Green Lantern; the adaptation of four generations of heroic art and narrative is showing near you in glorious 3-D. It is not to miss; especially for the “Fan Boy”. The movie as expected is a grand spectacle. The infinity of space, the universe (at least 48,735 sectors of it) unfolding in a beauty not seen since Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Yes; there were views that were that compelling. Ryan Reynolds is perfectly cast as Hal Jordan. Senestro is played flawlessly by Mark Strong. It was a treat to hear Michael Clarke-Duncan voicing the brutish yet gallant Kilowog. Blake Lively is sufficiently lovely, driven and intelligent as Carol Ferris. It’s no coincidence that her plane is named “The Sapphire” and that a news paper head line refers to her as a “Star”. Hal’s training by Kilowog, verbal attacks and scorn from Senestro, kindness and understanding from Tomar Re represent his fellows well. Good, evil, romance, laughs, thrills and most compelling the inner battles that rage within Hal Jordan’s Psyche. Any really good super hero movie is not about the trappings but the spirit of adventure, triumph and the power of myth. Green lantern excels.
We know aspects of our civilization’s origins trace back to the Ancient Greeks. There are many things unique to that culture. Our present day understanding of the Greeks comes from their architecture, their crafts, their sculpture, their politics and their athleticism. The Greek ideal and philosophy is expressed deeply in all of these but the greatest measure of their society, thoughts and spirituality is found in the riches of their mythology.
Every great society has a mythology and we are not without our own. Our equalivent of the ancient myths are embodied in the many worlds and incarnations of the super hero.
Originally (the late nineteen thirties/early forties) super men and women as created by Bob Kane, Charles Moulton, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were demi-gods gifted with unlimited powers, resources, beauty and virtue. This was the “Golden Age” of comics. Just a couple decades later (the early nineteen sixties) Stan lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko created super people that were many times monstrous in appearance, hated by society, possessing powers they couldn’t control and the personalities ran the gambit of types. Their real virtue was in overcoming their flaws and limitations. They succeeded by defeating the personal and societal odds against them. These super beings; heroes, were more in keeping with real life heroes. Their actions and dramas unfolding consistently closer to the real heroes of the world and the lives of the readership. Both incarnations; the old and the new reflecting our society’s self vision at their respective times.
Green Lantern was actually one of the original super men. He first appeared in the nineteen forties and was revamped by Editor Julie Schwartz along with the creativity of John Broome and Gil Kane. This in response to a changing time and perceptions of again the nineteen sixties. The original character of Green Lantern; Alan Scott, was rooted in magic and mysticism and the new GL; Hal Jordan, was grounded in science fiction. It is a variation of the Green lantern of “The Sixties” along with the necessary updates depicted in this current film.
The Legend of the modern or “Silver Age” Green Lantern rests heavily on commitment and dedication to something greater than self as expressed in the Green Lantern oath:
IN BRIGHTESS DAY
IN DARKEST NIGHT
NO EVIL SHALL ESCAPE MY SIGHT
LET THOSE WHO WORSHIP EVIL’S MIGHT
BEWARE MY POWER
GREEN LANTERN’S LIGHT
All this gloriously dipicted across the silver screen along with stadium seating; surround sound, vibrant color, refreshments and air conditioning. What; you wanted more?