IN BLACKEST NIGHT
NO EVIL SHALL ESCAPE MY SIGHT
LET THOSE WHO WORSHIP EVIL’S MIGHT
BEWARE MY POWER
GREEN LANTERN’S LIGHT!
With those words, The Green Lantern charges his power ring and rushes into battle. With his green light, he fights back the darkness of evil.
The Green Lantern is cool to me on so many levels. First, the cosmic-ness (Is that even a word?) of the character really appeals to the scifi fan in me. Then there’s the power that I absoslutely have always enjoyed. Finally, the staying power of, not only the character who is the Green Lantern, but the mantle of the Green Lantern itself gives the hero his iconic status.
There are two characters who have been the Green Lantern that work their way into my top ten. Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner. Hal Jordan because of the old standard “I grew up with him.” Kyle Rayner because I always liked the internal struggle he brought to the character while at the same time bringing a certain “flare” to the power.
The Green Lanterns (as you probably know) derive their power from green rings that are bequeathed to them by little blue guys from the planet Oa that just happen to be the guardians of the universe. (I know, right?) These guys find different people from different sectors of the galaxy/universe and give them the power of the Green Lantern (literally a big green lantern) to protect their sectors. This aspect to the story opens up to the Green Lantern a scope of storytelling potential that breaks the bonds of earthly cops and robbers type stuff. This type of storytelling, as I have said, really appeals to my love of all things sci fi and Star Warsy. I love the different alien cultures we get introduced to, and I really enjoy some of the different Lanterns from across space….Kilawog…looking in your direction there.
Couple with the potential scope of stories, the neat power of the Green Lantern. Here’s this ring that, with a thought and a little will power, will do just about whatever the wearer can imagine. The ring provides flight, a protective aura so the user can survive in space, and can project a “hard light” type structure of green energy that can be used as a weapon or as protection. I always liked this power. Hal Jordan had a way of using simple things a lot and then pulling out something pretty cool every now and then. One of his favorite shapes was the giant green fist he would use to knock out his opponents. Then Kyle Rayner was given the power of the Green Lantern….things got ramped up. Kyle, a starving artist, used his artistic abilities to do all kinds of things with his ring. From fancy machines to cartoon characters to a giant head slurping flood waters up througha straw, I really enjoyed watching Kyle use his powers.
The Green Lantern is one of the characters in the DC Universe that is readily recognizable. Even people who aren’t aware of the intracacies of the character and may not even know his name, recognize the character. This is due to several things including (but not limited to) The Challenge of the Superfriends which featured Hal Jordan as a regular character, The Justice League cartoon, and even professional wrestling which a couple of years back featured Greg Helms who was a big fan of the Green Lantern.
While John Stewart gained some ground for the Green Lantern, I never really warmed up to the character. Having grown up with Hal Jordan, and later following the exploits of Kyle Rayner, I missed the humor and (again) “flare” they brought to the team of the Justice League and the power of the Green Lantern. So, for the purposes of this countdown, stick Kyle or Hal in there and you have my number 7 pick in my top ten favorite superheroes list.
To check out some Green Lantern exploits, check out these trades: