Cover Date: Late September 1998
Story: Ron Marz
Pencils: Paul Pelletier
Inks: Terry Austin
Cover: Paul Pelletier and Terry Austin
We flash back to Hal’s final days in the United States Air Force, when his copilot Vince Hardy tried to steal an experimental aircraft worth billions of dollars. Hal managed to overcome Hardy, but the traitor escaped, and the plane crashed. Hal parachuted to safety, but had to take the fall for the crash, earning an honorable discharge from the Air Force. Back in the present, he and Connor Hawke are strapped to the nuclear bomb Hardy stole for the Eden Corps. As the cargo aircraft takes off, Connor manages to cut the heroes free with an arrowhead. Connor deals with the Eden Corps while Hal goes after Hardy; the controls are damaged and the plane’s going to crash, but Connor manages to retrieve Hal’s ring. Hal is able to save the plane with his own flying skills, then he goes to pick up Hardy and turn him in to the authorities. Later, Hal and Connor reminisce at Oliver Queen’s gravesite.
Green Lantern (Vol. 3) #104 had a very tense, rapid-fire feel to it, almost like a spy thriller. (Yes, I know there were no spies in the story, but that analogy is the first thing that came to mind. Back off.) It was all action, even the flashback, and the pace kept up until the very last few pages, which featured the quiet reflection next to Ollie’s tombstone.
It wasn’t cheesy action, though, rife with catchphrases and crab poses or anything like that. Again, it felt like a thriller in that the clock was ticking, and our heroes had desperate odds to overcome if they wanted to make it out alive, not to mention saving billions. There was no time for idle chit-chat or monologuing.
Paul Pelletier’s art matched the pace perfectly, and his cover illustration is a natural counterpart to Green Arrow (Vol. 2) #136. The playing card motif is revisited, minus the annoying background this time. Also, as expected, the two characters’ positions are reversed; it’s a Green Lantern comic, so the ring-slinger’s up top.
The main problem with the story is that Hardy’s just not an interesting villain; even with the flashback to fill us in, Hal never mentioning him before now just doesn’t make sense, given that the man was responsible for Hal getting the boot from the armed forces. Even if Hal’s not the type to hold a grudge, the subject must’ve come up once or twice! I’m all for new antagonists, but this would’ve worked better if Hardy didn’t have a past history with Hal. Green Arrow and Green Lantern fighting the Eden Corps alone would’ve sufficed. It’s also more than a little odd that as part of the “Emerald Knights” storyarc, which is a teamup between Kyle Rayner and Hal Jordan…the former doesn’t even appear. He was brooding and later sleeping it off, but a panel or something would’ve helped tie things together a bit better.
Tomorrow…another review, and another surprise guest!