Raise the Green Lantern


Green Lantern #29

A new storyline starts here — “Secret Origin” is meant to be the untold story of Hal Jordan’s life. We see him as a kid, idolizing his pilot father and watching him die in a plane crash. We see him as a teen daredevil, worried over by his mother, resented by his older brother, and looked up to by his little brother. We see him bailing on his family at age 18 to join the Air Force, where he crashes planes, fights with Marines (including future Green Lantern John Stewart) (and is that Radu Stancu, future proprietor of Radu’s Coffee Shop and Kyle Rayner’s landlord tending bar? I do believe it is!), and eventually slugs his commanding officer to get kicked out of the USAF. On top of that, we get a short look at Hal’s GL predecessor Abin Sur interrogating Qull and the demonic Empire of Tears about the dire prophecy of the Blackest Night.

Verdict: Thumbs up. We knew a lot of this already, but the added depth is great for fleshing out Hal’s backstory a bit more. However, I do think that Ragnell is correct that Geoff Johns should’ve done some more research about the Air Force — even I know that a pilot who takes a plane out on an unauthorized joyride and slugs his C.O. is going to be sitting in the stockade, not jaunting off to see his family.


Marvel Atlas #2

I reviewed the first issue of this way, way back in December. Similar to Marvel’s “Official Handbooks of the Marvel Universe,” this focuses on notable countries instead of just people. This issue focuses on Africa, North and South America, and Antarctica. We get a few real countries, like Canada, Egypt, and Peru, plus a number of fictional ones, like Wakanda, Genosha, the Savage Land, and Atlantis. There’s no real plot — a few pictures, a ton of text, a ton of national stats, flags, histories, etc.

Verdict: Thumbs up, but with some reservations. The entries for Canada and the United States, though longer than the other entries, are still mainly a list of names of superheroes and supervillains. Clearly, there’s more Marvel history in those two countries than just about any other. So why shoehorn those two into a book along with the rest of South America and Africa? If I were Marvel, I’da released three volumes for this series instead of just two — one for Europe and Asia, a second for Africa, South America, Australia, and Antarctica, and a third focusing solely on North America. Regionalist, maybe, but this is the sort of project that benefits from being complete, and you don’t get that when you shortchange your most common settings to make ’em fit into a two-issue series.

Nevertheless, this book is great fun. Some of the smaller nations are a bit forgettable, but all the info about Wakanda, Genosha, and the Savage Land make this a Must-Buy purchase.

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