Sensationally described by “DC Comics” as “This. Is. It!” in its pre-publication promotion, this extra-sized anniversary celebration undoubtedly brought the title “Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps” to a rather satisfying conclusion in August 2018 due to its detailed depiction of the Darkstars’ devastating defeat at the hands of Kilowog’s emerald-coloured crusaders. Indeed, the Guardian’s “intergalactic military/police force” have arguably never looked more impressive considering they manage to overcome a mercilessly murderous opponent which outnumbers them ‘ten to one’ “without killing” any of them; “Kill that Darkstar — and we’ll point our justice at you!”
However, despite this title’s theatrical termination, which culminates with both the depressing low of Tomar-Tu’s suicide in Space Sector 0001, and youthful high of Somar-Le excitedly being “the newest Green Lantern” on Mogo, Robert Venditti’s narrative for “Last Charge: Finale” does still debatably fail to provide the truly sense-shattering confrontation between Hal Jordan and General Zod which Rafa Sandoval’s regular cover illustration promises and the mean-spirited Kryptonian’s angry arrival at the Darkstars’ Central Command portends.
John Stewart’s ‘alliance of convenience’ with a mass-murderer viewed by many bibliophiles as one of Superman’s “greatest and personal enemies alongside Lex Luthor” was always understandably a dangerous one, especially following the retconned architect’s “dramatic order” that lethal force was not to be used during the battle to save ‘his’ sentient planet’s populace. So the unstable megalomaniac’s hotly anticipated decision to simply seek vengeance upon the person he holds responsible for failing “to save my home” from destruction should have come as no real surprise to followers of this series. But rather than portray an already bruised Jordan slugging it out with Ursa’s co-conspirator, the Hollywood-raised writer instead pens Tomar-Tu simply disconcertingly dying by his own hand and Zod departing as disappointed as perhaps some within this comic’s 29,579 strong audience were at such an unexploited opportunity.
Of course such discontent is probably particularly picky when the enormity of the Green Lantern’s stunning victory is holistically considered. Dynamically drawn by Rafa Sandoval utilising all manner of defensive hard-light constructs, the numerous Corps’ characters imbue every panel within which they appear with the determined willpower of those indomitably desperate to ‘stick to the rules’ even when their forces are dwindling and their tactics are being questioned internally by the likes of Guy Gardner and Arkillo due to “the Darkstars… playing a different game.”