Hal Jordan (deemed as the “Greatest Green Lantern’) was just a test pilot before he acquired his power ring and power battery from the dying alien Abin Sur. This has been the plot of every Hal Jordan origin. And in my collections of graphic novels, I have three stories about Hal coming into possession of his power ring. I’m not going to tell you the stories in full but rather share with you just a little about these stories and my thought about them.
SHOWCASE #22 S.O.S. GREEN LANTERN
First on my list is Showcase 22. This is the debut of Hal Jordan in the comic world which was issued around September-October 1959. A short story but more importantly, the very first story of Hal Jordan and how he became a superhero. This story has been the framework upon which succeeding Hal Jordan origin stories have been based. The story featured only two characters: Abin Sur and Hal Jordan. Abin Sur, in his dying moments, instructed his power ring to find an earthman to pass on the power battery. Hal was then brought to Abin Sur’s presence. Abin Sur then explains things to Jordan and turns over his ring and power battery. This story is featured in Green Lantern Chronicles Volume 1 which also feature stories from Showcase # 23 & 24, as well as Green Lantern issue 1, 2, & 3. I personally recommend this classic story to every Green Lantern especially Hal Jordan fans out there.
Thirty years after Hal Jordan’s debut in Showcase 22, DC Comics re-told his story in a 6-part comic magazine compiled in a graphic novel entitled EMERALD DAWN. In this storyline, Jordan was introduced with more details regarding his personal life starting with a young Hal witnessing the death of his father in a plane crash. Later in his life, Hal, along with his brother Jack, Jack’s girlfriend Dee, and Hal’s best friend Andy had a car accident due to Hal’s driving. Being true to the original story, Hal Jordan was transported to Abin Sur’s presence to become the next Green Lantern of Sector 2814. Hal was reluctant to accept the role and was later attacked by the creature known as the LEGION. Hal then went on to meet other Green Lanterns as well as the Guardians in the planet OA. (You can appreciate more the story once you read the book.) More like a story of redemption for Hal Jordan as he faced the consequences of his past mistakes to have a better start. I also recommend this story as it goes along with other storylines.
Secret Origin is the latest retelling of Jordan becoming Green Lantern. This story is the best so far. Just like EMERALD DAWN, it featured events to Hal’s life before he acquired the power ring. Important characters were also introduced that added more drama to Hal Jordan’s personal life. It also had some events that go along with succeeding storylines like “Rage of the Red Lanterns” and “Blackest Night” (writer Geoff Johns really did a wonderful job in these storylines) From the death of Jordan’s father, to his issues with his own family, his reputation as a pilot, his acquisition of the power ring, his training along with the Corps in OA, his encounter with Sinestro to his confrontation with the Guardians, all events were masterfully told. Highly recommended for all GL fans’ Secret Origin is probably the best Graphic Novel to start with for all comic fans.