Hal Jordan, Green Lantern 2814.1, has had a rough time. He's been mind-controlled into supervillainy, killed, brought back as a spirit of vengeance and miraculously returned to sanity and superpowers. Unsurprisingly, new readers find it confusing. Now Booster Gold writer Johns has gone back to the beginning for a flashback explaining who Hal Jordan is and why we should care. A hardy, brash sort of hero, undeterred by constant danger and heartbreak, Hal won't let anything stop him from piloting. One day he stumbles upon what he assumes is a crashed plane, only to find it is the ship of a dying alien. Recruited into the Green Lantern Corps of galactic police as the dead being's replacement, in quick succession, Hall is issued with a superpowered Green Lantern ring and shipped off to the planet Oa for training. Rather than beginning his heroic career as the golden boy of the corps, Hal instead immediately starts questioning his more powerful and experienced superiors and bonds with future supervillain Sinestro. Johns gets across what makes Jordan unusual for a superhero-he's more of a lucky choice than a destined hero. The clean, expressive art by Reis and Albert captures the heedless, fearless Hal perfectly in a story that isn't horribly daunting for newcomers. (Dec.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up
This is the story of how Hal Jordan became the Green Lantern; or rather, how Hal Jordan became Hal Jordan. Stemming from a childhood trauma, he shuts off his family and his emotions. His only focus is using his airplane to push the limits. He's cocky, reckless, and fearless. A second tragedy drives him to sabotage his job and return home where he works as a lowly mechanic. When an alien spaceship crash-lands on the airfield, Jordan is set up to meet his fate. He's summoned, against his will, to be a Green Lantern. The plot moves quickly, but enough time is given to revealing character motivations and flaws. Although the protagonist is not always likable, he is honorable and ultimately realizes what he must overcome. The best part of "Green Lantern" comics, the color, is on full display. The alien powers literally light up the page. The human beings are the main players, but there are plenty of strange aliens to gawk at-even a chipmunk Green Lantern. This story sets up future story lines, but no prior knowledge of the Green Lantern mythology is needed to enjoy it. Unfortunately, there's no answer to the burning question: What's with the yellow immunity?-Sadie Mattox, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA