Green Lantern #29
What is this you say? Yet another origin for Hal Jordan? Hasn't this all been done before? You know, red-skinned bald alien shows up, gives Hal a ring, and a legend is born. It's true, there have been quite a few origins of Hal before, but this is Geoff Johns, and I'm all for it. Not only is he picking up on some of the ideas that he used previously in Rebirth and such, he's fleshing things out with Hal's family, he's giving us peeks into Hal's own head, and by God, he even throws John Stewart into the mix. Not to mention that this makes for a nice jumping-on point for any number of NEW fans. I may know all the old stories, and YOU may know all the old stories, but perhaps this is a new book for a new fan.
Ivan Reis is back, and in tip-top form. Juvenile Hal and little Carol Ferris are just so darned adorable!
Oh Hal. You've been a troublemaker and a heartbreaker right from the start.
Mr. Johns delves deftly into the family dynamic of the Jordans after the death of Martin. Hal's mother just can't understand his desire to fly, and he can't understand her fear. His older brother Jack is something of a jerk, but you can certainly understand his motivation, while Jim is just a little sweetie. Hal doesn't MEAN to hurt his mother, but he just can't help himself.
So off he goes on his eighteenth birthday.
Heh. Notice the address.
So Hal ends up as a hotshot pilot, albeit one who doesn't think that rules need apply to him. Does this sound familiar? There is an amusing bit with Hal at a bar, and a young Marine named John Stewart who just happens to be sitting at a different table. Needless to say, fists soon start flying.
Unfortunately, Hal's mother is near death, and she STILL refuses to see Hal. That seems to be taking a grudge to absurd lengths, but apparently his brother Jack is in agreement with her, and won't even let Hal into the hospital room. In typical bullheaded Hal fashion, he goes off, and picks a fight with his commanding officer, after taking a joyride in a jet, and somehow manages to get himself dishonorably discharged, all so that he can visit him mother. Too bad she dies before he can make it to the hospital. Jack yells at him a bit more, but Jim at least has a heart.
Finally, we have some more story about Abin Sur and the Empire of Tears, which is always nice. All these little hints will, I am sure have a major effect on the ensueing story line.
Ragnell in her review, has some very valid points about Hal's little caper with stealing the jet and punching his commander in the face. Odds are pretty good that Hal wouldn't have simply been discharged, he'd have been thrown in the brig, or the pokey or whatever they call it. It is apparently not as easy to steal a jet as you think. Furthermore, exactly WHY Hal thought that getting himself thrown out of the Air Force was a good idea, baffles me. But that's Hal all over, he may be handsome, brave and charismatic, but thinking things through, is NOT his forte. Why couldn't he simply have gone to his superiors and asked for some temporary leave, and then gone to see his mother? Hal lies to everybody all of the time, he could have told his mom he was out, and she'd have died happy.
So yes, Hal is an idiot. But a darned entertaining idiot.