rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have to admit, I didn't really think Hal Jordan's origin, and his relationships with Abin Sur, Carol Ferris and Sinestro needed revisiting again. Especially with all the momentum Geoff Johns has been building towards "In Blackest Night."
But I was wrong. While re-tracing a few steps of Hal's rise from test pilot to Green Lantern, Johns introduces backstory elements that reinforce his take on Hector Hammond, Sinestro, Black Hand and indeed the Green Lantern mythos as a whole. By going back to Hal's roots, he can plant seeds that will come to fruition in "In Blackest Night," thus looking like it's the culmination of a decades-long plan rather than an invention in the last few years.
Is this "ret-conning?" Well, yes. But it's done fairly artfully, and given that DC's continuity is so open to re-interpretation and even outright erasure, it doesn't particularly bother me. Johns puts some deeper levels of characterization in here, building on what we've known about the characters but tweaking it so that it all feels like one big mythos, rather than what it is, which is the result of dozens if not hundreds of writers introducing their ideas, sometimes clunkily, to form a big tapestry of Green Lantern's mythos.
Ivan Reis's artwork is spectacularly good, reminiscent of Carlos Pacheco and JG Jones, and he does particularly exceptional work on all the spaceships, airplanes, alien landscapes and human hangars that dot the story.
This book also introduces the backstory of Atrocitus, my vote for most on-the-nose-yet-awesomely-named bad guy ever, and it's a nice tie-in to the Guardians' folly with the Manhunters, as well as to Alan Moore's famous Green Lantern story about the planet of demons who wound up putting Abin Sur in a spaceship.
If all retcons were like this, the word wouldn't have such a bad rep.
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