The Green Lantern concept was first introduced with the Golden Age with Alan Scott, and has since been a title passed down and around the DC Universe ever since. Even in the last ten years alone, two new Green Lanterns have been introduced and given prominent roles in A-list titles like Justice League while starring in their own series.
But for many fans, Hal Jordan is the Green Lantern. A major DC player from the early days of the Silver Age superhero revival, to his fall from grace during the mid-1990’s Emerald Twilight and subsequent resurrection and rehabilitation, Jordan has never really left comics. While other Green Lantern characters may be reduced to smaller roles as others take more distinctive arcs, Jordan has remained a constant presence in the DC Universe as a Green Lantern, Parallax, the Spectre… and Green Lantern, again.
After being brought back to life by Geoff Johns in 2004’s Green Lantern: Rebirth, Jordan spent the next nine years at the center of a multi-series arc that saw him essentially serve as the premiere member of the Green Lantern Corps. While recently there have been exploration of characters like Kyle Rayner and John Stewart, along with new players like Jessica Cruz, Jordan has also been consistently a presence in Green Lantern and Justice League books.
But despite that constant role as part of the forward momentum of the DC Universe, he’s also been seen by a sizable portion of fandom as an exceedingly boring character. Compared to characters like Cruz, Simon Baz, Rayner, Stewart and Guy Gardner, he can be, well, dull. While the others have specific personalities and journeys to overcome their own fears, Hal is typically defined by simply being “the best.”
He was never as defined as a person beyond that, leaving creators to recontextualize him over the years. As a result, he’s been simplified, to the point where it seems like there’s five different versions of the same drab, unremarkable character across DC continuity. For new readers, there’s nothing at first glance that makes him stand out, especially compared to the more diverse members of the Green Lantern Corps.
Leave it to Grant Morrison to focus on that and make it Hal’s defining characteristic. During a recent round table interview at the DC Entertainment offices in Burbank, CA, Morrison shared what drew him to Hal in the first place, and what he believes makes the character unique.
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