Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: Back In the Good Old Days

Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!

Now with Guy Gardner's Seal of Approval!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Back In the Good Old Days

That would be back in the good old Green Lantern Days, that is. When Englehart was writing the books, not to mention Denny O'Neil and Len Wein. And Hal Jordan was a COMPLETE Pain-In-The-Ass! And I say this as someone who is actually rather fond of Hal. But there is no getting away from the fact that he was an utter tool quite a lot of the time. As Obedient Serpent said the other day...Emerald Twilight WAS completely in character for Hal.

I've been having a ball rereading all my old books. It is always nice to dip a toe into the water, for a refreshing splash of continuity. Reboots aside, this is where a whole lot of the characteristics that make up Hal, John and Guy come from. And the thing that really stands out for me, in regards to Hal Jordan...is his arrogance. Yes, he's handsome, daring and dashing, quick with a kiss or a glowing green boxing glove, but what really comes across is his cockiness. It doesn't help that, with the possible exception of Salaak, most of the other Lanterns are practically fawning over him. Hal doesn't have a lot of false modesty, his attitude is that they SHOULD be fawning over him. Isn't he the greatest Green Lantern that there ever was or will be?

Which should make his willingness to give up the ring all the more confusing, but in a way it all fits. Being a Green Lantern has come easily for Hal...and therefore he really doesn't value it as he probably should. When he's practically standing at the altar, waiting to marry Kari Limbo, Green Arrow asks him if he's going to continue to be a ring-slinger, and his replay is awfully nonchalant. Then he's all set to give up the ring again, so that he can go and jump Carol Ferris. It isn't until the Guardians take him at his word, and hand his ring over to John Stewart, and later to Guy Gardner...that he realizes exactly what he has done, and then moves heaven and earth to become a Green Lantern again. And naturally...being Hal...he succeeds. There is a mind-boggling scene in the 200th Anniversary issue of Green Lantern with Hal literally head over heels in joy over getting his ring back. They've just defeated the Anti-Monitor, and his best friend, the Flash is dead, not to mention a whole passel of Lanterns, such as Xax and Tomar Re...but who cares, because Hal is back! Woohoo! That's some serious arrogance, folks.

Then of course, they end up executing Sinestro, which turns out to be a really bad idea, and a bunch of them end up on Earth. Naturally. You wouldn't catch Hal going to live on some ALIEN planet! Interestingly enough you would think that there might be a bit of friction between Hal and John Stewart. There was in the beginning, when one of the Guardians personally came to Earth and appointed John as a Lantern. Hal was simply fit to be tied, and in the beginning, John certainly didn't treat Hal with the deference that he was all too used to. That didn't last too long however, since Guy took over the role of trouble-maker.

It is the roles of Hal and Guy that I still find so fascinating. When Hal first came across Guy, he was this nice young gym teacher. He'd been picked as a possible choice for the ring by a dying Abin Sur, but since Hal was closer, he got the call. I've always gotten the feeling that knowing this makes Hal just a tiny bit nervous. It's a small chip in the armor of his self-confidence. Hal meets Guy and they become friends, although Hal never lets him know that he's also the Green Lantern. He does finally recruit him as a back-up because his ring is misbehaving...or so he thinks, so one nice day, as Guy is smooching with his fiancee Kari Limbo, he looks up, and there is Hal smirking at him. But off they go, Guy quite happily, and he takes over for Hal, while Hal hotfoots it back to Oa. Too bad that the problem isn't with Hal's ring, but with his battery, because the very next time that Guy uses it, it blows up. Hal thinks that Guy is dead, but doesn't let it bother him too much. He does go and tell Kari Limbo that he accidentally blew up her boyfriend. At first she's furious, and pastes him one, right across the ol' kisser. Little does she know that there are few thingss in life that Hal loves MORE than a blow to the head. The next thing you know, they are hugging up a storm.

While there is no doubt that Kari Limbo is a manipulative bitch (Kalinara has some lovely essays about this) there is also no doubt that Hal is more than willing to be manipulated. She's always fainting and having visions, and for some reason, this simply entrances him. He's actually going to MARRY her! Hal Jordan, Playboy of the Western World, is simply prancing to the altar, panting to wed his dead friend's ex-fiancee. This is the moment where he tells Green Arrow that he's perfectly happy to give up being a Lantern. Fortunately for Hal, she has another vision, and this time it's of Guy...who it turns out ISN'T dead. He's been blasted into the Phantom Zone, where he's been watching the two of them making out all this time. And he's not happy about it. Hal and Superman go and try to get him, but then he ends up in the gentle clutches of Sinestro, who decides to torture him for pure fun and games. When Hal does end up rescuing poor Guy, his mind has snapped and he's in a coma. So Kari decides that she's going to stay with Guy, and they dump him in a hospital.

Hal comes by every once in a while, and pats Guy on the head, which somehow makes Hal feel a whole lot better about himself. Then he flies off and has many many adventures, and comes back and sees Carol and decides that he wants to quit...again...and gives the ring to John, and then the first Crisis happens.

And things get a whole lot more interesting.

Oh, and here's Salaak, bless his cantankerous heart.



At 8:49 PM, Anonymous AE said...

Honest + Fearless = Arrogant. Or, comes across as such: 'Yeah, I'm brave and heroic. I am ... Awesome.'

At 12:20 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Well...Hal IS awesome. In a totally arrogant and occasionally dickish sort of way. Which doesn't mean that I don't like him. I'm just constantly in awe of how he gets away with it.

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Sea-of-Green said...

OF COURSE Hal gets away with it. And every time he does, he gets WORSE. ;-)

You're a brave woman for rereading all your old comics. I keep wanting to do that with my GL's, too -- but it's a rather daunting task!

At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Superhero Legacy said...

I think it's these characteristics about Hal that will make Reynolds a good casting choice.

At 1:40 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Actually Sea, I'm having the time of my life. It's just so much fun to see that despite being possessed by Parallax, trying to blow up the Universe, becoming the Spectre, and being Reborn...that Hal really hasn't learned a thing.

It's a bit reassuring actually.

And yes, I think that Ryan Reynolds has just that necessary bit of roguish charm and soupcon of dickery to be a great Hal.


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