As an above average comic book lover, I can remember my first comic. It wasn’t as a young boy. I was a teenager and my father gifted me a fourth reprint of the once cataclysmic story of The Death of Superman. I was hooked and intrigued from that point on, but there was one spandex-clad superhero I was drawn to immediately, and no it wasn’t the Man of Steel.
Yes indeed, the Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. Now, I fully realize at some base level, these comics are ridiculous, masculine versions of soap operas with little finality in sight and scenarios that are over the top. But, at another level, they are the representation of what we value and look up to in society. Because in the heart of the matter, their powers aren’t the reason we keep returning, it’s the struggle to balance good over evil and what it takes to keep the light shinning over virtue. They take modern scenarios and try to hold a mirror up to our eyes through bright colors, perfectly poised stills and the promise that good will overcome.
With all that in mind, why Green Lantern? A narcissistic, over-confident, non-committal, rule-breaking fighter pilot who projects green thought objects and whose nemesis is the color yellow; that’s your favorite? Well, yes.
Why he’s my favorite is this: his power is derived through will power and imagination. With that, the message is if you can think it, you can do it. In the comics, there is no real end to the limit of power he can wield except for what he can imagine (that and a limited charge, I guess). He has gone up against nearly every power villain in the DC and come out the other side including Superman, Doomsday, Darkseid, Mongul and Lobo. Not all unscathed, but hey, he made it. Hell, he even went for a stint as the vengeance of God, the Spectre.
And beneath all the green light, they managed a story-line that ties into the emotional spectrum where all the Lantern’s power is derived. The different color corps all have their own emotions: Green for Will, Yellow for Fear, Orange for Greed, Red for Rage, Indigo for Compassion, Blue for Hope, and Violet for Love. The concept was clarifying in a way that made me enjoy the series even more by incorporating the heroes who’ve died and bringing them back.
So, as an author, the creativity behind this character’s power was something I admired since the days of the cartoon and into the comics. I enjoyed it all so much, I even have the symbols tattooed on my arm. I’m sure everyone has their own favorite, but if you are making fun of me because of that craptastic movie that came out…