or, Geoff Johns, the Master of the RetCon
Green Lantern #30 was highly anticipated in the Hill household, as I would get to see part 2 of what I believe to be a 3 part origin story, and it didnâ€™t disappoint. Beautiful artwork, beautiful storytelling, and just the right amount of twist to give the story a new breath of fresh air.
Now donâ€™t get me wrong, the Green Lantern origin story is one of the greatest there is. It is simple, uncomplicated; Abin Sur crashes, Hal Jordan is brave. What more do you want?
But the GL origin story was, more often than not, part of a greater story. This time, it is the story!
Surprisingly enough, this story’s main focus is not actually on Hal Jordan, as he only plays a backing role to our lead, Abin Sur. Abin Sur was the red dude who, in the original origin story, crash landed on Earth, and gave Hal his ring.
Now, we find out just what he was doing near Earth, why he was flying a ship and not using his ring, and what caused him to crash. These are not questions that become immediately apparent to you when you read the original story, because your focus is on Hal. But years later, when someone like Geoff Johns uses these unanswered questions for his own purposes, you wonder why you hadnâ€™t picked up on it earlier.
This issue opens up with Abin Sur, steering his vessel â€“ give him credit though, heâ€™s at least using the ring, not his hands, to move the steering column â€“ towing a prisoner along with him, and conversing with none other than Sinestro. And we find out that the two of them apparently have a very deep bond, something that I at least was unaware of.
We then swap to the many complaints of Hal Jordan, who is now working on airplanes, rather than flying them (and subsequently crashing them). Heâ€™s soon confronted with the desire to fly again, only to find that not only will his new boss not let him, but that he will soon have a new boss entirely; Carol Ferris.
Hal then encounters the being that will change his life forever, as he is ripped away from memories by Abin Surâ€™s ring, and deposited by the side of the dying alien. Abin Sur has been tricked in to his own death, which adds only another layer of emotional grief in to this issue, which has already focused on the losses that Hal has suffered â€“ his father, and now his flight.
It is at this point, the beautiful splash page where Abin Sur asks Hal â€œDo you accept this duty?â€ that I want to take a moment to comment on Ivan Reisâ€™ art. He gets stronger with every issue that he draws, and was a man born to draw Hal Jordan. Others have made mention of it, and I will do so too, the page where Hal climbs in to the wreck of what I believe to be his fatherâ€™s plane. This page is the epitome of the emotion I mentioned earlier, and you really feel for Hal, even if he might have deserved it.
Carol Ferrisâ€™ entrance is absolutely stunning as well, and makes for one of the most beautiful women drawn in comics for many a year. And I say this not because it seems sheâ€™s going to bust through her top at any moment, but because of the lines and shadows that seem to add a touch of realism to the art.
As for what I didnâ€™t like, they are few, and hard looked for. Hal seems to be a moron in that scene where he buzzes Laminski, when in reality Iâ€™m fairly certain Hal wouldnâ€™t be so careless with another pilot’s life, no matter how much he didnâ€™t like him. And who is Hector Hammond, and why am I supposed to know who he is? Also, why does Abin Sur look like a red version of the little men from Oa?
Hal Jordanâ€™s origin story is no doubt being entirely used and abused for the sole purpose of setting up The Blackest Night storyline that is coming. But you know what, I donâ€™t think anyone actually cares! Geoff Johns has done such a masterful job of retelling this story, never bastardizing the story, always keeping the changes subtle, that it works perfectly.
And, as DC will no doubt love to hear, has only heightened my anticipation for Final Crisis, and in particular, the Green Lanterns storyline. Green Lantern, issue #30 getâ€™s a 4 out of 5 on the artwork, and a 4 on the story.