[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Robert Venditti
Penciller: Rafa Sandoval
Inker: Jordi Tarragona
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Father’s and sons…
There is a long standing notion that fighter pilots and test pilots are iconic heroes. Going back to the Atomic Age when breaking air speed records was a thing, people like Chuck Yeager were idolized. Hal Jordan was originally conceived during this era and it remains an aspect of his character. Though it was downplayed for a while, Green Lantern Rebirth by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver firmly restored this aspect of Hal Jordan’s character. While it might seem dated to some, it differentiates him from Earth’s other Green Lanterns. It also firmly places him in an iconic role of a Silver Age creation. This issue utilizes this aspect to its utmost and at the same time delves into the most relatable aspects of the character.
Hal is in a ring construct ship on the trail of Lightray, who is towing Highfather to safety. Lightray is the fastest of the New Gods and he is outracing Omega Beams. It’s not looking good, can even a New God be tireless? Hal knows his mission, and as the ring construct ship begins to break apart, he has a vision, or is it a visitation…from his father.
Hal’s dad spurs him on. He gives him the confidence a father gives a son through encouragement and faith and love. Hal is his dad’s son. Hal pushes the ring construct ship to the limit and he catches Lightray. And then Highfather must have a moment with Lightray. As Hal’s dad seems to know Hal’s strengths, Highfather knows Lightray’s limits, and he convinces Lightray to allow Hal to take over.
The story may move forward infinitesimally, but this issue of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps relies on character and easily relatable relationships to create an emotional impact. It is far better than many issues that move the plot forward because it touches the heart. Moreover, it integrates Hal’s iconic heroic vocation as a pilot. It may seem anachronistic, but it is executed well and allows Hal to interact with his father in a way that many of us wish we could interact with our fathers. Despite being father and son, they meet on common ground and it reminds us all of the importance of fathers.
Anyone who has a father should get something deeper out of this issue, especially if you’ve lost that father.
Yeah, they have this thing in reviews about negatives, but that just doesn’t apply to this issue.
Deep breath! Highfather and Lightray, Martin Jordan and Hal Jordan – both show how the relationship between fathers and sons sometimes work. Whether it is a real interaction or a vision that Hal experiences, it is clear that his father is an important aspect in his life. Hal’s life as a test pilot may in some ways seems dated, but his relationship to his father is something almost everyone can understand. Thanks, dad – 8th Air Force, 1944-1947.