Thursday, July 30, 2009

Quick look at: Showcase #22(Oct. 1959)

Not that long ago I managed to snag a reprint of Showcase #22, which is the initial appearance of Hal Jordan, better known as the Green Lantern. Showcase #22 actually contained three stories, but let's face it, the only one that mattered was Hal's. The story is written by John Broome, and the artwork is by Gil Kane and Joe Giella.

-Abin Sur's spaceship has crash landed somewhere in the southwestern portion of the US. The dying alien tells his ring to locate a man completely without fear and bring him to the crash sight.

-The ring locates Hal Jordan, test pilot for Ferris Aircraft Company, and flies the surprised man to the sight of Sur's crashed ship.

-Hal enters the downed spacecraft and comes face to face with Sur. Sur scans Hal with his ring and learns that Hal is both fearless and honest, and upon learning that, he asks if Hal will become a "space-patrolman" who will use his ring against the forces of evil and injustice. Hal says yes, and Sur warns Hal that the rings power is useless against the color yellow because of a "yellow impurity". Sur slides his ring off and onto Hal's finger before dying.

-Hal takes Sur's "special uniform" and puts it on, before disposing of Sur and his ship as per Sur's last wishes. Hal then goes outside, lifts a mountain with his power ring and decides that he will make the name Green Lantern feared by evildoers everywhere.

And there you have it, the first appearance of Hal Jordan. The first thing that struck me after reading this comic was that there was no real action! Hal finds Sur, learns about the ring and it's limitations, gets the ring, Sur dies, Hal lifts a mountain, and that's it. You'd think Hal would have stopped a bank robbery or helped an old lady cross the street or something!

Although there was no action scene, this issue did a great job of establishing all of the Green Lantern mythos. Intergalactic police force, check. Ring not effective against the color yellow, check. Ring has to be recharged with a power battery every 24 hours, check. All the info you need to know about Hal and his ring was helpfully provided here.

Before I end this review, I have to say, it sure was weird that Hal took Sur's uniform off and immediately decided to wear it... If some space alien gave me a power ring and died in front of me, I doubt my first instinct would be to steal his clothes! Weird stuff there Hal... Anyway, for a score, I'd give Hal's first appearance an 8 out of 10. While this is(obviously)a must read for fans of DC and Green Lantern, I doubt this comic alone would convert many non-Green Lantern fans.


  1. I got this reprint issue too. That line about stealing abins clothes made me laugh. I though exactly the same thing when I read it.

  2. Yeah man, what's up with that?
    Hal's one messed up guy!