Comic Vine Review


Green Lantern #23.3 - The New Black


Black Hand recently died. Again. But he's back. Again. You know this isn't going to be good news for anyone in the DCU.

The Good

Black Hand hasn't had it easy. Recently in the Wrath of the First Lantern arc, we saw his apparent demise, again. Obviously something like that will not keep him away. Black Hand returns again. Charles Soule picks the perfect place for his return. It's a great way to remind who he was as well as give new readers some insight without going full blast into retelling his origin.

Because Black Hand is in a slightly vulnerable state, we get to see him get his bearings as he recalls what has happened. With the heroes of the world missing or dead, due to FOREVER EVIL, Black Hand has the time needed to fully come back. What he sets up won't lead to good things around him. If things weren't bad enough with the villains taking over, this little corner of the DCU will offer no ray of sunlight.

There is also one thing Black Hand does that will have an impact later. We'll have to wait and see if and when he confronts Hal Jordan again.

Alberto Ponticelli's art captures the dark and dreariness of the story. Black Hand's return will have an impact and the effects are showing here.

The Bad

Aside from his return and the one new development, the issue mainly focused on Black Hand getting out of his dazed state. It could be a case of maintaining interest in a character that is unlikable by his nature. As we see the story unfold, it felt as if we could have done without some of the narration. Perhaps part of it is it feels it's too soon since we last saw him. With the upcoming events planned in the Green Lantern books, his return at this time feels unnecessary.

Ponticelli's art captures the feel of the story but there were some moments when the undead looked almost comical rather than frightening.

The Verdict

Black Hand is an intriguing foe for Hal Jordan. Charles Soule has brought him back for Villains Month and has added a pretty interesting twist. This Villains Month story gives a taste of who he was and where he's at now but his return felt a little too soon. It's hard to say where he'll appear next since the Green Lantern titles appear to be crammed with events unless we'll be seeing Black Hand face off against other characters. Being that we're now over half way through Villains Month, this story feels like it would have been better placed at a later date. Soule adds a nice twist to the character and it deserves to be investigated further. It's just unfortunate that the feeling of villains overload is placing a damper on this issue.