Plot: The secret origin of Hal Jordan / Green Lantern begins.
Commentary: Everything old is new again in the continuing annals of Green Lantern. This issue begins to narrow the scope and bring things back down to earth again as Johns brings us back to Halís childhood and life as a young man and pilot pre-Green Lantern. Itís good to get the focus strictly back on Hal for awhile. One could argue this is his book after all. True, there is not much we do not know in this story already but Johnís fresh voice and Reisís eye-catching art make it all seem new and shiny somehow. The effort and emphasis here is to more closely tie Halís beginnings as Green Lantern to Abin Surís discovery of the prophecy of "The Blackest Night". Johnís continues to inject emotion into the sterile and static goings on of the Silver Age origin of Green Lantern. Those were simpler times and the setting forth of action without much characterization or motivation was fine for the younger audiences back then. Johns understand that the older comics audience demands more drama and depth from their heroes.
Johns gives us tension and trouble between the Jordan brothers as well as something I donít really think Iíve seen before unless I missed it somehow. Thatís entirely possible considering I was never a big Green Lantern fan until the past year. What Johns gives us is the underlying motivation for Hal striking a superior officer and getting dishonorably discharged. The reason he did this was because his dying mother does not want to see him as long as he is still in the service. She is bitter at Hal for joining up and following in the same footsteps that led to his fatherís demise. So, in true Hal Jordan fashion he does the rash and over the top thing by striking and officer so he can tell his mother heís no longer with the military and thus see her before she dies. Alas, he is too late.
This issue is a much welcome departure from the space opera and cosmic shenanigans weíve gotten this past year. Thatís not to see there are no aliens and space action because there are in the last few pages as we flash back to Abin Surís original encounter with Qull and Atrocitus over the issue of "The Blackest Night". Did I mention it is good to have Ivan Reis back on the pencils? McKone did a fine job during the Alpha Lantern story line and Reis doesnít miss a beat upon his return to these pages. Though their styles are different they both have brought a seemless sense of reality and definition to the alien races that inhabit the Green Lantern Universe. Johns and Reis really know how to balance the pathos and the action in this series. Hal Jordan and Green Lantern belong to this team as much as say a Daredevil belonged to Frank Miller in his own milestone issues on that series. I donít think if Johns ever leaves this book it will ever be written as well ever again.
Final Word: Continued high marks for ďHighballĒ Hal Jordan and his current caretakers.
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