Written by Charles Soule
Art by Alberto Ponticelli
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: September 18, 2013

3314976-green+lanternOne of the most prominent villains in the Green Lantern portion of the DC Universe takes center stage in this issue focused solely on Black Hand.

Red Lanterns scribe takes on the Black Lantern in this one shot, showing primarily what Black Hand is capable of. We don’t dig into his back story much and the events of Forever Evil are alluded to, but for the most part evaded. Soule writes a solid Black Hand and has a good grasp on the characters voice and motivation, but not a lot happens in this issue. Black Hand looks like he’s going to be pretty active in the DC Universe based on the events of this book, but for the most part this comic is Black Hand raising a whole lotta dead people. This isn’t a poorly written comic, by any means, and if this is a person’s first introduction to Black Hand you’ll get a solid rundown of what the character is capable of. If you’ve been reading comics back past Blackest Night, however, this will feel like a fair amount of rehashing, save for an interesting moment at the end that Soule handled quite well. The script moves at a brisk pace and the issue is a pretty quick read with Soule driving the story forward with straightforward dialogue and plot points. For readers looking for what Black Hand is capable of, this is the comic for you as Soule gives plenty of examples of just what the Black Lantern can use that ring for.

Alberto Ponticelli compliments the script with eerie art and the man can draw a mean zombie. The art team does a good job of keeping the tone of this issue dark and brooding, as the spotlight character deserves. Ponticelli’s art is serviceable and tells the story, but the issue as a whole is lacking any kind of wow factor. Black Hand is one of the more powerful villains in the entire DC line and at no point in the issue do readers ever get a shot of him simply letting loose and being a prime time villain. The menacing figure on the cover loses that energy within the pages to the point of him being almost drab, which is a shame considering he’s the star of the show. Much like the script the art isn’t bad, by any means, it just lacks energy and the spark that could have given this book a lot of life.

Fans of Green Lantern and Black Hand, especially, will find a straightforward story they will enjoy in these pages. The event at the very end of the book will have an impact on Hal Jordan going forward, but for the most part Green Lantern #23.3: Black Hand is a showcase of what the character can do and little else.

The Verdict: 6.0/10


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