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Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:23 PM   #1
Rotten2thecorps
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Default The Formula

What do you consider the formula for writing the perfect Green Lantern Hal Jordan comic. If you could boil it down to it's simplest form for a new writer what would be your 5 simple short notes.

He's one of those character that I feel like it,shouldn't be that hard to write.But I have seen so many people just mess it up. Or to eager to put a new spin on it so they can collect some sweet royalty cash.

But just as a fun game. Lets say you got a new writer and artist who are hungry to prove themselves. and are just stoked to be working on one of the Greatest super hero books and don't want to screw anything up.
what is your short magic formula sticky note that you leave on thier desk?
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:30 PM   #2
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He's basically cardboard, created in an era of cardboard superheroes. All the "he's a ladies' man" and "ice cool fighter jock" is largely tacked on. Personally, I'd love to start him out as that (i.e., cardboard and vanilla) but kind of break him... a find a way to tear him down and build him back up as something more nuanced. Flawed, even.

That's why I kind of always liked the Parallax turn. Finally, he was interesting. I mean, go ahead and pick any Green Lantern story pre-Emerald Twilight. Pick the greatest stories. Were any of those great specifically because of Hal, or just because they were great stories by creative writers?
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:44 PM   #3
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He's basically cardboard, created in an era of cardboard superheroes. All the "he's a ladies' man" and "ice cool fighter jock" is largely tacked on. Personally, I'd love to start him out as that (i.e., cardboard and vanilla) but kind of break him... a find a way to tear him down and build him back up as something more nuanced. Flawed, even.

That's why I kind of always liked the Parallax turn. Finally, he was interesting. I mean, go ahead and pick any Green Lantern story pre-Emerald Twilight. Pick the greatest stories. Were any of those great specifically because of Hal, or just because they were great stories by creative writers?
I feel cardboard is a bit harsh. But what you are saying has merit. I think the joy of Hal is the simplicity. Not every thing has to be heavy or world changing. It's an escapist book. I feel it's like Star Wars. In has to pure of a form. Every thing that gets tacked on to it stands out so much that it makes it less enjoyable.

Those deeper stories need to be told. Yet I feel like the less you do it the more impact it has. the more you see him in his element the more gravity it has when he is out of it and the more memorable that story becomes.

For instance Dead Lantern power rings raining on Oa has zero meaning now because that image has happened too many times.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:35 PM   #4
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Not so much cardboard as a cipher. He's been a test pilot, fighter pilot, toy salesman, insurance seller, etc. He's been a reformed alcoholic, a womanizer, a man obsessed with woman, etc.

I think the key to Hal is his tenacity and willpower. He will tackle a problem or enemy without a particular plan or even seemingly caring whether he can win.
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Old 11-08-2019, 03:33 PM   #5
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Reboot it so that you lose the lose all the silly-assed professions and the womanizing, and give him a viable, modern profession like race car driver. Make Ferris Racing his employer.

Keep him on Earth and actually use his classic-era supporting cast.

Make him an urban version of Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Lose the silly-assed ring constructs. If anybody cries for them, you can put them in Green Lantern coloring books for kids.
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Old 11-08-2019, 03:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Andrew NDB View Post
He's basically cardboard, created in an era of cardboard superheroes. All the "he's a ladies' man" and "ice cool fighter jock" is largely tacked on. Personally, I'd love to start him out as that (i.e., cardboard and vanilla) but kind of break him... a find a way to tear him down and build him back up as something more nuanced. Flawed, even.

That's why I kind of always liked the Parallax turn. Finally, he was interesting. I mean, go ahead and pick any Green Lantern story pre-Emerald Twilight. Pick the greatest stories. Were any of those great specifically because of Hal, or just because they were great stories by creative writers?
Hal is a star only because DC insists that he is. There's nothing about the way he's been depicted that's interesting.

Yeah, I've heard all about how Hal recklessly tackles a problem without any planning and how cool that supposedly is. But it wasn't interesting the first time Geoff Johns wrote him that way, and it was much less interesting the twentieth time Johns wrote it.

By the time Gerard Jones wrote Green Lantern, Guy had become a better character than Hal. And this is another reason to reboot GL. You could lose the Giffen version of Guy and all the baggage it carries. Just to make the point unmistakable, Guy needs to clean Batman's clock.

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Old 11-08-2019, 06:08 PM   #7
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Reboot it so that you lose the lose all the silly-assed professions and the womanizing, and give him a viable, modern profession like race car driver. Make Ferris Racing his employer.

Keep him on Earth and actually use his classic-era supporting cast.

Make him an urban version of Dale Earnhardt Sr.
I guess so. I actually dug what Geoff was growing at the beginning of Vol. 4 before he fell in love with his events and forgot about all of that.

It should be a big deal when Hal is in space for an extended period, not the norm. This moreso for Kyle.

Quote:
Lose the silly-assed ring constructs. If anybody cries for them, you can put them in Green Lantern coloring books for kids.
I remember the Geoff interviews where he would say, "Kyle has the creative constructs because he's an artist, Guy's ring is like constantly sparking because he's always hyped up, John makes elaborate constructs because he's an architect, but Hal just makes a boxing glove because he just does what he needs to and nothing else."

But now everyone is making Hal create, like, Kyle-like constructs and everything.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:27 PM   #8
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Guy has much less reason to stay on Earth than Hal does. He's the one they can send into space.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:58 PM   #9
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"Make Hal interesting again." Okay, every time Superman or some other major superhero goes into space, have Hal there asking "why?". Make the GLC "space cops" again. Not overwhelmingly cosmic like the "first run" of The Green Lantern, but everyday cops. Cops on the beat. Fixing broken spaceships going through their sector. Stopping bad guys going through their sector. Etc.

John Stewart needs to stay JLA's Green Lantern, unless there's a crossover that puts him elsewhere.

Guy Gardner needs to be the Guardian's "bad cop" enforcement arm. Showing the dark underbelly of the Corps. (Not the Corpse.) We need to end the "Batman vs Guy" punching sessions. Just have Batman punch Guy but not knock him out, Guy just takes it and laughs.

Kyle Rayner needs to be the Torchbearer again. If you're sending in Guy as the "bad cop", then Kyle is the "good cop". Never, ever use Kyle's alter ego "Oblivion" again. No more messing with GL's heads like Guy changing personalities in JLI.

Simon Baz? Ugh. Make him a "cameo" in other comics.

Jessica Cruz? Double-ugh. Keep her in the animated series if you must. Once JLA: Oddessy ends, have her disintegrate from Darkseid's energy.

Make the stories about the rings again. Bring back the Color Corps, but don't show them other than cameos in the main comics. You can keep making humans into Color Corps members, but don't make them like Guy with a mullet in charge of the Red Lanterns (although Supergirl with the RLs was a great arc). The strength of the GLC was its' diversity, return to those kinds of stories. You don't have to have a human GL in every GL story. But the story should be about how a GL wins the day.

And don't make the Guardians evil again. That's been done a dozen times already. Slowly make Ganthet, Sayd, and the Templar Guardians able to use other colors, not just the Green Corps.

Finish the Phantom Ring story by finding Hank Henshaw and taking the ring and giving it to Kyle Rayner. Kyle can become the White Lantern on demand then.

Find the Reach and take back the Central Blue Lantern Power Battery. Make that story a Color Corps story.

Never, ever mention the Ultraviolet Light again. Put Sinestro eventually back in charge of his Corps.

And yes, I saw the Sinestro Corps member in Legion of Superheroes #1 this November 2019 month. Make that a story about using fear, not killing everyone in sight.
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Old 11-09-2019, 02:38 PM   #10
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Simpler than that:

Keep John in JL.

Put Kyle in Titans with a good cast. You know, Cyborg instead of Beast Boy.

Put Hal on Earth.

Put Guy in a space comic with Arisia. Maybe with Alan and Jenny too. Don't call it the Green Lantern Corps.

Get rid of Baz, Cruz, and ALL other Corps.

Stop destroying the Guardians, Oa and the GLC every few years.

When I started saying this years ago, most people thought it was crazy. Now it just sounds like common sense, doesn't it?

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Old 11-09-2019, 09:52 PM   #11
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I kind of wish they'd done a proper JLI book with Guy and Ice and all. I know they did the New52 one but that was bad.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:58 PM   #12
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I kind of wish they'd done a proper JLI book with Guy and Ice and all. I know they did the New52 one but that was bad.
That brings up another point; since 2016, there hasn't been a single, successful marriage other than Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Even they are from an alternative universe, according to the script!

We were shown Hal and Carol, John and Fatality retiring together, as married couples. Instead, everything was blown apart in 2017. Jade was written out of continuity with Alan Scott and Earth-2. Soranik Natu and Kyle's relationship was dissolved, violently, with their "future son" arc. Don't get me started with Wally West and Iris.

So in addition to good GL stories, we need some normal relationships, and yes, marriage stories without blockbuster enemies coming out of the woodwork for the marriage/honeymoon issue.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:02 AM   #13
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Here are the first things that come to mind:

1. His mind works quickly. It doesn't necessarily problem-solve creatively like Kyle or intricately like John, but he's decisive and usually right.

2. He's inspirational, but not in a sappy way. He doesn't save the day in that same smiling beacon way that Superman does. He does it because that's how he's wired. He's a man of few words as he prefers to let his actions define who he is.

3. His intentions are usually commendable, but he's impulsive. His mistakes are honest ones because he's sometimes overconfident.

4. His constructs are big, basic, and legendary. Maybe he just makes a couple of fighter jets or a massive fist, but his constructs get the job done.

5. He needs to have a good balance of solo and group tales to be at his best. He can be an invaluable member of a team, but it's in his nature to take on even the worst odds by himself. He respects his teammates/fellow Corps members, but he would still prefer to operate on instinct rather than by committee.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:34 PM   #14
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He's Space-Riggs. Not sure if that makes John Stewart Space-Murtaugh. Jordan is fearless, has a temper, doesn't play well with authority figures and thinks that he's above all rules and laws because he gets the job done. Depending on the writer, he's either right - or not.
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:34 PM   #15
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I like that. Space-Riggs. And I agree, John doesn't fit the Space-Murtaugh role, but the Corps itself does, predominantly the Guardians if you really press the analogy. It's a cop show trope as old as cop shows, but if you think about it the premise gorgeously fits. Cop is outside the lines, does things his way, but you can't argue the results. Hard ass old school captain (Guardians, Salaak, take your pick) constantly busting his chops but knows he's ridiculously effective so gives him the reins to be that streetwise cop.

That also dovetails into the personality I've always pictured in Hal. Dogged. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but not exactly stupid either. Just incomparably resilient, but every problem looks like a nail when you're a hammer. Whether that's bad guys from outer space or the skirt of the latest gal, he's got a formula of his own that translates to using the hardware he's got at full throttle, from the hip, without a lot of cognizant thought or detailed plans. If that fails, add more of the same based on what you now see or what's changed, a read and react style that adds a layer of unpredictability but draws from not just his fighter/test pilot background, but his experience with the ring. He's the guy that pulls the 4G inverted negative dive within three meters and takes a polaroid of the Russian pilot. Not because it's right, not because it's even smart. Because it made sense at the time and I'll be damned if it doesn't work more times than not.

It's somewhat shallow, but every one of us either know or have known that guy. They seem bulletproof. When things go well we sit back and think, "that lucky bastard", as the pieces fall into place and even if we see them fail, which is rarely, they find a way to grease themselves out of it. That's Hal in a nutshell. Those people ARE a little shallow. A lot lucky. Apply experience as a means to an end and stay on the attack. Plus it's fun as a character premise. Riggs meets Maverick meets Beatrix Kiddo with a dash of James T. Kirk and Leonidas thrown in for good measure.
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:47 PM   #16
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He's Space-Riggs.
I'd say, "well, he's not suicidal," but then again he did actually kill himself in "The Final Night."
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:30 PM   #17
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I like that. Space-Riggs...
Hey, where you been, Tommy?
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