By Joe Kelly, Brent Anderson & Bill Sienkiewicz, with Ro & Bleyaert (DC Comics)
Green Lantern has been a DC star in one form or another since the company’s earliest days, but often that’s led to some rather extreme revamps and odd takes on what seems to be an extremely pliable character with an invaluable shtick – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
In the Silver Age revival, true-blue test pilot Hal Jordan was bequeathed a power ring by a dying officer of an intergalactic police force run by benign, if austere, immortals known as the Guardians of the Universe.
During one of the interminable crises that beset the universe Jordan saw his home town of Coast City vaporised by an alien invader. He went mad, and sought to use his power to undo the carnage, in the process destroying his beloved GL Corps, stealing all the power rings and evolving into the time-bending villain Parallax. A menace to all reality, he redeemed his life and soul by sacrificing himself to reignite Earth’s sun when it was consumed by a monstrous sun-eater.
Whilst he was alive Hal’s best friend and confidante was Thomas Kalmaku, an Inuit flight engineer nicknamed “Pieface.” Although Tom survived the destruction of Coast City, the trauma led to his marriage failing and he climbed into a bottle of booze. Just as he’s fallen as far as its possible to go a lawyer turns up with a legacy left by the dead hero. Bitter and filled with self-loathing, and despite himself, Tom is saddled with a little boy named Martin Jordan who arrived with nothing more than the clothes on his back and a note that says “Fix it.”
Thomas desperately tries to unload Martin but when the Justice League and Green Lantern survivors try to confiscate the child, he realizes that once more he’s being manipulated. There’s something unnatural about the boy, a deadly monster is hunting them both and even the time-traveling Parallax is on their trail.
Just what is the true legacy of Hal Jordan, and who or what has to die to achieve it..?
This convoluted but highly readable sidebar to the epic Green Lantern mythology might deter the casual reader, but the genned-up fan will get a lot of enjoyment out of this bittersweet, action-packed yarn, especially with the ever-impressive Brent Anderson and Bill Sienkiewicz (ably assisted by some innovative colouring and effects from Ro & Bleyaert) in the illustrators’ seats.
© 2002 DC Comics. All Rights Reserved.