Saturday, January 8, 2011

Green Lantern

Hi everyone! So the other night I watched the Green Lantern Trailer again for the umpteenth time. "In brightest day, in blackest night..." This is the first and most recognizable line of the sacred oath that all fledgling Lanterns are made to recite before crossing the threshold from rookie into into full blooded officer of the Green Lantern Corps. In fact the first trailer ends with Ryan Reynolds, cast to portray the titular character of Captain Hal, "Highball" Jordan reciting these words in a solemn voice over as the action winds to a close on screen. For those who are unfamiliar with the history of the character, the DC universe has been populated by a cast of colorful personalities who have wielded a power ring and attested to the name of Green Lantern but none have been quite as enduring as Hal Jordan.
Introduced in the silver age of the 1960s when DC was revamping many of its more fantastical characters by grounding their powers in the newly captivating arena of theoretical science rather than the magic and mysticism that had been prevalent in comics before, Hal Jordan was written as a cocky and reckless test pilot who, through a radical turn of fate, happens on an alien craft that has crash landed in a remote area. The alien inside, dying from injuries sustained from the crash, informs a stunned Hal that he is to take his place as protector of space sector 2814 and officer in the Green Lantern Corps, a cosmic police force created and presided over by the oldest and most powerful beings in existence, the guardians, whose mission it is to maintain justice and order in the universe. Bequeathing to Hal a glowing emerald ring whose crest bears the standard of his new unearthly masters,he is suddenly transported to Oa, home world of the guardians and base of operations for all Green Lantern activity, were he is given a crash course by a motley host of alien veterans, none too thrilled about the inclusion of an "earth boy" in their elite organization, and learns to harness the near limitless power of the ring.
What follows is a great deal of outer space "superheroing," bizarre and memorable alien encounters, and just plain menagerie of all out awesomeness as Hal embarks on his new career as intergalactic lawman and earth's green guardian of good. All this is subsidiary however to one of the most central and enduring themes that that informs Green Lantern and his world. The power to overcome fear. This is the most important prerequisites for any Green Lantern and the reason why the ring selected Hal to be its bearer. In his occupation as a test pilot, his fearless nature is first made evident through the daredevil tendencies he displays in a cockpit which perfectly mirrors the "by the seat of his pants" motto that governs his life in general. Throughout the course of his journey, Hal is forced to reevaluate his perception of what it means to overcome fear as the power of the ring and the title of Green Lantern awakens him to a daunting sense of duty and responsibility he had previously spent his whole life trying to avoid.
Having had only a peripheral understanding of the character growing up it was not until picking up the incredible Green Lantern: Rebirth series that hit comic shelves back in 2004 that I came to love Green Lantern and the gorgeous mythology steeped into his world. In the series, Hal Jordan, exiled and forced to seek redemption as a roving spirit of justice for crimes committed against the Green Lantern corps after the destruction of Coast City (long story short) fights to return from beyond the grave and recapture the essence of his former glory as old enemies from the past rise up to threaten those he cares for. A critical success, the book not only reintroduced Hal to a new generation of fans, but breathed new and radiant life into the Green Lantern mythos, whose light had dimmed throughout a great deal of the 90's.
Fastly becoming my favorite comic book character next to Batman and Superman, I used to imagine how cool it would be if Green Lantern and his world were ever adapted to the silver screen in a big budget motion picture thematically reminiscent of Richard Donner's classic Superman: The Movie of 1979. I even started to work on a script treatment myself before growing frustrated and abandoning it before long. Now it looks like I am finally getting my wish in June 2011 as the official Green Lantern movie is poised to shine it's light on movie theaters all over the world. Upon first viewing the trailer when it hit the web a couple months ago I was immediately captivated by the suit and how it looks like an actual construct of light as opposed to a uniform someone would put on. Other technical aspects of the film, including brief, and I mean BRIEF glimpses of Oa, the greatest Green Lantern turned fallen angel Sinestro, and Hal becoming acclimated to his new powers are just spectacular to behold. It is obvious that the filmmakers care deeply about the mythology and set out to make a movie that satisfies both hardcore fans and main stream audiences alike. Although I was initially pretty iffy about the choice of casting Reynolds as Hal due to his cinematic portfolio being dominated mostly by "funny guy" roles and the fact that his charming persona and dubious notoriety with members of the fairer sex seem to counterbalance his actual talents as an actor, more and more I get the feeling that he was the right choice for the part since his natural charisma and off the cuff humor seem to gel perfectly with the comics' original characterization of a rookie Green Lantern in way over his head. In closing, it is my fervent hope that this movie is successful and makes people take notice of just what a gem this character and the distinct world he inhabits has come to be for comic readers and lovers of fiction like myself.

In brightest day
In blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might
Beware my power
Green Lantern's Light!


No comments:

Post a Comment