Thursday, 23 February 2012

Preview Post - GREEN LANTERN

In brightest day, in blackest night, there is no way in hell this film is escaping our sight! We can’t believe this piece of celluloid ever came in front of a projector’s light!

Yes folks, we’re back, and this time we are taking a look at the 2011 film Green Lantern!

OK, the history of the Green Lantern comics is a little long and complicated, so I’ll try and keep this simple. The first ever Green Lantern appeared in All-American Comics # 16 in 1940, created by Martin Nodell and un-credited Batman co-creator Bill Finger. This original Green Lantern is Alan Scott, a railroad engineer who comes across a magic lantern after a railroad accident. The lantern, originally a meteor which fell to Earth in ancient China, teaches Scott how to construct a magic ring which can harness the power of the Lantern to help him battle crime, starting with the criminals who caused the railroad accident.

 Scott has the ability to fly, walk through solid objects, time travel (I kid you not), and energy beams among other abilities. His one weakness? Wood, thus proving his magic Lantern is based on Time Lord technology.

 Cut to the 1950s: DC Comics, battling declining sales, decides to dust off and revamp some of their older characters, starting with the Flash in 1956. In 1959, Green Lantern is next up to bat for a retooling, which comes via the talents of John Broome and Gil Kane. Debuting in Showcase #22, this time out the Green Lantern is one Hal Jordan, a test pilot who is chosen to replace a dying alien as a member in the Green Lantern Corps, a group of intergalactic peace keepers who wield power rings which require great will to use. These rings, in addition to flight and slight telepathic abilities, allow the user to create “constructs,” physical objects of varying degrees of complexity which the ring bearer can use. The ring's only weakness is the colour yellow, a silly idea only made slightly less silly in recent years given some of the new mythology put into place by DC.

A smash hit, Jordan - and a long list of successors/backups - would carry on the Green Lantern name and concept to this day, becoming one of the lynchpins of the modern DC Universe.

While popular amongst comic fans, Jordan (and the Green Lantern concept in general) has only had some exposure in other media, and for the longest time without Hal Jordan, as later Green Lanterns would appear in Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Still, Jordan did beat them all into animation by appearing in the Super Friends series:

Jordan has also managed to star in three DC DTV animated films:

While one may think that Ryan Reynolds is the first actor to play Hal Jordan in live action, this is not actually the case. Howard Murphy beat Reynolds to the punch in 1979 in Legends of the Superheroes, a made for TV mini-series which is embarrassing to say the least. Sorry I can't embed, but look towards the end of the clip for Jordan.

Of course, nearly twenty years later, they still can’t quite get things right on TV, as these clips from the Justice League of America television pilot showcase (NOTE: while the character is not called Jordan in this version, the Guy Gardner of this film is something of an amalgamation of the various Green Lantern characters, including Jordan):

The film we are talking about this week is directed by Martin Campbell, perhaps best known for directing not only two of the best Bond films of the past twenty years, but two of the best films in the Bond series period:

But was Campbell the right choice for bringing the Green Lantern comics to the big screen? No, he wasn’t.  But find out why by joining us next episode as we discuss Green Lantern!

No comments:

Post a Comment