When there many different variations of a certain character, fans are bound to argue over which iteration is better. Green Lantern is no exception, and while all of Earth's lanterns have their own special qualities that they bring to the table, it seems to be the argument is boiled down between two: Hal Jordan & Kyle Rayner. Apologies to any Guy Gardner fans who feel slighted.
Instead of arguing over which is better, here's a list of some of their greatest accomplishments, and you can decide for yourself.
10 Hal was the first Green Lantern from Earth
First appearing in the pages of Showcase 22 published in 1959, Hal Jordan was the Silver Age reboot of the Green Lantern. As opposed to Alan Scott, Hal was personally chosen to be the Green Lantern of Earth after Abin Sur, an alien, crashed near one of Hal's aircraft route. Hal came to realize when he arrived to Oa, home of the Green Lantern Corps, that no other human had ever been given such an honor.
He faced many hardships and criticism, but it all ended up working out in the end.
9 Kyle was the first White Lantern
Every lantern fan knows that the Emotional Spectrum is an entire span of lantern corps, each representing a different color and emotion. The White Lantern would, theoretically, be the champion of the emotional spectrum, as they would be a master of every emotion. Thought to be impossible, Kyle Rayner managed to harness the power of life and become the first actual White Lantern.
He can summon power from any part of the emotional spectrum, which means he has the abilities of every Lantern Corps combined.
8 Hal has more willpower than anyone else in the universe
Being chosen to be a Green Lantern is no simple task. You have to have the willpower to overcome great fear, and even by GL standards, Hal goes above and beyond. During the Wrath of The First Lantern Arc, Volthoom, the First Lantern, actually informed Hal that his heart contains more willpower than the Central Power Battery on Oa.
Which means, the power source of every other Green Lantern is second to Hal's willpower. He was also able to forge a ring completely out of his willpower, which was thought to be impossible for anyone short of a Guardian to accomplish.
7 Kyle Returned from the Source Wall
For those who aren't Fourth World fans, the Source Wall is a wall that lies on the edge of the known multiverse. Beyond the wall lies what is known as the Source, a cosmic essence or being that is the "source" of all that exists. The wall is theoretically passable. However, all those who have tried have been inevitably trapped in it.
That is, until Kyle Rayner. After finding out that emotion was an unrenewable resource during the events of Lights Out, Kyle managed to pass through the Source Wall, recharge the emotional spectrum, and come back out, which no being has ever done before.
6 Hal Killed a Guardian
The Guardians are small yet powerful beings who created the Green Lantern Corps. Krona was a former guardian who broke the law and was banished by the other guardians. During the events of War of the Green Lanterns, Krona returned after imprisoning the entities of the emotional spectrum. Of course, the Green Lantern Corps defeated him, with Hal Jordan delivering the fatal blow. Which, to everyone's shock, was not supposed to happen.
You see, when the guardians created the rings, they ensured that the weapons would never be able to harm one of its creators, the Guardians, in case any lantern went rogue. This terrified the Guardians, and they stripped Hal of his lantern status.
5 Kyle has the most creative constructs
If you pay attention to the art in the Green Lantern comics, you'll notice that each Lantern's constructs seem to take shape based on their user's personality. Soranik Natu, a doctor, tends to create medical equipment. John Stewart, an architrave, puts thoughts and details into his constructs, making sure they have inner machinations.
Hal tends to create fighter jets and plane engines. Kyle Rayner is an artist. Giving an artist the ability to create anything they imagine tends to be interesting. Kyle has created giant people, Godzilla, Thor, anime robots, monsters. To get an idea, if Kyle is putting out a fire, instead of shooting water out of his ring, he creates a giant fireman with a hose.
4 Hal returned from the dead, twice
For a while Hal Jordan was actually the most dangerous villain in the DC Universe. While being possessed by Parallax, he committed a number of atrocities. In the end though, he sacrificed himself to reignite the sun and save all of humanity. His willpower was enough to attract the attention of the Spectre, who chose Hal as his host. When Green Lantern Rebirth rolled around, Hal became his own man again and was officially back as a Green Lantern.
Much later during the Wrath of the First Lantern Arc, Ha and Sinestro were stuck in Black Hand's ring, a limbo close to death. Sinestro escaped using Kyle's help, but Hal needed another way out. Hal jumped off a cliff, killing himself and being claimed by a black ring. he then led an army of Black Lanterns against Volthoom.
3 Kyle was the Torchbearer
After Hal murdered every single member of the Corps as Parallax, a desperate Ganthet searched the world for a new Green Lantern. Kyle Rayner was chosen, and for the longest time he remained the only Green Lantern in the universe, with no advice, no one to train him, no idea what he got into.
After the Green Lantern Corps was finally revived, Kye earned the honorary title of the Torchbearer, for having the bravery to carry on the idea of the Corps in their darkest hour.
2 Hal has an entire section in the Book of Oa dedicated to him.
The Book of Oa is an anthology of the greatest accomplishments of the Green Lantern Corps. Every lantern has a chapter in the book featuring the greatest exploits and courageous moments.
In a flash forward to the future, it is revealed that Hal has the largest section of the book dedicated to himself. The Bookkeeper of Oa says that every new recruit of the Corps goes and learns the story of Hal Jordan once they finish their training. In the eyes of history, Hal Jordan is the greatest Green Lantern of all time.
1 Kyle became Ion
Each section of the Emotional Spectrum has what is called an entity, which is a being of that pure emotion that can fuel the Corps emotional power. Ion is normally a whale-like creature, but twice it had to possess another being to contain its power. After a fight with Nero, Kyle abosrbs all of the power of the Green Lantern Corps into himself.
He uses this newfound power to recreate the Guardians of the Universe and recharge the Central Power Battery. He served as the host of Ion until Sodam Yat became the new host.