My first real exposure to Green Lantern was through his Super Powers action figure. That line of action figures was mythic (in the “legendary” sense) to my young mind and I spent a heck of a lot time dreaming up battles, and tracking down the figures that I didn’t have to enhance those adventures. I scoured the isles of Toys ‘R Us stores far and wide (thanks Mom!) for any stock that they might have tucked away somewhere. The Green Lantern sculpt was one of the best in the line and despite being almost completely foreign to me the character just seemed awesome. Sadly, the figure always eluded me and while I have the ‘ol Hall of Justice playset packed away, there’s still that empty spot there at the table. What the long search did do, however, was to add that much more intrigue to the character and when I had the means to seek out comics, Green Lantern was a no brainer!
In that role, Hal Jordan is easily my favorite of the bunch, and I probably don’t need to tell you that his test pilot origins and military background had at least a little to do with that. He was brave, fearless, and with the beautiful (but no nonsense) Carol Ferris on his arm and the infinitely powerful GL ring on his finger he was a hero through and through, and that type of John Wayne, iconic character, has always held the most appeal for me. Unfortunately, years later someone with a strong arm out there didn’t hold the character in quite the same esteem and in an age where we began to see our heroes dying, and/or broken, Hal was set on a path of destruction that would completely rake him through the mud. Turning him into a mad, murderous, villain and seeing him defeated by earth’s mightiest before making his exit stage left, it seemed that Hal Jordan and his good name would likely be regulated to a legacy of the past with a modern taint attached. But there’s something prophetic about Green Lanterns famous oath, and a fellow by the name of Geoff Johns would recognize it and open the way for the character to pull himself out of his blackest night:
- In brightest day, in blackest night,
- No evil shall escape my sight
- Let those who worship evil’s might,
- Beware my power…Green Lantern’s light!
With the mini-series Green Lantern: Rebirth, writer Geoff Johns and artist Ethan Van Sciver (who I had the good fortune of getting to know a little several years ago) set out to bring Hal Jordan, and the Green Lantern Corp, back to prominence as a cornerstone of the DCU, redeeming Hal Jordan in the process. Outside of the recent return of Barry Allen as the Flash, Hal’s redemption was the most exciting thing to happen in the DCU for me in some odd 15 years. Johns & Co. did a fantastic job, and in such a way that not only did Hal come out of the series with shining colors, but they reenergized the entire Green Lantern concept and the brand has likely never been stronger than it is now. Both the Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps series are excellent, the recent Sinestro Corp War event shined a light on how to do a successful DCU “event,” and in the wings is another highly anticipated storyline involving the Green Lanterns. A little thing called “The Blackest Night.” Despite the title, Hal & the GL Corp’s future looks awful bright. Couldn’t be happier.