Hal Chases Down Lightray With A Great Co-Pilot In Hal Jordan And The GLC #28

by James Ferguson

After narrowly saving Orion from certain death…by killing him, Hal Jordan must track down Highfather if he hopes to save the universe. The only problem is that Highfather is currently being pulled along by Lightray, the speedster of the New Gods. Hal has to fly pretty fast if he hopes to catch up. Fortunately for him, he’s got a great co-pilot, the spirit of his deceased father.

Since Hal Jordan returned to life way back in Green Lantern: Rebirth, I’ve been told that he’s the greatest Green Lantern of them all. Sure, he’s cocky and confident and he’s great at ring-slinging, but I didn’t totally understand why he held that title. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #28 from DC Comics provides a glimpse into what makes the character tick and, more importantly, what pushes him to be the best he can possibly be.

As a quick reminder, Hal created his current ring out of pure willpower. Think about that for a second. He basically willed the most powerful weapon in the universe into existence. During this chase scene, we see more of that willpower on display. He constructs a fighter plane with his ring and pushes it to its limit, to the point where it practically falls apart. He goes so fast that the thing he made with his mind can’t handle it. I didn’t even know that was possible.

Artist Rafa Sandoval and colorist Tomeu Morey depict this beautifully. They sell the scene well, from the determination in Hal’s face to the pieces of the green plane flying off as it’s pushed to the max. The plane is shown in exquisite detail. Hal has constructed this intricately down to every button, knob, and lever.  He does know a thing or two about flying.

Hal feels defeated by this. How can he possibly hope to catch up to Lightray if his constructs can’t handle the speed? This is where his father comes in after Hal flies a bit too close to a strange energy wave. I haven’t seen much done with Hal’s dad as he died when Hal was a kid. His memory helps motivate Hal, pushing him to be the greatest Green Lantern of all.

These scenes are refreshing and heartwarming. They’re great segments of father / son bonding.  Some may argue that it’s a little out of place, especially since Hal is trying to save the entire universe, so he shouldn’t have time to spend talking with ghosts. I disagree. This gets to the essence of this character more than any space-faring adventure can.

The page layout of this issue fluctuates between “normal” structured panels and more erratic, otherworldly shapes. This coincides with Hal’s proximity to Lightray. The closer he gets, the more angular the panels get. It’s a really great effect.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps has shown us amazing sci-fi adventure. This chapter hits a more personal note while also dealing with universe-threatening events. Writer Robert Venditti presents a solid exploration of the title character and what makes him tick.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #28 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.