With the “Green Lantern” movie directly ahead, it’s time we come clean and answer a very relevant question: Who is the best Green Lantern?
Of course, we’re talking about Sector 2814, which includes representatives of Earth and, for some reason, America and only America. For some reason, the Guardians of the Universe have never selected a Green Lantern from Zimbabwe or Guatemala. So, no, you can’t say Kilowog as your answer.
(We can do this again with The Flash if there’s every a movie about that guy.)
So, without making you wait around like Krona observing the origins of the universe itself , the options are:
So, like, he’s the original. He first appeared in All Star Comics in 1940. And dude is still around! His powers are actually not connected to the other guys who call themselves Green Lantern, although he does serve as an inspiration. Instead, his powers come from this thing called The Starheart, which first appeared as a lantern that saved his life when he was almost hit by a train. (Don’t ask me. I wasn’t born in 1940, you know.) Alan Scott was a member of the Justice Society of America, predecessor to the Justice League of America, and fought (in the funny books) in World War II. He has also appeared in more recent years as “Sentinel.” Oh, and his ring was vulnerable to wood, rather than to the color yellow like the other Green Lanterns.
This is the guy in the movie and the best-known Green Lantern, commonly discussed as the greatest Green Lantern of all — I mean, like, despite how he went into a tailspin after the destruction of Coast City and turned into a really big, murderous bad guy named Parallax. In the comics, all is forgiven fairly quickly. He’s an aircraft test pilot who discovered a dying alien Green Lantern, Abin Sur, and received the ring as a result of his indomitable willpower. His big weakness is the color yellow (yeah, lame, I know) and his big, bad enemy is a thinly-mustached, purple-headed guy named Sinestro. Just add “o” to the end of your name and poof! you’re a bad guy. Hal Jordan made his first appearance in 1959 in Showcase No. 22.
Poor Guy Gardner. The ring passed him up when it picked Hal Jordan, who just happened to be closer to Abin Sur’s fatal spaceship crash, so he was a substitute for many years. Except you can’t really say “Poor Guy Gardner” because this guy has way too much attitude for that. I mean, his haircut of choice is the bowl cut, and he’s still got a sassy word or two. He’s been around a long time, too, first appearing in 1968. He came into his own in the 1980s as a trash-talking member of Justice League International. Oh, and he played football at Michigan. I mean… in a pretend, comic book kind of way.
No, not the host of “The Daily Show.” This guy was an architect who was picked to be a substitute Green Lantern after Guy Gardner was injured. He’s also a black guy. He first appeared in 1972 (the year of my birth!) In the Cartoon Network “Justice League” series of about a decade ago, he was an ex-Marine and the Green Lantern representative of the greatest superteam of all time. Thus, to many kids about 10 years old, this guy is Green Lantern.
This guy is a relative newcomer, created in 1994 (when I graduated college!) He’s a graphic artist who got the ring after Hal Jordan went friggin’ crazy and, temporarily, died. Because he’s an artist, he tended to have more creative uses for the ring than just green boxing gloves and the like. He’s also sensitive. His stories were written for a while by Judd Winnick, who first became semifamous as a cast member on MTV’s “The Real World.” For a while his ring didn’t have a vulnerability to the color yellow, but now it does, I think. Umm, I don’t know anything else. Kyle Rayner’s really not my guy, although he did have a nice friendship with Connor Hawke when that guy was Green Arrow (let’s have a vote and we can do a favorite Green Arrow post) and they were both in the Justice League. Plus also, he has floopy hair.
If you are a girl, or if you just happen to like girls, a legitimate answer is “Jade.” She’s the daughter of Alan Scott (her mother was the super-villain Thorn because comic book guys roll that way, you know), has mystical green energy — Oh! and green skin!, first appeared in 1983, was a member of Infinity Inc., sometimes made sweet green love with Kyle Rayner, among others, briefly died, and is now back as a member of the Justice League of America.
SO WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE GREEN LANTERN?
Myself, I’m going with Alan Scott. To be honest, Hal Jordan was the first Green Lantern I was aware of, back when he was fighting guys like the Tattooed Man. But I really like Alan Scott. I like his costume color pattern and the really giant collar on his cape. I like his World War II history. I like the fact that he’s still giving it the good fight. And the fact that the dude, now pushing REALLY ancient, is still blond.
Who’s your Green Lantern?
(All answers accepted, except Kyle Rayner.)