Of all Green Lantern’s enemies the most dangerous, even more so than Sinestro, is Parallax, an impossibly ancient avatar of fear, able to possess and twist individuals to its own devices. Hal Jordan committed atrocities while controlled by Parallax, so what could Parallax do if he controlled Superman? That’s the premise of an opening chapter that sees Hal Jordan back on Earth for the first time since the series began, and reintroduces another old Green Lantern foe in unusual circumstances, something Robert Venditti’s become very good at.

The sojourn on Earth doesn’t last long as Venditti’s priority is keeping the series space bound, and the secondary concern seems to be reverting pretty well everything about the Green Lanterns’ world to the way it was back in the day. More of that occurs in Twilight of the Guardians, as the events of Fracture have little impact on what’s essentially a solo mission for Hal followed by a teaming of the four human Green Lanterns. There’s a strange absence of tension to that title story, which returns ancient enemies of the Guardians, leaving Hal, Guy Gardner, John Stewart and Kyle Rayner to track them down after they’ve been abducted. The best aspects of it are the sheer exuberance of a new Green Lantern, still a child, and the bantering interaction between the Green Lanterns. Venditti’s version of Guy Gardner retains his aggressive essence, but tones back on the outright belligerence, displaying why he’s an effective Green Lantern rather than the goon he ended up as previously.

It’s all change for the artists. Patrick Zircher (sample art left) has drawn a previous Green Lantern series, and distinguishes himself on the opening story, but it’s the combination of Tom Derenick’s layouts and Jack Herbert’s pencils that’s most seen. Derenick is an old hand at laying out a functional page of superheroics, and Herbert has a nice open style provided you don’t look too closely at the hands he draws. The arteries on John Stewart’s hand resemble a relief map of the Himalayas. José Luís also contributes to the final chapter, using larger panels and closed in viewpoints, but otherwise matching Herbert’s style.

This is another sold 21st century superhero outing without ever pushing the boat out to become something more.