Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: Oh Hal

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Oh Hal

Whatever are we to think of Hal Jordan? At least, as of late. He's actually doing fairly well, over in his own book, although he does seem to be pretty much Sinestro's puppet at the moment, albeit unwillingly. But he'd been doing better than I expected him to be doing, without the ring, after a bumpy start, he seemed to be coming to terms with real life.


Over in Justice League, he's been portrayed a bit...differently. What really confuses the heck out of me, is that he's still being written by Geoff Johns. So, how to explain the complete difference in his personality?

In Justice League, he's brash, obnoxious, over-eager, headstrong and a bit full of himself. Which is more or less how he has always been, but with a double helping of charm. What does concern me, is that when he touched Wonder Woman's lasso, he was revealed as being full of self-doubt and eager to impress everyone else. This is a little strange. Hal is many things, but having any doubts about his own magnificence is not one of them. Nor have I ever seen him as trying to impress other people. Hal never seemed to care that much if people were impressed or not. Hal never seemed to NOTICE if people were impressed...being Hal, he just ASSUMED that they were impressed by him. He was Hal Jordan after all, and being impressive was just something that he did. Like breathe.

Hal may be cocky, he may be arrogant, he may be headstrong. Heck, there is no "May" about it. Hal IS all of these things. But in the past at least, Hal was shown to be able to back up his claims. He didn't worry or plan, he just did stuff by the seat of his pants, and by Golly, more often than not, he got away with it. One of the things that I have always liked about Hal, was his supreme self-confidence. He knew he'd succeed, because...well because he just DID.

And as for the Hal being portrayed in Green Lantern, I can still see that confidence. As for the Hal being portrayed in Justice League...I am not so sure.

The whole Justice League thing is confusing me anyway. It WAS set five years in the past, but now it is in the present apparently, but they still seem to be acting more or less exactly the way that they did at their original formation, which seems odd. You would have thought that they would be a bit more comfortable with each other by now. Or am I just misreading things completely?

It's almost as though they are trying to shoehorn Hal into Guy's old role. And lord knows, Hal can be obnoxious. But he doesn't really fit into Guy's old position, he's a bit too suave for that. Hal has also always been portrayed as having a certain amount of charm and likeability, which hasn't been so much in evidence lately, which also rather confuses me.

So, obviously, the new 52 really IS an alternate Universe, and I find that I'm not all that enamoured of alternate Universes. Or, I may just be over-reaching. But I'm not sure.

What do YOU think?


At 12:44 PM, Blogger Gary said...

You're right - despite the five year leap between the end of the League's first adventure and the next issue, there's been no appreciable change in the characters' behaviour with the possible exception of Wonder Woman.

After five years of working together, you'd expect them to mature a little, get used to each other and stop being such a bunch of kids (and I'm looking at Hal particularly here but also the Flash) but it hasn't happened.

I think Johns had so much fun writing the new League that didn't get on together that he just continued writing it after slapping a "Five Years Later" caption on page one of issue seven.

A shame because I'd like to see the League actually behaving like they deserve the adoration of the public.

Just my tuppence worth. :)

At 1:16 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

I'd like to see the League acting a little more together as well. Instead, they are JUST as immature as the JLI...which Batman is busy sneering at, even though he helped set it up.

What is up with that?

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Bob Buethe said...

I bought the first 7 issues of Justice League, despite the fact that it read like below-average fan fiction, just to see how the first arc played out. I won't be buying it again in the near future. I did find the scene with WW's lasso hilariously funny, but you're right, it wasn't really Hal.

I am buying GL's own title again after a lapse of a few years. (In fact, that and "The Unwritten" are the only two comics I'm reading regularly.) Geoff Johns' writing swings wildly between two extremes for me; sometimes I love it (particularly in stories of solo heroes rather than teams), often I hate it (especially in stories of the rainbow corps), but rarely do I find it mediocre. Like I said, I'm back on board, but I don't know for how long.

At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Notintheface said...

I didn't buy the book, I just skimmed it. Did the book actually SAY it was 5 full years later or did we get deceived by a false solicit?

Also, re: Bats' inconsistency w/ JLI - aren't there people at DC specifically assigned to each comic to oversee continuity issues and maintain character consistency? What are those people called again? I seem to remember that it starts with an "E".

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Lantern Kiaori said...

this is so very confusing arghhh....I'm telling you that if this all happens after five years I want an explanation of what the hell happened in that half a decade so there are 4 green lanterns of Earth (or at least two, with Hal in JLA and Guy in JLI, running simultaneously)

At 8:18 AM, Blogger Alison B said...

I'm still unclear on the timelines too - if, in JL Present Day, Hal is the Green Lantern...when is the the GL book taking place? Story-wise, GL 1 started 10 seconds after the last pre-boot GL. But is it present day? 5 years ago? If it's 5 years ago how do Hal and Sinestro have all this history? When did the Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night happen?

Everyone seems to agree that the Batman and Green Lantern titles are the ones least changed by the New-52 reboot, but while the Bat books incorporate pretty seamlessly, I have NO idea how the GL timeline fits in. Thankfully, it doesn't really bother me all too much, since I'm also a Flash fan and I have read some CRAZY mess involving time travel.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Gary said...

@Alison - JL #7 starts with a caption saying "Present Day" so that sets it 5 years after the first story arc.

GL takes place present day as well; presumably a condensed version of the GL history happened in those five years. Looks like Blackest Night did happen along with the various Lantern Corps but prior to that, who knows?

Heck, if the original Crisis on Infinite Earths didn't happen, anything's up for grabs!

At 7:05 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

There is an AWFUL lot of history to fit into a mere five years. And everyone is younger and cooler apparently.

The Bat books and the GL books seem to have sailed through the change with the least amount of changes, but I'm not really sure about that anymore...not really. In their own books, the Green Lanterns seem prety much unaffected, but in the Justice League books, it is as though Hal were a completely different character. If he were being written by two different authors, I could understand that. I wouldn't necessarily like it...but I could understand it. But he's being written by Geoff Johns in both books!

I think that he did a fair job with Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Flash, but his treatment of Batman has been all over the place too.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Ragnell said...

We were discussing this on twitter and someone told me (he didn't have a link) that in an interview Johns had said the GL books were written before the JL books, and that in the future Hal's characterization would be more in line with what we've seen in Justice League.

And Justice League is funny (and for once someone has Diana and Steve right) but that does kinda worry me.

At 10:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johns said in one of those interviewettes that part of the difference with Hal is that in JL he can just relax and enjoy his friends there. He can let loose with the other parts of his personality and let's face it, with Batman around the JL is a place where you don't really have to think much. Bats will be glad to do it for you!

At 12:13 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Ok. I guess. It's interesting that Hal is letting his hair down, and that he's enjoying teasing Batman...which quite frankly I would enjoy as well. It is also interesting that he seems to be channeling Guy Gardner a bit. \

There are worse things!


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