Thursday, June 16, 2011

Green Lantern: Wearing the Green

Okay, so last time we left off with setting up the Green Lantern Corps and explaining a bit of the machinations of the Council of Oa. I prefer calling them a Council over the more traditional Guardians of the Universe because, well, a council sort of implies wheeling and dealing, secret plots, and the like while Guardians of the Universe looks like it should be nailed up on the clubhouse wall right about the No Girls Allowed sign.

So we know Why the Council distributes superpowerful magic rings across the universe. We know What said rings can do (everything: hard light constructs, flight, universal translator, navigation, force shields, and I bet they can make a mean cup of coffee). But we still need to figure out Who they give them to.

And this is another of my problems with Green Lantern: specifically, Green Lantern's place in the DC universe. If Green Lantern occupied a universe all his own, one without any other non-Lanterned heroes, then the selection process of the ring picking the best and brightest as its next wearer would be fine. However, when Abin Sur crashes into a planet where the likes of Superman and Batman live, why the heck would the ring go to some test pilot? Is it the No Fear thing? Because Superman doesn't strike me as being a fearful guy. Neither does Batman, who if he had fears, conquered them. Name me a person with more willpower than Batman or more innate sense of justice than Superman. And that's not even bringing into play the host of other heroes kicking around Earth.

So keeping in mind that part of the ring's function is to bleed off Ion's excess power, the ideal candidate for being a Green Lantern would be someone who would use the power constantly. That neatly rules out Superman ("I can already fly through space and shoot lasers out of my eyes.Why do I need this ring again?") and Batman ("I'm much more a 'hands on' kind of person, thanks."). Wonder Woman wouldn't want it as she already has her hands full defending Themyscira, plus having the heir to a throne pledge loyalty to space dwarves would be impolitic at best.

So the ring wants someone who will come to rely on it, use it frequently, and buy into the party line about being some sort of guardian of the galaxy. It's not too picky, so it'll go for the closest candidate, not necessarily the best. That sounds like something a show-off military test pilot who happens to be in the right place at the right time can do, right? So I guess Hal Jordan is on board.

Except that Hal Jordan is not 'my' Green Lantern. John Stewart is, thanks to the DCAU Justice League. Guy Gardner is a punch-line (literally, right Bruce? UP HIGH) and Kyle Rayner is an emo wimp with too many '90s entanglements. Alan Scott, I have other plans for.

But still, who am I to argue with tradition? I'm Drew, that's who. Sure, Hal can have his ring. He got it like 2 SUs ago, but has never served as the Green Lantern here on Earth. By Issue #1, he's sort of the Station Manager for multiple sectors, including Earth's 2814. He had a career full of adventures, but now he mainly rides a desk. Guy got a ring too, but he's on Oa, part of one of those specialist teams. He's not one of the Entity-capturing Alphas yet, maybe just the Lantern equivalent of SWAT for now, but his progression through the ranks will be something that happens over the course of the setting.

2814's primary Green Lantern is, of course, John Stewart. He's ex-military with an official background as an Army engineer, but maybe a shadier background in a MacGyver-like Phoenix Foundation. After Hal's success in the Corps, the Oans have been more interested in adding humans to the roster. Maybe it's something about human behavior, maybe it's because there might be an Entity breach near Earth soon, we shall see.

John has been the lead Lantern on Earth for 3/4ths a SU now. In my version of the Lanterns, they don't give a single sector to a single Lantern, they pair them up. His previous junior officer, Kyle Rainer, quit last year, having fallen in love with an alien woman and is now out of the picture, ala Poochie. So now John is out looking for a new human Lantern. After Kyle washed out, he decided that just letting the ring pick whoever it wanted sucked as a way of determining his partner. So he keeps the extra ring in a little force bubble of energy until he can find a good replacement. Hal is aware of this and has, up til now, let it slide. But the lil suits on Oa are starting to get restless and yes I am setting up an 80s style copshow where Hal calls John a loose cannon and John replies that he gets results, Chief.

Anyways, John is under pressure to identify a new Green Lantern. The candidate he has in mind?

Barbara Gordon.

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