Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Nerdlert #8 Hesitation and Anticipation... Green Lantern is coming

"I think you've been talking about that movie for three years" -twincess-

We later realized it's actually been two years, point is I await Friday with great anticipation. I don't expect Campbell and company to make something on par with The Dark Knight, but my expectations are damn high to say the least. I will definitely be back Friday with my thoughts, good or bad. In order to prepare for this momentous event I wanted to do an article on Green Lantern before the film is released. I'm going to try and give everyone a brief summary of this amazing world that Johns and Tomasi have created over the past few years. I will also touch upon some of the lanterns you will be seeing in the film. Hopefully for those of you out there who may not be too familiar with the property like you are with Bats or Mr. Parker you will get a better idea of what you will be seeing come Friday, or better yet cause you to go pick up a copy of Rebirth or Blackest Night.

1. Hal Jordan - The first human inducted into the Green Lantern Corps, an interstellar police force tasked with protecting the universe. The corps are powered by rings that use will power to create constructs which are only limited by the wearers imagination. Jordan was one of the last Lanterns trained by Sinestro before Sinestro(spoiler alert) went to the dark side(yellow side?). He took a backseat to the other three human lanterns for quite some time only to come roaring back to the forefront thanks to Geoff Johns and his amazing story Rebirth. You see Jordan was taken over by the fear entity Parallax and was responsible for almost destroying the Corps. Johns brought Hal Jordan back to life and gave him respect again as the second greatest Green Lantern of all time(even in Blackest Night Johns still refers to Sinestro as the greatest lantern ever.) Since his return Johns has been responsible for leading the charge against the warring factions of the emotional spectrum, saving the world from the evil undead in Blackest Night, and now he's trying to save the entire Green Lantern Corps from themselves in the amazing War of the Green Lanterns. Jordan has been a consistent member of the Justice League and considers Barry Allen to be one of his closest friends. He constantly butts heads with Bruce, given the Corps aversion to fear and Bruce's use of fear as a tool against crime. He also has worn quite a few different rings, wearing red, yellow, white, black, blue. My favorite was easily Jordan as the Blue/Green lantern able to power up his own ring with the other.

Alright so it's no secret that Hal Jordan is the star of the movie coming out this Friday. Reynolds has earned the coveted role and is either loved or hated by the fanbase. I get it, Jordan isn't necessarily "funny" but he is absolutely COCKY. Jordan is the epitome of confidence, he is after all the man with no fear(no not Matt Murdock). He has spent his life as a test pilot, following in his father's footsteps to the best of his ability. Reynolds is a decent actor, yah his strength lies in comedy a lot of the time, but take a look at his work in The Nines, or even Amityville....he pulls off the roles whether you like the films or not. I think he is a perfect leading man, with charisma to spare. Hopefully he tones down the humor and replaces it with wit, I have faith, but we'll all see come Friday.

2. Sinestro - The greatest lantern of all time, who unfortunately left the corps to start his own Sinestro Corps. The Sinestro Corps utilize the yellow emotional spectrum powered by fear. They also can create constructs, and their "entity" is the monster Parallax. Sinestro is easily one of the greatest villains in the DCU, outside of Batman's rogues probably my favorite for sure. Sinestro rose to greatness and ultimately through differences with the guardians and sheer pride left the corps and became quite the thorn in the Green Lantern Corps side. What makes Sinestro great besides the "honorable" villain vibe that he's got much more in line with Magneto than say Lex or Darkseid, is that from time to time he teams back up with his enemies. I love that, in a recent arc Batman had to team up with the Joker in order to take down Dr. Hurt. Recently Sinestro has had to rely on Jordan for help against the Black Lanterns, and more recently as a "new guardian" has been along side Jordan as they try to solve the mystery of the White Lantern. Sinestro also has a daught Soranik who has been in a relationship with Kyle Rayner(the emo Green Lantern) Sinestro has always been a compelling villain, starting out as the protege and friend of Abin Sur who we know was Hal Jordan's predecessor.

Even if you have a problem with Reynolds as Hal Jordan, I struggle to believe anyone would have a problem with Strong as Sinestro. He is so perfect for the role. Sinestro needs to be uber confident, have presence and demand respect, needs to be able to portray betrayal and loyalty to a certain code all at once. Strong has the ability to be sinister without being a moustache rolling man in a hat and cape. Whatever the movie ends up being if there is one thing I am sure of, it's that Strong will nail Sinestro.

3. Carol Ferris - Hal Jordan's boss and love interest. She is VP of Ferris Aircraft and has been know to dabble with the violet spectrum. Carol has always been a great female counterpart possessing the same headstrong nature that Jordan has. She begins to become very intriguing when the Zamarons choose her as a Star Sapphire(Violet Lanterns) These ring wielders control the power of love, and are some of the most violent lanterns around. Much like her relationship with Hal, she has a love hate relationship with the Sapphires coming and going throughout the years. Recently she has become queen of the Star Sapphires, but was trapped inside the Black Book of Oa by Krona(one of the first guardians)

Blake Lively is playing her in the film. I have reservations about this. That is all.

4. Hector Hammond - In the film he is taken over by the Parallax entity which is what causes his head to grow and his pyschic powers to develop. In the comics its a meteorite that emits radiation causing his head to swell and his powers to develop. I don't mind this departure too much, it works for me. Recently in the comics he has been taken over by the Orange Entity(the embodiment of greed) so to have him possessed by the fear entity seems logical enough. Hammond has always been a decent enough villain, never along the complexity of Sinestro, but the battle of wills between him and Jordan always make for good superhero fodder.

Peter Saarsgard is playing him in the film. This is some inspired casting. I'm curious to see how far they let Saarsgard take the character or if he just ends up being a stock comic book villain bent on destruction. Saarsgard gives me far more hope than Lively. So we'll see.

5. Parallax - the fear entity and seemingly main source of evil in the film. Parallax has long been the arch enemy of the Corps, constantly breaking out of the Sciencells(Green Lantern Prison) Parallax has taken over Jordan, which almost led to the destruction of the corps. It has also taken over Stewart, Killowog, Rayner, and Gardner. Even more so than Io(the green entity) Parallax is the most seen of the emotional entities and it's exciting and appropriate for it to be in the first film in a (hopefully) series of films following the Corps.

In the film Parallax looks like a giant smoke cloud with a monstrous face emerging from time to time. I do prefer the monster insect like imagery of the comics, and am not too excited to have smokey have a bigscreen appearance without good ole Locke in there somewhere, but hopefully they pull it off. It definitely looks ominous.

6. Oa and The Guardians - Oa is the home of the Green Lantern Corps. It houses the central battery which is where the corps draws their power. The Guardians are an ancient "emotionless" race who oversee the universe. They created the corps in order to police the universe after a failed attempt at using robots called manhunters. There's your first your robots manhunters and you just know something will go wrong with their programming at some point. I know Ganthet is in the movie who is the most famous of the guardians but will we see Sayid? Or Scar?...or hell maybe Krona before he goes nuts?

Ganthet has recently stepped down from the Guardians and become a Lantern proper. Highly doubt we will see any of this play out in the film....but hints at Blackest Night would be amazing or even the Sinestro Corps War.

7. Book of Oa - The entire history and future of the Lanterns is contained in the book of Oa. Widely considered to contain all the knowledge necesary, in recent years there has been much focus on the lost chapters focusing on the prophecy of Blackest Night. Blackest Night is the culmination of years of stories that Johns has put into Green Lantern. I strongly suggest reading Rebirth and The Sinestro Corps War so that you can pick up Blackest Night and enjoy it completely. Not really sure if the book is going to make an appearance, would definitely make some fanboys happy.

8. Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner - the other human Lanterns who have taken over for Hal at some point. Now Stewart and Rayner or members of the Honor Guard, and Gardner is kind of "rogue" at the moment. John Stewart is probably the fan favorite after Hal especially after having some good exposure on the Justice League cartoon. I have to admit I never cared for Gardner when he came off of his hockey career to become a lantern. Recently though, especially with his constant battle with the red ring(rage) he's proven to be quite the badass. Rayner is the one lantern who has fear, but faces it head on. Because of this he is constantly viewed by the public as the weaker of the Lanterns, but in reality he is one of the strongest lanterns around. I love that the most emo of human lanterns is an artist. Anyway as for the film, well it is an origin story so it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense for any of these men to make an appearance, but who knows? First Class seems to think Alex is older than Scott.

9. Kilowog and Tomar-re - Supporting characters in the lantern universe. Kilowog is charged with training all new Lanterns and has a heart as big as he is. Perhaps the most dedicated Lantern around, Kilowog treats his recruits harshly but has nothing but respect for them once they graduate.

Tomar-re is the birdlike hyper intelligient lantern with some big time guilt regarding good ole supes. Geoffrey Rush voices him in the film and I can't imagine a better voice. I'm guessing both of these lanterns won't have much screen time, but if that is the case I hope they make the best of it.

10. Stel and Hannu - I've seen these two glimpsed in the trailers. Stel is from a robot race who Kilowog feels is his successor, and Hannu is from a race that views weapons as weak. Thus he prefers to use brute force than actually engage his power ring. Doubt these two will get any screen time outside of the group shot....but if we get some battle I'd love to see these two throwdown.

11. Boodika - Boodika is one of the most badass female lanterns, and recently has been transferred to Alpha Lantern status, meaning she is like a living Lantern Battery. Again doubtful we will see her outside of the group shot in the trailers but man that'd be exciting.

So here we are a few days away from my most anticipated movie of the Summer. How do I think it will turn out? Well to be honest I think it will be ok. I want it to rock balls and kick all sorts of ass, but I fear the cool shots in the trailer are all the money shots from the film. I imagine this will be rather expository from beginning to end, and perhaps fall into typical orign story tropes. All because the American public is not as versed in the story of Hal Jordan as they are in Peter Parker or Bruce Wayne. Thus I'm sure they make up for it here by trying to explain the universe we are in so they can get to the good stuff. Remember Xmen 1? I imagine it will be in the same vein. Hopefully. Who knows this might suck completely....I loved the Spiderman 3 trailers and that is easily the worst spiderman film and a travesty for its treatment of Venom(don't worry Sam I know they made you use him) Or maybe it will be badass.....I feel pretty safe in saying this will not even come close to Batman Begins as an origin story, and no I don't mean because of its lack of gritty realism, but overall quality. No matter what, I await Friday with excitement and anticipation, I will finally see one of my boyhood heroes take the big screen, hoping for the best.

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in blackest night

One last thought - bad film, good film everyone who's interested in learning more about the adventures of Hal should really pick up Rebirth and The Sinestro Corps War. Johns does some great work and Manny said it best "Johns is the best superhero writer working today", I am inclined to agree. This isn't heady metaphorical journeys into artist and creation like Morrison, or Smart political and social commentary like Vaughn, he writes heroes doing hero things. Don't forget to finish off your Green Lantern reading with Blackest awesome story that brings Lantern Zombies into the picture

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