By: Adam Schlagman (writer), Ben Oliver (artist), Allen Passalqua (colorist)

The Story: It’s Hal Jordan’s life—we just live in it.

The Review: With Hal Jordan, it’s easy to get a grasp on the man under the ring: a daredevil pilot with cockiness coming through the wazoo, but somewhat redeemed by his hopelessly devoted yet constantly resisted love for boss Carol Ferris.  He’s stayed pretty true to this characterization even through a couple origin rewrites, although now he also comes with some lingering daddy issues (which seem quite the rage among male heroes nowadays).

All of these elements get played up rather shallowly in the Green Lantern film, and here Schlagman offers a rendition of Hal’s early days that actually stays very close to the movie’s portrayal in almost every way.  He even includes a scene of Carol and the other employees of Ferris Air berating Hal for destroying their state-of-the-art aircraft and thus losing government funding, which seems a petty concern considering he does it to save his and Carol’s lives.

In fact, the story plays out so close to the bone of Hal’s original continuity that the whole issue, without exception, could work as a typical Green Lantern origin story.  The closest thing you get to a Flashpoint tidbit is a scene where some telepathic, King-Shark-type character latches onto Hal’s plane and vows to chomp on some air-breathers in the name of Atlantis, or something.  But since Hal dispatches of the creature quickly in spectacular fashion, nothing ever comes of it.

Even right down to the very end, where Hal encounters the crash-landed Abin Sur, you get close to nothing that indicates that life for Hal Jordan is proceeding mostly according to tradition.  Schlagman writes it all convincingly, but with no inspiration or freshness, so basically you’re getting material that’s been already been done to death, and very recently too.  And that is why this will be my shortest review on record.

But before I go, let’s talk about Oliver’s artwork.  He gives the issue a very pretty, realistic look, but it’s also sparse, using as few figures with usually blank backgrounds, and it all looks so posed that there’s little to no emotional impact whatsoever.  He even has some inexplicable, out-of-context expressions in there that call to mind Greg Land, like Carol’s impression of Julia Roberts’ open-mouthed, toothy smile when she’s getting attacked by the King Shark character.  And Passalqua’s colors just looks overly painted; he uses these dark, almost charcoal streaks for shading, and it just makes the characters look like they just got powdered with a chimney brush.

Conclusion: Let me put it this way: if you read/own Green Lantern: Secret Origins, you don’t need to read/own this issue.  Unless you really care for shark-men.

Grade: D+

– Minhquan Nguyen

Some Musings: – How the heck does King Shark leap out of the water to hitch a jet-plane anyway?  And how can no one have noticed that until they apparently saw him on radar?

– Aw, how cute—Carol’s aviation helmet is colored pink.

– “Where courage takes flight” is actually a pretty boss company slogan.

Grade

Conclusion