Shake a bush and a new Green Lantern pops out. Sometimes, it’s difficult to keep track of who’s actually Earth’s protector, since it’s always changing with the different timeline reboots. This is why a book like Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern: Secret Origin should be cherished as a reference point for when it inevitably goes balls up. But is it any good?
Um, it’s written by the brains behind DC right now, so the answer is a resounding hell yeah. Chronicling the origin and training of the bravest Green Lantern, Secret Origin takes us back to the beginning where Hal Jordan receives the power ring following the death of Abin Sur. Not only does Hal have to learn how to use the ring’s power, but he also needs to deal with personal turmoil. To put the cherry on the cake, the greatest Lantern in the universe, Sinestro, takes a keen interest in the latest member of the Corps and the prophecy of the Blackest Night. No one said being a Green Lantern was going to be easy…
Johns has a knack for knowing how to reboot and reimagine characters, and he doesn’t fail here. While he firmly respects the source material and doesn’t deviate too far from it, he knows how to add his own spin on things. The relationship that he builds between Hal and Sinestro, for example, is emotional and deep; thus, making the latter’s turn to the yellow side that much more heartbreaking.
Bringing the story to life is artist Ivan Reis, who’s known for his frequent collaborations with Johns. It’s a neatly drawn affair, but the credit must go to colourist Randy Mayor. The world of Green Lantern is a colourful one, bursting with richness and vibrancy, and Mayor successfully captures all of this without turning it into a colouring book in the hands of a rogue child.
As with the other volumes of the DC Comics Graphic Novel Collection, we’re treated to a bonus tale of Hal Jordan’s first appearance in Showcase #22. While it’s a good piece of history to revisit, it’s rather short and doesn’t quite live up to the quality we’ve seen in the previous volumes.
It’s fair to say the collection has been rather Batman- and Superman-centric so far, so it’s welcome to see a volume that doesn’t include either one of those characters. Ultimately, Green Lantern: Secret Origin proves to be an excellent choice of story, which best represents and captures the essence of Hal Jordan. Not only is it one of the best origin stories of the character, but it’s also become a legendary arc in its own right.