Hal Jordan, the ring-less Green Lantern

Bruce Wayne out of the Batman suit is a world class martial artist, brilliant tactical mind, and intellectual genius.  Really, the only difference between Wayne and Batman is that Batman makes criminals wet their shorts when he lands from a twelve story skyscraper and punches them in the throat.  But Jordan without his ring becomes simply an above average brawler. Sure, he still has no fear and all that, but a bomber jacket isn’t a weapon that can create anything in the world.  And today, he learns that lesson the hard way in Green Lantern #14-17, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Ivan Reis.

Let’s start with a story.  A story coated in a very heavy green pen:

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Jordan’s refusal to wear his ring while flying has been brought up before in pretty much every Green Lantern origin story from every medium.  Something about the ring being a safety net when he’d rather have that danger.  The same attitude that attracted the ring to him in the first place also definitely hinders his own superheroism.  He should know that something near him will bound to be blown up every other issue or so.  I’m just saying Wayne would have hidden a lock pick in his cheek and he’d have sewn a blowtorch into his own ribs just in case he gets himself into this exact situation.

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Bad guys always underestimate superheroes, even superheroes currently powerless and in chains and who they have no idea is actually a superhero.  Jordan can’t fight like Wonder Woman, but he has spent the past decade or two pummeling aliens far bigger, stronger, and meaner than any Chechnyan terrorist organization.  Ring or not, he’s still Green Lantern, gosh darn it.

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To be fair to Jordan, wearing the ring would have been like Clark Kent always sporting the cape.  It’s pretty much a dead giveaway.  I guess gloves at all time?  Fighter pilots could pull off that fashion faux pas.  Anyway, as grudges never die and smiles during tragic nostalgia typically mean either a hidden secret or the Joker, Jordan gets sent on a rescue mission.

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I said Jordan, but I meant Green Lantern.  Remember the first few pages of torture and helpless struggle?  If only he’d brought the ring, right?

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Ever wonder why Superman doesn’t spend a lot of time intervening in third world countries that desperately need his help?  Besides Luthor launching robots on Metropolis twice a week? International politics, man.  Superman, being an American citizen, has to walk a tricky line to avoid creating international conflicts.  Like say, if Green Lantern burst into Chechnya without authorization and blew up a few bases.  The Russian government may not look too fondly on the American superhero.  Not fondly at all.

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Could it get worse?  Oh my goodness, yes.

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Unfortunately for you, Green Lantern vs. the Global Guardians vs. the Justice League deters from the focus of my article today.  Buy the book — the battles make it worth your time.  But as I skip ahead a few issues, we learn that rescuing damsels in distress using the universe’s most powerful weapon tends to be far more effective than fists and a pistol.

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While this actually marks the half way point of the arc, the midpoint still creates a warm inner feeling.

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Even though the actual ending’s beautiful and bittersweet, for now (and literally the next panel is an explosion) the vengeful heart can finally rest — I guess until you turn the page.

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2 Comments on “Hal Jordan, the ring-less Green Lantern”

  1. furyoffirestorm78 says:

    Hal can wear the ring without it blowing his cover – he can make it invisible to others. His friends suffered because he wanted a cheap thrill and show everyone what a huge peen he has. Fuck Hal Jordan.

    • Jason Levine says:

      You make me laugh, because while crude, you summed it up better than anybody I’ve seen before. You are definitely someone I always enjoy reading comments from.


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