One of the things I'm not loving so much about the Superman: New Krypton/War of The Superman storyline is that it takes away from the uniqueness of Superman. I really dig the idea that any given time, there's maybe two others out there who can do what he does.
And a dog. Cannot forget the dog!
That said; let's take a look at The Green Lantern Corps.
Over the course of two decades, the protection of Earth and the galaxy has fallen to four, count 'em, four Earthmen, begging the question:
"What makes THEM so damned special?"
There's like, a kabillion people (or not-people) who can do what they do!
Depending on when you were exposed to the Green Lantern mythos; he's been Hal Jordan, a test pilot who fought aliens, fell in love with a girl but not really, quit being Green Lantern, came back, went crazy after a Superman storyline, killed the whole damn Green Lantern Corps, committed suicide, became The Spectre, gave that up and became THE Green Lantern, again.
Or he's been John Stewart, a formerly angry black man who was re-introduced as a "not-so-angry," an ex-Marine and architect. He's kinda awesome but only in cartoons.
Or he's been Guy Gardner, a formerly brain damaged, alpha-male, ex-school teacher who who had more attitude than sense, who found out he was the last of an alien race, could turn his hands into bazookas and when that didn't work out, he opened up a bar. And yes, he was sort of awesome.
And then there was the final Lantern. You know, Kyle Rayner, the Gen-X'er with a heart of gold. He was just standing in an alley one day and because of his good heart, his girlfriend was stuffed in a refrigerator. And yes, he was sort of awesome.
Now here's the thing: anyone of these guys could actually headline a comic called, "Green Lantern," and at different points in time, all of them except Guy have been. So, Hal's parent company, DC Comics, decides Hal Jordan needs to come back from the dead and "BIGGREENBOXINGGLOVE" later and he's THE Green Lantern, despite the fact the other were doing just fine without him.
Seriously? What makes Hal so great? He quits things, alot. He's sort of just always there, lurking. Glowering. Being...
I don't know... Hal Jordan?
He punched Batman, you know. In. The. Jaw.
"One Punch!" (© Ted Kord)
Let's look at it. John has his troubles. He can be a little broody, when he wants to be he can be a bit of a bad-ass but lately, he sort of has played the role of "Magical Negro," speaking on things he's familiar with like regret and forgiveness; freeing the hearts of his fellow Lanterns to be OK with themselves, absolving them of all past screw-ups. Stewart was last seen covering someone's ass with a lime-colored, ring generated machine gun.
Guy has been cured of his brain damage and what we're left with is intriguing; the big brother you sort of want. Guy follows his own logic. And like most males, when he's using it, it makes glorious sense to him. In that, he is awesome. He's become the the embodiment The Corps' fighting spirit and that's never been more apparent than when Kyle "died" during Blackest Night. Guy watched as someone who'd become like a brother to him fell and declared war upon everything connected with death. 'Til this day, the image of Guy with a Red Rage chainsaw is still emblazoned on my mind. What it proved was Guy's loyalty to his fellow Corps members and just how scary he could be if he ever, sort of, lost it again.
And what can we say about Kyle. He's a good, good man who's had circumstance beyond his control thrust upon him and did the best with what he had. I've always considered Kyle to be "YOU" as a Green Lantern. His heart has been broken, he's watched those closest to him die, he comes from a single parent household, he was usually in over his head but was always willing to learn from his mistakes. He was a man, that's what a man does.
And Hal? I get why folks like him, I just don't get him. He's brash and loves baseball. He shuns authority, he flies a plane and breaks girls hearts. He quits alot and still gets rewarded. Because of his ability to do these things, he is the face of the Green Lantern Corps.
He's the knucklehead all we wish we could be or could marry.
He's the ultimate American male.
When did it go and become so damned two-dimensional?