The Good: A decent character study of an interesting supporting character, Some of the artwork, Decent resolution.
The Bad: Erratic artwork, Very hard to care about the protagonist.
The Basics: In a somewhat jumbled graphic novel (yes, an actual graphic novel!), Hal Jordan’s mundane sidekick Tom Kalmaku wanders around the galaxy as part of Green Lantern: Legacy – The Last Will & Testament Of Hal Jordan.
Despite having read well over two dozen Green Lantern books, it astonished me to realize that until today none of them contained Tom Kalmaku. If Tom Kalmaku was in any of the other volumes I read, he certainly did not stand out. But, Tom Kalmaku is one of the sidekicks in the DC Universe that fans, apparently, really know. Indeed, the character of Tom Kalmaku shows up in the cinematic Green Lantern (reviewed here!) alongside instantly recognizable, essential characters like Carol Ferris and Hector Hammond. So, when I picked up Green Lantern: Legacy – The Last Will & Testament Of Hal Jordan, I was actually surprised to find that I was immersed in a story all about Tom Kalmaku and that this was my first experience with him.
The bottomline is that if Tom’s character is consistent throughout the franchise, I am not a fan. In Green Lantern: Legacy – The Last Will & Testament Of Hal Jordan, the character is pretty monolithic and his interactions with members of the Justice League make him seem even more mundane than most people or characters. That said, Green Lantern: Legacy – The Last Will & Testament Of Hal Jordan actually filled in a pretty necessary chapter in the Green Lantern Saga for me that I ended up enjoying reading. In short, I was not so fond of the messenger, but the message was pretty cool.
Following the death of Hal Jordan and the devastation of the Green Lantern Corps that he brought to the universe, Tom Kalmaku is drinking his way through life in grief. He is visited by a mysterious gentleman who has an alternate will from Hal Jordan, which leaves him confused. He goes from confused to troubled when he sees what Hal left for him; his son, Martin who no one seemed to know about. Tom, not exactly raising his own children right, is eager to dump Martin off on Carol or anyone else who will take him.
But the appearance of a glowing apparition reveals that Martin is the bearer of Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern ring. This draws the attention of the Justice League Of America and the mysterious creature that is hunting Martin. Fleeing with Martin, Tom tries to fix all that Hal destroyed and the journey puts him face to face with devastated worlds, wounded lanterns, the debris of Oa . . . and the truth!
What works in Green Lantern: Legacy – The Last Will & Testament Of Hal Jordan is both the concept and the plot resolution. The culmination of Green Lantern: Legacy – The Last Will & Testament Of Hal Jordan is an event that makes it possible for the Green Lantern Corps to eventually be reborn. That was a missing piece of the story for me before now and it is interesting to see an otherwise minor character like Tom Kalmaku actually have a role in the rebirth of the Corps.
And the character concept behind Green Lantern: Legacy – The Last Will & Testament Of Hal Jordan is not a bad one, either. The idea that Hal Jordan left behind people who cared about him and that mourn his demise makes a lot of sense. Seeing that loss from a very human perspective – instead of from the position of the super heroes who have already essentially replaced him with Kyle Rayner, is a decent story idea. Watching Tom Kalmaku wrestle with his loss throughout Green Lantern: Legacy – The Last Will & Testament Of Hal Jordan reads as very real.
Unfortunately, the bulk of Green Lantern: Legacy – The Last Will & Testament Of Hal Jordan is unsatisfying because Tom Kalmaku is an everyman and he is so shaken up by Hal Jordan’s death. The character is not likable and his story is told in a surprisingly jumbled fashion – some of the panels are even awkwardly arranged on the page and it takes a few of the character jumps with Martin before the reader is likely to realize that he is instantly teleporting . . . often without reaction to the change in setting.
As for Martin Jordan, the hair is a dead giveaway what is going on with that character, even more than the villain in Green Lantern: Legacy – The Last Will & Testament Of Hal Jordan. Oddly, the artwork in Green Lantern: Legacy – The Last Will & Testament Of Hal Jordan is exceptionally inconsistent and many panels make abrupt transitions, especially with Martin’s hair, making the book look and feel sloppy on top of being populated by characters the reader is not necessarily inclined to care about.
Ultimately, Green Lantern: Legacy – The Last Will & Testament Of Hal Jordan is good and if you can find it cheap, it is worth reading, but it does not have a single enduring quality that might encourage one to add it to their permanent collection.
For other Green Lantern-related books, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Green Lantern/Green Arrow – Volume 1
Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn
Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn II
Green Lantern: Emerald Twilight - A New Dawn
Green Lantern: Rebirth
Blackest Night: Green Lantern
Brightest Day: Green Lantern Corps - Revolt Of The Alpha-Lanterns
For other book reviews, please visit my Book Review Index Page for an organized listing of all the books I have reviewed!
© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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