The Agents of the Gray have Hal between a rock and a hard place. Who is this group and what do they want?
First and foremost, what works about this issue is that while it is the last issue of GREEN LANTERN before REBIRTH, it feels like this issue sets up what's coming down the line. This isn't an issue that ends its run on an emotional moment that manipulates the reader into being bummed out that the series is ending, which is what most books at DC seemed to do pre-FLASHPOINT.
So what is this setting up? We're introduced to the Agents of the Gray, which we saw in GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL #4. These guys think they're the law, since the Green Lantern Corps is no longer around. They want power. They want to be what the Green Lantern Corps once was. The only problem is they go about getting what they want their own way, which is a bit of a gray area at times, no pun intended.
The problem with this story and these characters is that while there's a threat towards Hal Jordan, that threat doesn't translate as well to the rest of the universe. Sure, one of Hal's friends is being held hostage, and yes, they want to execute Hal on live video feed for his crimes, but they're doing what they think is right and trying to take over the role the GLC left behind. At the same time, that's one of the more interesting things going on in this issue. It is all gray area, and Hal is seen by many as the enemy, so of course, he's going to come up against people who aren't necessarily bad guys, wanting to take him down.
There's a lot of great action within the issue and the art team of Billy Tan, inks by Mark Irwin and Livesay, and colors of Alex Sinclair. You couldn't ask for a better art team on this book, especially with Sinclair involved. His colorwork is the unsung hero of this series. It's what really gives this series an identity and makes it pop. You need a strong colorist for a GREEN LANTERN book and Sinclair goes above and beyond.
Issue #52 of GREEN LANTERN has a satisfying ending, in the fact that's a more of a bridge between this volume and REBIRTH. The series continues to push forward and tell stories, instead of halting itself to start back up for the next DC event. Robert Venditti and Billy Tan provide an interesting story here, and fans should be excited to see where this is headed.