With the new movie coming out, I’ve been thinking about the Green Lantern, and how much his story has been screwed up over the years.
It’s like he’s the dump story for all of DC’s mistakes; Green Latern is
the story where DC lets themselves experiment with crazy ideas, but then never follow through.
Maybe it’s something about the fans. Perhaps the other Green Lantern fans in the world are so stalwart, and letter-prone that the writers feel forced to take things back, and leave things half-explored.
However it happens, every time something changes in the Green Lantern story, it just gets more broken. More robust DC properties, like Batman, have changed much over the years without suffering the same issues.
At this point, the story has broken its own canon so many times, I’m surprised it hasn’t caused some kind of celestial reaction, like a black-hole or something.
The current story begins with a reboot in the post WWII comic books boom. The Green Lantern of the 40s was forgotten, and Hal Jordan took on the role.
It hasn’t been technically rebooted since then, but perhaps it should have been, as the story has become twisted.
Silver age Green Lantern was the best Green Lantern, and I think that’s the Green Lantern that everyone wants.
He teamed up with the Green Arrow for some interesting, commentative adventures through the seventies, and his character was one of the most well developed in all of DC canon. Even Superman was flat and boring compared to the depth of Green Lantern.
That run was relatively short however, and in an effort to reenergize the title, Hal Jordan was turned into the villain Parallax, and was replaced as Earth’s Lantern.
This move seemed to push away fans more than generate new ones, so many other changes followed, each time seeming to push the title further and further from the light.
Finally, after years of seemingly schizophrenic changes, and half a dozen different Green Lanterns, it’s all undone when Hal Jordan, having died as Parallax, is resurrected to be the new host of the Spectre, which he frees himself from, allowing him to return to his role as the Green Lantern, explaining away his Parallax transformation as a malevolent space-parasite.
I love the Green Lantern story in general. The ring, the pledge, the focus on intellect and emotion; it’s the hero story I most identified with as a young reader, and I’ve always felt that the Lantern Corps is one of the more interesting concepts in comics mythology.
I hate that I love it, however. I want to say “screw all this” and never touch another Green Lantern story, but I can’t help it.
I’m really looking forward to the Green Lantern movie, and I have high expectations of the five special edition, ‘prequel’ issues of the comic book which will be released simultaneously just before the movie release.