Review: Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1

Ol' Highball ain't a Green Lantern in the Flashpoint universe... at least, not yet.

Iann Robinsonby Iann Robinson

Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1

As the ever-raging Flashpointless continues, DC has now decided to add Hal Jordan to the mix. When we were originally introduced to this new world, Abin Sur was still around and Hal Jordan was nobody. Flashpoint Hal Jordan #1 brings the worlds greatest Green Lantern into the fold in a way that seems like a giant waste of time. I say that because, outside of some forced points, there’s not much difference between the origin of the Hal we know and love and the Flashpoint Hal. He’s a cocky ace pilot who lives under the shadow of his late father, also a pilot. We meet Carol Ferris, the daughter of the man behind Ferris Air, who is also a pilot with the code name Sapphire. Hal does lots of kooky tricks, wrecks a multi-million dollar plane and, in the end, meets Abin Sur. Like I said, very little difference.

The only major plot changes are about as subtle as a teen boy in a room full of hookers and shoehorned in with equal the finesse. First up, Hal’s nutty ways in the air again get him grounded, but instead of being given another chance to fly because of Carol, it’s because of the big war between Aquaman and Wonder Woman. Is it me or has nobody made clear why a war between Amazons and Atlanteans seems to be aimed viciously at the human race, who, up until recently, had no idea either race existed? Regardless, Hal is put back in action so he can patrol the coast looking for Aquaman’s warriors. How that will help is anybody’s guess.

Remember the big accident where Hal crashes an expensive jet and makes everybody all mad? Yep, it’s in here, only it isn’t Hal trying to prove himself as a pilot, instead, for no real reason, King Shark jumps onto Hal’s plane screaming “Death to air breathers”. Hal shakes him off only to have the first walking shark land on Carol’s plane. So what is Hal’s master plan? He has Carol eject and crashes his plane into hers, killing King Shark. While parachuting down Hal makes a kooky statement about taking Carol out for sushi, yep, it’s that level of writing. By the end of Flashpoint Hal Jordan #1 I was so irritated I almost went back to the comic shop to get a refund.

Writer Adam Schlagman does very little actual writing here. It’s more like he got a copy of one of the umpteen Hal Jordan origin issues, erased the dialog bubbles and just wrote in his own copy. I can only assume that the next two issues turn the legacy of Hal Jordan on its ear. The title of issue two is “The Battles Of Coast City,” so maybe Aquaman floods Coast City and it pisses off Jordan and he becomes the first really powerful hero to stand against the King Of Atlantis. Whatever happens it’ll have to be great to wash the taste of mediocrity out of my mouth.

Ben Oliver’s art is really inconsistent here. Some pages are beautiful, while some look like he had no time to finish them. The tennis match between quality and matchbook-art-school-average continues throughout the issue. Hopefully, Oliver will get his act together by the second book. Thus far the individual issues of Flashpointless have been better than the main series. As of right now Flashpoint Hal Jordan is the first misstep. That may change by the end of the third book. Let’s hope it does.