Overview

Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1

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Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1

Credits

  • Words: Adam Schlagman
  • Art: Ben Oliver
  • Colors: Allen Passalaqua
  • Story Title: Rising Tide
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 29, 2011

Abin Sur is the Green Lantern of Sector 2814. In a world where he didn't crash, Hal "Highball" Jordan never became Green Lantern. Guy Gardner never missed being out of range for it. Kyle Rayner never was the torchbearer for the Lantern Corps. John Stewart never served. Hal, meanwhile, still exists as a hotshot flyboy for Ferris Air… but should we care about him if he never wore the ring? 

When Ferris Air is drafted into patrolling the coast during the war of the Amazons and Atlantians, Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris have a run-in with one of the soldiers of the war. When Hal's reckless nature saves the day (but scuttles his ship), he finds the Green Lantern needing help. Can Hal Jordan, a fearless pilot, help stop the war? 

The biggest issue with this storyline, at least in the first issue, is that it doesn't change too much to Hal Jordan's mythos. With a tagline for Flashpoint being "everything you know has changed in a flash", this issue could have honestly worked as a revised origin for Hal Jordan. Six pages are devoted to what appears to be a direct parallel to the true origin story. The concept of Ferris Air having to patrol the coast during wartime isn't too out there; if they were modernizing his origin, there's no stretch to say that Ferris Air actively patrolled the coast with America involved in multiple wars, as a literary device.

Likewise, King Shark's involvement could have been replaced by any number of villains integral to Hal's life, and Hector Hammond's inclusion in the plot would seem expected of any origin story now, thanks to the movie. Presumably the following two issues will diverge from this plot, but as it stands, this could easily have been a "Secret Origin" tale with a few tweaks. 

The biggest praise, on the other hand, can easily be attributed to Ben Oliver and Allen Passalaqua tag-teaming on the visuals of the book. Oliver supplies a very J.H. Williams III mindset in avoiding the stand panel framework. Many two-page splashes look like a splash from a quick glance, but actively work page-by-page in telling the story. Passalaqua appropriately colors and shades the coast of Coast City with appropriate hues, and smartly (almost conveniently), nearly completely ignores the color green: Hal Jordan's not Green Lantern, and you can tell from the color work. 

Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1 is a competent book. The visuals definitely demand that Oliver should be getting more work, if only for breakdowns, and Schlagman's script works for a story, but doesn't embrace any of the chances that an altered-reality story should. As a glimpse into Hal Jordan's altered life, it doesn't take any creative chances. As a glimpse into Hal Jordan's origin, it reads as you expect. This is an instance of a very pretty book that doesn't get a chance to be creative.

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