Comic Review – “Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn”

This is a retelling of the origin of the Hal Jordan Green Lantern. It’s an entertaining story that is an excellent introduction to this version of the hero.

General Information

Title: Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn
Credited to: Keith Giffen, Gerard Jones, Jim Owsley, M.D. Bright, and Romeo Tanghal
Original Publication Date: 1991
ISBN: 0-930289-88-9
Cover Price: $4.95 US, $5.95 Can on this printing. (I bought it on eBay.) The new printing, which came out two or three weeks ago, has a cover price of $14.95 US.
Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

Premise

A temperamental pilot with a drinking problem finds himself in possession of a powerful ring. This collects the six issues of Green Lantern that retell the origin story of the Hal Jordan Green Lantern.

High Point

“Well then… maybe it’s time we tried something new.”

Low Point

How stupid is Legion? He’s holding the Green Lantern in his hand when GL turns back into Hal. He’s suddenly unable to recognize him (which seems to be a power of the ring,) but rather than conclude that he was seeing an alter ego, he assumed that the Green Lantern had escaped and the person he had was useless.

The Scores

Comicdom is loaded with heroes who gained their powers through some sort of accident. This is the first case I’m aware of in which the hero was accidentally recruited into an army of thousands. I think that’s original enough to give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork was functional. The stuff on Oa looked good, but in some of the early pages it’s hard to tell which pilot was which. Oh, and for some reason, he’s not wearing a ring on the cover, even though he’s otherwise in the full Green Lantern uniform. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is pretty good for an origin story. My only real complaint is that the villain is not as intelligent as a being with its origin should be. We get a good feel for the Green Lantern Corps, the Guardians, Hal Jordan and his friends. The relationships and interactions we’ll see are well laid out. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization was pretty good in this. The Hal we first meet is living in his father’s shadow, blaming himself for everything, but when the chips are down, he’ll fight the good fight. As a hero, he’s flawed enough to leave room for character development into a true hero as time goes on. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was weak in the first few issues, but build considerably as the set went on. I’m starting to get to know and like the character. Of course, he’s not the Green Lantern anymore, but this was a nice setup for him. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow was well done. The only disorienting points are the ones that are meant to disorient us, since the lead character is also becoming disoriented. Action isn’t overly wordy at any point. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, this is an entertaining collection, and a very good introduction to the Green Lanterns in general and Hal Jordan in particular. The recent reprint should be easy to find, and I’d recommend it to people who are looking for a way into the Green Lantern portion of the DC Universe. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn receives 29 out of 42.

3 replies on “Comic Review – “Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn””

  1. y42 says:

    Yellow
    I am the only one bothered by the fact that the Green Lantern’s weakness is the colour yellow? I just can’t take that character seriously.

    • fiziko says:

      Re: Yellow

      I am the only one bothered by the fact that the Green Lantern’s weakness is the colour yellow? I just can’t take that character seriously.

      It’s a very cheesy weakness, yes, that’s been held over since the character’s origin in the 1930s. I’d say it’s just something they’re stuck with now. The Green Lanterns are a powerful bunch, and they needed something other than kryptonite to keep them contained.

      • Foeclan says:

        Re: Yellow

        I am the only one bothered by the fact that the Green Lantern’s weakness is the colour yellow? I just can’t take that character seriously.

        It’s a very cheesy weakness, yes, that’s been held over since the character’s origin in the 1930s. I’d say it’s just something they’re stuck with now. The Green Lanterns are a powerful bunch, and they needed something other than kryptonite to keep them contained.

        Actually, the Golden Age Green Lantern (Alan Scott) was vulnerable to wood. His ring had more of a mystic origin. The Silver Age GLs (Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, etc) were vulnerable to yellow.

        The reason given for this in the comics is that the Guardians intentionally put that weakness, and the requirement to charge it every 24 hours, into the rings to keep their agents from abusing their power. The current GL (Kyle Rayner) doesn’t have either weakness. He had to charge the ring whenever it ran out of juice, which could take weeks or months, but had no other restrictions on it.

        The reason the writers chose yellow way back when was because Green Lanterns are without fear; they were looking for a weakness, and someone said ‘Well, if you’re afraid, you’re yellow, so let’s do that.’ It stuck. (Not sure if that’s published somewhere, but that’s the story we were told at a Green Lantern panel at MiniCon many years ago)

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