“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!”
Next to the Incredible Hulk, Hal Jordan is my favorite superhero. As a kid, I liked him because he had the coolest costume and the coolest superpower. As an adult, I like him because he’s fearless and heroic but also a believably flawed character. He doesn’t have a huge defining character flaw, but is rather just kind of a hard-head and a tool sometimes. I can sympathize with a character who is kind of a jerk at times but who has a good heart and will do the right thing when the chips are down. I don’t really know of too many other characters in comics who are believably flawed like that. Arguably, there’s Guy Gardner, another Green Lantern, and over in Marvel there’s Hank Pym, who is like that but veers more toward overt mental illness at times. But overall Hal Jordan is a strong enough and believable character that he’s managed to cross over the nostalgia filter and move from my childhood hero to my second favorite superhero ever.
The journey hasn’t been easy for Hal, though. While he might not have changed powers or costumes all that much, he was victim to one of the biggest cases of character derailment in comics, and it took him a full decade to recover from it. So let’s take a look at the history of Hal Jordan, the Silver Age Green Lantern, as he went from hero to psychopath to hero once again. Continue reading