“We are the lantern bearers, my friend; for us to keep something burning, to carry what light we can forward into the darkness and the wind” – Rosemary Sutcliff, The Lantern Bearers
So, last night I was thinking, I really do obsess and talk about Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps a lot. If I find news out about the upcoming live-action adaptation, even if it’s small I try to report on it, and I re-read “Rebirth” a lot, ranking it in my top comics of all time. I’m stoked about almost every little update and tidbit for the upcoming “Blackest Night”, hoping it’ll top “Sinestro Corps Wars”.
There are a couple of specific reasons that I love Green Lantern. First and foremost, it’s a cool character with a kick-ass power/weapon. Second, it takes place in outer space a lot, and outer space is cool.
The third reason is a little more complicated.
One of DC’s “trinity” of major heroes is Batman, a character that resonates with lots of people for a variety fo reasons and has had multiple media adaptations, almost all of which are hugely successful. Even people who have never read a comic book or watched a cartoon in their life know who Batman is. The Dark Knight, blah blah blah…
I know this is a spoiler, but I don’t care. Batman in “Rebirth” gets sucker-punched by Hal Jordan when Batman decides to keep acting like he knows what’s best when confronting Parallax, and the Lanterns take over. Hal says to himself in text boxes, “Batman believes in everything I don’t. Darkness and fear. I live off other things. Light and courage.” As I read the ending of the Sinestro Corps War storyline, as the full extent of the Prophecy of the Blackest Night unfolded and the Earth GL’s banded together to make a final stand, I couldn’t help getting a shiver up my spine. The imagery of what the Lanterns represent is truly iconic and heroic in my mind, moreso than most of the other conventional superhero comics I follow.
The Green Lantern character and concept is representative of what I really think a comic book hero…shit, any fictional literary hero, should represent. A beacon of positive thought, courage, and an inability to not do the right thing. They can’t help it, it’s their nature, and why they’re chosen. This sounds sort of weird to say, but they represent one of the few moral absolutes I believe in, that there is absolute good in the world, and the fact that no matter what they do good is what makes them heroes. It’s not a damaged psyche or mental scarring, it’s just an undeniable desire to do good, a power to channel that desire into the tools you need to do that.
At the beginning of “Rebirth”, Kyle mentions being at the far edge of space, where not even the stars can really shine, where it’s almost entirely black void around him. And as cheesy as that sounds, the Green Lanterns are meant to bring a light into that void for others to see and ultimately, take comfort in.
Whatever, I’m just being a nerd.