Sunday, March 07, 2010

Green Lantern: Secret Origin by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert

Before Hal Jordan become the Green Lantern of his sector, the Green Lantern there was Abin Sur, and although he died on Earth when his spaceship crashed on it, that seems a little ridiculous. Why would a Green Lantern, who can fly through space solely on the power of his ring and his will alone, even need a space ship? And what was Abin Sur doing so close to Earth?

Now, the tale can be told. Abin-Sur had captured the first nascent Red Lantern, Atrocitus. His fellow Green Lantern, Sinestro, is worried about Abin-Sur, who he feels is overly concerned that his ring will betray him at some point, and that Earth, part of Abin-Sur's responsibilities, will be the birthplace of the Black, the absolute negation of emotion, the antithesis of everything the Green Lanterns stand for.

Meanwhile, Hal Jordan is growing up on Earth. His father is a test pilot for Ferris Air, and he takes his son with him to the airfield whenever he can. Here, Hal meets Carol Ferris, the spoiled daughter of the airfield's owner. But on the day he meets her, he also experiences the worst tragedy of his life- his father dies in a plane crash, trying to impress Ferris's investors.

But even with his Dad's crash, Hal's love affair with flying wasn't over. He kept sneaking out to various airfields until his mother flatly forbade him to do so, until the day he turned eighteen, when he enrolled in the US Air Force. He quickly became an ace pilot, but one day his brother Jim showed up to tell him that his mother was dying of cancer. Hal wanted to go see her, but she refused to allow it because he was still in the army. So the next morning, he took an unauthorized joyride in a plane- and found no joy in flying for the first time in his life.

When his superior officer chewed him out, Hal decked him- and was promptly thrown out of the Air Force. But Hal had wanted to be thrown out. He was thrown out of the army. His family didn't want him back. He had nowhere to go. So he went around the airfields looking for a job. And got one at Arden Air- as a mechanic. From there, he learned not only how to fly a plane, but why it flew- until Arden sold out to Ferris Air- the same people, in Hal's eyes, who killed his father.

One the same day, Arden bought a plane that Hal's father once flew. He was in the cockpit, thinking about his future, when Abin Sur's ring found him and took him to the dying alien. Atrocitus had broken free of his confinement as Abin Sur's fears about his ring failing him grew- making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Abin Sur nearly crashed his ship into Coast City, but stayed with the ship to pilot it to a safer location to crash.

When Hal was summoned, he overcame his fear of what was to come to accept Abin Sur's ring, but before Abin Sur dies, he says, "Sinestro". And Hal, overwhelmed by what has just happened, says he needs to get air, and the ring helps him fly- his greatest joy. But even as he meets a pilot from Arden Air who is having trouble and saves him, He meets Carol Ferris again, and she is entranced by his new look- but doesn't know it is him because the ring acts to protect his identity, making a domino mask on his face.

With her is Hector Hammond, who can see the attraction Carol feels for the Superhero, and asks if Hal is trying to steal his girlfriend. Carol immediately objects- she isn't his girlfriend, and soon after, Hal is taken to Oa for training by the Ring. When he gets back, not only does he have to deal with Atrocitus, who is searching for the one who holds "The Black", but also with Hector Hammond, who has been altered to read minds by the strange fuel in Abin Sur's ship.

Can Hal, with the aid of fellow Green Lantern, Sinestro, take care of Hammond *and* Atrocitus without falling afoul of the Oans, who have forbidden the Green Lanterns to work together for any more than a short period of time? And can the two of them become friends, or will Hal's ability to affect something yellow end up driving a wedge between them?

This was an okay book. I read it because I never really read the introduction of the Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, and I was hoping it might help me understand and enjoy the Green Lantern Corps books, but in the end, I never felt an interest in or attraction to the characters.

And that continued with this volume. Obviously, the story has been retconned to set up the events of "Darkest Night", but explains why Abin Sur, who was a Green Lantern and who could fly with a mere expression of will, would need a spaceship in the first place, something never explained in the original comic. It also retcons the origin of Henry Hammond, who, instead of being evolved by the same meteorite that evolved Gorilla Grodd and the rest of the denizens of Gorilla City, now is mutated and changed by the stone power source of Abin Sur's ship.

I found the story interesting, but not interesting enough to want to read more about the characters, or make me a fan of the Green Lanterns. I still simply didn't care about any of the characters. Neither recommended nor not recommended.

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