I know that this is a Green Lantern based site but after reading this weeks issue of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps I can’t help but recall Joker’s quote from The Killing Joke. “Memories can be vile” Yes I know the quote itself doesn’t stop there, but to great shock the Joker isn’t inherently wrong. Not every trip down memory lane is a pleasant one, and even memories that seem good can be painful reminders of what once was. Warning they’re will be spoilers going forward, be sure to read your comics before continuing. You have been warned.
With the core of this story centering on Hector Hammond, I need to focus on Patrick Zircher’s rendition of this grotesque character. When Hector Hammond would should up prior to this issue certain artists would go above and beyond to make small little details to Hammond’s head to make him more disgusting when in fact the core design for Hector Hammond is as disturbing without any additions and it seems that Zircher understands this. I personally loved how the camera would constantly show Hammond’s disfigurement in various angles, constantly highlighting his noggin, but not in a way that distracts the reader. Staying on Zircher, the “dream sequence” for Hal Jordan is a heartbreaking sequence and it mostly can be attributed to Zircher’s art. Yes it’s mainly talking heads and certain fans would rather this have been Superman and Green Lantern fighting yellow creatures, but we need more scenes similar to Hal’s dream because it brings pathos to these characters.
Seeing Hal realize that he wasn’t living in a reality, you can see the pure anguish in face, the massive regret over the life that he leads despite having access to the greatest weapon in the galaxy. A nice touch was having Carol share a similar regretful look. Zircher could have easily have drawn her with a generic smile that welcomes Hal back into her life but having her not display a reaction one might expect within a dream, Hal’s own consciousness speaking to him.
After I finished this issue I couldn’t help but feel a bit saddened for not only Hal but Hector Hammond as well. Hammond prior to this scene was your typical villain who had a jealousy for Hal’s life even prior to his transformation. I can’t recall Hammond ever being suicidal, but in just a few scenes you can understand why he would want to end his life. If this issue proves anything, it’s that’s even the worst of us can hit rock bottom. I never thought I would feel empathy for Hector Hammond, but this issue made me feel for him.
Honestly this issue and the previous issue was a nice two part story that provided more story depth than I was anticipating. Most comics end on a happy note, but seeing Hal with flowers almost talk to Carol again, but ultimately couldn’t due to work perfectly sums up the life that Hal leads and why he and Carol won’t be together for some time. Hal Jordan greatest Green Lantern, horrible love life. If you’ve been hankering for a short Hal Jordan story read this issue and the previous one.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #31 earns a 4/5