Random Retrospective #22 – Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn II #2

After the somewhat ignominious end of the GREEN LANTERN series post-Crisis, Hal Jordan and the handful of other Lanterns found themselves sharing the pages of the anthology series ACTION COMICS WEEKLY. Christopher Priest (writing as Jim Owsley) did some sterling work putting Hal Jordan back on his feet and with Keith Giffen and Gerard Jones, delivered a new origin for Green Lantern in GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD DAWN which saw Jordan grow up and take responsibility for his reckless actions, including a drink driving charge. But the 90 days jail time overlapped the time he became a Lantern and so this sequel by Giffen and Jones covered his time in jail when he would be simultaneously trained by Sinestro during the nights, while serving time in the day.

Jordan accompanies Sinestro to a meeting between the Khunds, Dominators, and Citadel who are considering an alliance (that will later come to fruition in INVASION!) which the Guardians object to. Despite Sinestro’s attempts at politics, the threat of interference by the GL Corps ends in a predictable fashion.

The alliance is disrupted and despite Jordan saving Sinestro’s life, the senior Lantern is irritated with his student and the disorder he brings. Discounting Jordan’s contributions to the negotiations, Sinestro dismisses him back to Earth and the prison, planning to continue their training the next night. Trouble is, during the time he was away, a new cellmate has been assigned to Jordan.

And that’s going to bring trouble in later issues.

EMERALD DAWN II worked to explain how Jordan, stuck in prison for the first 90 days of his Green Lantern career, became so proficient with the ring and a good Lantern, but it also did a pretty good job of turning Sinestro from a one-dimensional bad guy into someone who thought he was doing the right thing, but ultimately couldn’t see how wrong he was. It doesn’t give him the full back story that Geoff Johns would later develop for him, but the root of it is there, the idea that he wasn’t always just a villain.

As years went by, though, the idea of having one of their major heroes wandering around with a DUI in their history didn’t really work for DC, and the origin was eventually changed again, removing this whole storyline. At the time, though, it was a decent enough story, and the original EMERALD DAWN went on to give us a new, revitalised Green Lantern series as it headed into the 90s.

3 thoughts on “Random Retrospective #22 – Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn II #2

  1. Yeah even as young teen back then the idea of them retconning Hal’s origin to giving him an DUI charge & making him a jailbird just to change up his origin to make him more relatable as character never set right with me. Sure it kind of made sense given how reckless/fearless Hal was that he’d conceivable put himself in a position like this at one point or another when he was younger, but I can definitely see why that would ultimately turn off old fans & be a publicity nightmare for DC at some point.
    As great as that series was, of course because of the now long & dark shadow of Gerald Jones, neither of those mini-series will EVER be reprinted in ANY format.

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