonderful as ever. The middle chapter of the five-part story is handled by artist Ed Benes, with no sign of the gratuitous cheesecake that plagued his work on other series. There is a final coda, illustrated by V. Ken Marion, telling the tale of a future Green Lantern, who was inspired by the heroes that saved their world during the events of Bottled Light.
This volume is rated 12+ for teen audiences and older. I believe that rating to be a fair one, as there’s no inappropriate content in terms of violence or sexual content. The revelation that Larfleeze traps the souls of anyone he kills and forces them to serve him as construct ghosts made of orange light may be a bit creepy for some readers but apart from that this comic is good old-fashioned sci-fi superheroics.
Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps, vol. 2: Bottled Light
by Robert Venditti
Art by Ethan Van Sciver, Rafa Sandoval, Ed Benes, and V. Ken Marion
DC Comics, 2017
Publisher Age Rating: 12+