I still remember the issue of GREEN LANTERN that made me a fan for life. It was the first issue of the third volume by writer Gerald Jones and artist Pat Broderick. It featured an older Hal Jordan (complete with white temples) trying to live without the use of his ring, which he felt had become a crutch, during a time when the Corps were disbanded and the Earth GLs were on their own. Hal’s search for who he was without the ring became interrupted by Guy Gardner who simply could not understand why anyone would give up the power the ring grants. Meanwhile, John Stewart, who was struggling with the mistakes of his past, ventured to the remains of Oa where he discovered a mad Guardian. Over the course of the first eight issues the three GLs eventually have to defeat the rogue Guardian.
I loved the contrast between the old, grizzled Hal, the hot-headed Guy, and the tortured but heroic John. After discovering the world of Green Lantern I went back and read Emerald Dawn, which is still a far superior origin story for Hal Jordan than Geoff Johns’ recent Secret Origin. Emerald Dawn was written by Jim Owsley, Keith Giffen and Gerald Jones with pencils by MD Bright, and builds up Hal from kind of a jerk into a real hero.
I know learning that I had at one time been a Hal Jordan fan comes as a surprise to my friends, as I am very much a Kyle Rayner fan now (not to mention Guy and John who are still more interesting these days than Hal). I have always had a love for the Green Lantern universe and its capacity to support a number of interesting and different characters. Though I take exception with Geoff Johns’ recent portrayal of Hal as the best Green Lantern, with the rest playing second fiddle, I used to like Hal as well. I preferred him as the older, seasoned Earth veteran over the young hotshot that is too much of a cliché.