December 05, 2007


A look at a graphic novel that stars Tom Kalmaku, Green Lantern's Inuit sidekick.

The back-cover copy:Fearless and strong-willed, he served the Green Lantern Corps for years. Jordan was also the Green Lantern Corps' ultimate downfall. In a failed attempt to save his home, Hal Jordan destroyed the Corps and betrayed everything they stood for.

Now, it falls to Tom Kalmaku, Hal's best friend and confidant, to try to repair the damage done. Left only with a note with the words "Fix it" and the mysterious appearance of Hal Jordan's never-before-seen son, Tom must try to piece together the wreckage of Jordan's life, as well as the personal wasteland of his own.

But there are a lot of people who don't want to see Hal Jordan's past come back to haunt them. Standing in Tom's way are the JLA, former Green Lanterns, and a dark warrior from the stars who has pledged to destroy all reminders of Hal Jordan's legacy.
Green Lantern: Legacy--The Last Will & Testament of Hal Jordan (Paperback)A Well-Told, Touching Story, But Newer Readers Might Be Lost, December 14, 2002
By Daniel V. Reilly (Henrietta, New York, United States)

The book centers around former Jordan sidekick/Green Lantern wannabe/offensive racial stereotype Tom "Pieface" Kalmaku. (Can you believe there was actually a time when it was OK to call an Eskimo "Pieface"? Jeez!) He is wallowing in self-pity over the loss of his friend Hal; he's a destitute alcoholic, he's just lost his job, his wife, his kids...and now, out of nowhere, he's handed a child that is allegedly Jordan's, and a note from Hal reading "Tom- Fix it. Hal" Who is this kid? What does the note mean? What can one man do in a world of super-powered God-like beings? Tom is about to find out....

The art is nice, the book is attractively designed, and the reappearance of my favorite ever Green Lantern (I won't spoil the surprise, poozer!) is much appreciated and very unexpected. Writer Joe Kelly even manages to end the book on a note of triumph, with a hint of a bright future for the Corps. My only problem is that if I weren't aware of the twisty Green Lantern continuity, I'd have been lost. The book just doesn't seem new-reader friendly. Who is The Spectre, and what does he have to do with Hal Jordan? Who is the big yellow guy that blew up Coast City? What did Hal hope to accomplish by killing off the Corps and the Guardians? I knew the answers to these questions, but a new reader wouldn't. least read the book before you write a review..., February 9, 2005
By R. SHARIFF "rayhans1282" (Jamaica, NY USA)

The story picks up some time after Hal Jordan's death and is told from the POV of his ill-named sidekick "Pieface" aka Tom Kalmaku. Tom had been one of Hal's biggest supporters as well as one of his closest friends but the legacy that Hal left under his wake has destroyed Tom's faith and respect in Hal and has brought about self-loathing for even trusting Hal in the first place. He spends most of his days drunk and getting into fights at bars over insulting Green Lantern.
Rob's review:  Reading the first third or so of LEGACY, I was prepared to say this is one of the best portraits of a Native character ever. Tom Kalmaku is a bitter, drunk washout just like your typical military veteran...but this time it's not stereotypical. Tom's angst is rooted in his unique position as a sidekick whose belief in his hero has been shattered.

Even as he rages, you can see Tom isn't your (stereo)typical Native. He labels Hal Jordan a coward at a memorial service. His last job before he's fired is repairing a conveyor belt. He's written part of a book on his adventures with Green Lantern.

Unfortunately, the rest of the book doesn't work quite as well. Tom becomes a passenger on the journey of Marty, Hal Jordan's "son." He doesn't act so much as react.

As reader Reilly said, you have to know Green Lantern's history to follow the story. But even that isn't enough. Tom and Marty begin jumping in time and space with no warning or transition. Worse, you can't tell whether they're jumping in reality or only in Tom's mind.

As a result, the story becomes somewhat muddled, though you can follow the central plot. It's convoluted and confusing for no good reason. Too bad, because this could've been a great Native epic.

Nevertheless, Tom achieves redemption at the end. He wields GL's ring with spectacular results. It's perhaps the most "cosmic" Native moment in comics since Puma challenged the Beyonder in SECRET WARS II.

Rob's rating:  7.5 of 10.

No comments: