Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: Green Lantern Emerald Dawn

Cover
Green Lantern Emerald Dawn re-imagines the origin story of the Green Lantern Hal Jordan.

Hal Jordan is a test pilot for Ferris Aircraft. One day, while working on a simulator he is snatched be a mysterious green light and flown to the desert. There he meets an alien that gives him a powerful green ring and dies before Hal can come to terms with whats happening.

From an arrogant and irresponsible grounded test pilot to a galactic trainee cop, the journey of Hal Jordan is a whirlwind filled with aliens, new found responsibilities and introspection.

How is it?

Before we get into the book I should tell you that this is one of those books that remind me of my childhood. I actually bought this book twice, in 92/93 still on my allowance and again in 2005/2006. This book reminds me of Summer vacations. Not that it has anything to do with the story, but I first read it in in the Summer of 92/93 while lying down on the sand by the Atlantic (yes it got filled with sand, but I was a kid back then). I've read it more than a couple of times since.

Call to OA
Nowadays its common to hear voices against the use of Hal Jordan as Earth's Green Lantern, but 20 or so years ago (God, as it been that long?!)  he was a very popular character. In a time of near perfect heroes he was the imperfect one. He had family issues, work problems even his long time on-again off-again girlfriend tried to kill him many times. Hal was a Green Lantern, not because he was fearless, but because he could overcome his fear, and that made him unique.

It starts with Hal Jordan in his flight simulator when suddenly it takes off flying, heading into the desert. Upon arrival he meets Abin Sur, a dying alien, that gives him his power ring. Abin Sur explains what are the Green Lanterns and why he was chosen. Shortly after Abin Sur dies and Hal is handed the most powerful weapon in the Universe.

From here on Gerald Jones, Jim Owsley and Keith Giffen weave a story where Hal Jordan will have learn how to be a Green Lantern and take responsibility for his past and present actions. In a way this is a coming of age story. Hal never looses his trademark cockiness, but he does learn to accept new found responsibilities and handle the consequences that come with being a Green Lantern.

In the beginning of Emerald Dawn Hal is driving while drunk and crashes is car against a sign near the road. As a result one of his friends is paralyzed. At first he doesn't take responsibility for that, but eventually Hal grows a conscience and tries to atone for that by giving himself up to the police. This is a symbolic moment that marks a turning point in Hal's life. He's finally growing up.

Emerald Dawn is full of memorable moments. Among the best of them are: Hal getting the ring for the first time; Hal taking flight for the first time, Kilowog's training; the final battle against Legion and Hal turning himself in and going to jail.

Kilowog is the man

This book has great art. At the time it was top notch, but even 20 years later the art still manages to keep a high quality. The coloring on the other hand would benefit from an update. Panel layouts are not very imaginative by today's standards, but are not very static either. They change it a bit here and there. You will find few, but glorious, full pages panels.


Verdict?

To me this is the definitive origin story for Hal Jordan. It is also one of my favorite Green Lantern stories of all time. I admit to be bias towards this book, because it made a big impression on me when I was younger.

If you are a fan of the Green Lantern mythos and  want to read more about Hal Jordan or just want to understand why he was such a popular character, then this book is a must read. If you're only interested in the current generation of Green Lanterns, then this won't add anything to that.


Publisher: DC Comics
Year: 1991
Pages: 144
Authors: Keith Giffen, Gerard Jones, Jim Owsley, M.D. Bright, Romeo Tanghal
ISBN0930289889

Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter.

4 comments:

  1. E aqui vem o fã nº1 do Green Lantern!
    :D
    Sim, esta é a origem definitiva do GL Hal Jordan. O livro que apareceu há pouco tempo, o "Origins", já na era Geoff Johns não atrapalha esta origem, apenas lhe dá outros pormenores (Atrocitus) de que ele necessitava para o seguimento da série actual Green Lantern, ou seja, manteve o mito da 1ª origem quase intocado o que foi muito bom!
    Este livro em conjunto com "Green Lantern Emerald Dawn II", "Green Lantern: Emerald Twilight & A New Dawn", "Zero Hour" e "Final Night" são o grande opus do mundo dos Lanternas. Ainda hoje o que se passou nestes livros se repercute no universo actual da DC!
    ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Viva Nuno,

      Confesso que não sou grande fan da escrita do Geoff fora dos livros do Flash, mas até que gostei do Origins. Mas ai ele foca-se mais no relacionamento com o Pai.

      Eu queria escrever sobre os Emeralds todos, mas não consigo encontrar o II na minha colecção. Deve ser um dos que foi emprestado e nunca mais voltou.

      Mas com tempo mais textos sobre os Lanternas do antigamente aparecerão certamente :)

      Abraço.

      Delete
  2. O II meu amigo... vais penar para o encontrar! É com o Sinestro ainda GL, e o respectivo julgamento dele, por denúncia do Hal Jordan!
    ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eu lembro-me vagamente. Tenho quase a certeza que já o tive algures no tempo.

      Não me lembro de detalhes, mas recordo-me de gostar da forma como se aborda a questão da ordem a qualquer preço.

      Ordem costuma estar associada ao bem e o caos ao mal. Se não me engano o Sinestro aplicava uma forma de ordem algo totalitarista.

      Delete