Archive for December, 2015
Ever since the CW has been airing ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash’ on it’s network, DC comics fans have been impressed with the number of cameos and references to existing characters and concepts. One of the repeating references is to a certain Emerald Crusader, the Green Lantern of Sector 2814, Hal Jordan. Be it Ferris Air, Coast City, or references to Hal himself (all pictured above) the CW has made it very clear, Hal Jordan exists in this universe and is (most likely) Green Lantern already.
Since dropping Emerald tinted hints, there’s been an uptick in fan theories and “it should happen because it’d just be COOL” articles. But the fervent desire to see Hal on the small screen has been backed up more with “cause it’s cool” and “the GL movie sucked so we’re owed a good representation” as opposed to “here’s how it would WORK and here’s WHY it’ll be cool”.
And thus, here I am.
Yeah, yeah. Boiled down to it’s bare essence, I’m just another Green Lantern fan. But, to be fair, the LanternCast has been on their air for SEVEN YEARS. Mark and I have been at it together for TWO of those seven. I’d say that earns us the right to throw our weight around from time to time when it comes to GL fan theory and speculation. So let me break it down for you.
1) BARRY ALLEN AND OLIVER QUEEN ARE HAL JORDAN’S BEST FRIENDS.
In the comics, the three are friends. Well, more Hal is a mutual friend between the two rather than a Barry/Ollie bromance. It’s mildly upsetting as a comics/Green Lantern fan to see his two friends have shows of their own without the Hal Jordan linchpin to keep their volatile friendship intact. But outside of the sheer disappointment of just not seeing it, the friendship is a key element that could offer up fantastic character moments for EITHER Ollie or Barry.
GL fans have argued since the Silver/Bronze Age about who is the better “Brave and the Bold” style team. Barry and Hal? Or Hal and Ollie? While die hard ‘Green Lantern/Green Arrow’ fans (of which I am one!) will say Ollie and Hal are the better team, I actually side with the Barry/Hal faction. When it comes to action, Ollie and Hal often argue so relentlessly that it takes them too long to get anything done. Whereas Barry and Hal get into the action, then disagree after the fact. But here’s how I PERSONALLY see the three characters.
Barry is a forensic scientist working for the police department. Sure, he’s essentially a vigilante, but he’s on the side of LAW. Ollie is the polar opposite. In the GL/GA series, he’s the one convincing Hal that sure, there may be rules, but the CONTEXT of those rules, and when it’s better to break them rather than follow them, is just as important. Hal is often the dead center of the two ideals. He’s the cocksure and action first/thought later guy, but he’s also following a code of intergalactic rules. Now these aren’t NECESSARILY the Barry and Ollie from the CW, but they COULD be.
With Hal in the mix, Barry could get a dose of someone a little TOO rash and impulsive. And, through whatever mishap, we could come out the other side with a great friendship, but a Barry Allen that’s more sure of the law, his own scientific knowledge, and more methodical.
With Hal in the mix, Oliver could get a dose of someone whose set of rules and laws MAKE SENSE but don’t fit the situation. That won’t sit well with Oliver at HEART. And, through whatever mishap, we could come out the other side with a great friendship, but a Oliver Queen that’s more like the comics. More of a crusader for social justice, the downtrodden, and not afraid of treading the grey areas between the Law and Morality. As opposed to someone who more fights black and white crime (people who kill, rape, steal, deal drugs, etc.).
2) HAL JORDAN IS A LOVABLE WOMANIZER.
Yeah I know. It’s a played out trope. But hear me out. What is the CW formula? Attractive young actors and actresses and any excuse for shirtless dudes or heated, sexual exchanges between characters. Now, concession, ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash’ have been pretty damn good about not bowing to that sort of network model (though there have been instances one COULD point to). But Hal’s brand of womanizing would help fit the CW model, potentially bring in new attractive women (and CHARACTERS from the DCU!) to the show, and also could cause love-triangle-like drama between characters. IE: Hal hitting on Felicity, Laurel, Thea, Sara, Kendra, Patty, Iris, Caitlin…I made my point.
3) HAL JORDAN IS A DAREDEVIL TEST PILOT.
Now if you weren’t already interested, here’s where it gets FUN. Hal Jordan is a test pilot. He’s not a tech genius, but he drives fast cars for fun and flies experimental aircraft for a living (and also fun). I’m seeing a Hal in the DCCW-verse as a man with a instinctual genius for mechanics. Yeah, I would LOVE any excuse to bring in more people from the GL universe but as bad as I’d want to see Tom Kalmaku, this is where it makes more sense to just have Hal have that mechanical inclination. BECAUSE, he can be a MUCH needed tech buddy to Cisco. Yeah, Cisco is more of an engineer with a wide berth of tech and scientific knowledge, but having Hal there could help coax out the mechanical engineer side of Cisco. Plus, as we’ll get to later, a concern with Hal/GL is the MONEY it would take to realize the effects on screen on a TV budget. Well, with the test pilot angle, you get the action without the major cost. Planes sequences may also cost money to render, but I bet they’re MUCH easier and cheaper than Green Lantern effects and development.
4) CAROL FERRIS IS ALSO A TEST PILOT. (MINUS THE DAREDEVIL)
The great thing about ‘The Flash’ and ‘Arrow’ shows? BADASS WOMEN. Imagine Carol Ferris on one (or both) of these shows! How amazingly complete the young business woman with a heart of gold, in love with her employee, and a fondness and aptitude for flying jets…could be realized using the Arrow/Flash CW format for kick ass chicks! Plus? She runs (or will run depending on how you write it) Ferris Air. So I ALSO see her as having a mechanical expertise. Which means? FEMALE CISCO! THAT could be fun as well. And I’d say we let the two date for awhile. Let Cisco actually establish a relationship. I mean, yeah, Hal eventually is the one for her. But seeing Carol and Cisco together could be just as endearing as seeing the Patty/Barry stuff is now (which I LOVE).
5) THE GREEN LANTERN WORLD IS A WORLD OF ALIENS AND OF COSMIC SCOPE.
Lastly, this. ‘Arrow’ went street level at first. Then Deathsroke brought in the world of scientifically augmented power. The Barry brought in the world of super powers. Now ‘Arrow’ is tackling the mystical side of the DC universe. It’s clear Superman (and his family) is being used elsewhere for the nonce. So how else do we bring the unlimited scope that is the universal side of the DCU? Green Lantern. Establish Hal, establish his ring and the terrestrial explanation Caitlin/Felicity/Cisco come up with for his ring. Then Hal disappears for a bit for training. Then comes back and BAM. The REAL explanation. And boom, DC cosmic. Aliens. Immortal beings. Anti-Matter universes. Go a far as you want with it!
And there you have it.
Sure, Hal having his OWN show is great. But without a massive budget, it’s completely unfeasible. However…so was the Flash. The budget for that show is pressed nearly episode to episode (if the special features on the season one blu-ray can be believed). But they maintain their audience and ratings continuously, so the CW/WB justifies that budget. If the end goal is a Green Lantern SHOW? It’s possible if the showrunners show it to be a well realized fan hit. But if not? There’s STILL a nearly unlimited amount of ways you could logically use Hal/Green Lantern in these shows.
Yes. I’m focused on HAL specifically. John, Kyle, Guy (even Simon) all have ways they could be introduced and WORK. But Hal is the focus because that’s where the hints lie. Ferris Air? Hal’s employer. “Test pilot went missing”? Hal. Jordan name tag on a bomber jacket? Hal Jordan. He’s the clear front runner. I HOPE it happens. SO many of the things I want to see on the Flash and Arrow could become reality with one simple character introduction: Hal Jordan.
Mark and Chad return to their microphones to bring you their thoughts on the November Lantern related titles! How many people does it take to put Black Hand back together again? What the hell is a Light God? Of all people, WHY Wonder Woman? These are the questions we…well, answer is the wrong word. Anyway, all of this and LISTENER FEEDBACK!! (some of it from GIRLS!) So LISTEN IN! Be sure to chime in on our voice-mail at 708-LANTERN!
Download the episode HERE!
Hal’s journey continues as he learns the true nature of the Spectre’s essence while confronting Mistos and the Risen. And he makes some time to save Superman and Batman’s bacon too! All that, plus Jim shares his thoughts on the GL Universe and Mark explores the content of the very first Star Wars “Smuggler’s Bounty” collector’s crate! It’s more podcasting magic people!
Give us your feedback and future episode ideas at our voice mail 708-Lantern!
Download the episode HERE!
So why the reaction piece on the website? Why not wait until our monthly review episode to cover this comic? Well, first of all, this is more of a mini-reaction as opposed to a full blown review. (We need to give you SOMETHING to anticipate after all) And secondly, this is something I’ve wanted in the Green Lantern comics for a LONG while. So it felt fitting to toss up a quick thought or two day of.
GUT REACTION: For a “Hal Jordan on Earth” story within the status quo of the current GL story-line it’s actually not half bad at all. Jordan family interactions are well placed and funny. There’s hardly any action and I’m ok with it.
And that’s really all I’ll say for the moment. That, on the face of it, I actually liked it.
So why devote a post for a three sentence reaction? Because, for YEARS, this is what I’ve wanted from the Green Lantern titles when things get stagnant or seemingly directionless. (Not that those are adjectives I’d ascribe to the current series, but you get the idea.) In the 1960’s, when things got campy and the title was failing, Julius Schwartz brought on Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams to course correct the series. They did so by bringing Hal back down to Earth. Denny and Neal did their thing, then things went all ‘Crisis’ and we returned to space, then things got wonky again…and then the 90’s come around and it’s time for another course correction…so they bring Hal back down to Earth yet again. Well my friends, it’s been a decade since Geoff Johns brought Hal back and gave us the emotional spectrum. And we’ve spent the vast majority of that time out in space dealing with the ramifications of that decision (and it’s been a largely fun ride). But, PERSONALLY, I’ve been saying it’s time to course correct and bring Hal back down to Earth.
If you’ve listened to our State of the Green Lantern Union episode, you already know our feelings on things and just how many people seem to share those sentiments. And that it’s not a knock against the current creative teams. Where we are, plot wise, is likely more a product of where DC wants things to be rather than anything else. (Not to say that the teams DON’T have input. But those ideas are likely confined to the boundaries of the sandbox they’ve been asked to play in.) But given my (and SEVERAL others) long time desire to see Hal return to adventures ON EARTH, I felt it necessary to give credit where credit is due.
Venditti brings Hal back to Earth for a few issues and gives us what we’ve been requesting for awhile now. And, within the confines of the current status quo, it was/is FUN. And I sincerely thank Robert for it. Sure, in a few issues we’re going to be tossed back into the “Cosmic Odyssey” type stories (though, hopefully, no planets will be destroyed), but it’s nice to be acknowledged. Seeing Hal return to Earth, interact with his family and face down classic GL rouges that AREN’T emotional spectrum related? Give me more! I’m going to be buying multiple copies for as long as it happens. I suggest, if you share my desire, you do so as well. Vote with your dollars!
So thanks Robert. I appreciate it. I’m considering it your Christmas gift to this longtime GL fan before we return to space. So you can forget about that other thing. -Chad Bokelman