Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Green Lantern Comes Full Circle

Hal Jordan to Return as Green Lantern

Confirming what has probably been the worst kept secret of the past year, Newsarama talks about an article in tomorrow's Wizard featuring Hal Jordan's return to the role of Green Lantern.

10 years ago DC took the Green Lantern franchise in a drastic new direction, having long time hero Hal Jordan go insane and destroy the GL Corps and almost all of the elements of his era of Green Lantern. Then giving the ring to a young man named Kyle Rayner, who had none of the prerequisite qualities of complete honesty or fearlessness that past GLs needed to get the job.

Instead of a stories about galactic threats or military styled political intrigue between the various races in the GL Corps, with a sure and already accomplished hero. The stories were more down to Earth explorations of what it meant to be a hero, as the reader followed Kyle's journey to becoming a man.

Needless to say, many fans of Hal were outraged and wanted things fixed right away. Yet opposed to this were new fans for who Kyle's stories sensibilities were a refreshing take on the series that had never held much interest to them before.(which I fit into)

Given the success the change was having sales wise at the time, DC stuck to the change, which furthered Hal fans outrage. Making them believe that DC wasn't listening to them, and for some that DC was personally out to get them.

Causing some to come together to form the group known as H.E.A.T.-- Which originally stood for Hal's Emerald Attack Team, but as the group solidified they eventually changed the Attack to Advancement in order to have a more positive image.--- whose main goal was the restoration of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps to current DC continuity.

To further their goal they took out an ad in Wizard, threw support behind an online petition, and finally became a presence on various GL related forums to have their views aired. There they came in conflict with fans who didn't agree with their stances, and the heated debates are still going on to this day.

Over the past few years, DC had seemed to be easing off from the direction they had taken with the title and character ten years ago. With "flashback" miniseries like the Waid penned JLA:Year One and Flash & Green Lantern The Brave and the Bold. To even bringing Hal Jordan back as the Spectre.

The GL series itself has showed changed over the decade as well. While at first the stories seemed to focus on showing how Kyle was different and outside of the normal role of past GLs. Over the years the title has seemed to embrace its past more and more, with the return of old elements like Oa, the Guardians and other former GLs.

Now everything is coming to a head, with Ron Marz returning to do one final storyarc with the character he made popular 10 years ago. Meanwhile Geoff Johns prepares to bring Hal back in a miniseries known only as Rebirth, that is sure to lead to even more debate and hype for the franchise for the next 10 years.

How will it all shake out? Is there a way to make both Hal and Kyle fans happy? I guess only time will tell.

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