Monday, January 12, 2009

Ten things to love about Green Lantern: Secret Origin

Last year’s multi-issue retelling of Hal Jordan’s origin story in Green Lantern comics is now republished in hardcover trade form, and it’s a very nice book indeed. Not only does it appear to lack the comics-to-trade inconsistencies that have plagued other super-hero trade books, it’s the first Green Lantern trade collection to feature the artwork of Ivan Reis from cover to cover -- and Ivan Reis’s artwork ONLY. No guest artists, no filler artists -- just Reis in all of his glory, along with Oclair Albert’s marvelous inks. Reis once again proves that he’s one of the best artists Green Lantern has ever had, if not one of the best artists in comics period.

I still miss Moose Bauman’s colors. However, Randy Mayor does a good job with coloring this series -- a series in which color is now more important than ever, from the conspicuously golden glow of the Oan buildings, to the suspiciously orange hues of Hector Hammond’s images.

This retelling of Hal Jordan’s origin (which effectively replaces Emerald Dawn as the definitive Hal Jordan origin story) IS a bit of a literary conceit on the part of writer Geoff Johns. He basically uses it as a platform for tying Hal’s story more closely to the upcoming Blackest Night storyline. However, considering that Johns’ epic trilogy, as it were (Rebirth, Sinestro Corps War, and Blackest Night), forms perhaps the greatest Green Lantern yarn of all time, I’m certainly not complaining about his revamping of Hal’s story!

As with most retellings of a hero’s origins, Secret Origin isn’t perfect. Without going into detail, the depiction of Hal’s military experiences certainly isn't accurate. (The DC Universe IS supposed to be separate and different from our own, though, so who’s to say Johns can’t bend the rules a little?) Also, there’s a reveal at the very, very end that I personally don’t like because it completely undoes one of the best running gags in Green Lantern history. Really, though, these are minor quibbles in a very interesting and entertaining interpretation of how Hal became a Green Lantern.

Ten things to love about Secret Origin (though there are certainly more!):

1. Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris as little kids. (Awwww, aren't they cute?):

2. Jim Jordan. (STILL the nicest and most likable Jordan brother.):

3. Hal Jordan, meet John Stewart -- John Stewart, meet Hal Jordan. (And they've felt nothing but love for each other ever since -- ha!):

4. "Holy #?$%! Holy #?$%! Holy #?$%!"


6. Hal Jordan vs. Big Yellow Frisbee (thereby earning his first whack in the head as a Green Lantern):

7. Sinestro makes Yoda look like a total pansy. (Really, all Yoda did was lift the stupid thing out of the swamp!):

8. Hal beats yellow (and is completely clueless as to how he does it):

9. Hal isn't afraid of the Guardians, but they're sure as hell afraid of HIM:

10. Hey, Hal actually knows how to WRITE! Who knew?

Oh, and one more thing ... Just what the hell WAS Hal doing to his power battery?

Maybe we're better off not knowing.


MetFanMac said...

Great list, Sea.

My favorite is #6, solely because Hal's getting clocked--again--in a blatantly cartoonish manner :-D

Thomas Fummo said...

I love the Holy #?$%! Holy #?$%! Holy #?$% soo much!

SallyP said...

ONLY ten things? I too miss the colors of Moose, but what can you do? Ivan Reis's art on the other hand is simply sublime. I hope that he stays chained to his drawing board for another twenty years...drawing Green Lantern.

My favorite moment has to be the first time that Hal flies. The expressions on his face are just wonderful.

Sea-of-Green said...

Reis DOES do great facial expressions, doens't he? :-) And his Hal is SOOOO PRETTY. The prettiest Hal since Neal Adams drew him. *Sigh.*

plok said...

Oh, the way those rings talk really bugs me...

Eyz said...

Pretty awesome list, and I sure did love Secret Origin. I have it right next to Emerald Dawn (and ED2, New Dawn, etc..) :D
They can still complement each other in a way...