THE GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL #1, in order to celebrate the legacy of Hal Jordan, tells a story of his large and eccentric family. Readers get to sit in on a family reunion hosted by Uncle Titus. But a massive hangover affecting the adult relatives following the event leaves Hal wondering whether of not foul play may have been involved, especially considering the attendance of the irresponsible “Uncle Hip” Doug Jordan. Was Doug involved with the fiasco, or is something Green Lantern related going on?
The issue begins with Hal waking up in a bathtub to an alarm from his Green Lantern ring. Waking up from a late-night binge is something the intergalactic cop is no stranger to, but the fact that every other adult in the family is passed out seems particularly worrisome. This is when Hal Jr. and the rest of Hal’s nephews and nieces explain that an alien named Zzyptzz is on the run from his own race, the Wireless Ones, and may have disturbed the sound frequencies in the Jordan house and left the adults unconscious.
Analyzing the situation like any respectable police officer would, Hal proposes to investigate the Wireless Ones. However, Hal Jr. volunteers to take on the pursuers with his newly awakened sonic powers, only to rebuked by his uncle: “Idealism is a virtue, Hal. But so is discernment. Don’t take anyone or anything at face value.” We see a true teaching moment here and find Hal may have the skill set needed to train up a hero for the next generation. The young man decides to disregard this advice and fight the Wireless Ones as the hero Air Wave, but Hal’s advice will prove useful in the coming conflict.
Grant Morrison’s clearly testing out the idea of giving Hal a sidekick. The eagerness with which Hal Jr. is willing to tackle this unknown threat, his loyalty and respect for his uncle, and most importantly, having the same name, all point to the notion of granting the Green Lantern a partner and potential successor.
Giuseppe Camuncoli’s penciling and Trevor Scott’s inking render this issue in the styling of the character’s most common past iterations. This is includes Hal’s classic square jaw and slightly tousled hair, the bulky drawing style of the heroes, and the loose sketching bring up memories of the comic line throughout the ages.
Olyoptics and Steve Oliff’s coloring give this comic a lighthearted touch, using varying shades of green for Hal’s famous uniform and bright primary colors for Air Wave’s outfit . In addition, Tom Orzechowski’s lettering brings Zzyptzz and his alien race life by crafting lettering balloons with jagged lines to simulate the static infusing their speech.
Guillem March and Alex Sinclair’s main cover for the issue grabs our attention by featuring Hal trapped inside a mobile phone. Air Wave appears to be holding the phone, alluding to the fact he may contribute to Hal’s plight in the coming pages.
THE GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL #1 does a wonderful job of humanizing the larger-than-life Hal Jordan. We get to learn about the quirks and relationships within the family while witnessing the startling powers of his nephew. Readers will surely look forward to more Jordan family team-ups in the future.
What would you think if Air Wave became Hal’s sidekick? Let us know in the comments below!