Thoughts and observations on Green Arrow, classical liberalism, freedom, comic books and matters of social justice.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A light unto my path


"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!"

Green Lantern is considered one of “The Seven,” those characters who started the Justice League of America, DC Comics’ greatest team of heroes. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the term stemmed from an Alex Ross piece depicting these characters but is very reminiscent of “The Twelve” from the Gospels. And if Clark is the Christ figure for the JLA then Green Lantern is Peter.

Hal Jordan was selected above all humanity by a dying green lantern to take his place and be the bearer of phenomenal power and responsibility. The criterion for this choice was his courage, Jordon’s ability to do what was correct in the face of overwhelming odds. The ring found Jordan and bathed him in the light of the green lantern.

The Christian parallels are obvious and plentiful. The ring, like grace, was a gift. Hal, like Peter, felt unworthy of the call but became a great champion. Upon accepting this gift Hal was “bathed” in light, like a baptism (even his last name is Jordan!). The ring requires daily “recharging” from its battery, or source, and an oath is spoken to mark this sacrosanct occasion; an oath which speaks of “evil.” Even apostolic succession is evident in Green Lantern’s origin.

Now, I’m not delusional. I know this is a hindsight aligning of the Green Lantern story to my Christian beliefs, but it’s not a hard fit. Rank and File would argue that Green Lantern’s power is meted out by a tribunal of “guardians” who monitor the universe, far from a deity. Again, it’s not a one for one comparison, but man is it close.

And while openly portrayed as DC’s resident cosmic policeman, I believe Green Lantern is their apostle in the since that he is a messenger of hope. There is a light in the universe that cannot be defeated and will guard and guide you in times of turmoil. Green Lantern is a carrier of that light and the darkness cannot overcome it.

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