The story behind the story

It has been the underground success of the DC Universe over the past year and a bit, and there’s no need to guess why: it’s Green Lantern, and Hal Jordan is simply one of the greatest characters ever to be written. So to disclaimer this review let me say two things; I love Hal Jordan, and I love origin stories.

I disclaimer it for a reason; many of you may have already seen the amount of trash talk that has gone around about this issue of Green Lantern. But as much trash talk is, it is narrow minded and naive.

Green Lantern #29 is also called Secret Origin – Part 1. Needless to say, those who have been fans for a long time will be wondering why there is another origin story. But once again those same people who believe they are the core of the comic world seem to forget that without new people reading and understanding, they won’t get their comics a few years down the road.

See, believe it or not, if you think that the 40 year old virgin comic fan (and I am being a bastard right now, so deal) is the demographic that DC and Marvel are writing for then you would – funnily enough – be mistaken.

Will I review this issue? Oh yeah, just let me say this: new fans need to know where their favorite heroes came from, and without resorting to Wikipedia or piracy, a new origin story is the best they can hope for!

Especially when it comes to the art, and this issue blew my mind from the moment I looked at the front cover. Juan Reis and Dave McCaig have created a cover that could become as iconic as the front cover from issues such as the JLA meeting the JSA for the first time or Red Tornado’s introduction in to the JLA. Abin Sur and Hal Jordan are nothing short of gorgeous, the lettering is sensational, and the colors make you want to have it on your wall.

And despite what I feared when I opened to the first page, it doesn’t get worse, as is the case with many covers. Why? Because Reis is the artist behind the entire issue, and he has Hal Jordan down to a tee!

He’s also got Hal’s little brother, Jim, down as well, and creates a character which – for many of us, is entirely new – instantly shows him to be the caring and overlooked little brother. His storyline runs parallel to much of Hal’s storyline, and makes you ache when you see him open the door to present Hal with his birthday present.

Now I’m not a comic novice by any means, but I’ll admit to some ignorance when it comes to certain characters. Green Lantern was always a favorite of mine, and Hal Jordan was by favorite GL; but I never knew he had family. I knew he followed his father in to the cockpit, but that was the best I would have been able to tell you.

This story – though familiar in many respects – is still catching me, a decade’s long fan of Hal/GL. The time jumps are flawlessly presented so that you are never wondering why Hal all of a sudden has grown two feet.

The bar scene – where we also get a stereotypical cameo from ‘will-become-a-Green-Lantern-one-day’ Jon Stewart – is a great portrait of Hal’s life. It also provides us with a humorous view of running a bar in a 60’s military town when you see the bartender casually cleaning a glass, meanwhile watching a Marine’s versus USAF brawl.

Hal’s continued run of bad decisions is brought to a climax when for no reason he sees himself cashiered out of the military.

But a Green Lantern origin story wouldn’t be anything without a cameo from Hal Jordan’s predecessor, Abin Sur, and that is just what we get on the last page of the book. And that this same pre Hal Jordan/GL scene also links us seamlessly to ‘The Blackest Night’ storyline is just flawlessly done.

I swear I’ll go and find a comic I hate and give it a rating of 2 or something, but for now, this get’s 5 out of 5 for me. Everything was perfect, and Geoff Johns has once again proven himself to be one of DC’s greatest ever writers.

The Author

Joshua Hill

Joshua Hill

I'm an aspiring author who just happens to also work on the web, reporting on the environmental research and science at Planetsave.com that makes sense of the climate change hype, reviewing fantasy books at FantasyBookReview, because I love fantasy books and want to tell you all about it. I also blog over at Life As A Human and at Extralife.

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1 Comment

  1. mosdef
    April 1, 2008 at 4:55 pm — Reply

    i agree 100%, great issue and although hals not my favorite gl by a long shot it was a great read. I love GREEN LANTERN, its my only DC comic i get and Geoff Johns has been, is doing and will continue to do a superb job with this title.

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