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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Green Lantern, Reactionary

After reading a few of these 1960s Green Lantern stories, I'm beginning to understand Denny O'Neill's 1970s take on the character, when he paired Green Lantern up with Green Arrow, painting the Lantern a stiff law-and-order, tough-on-crime Republican type and Green Arrow as the streetwise bleeding-heart liberal. When I first read those stories as a child, I thought O'Neill was being a little tough on the Lantern, who usually looked cold-hearted and inflexible compared to the more compassionate Green Arrow. But now I see there was some basis in the text for O'Neill's portrayal of the character, and in fact Green Lantern grew a little more liberal over time, his partner's views and their more morally complex adventures rubbing off.

Still, look how ticked off GL looks in this panel. Lousy constitution, protecting criminals..!


Sinestro said...

Are their rights also protected under the constitution of Sector 2814?

That's the unanswered question.

Earl J. Woods said...

It's interesting to note that at this point in his life, Green Lantern, in his civilian identity, Hal Jordan, was working as an insurance claims adjuster - about as exact a definition of "the man" as one could ask for, complete with the wily boss demanding Jordan ensure the company not have to pay out any claims!

Sinestro does raise a good point - Green Lantern answers to a higher authority, the Guardians of the Universe, who have the might, if not necessarily the inherent right, to see that their laws supercede those of Earth, let alone tiny subsets of Earth such as nations.

Now I'm acknowledging the rhetorical points of notorious supervillains. Perhaps I've been writing this blog for too long.

Stephen Fitzpatrick said...

That's a really good question actually; it's not as though Earth's president signed a treaty with Oa or something. Where are the guidelines for Green Lantern Corps enforcement and behaviour beyond the incredibly cool oath?

Or does the the ring just give them the ability to make incredibly effective and awesome citizen's arrests as per the laws of the town, state, country, planet or whatever they happen to be in? (Which would include the aforementioned pesky U.S. Constitution.)

Colin said...

I always though Green Lantern was a little too hard-core. I preferred Green Arrow, though the "boxing glove" arrows and it's retarded cousins were a little much at times.
Of course, that's why I love "The Longbow Hunters".