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Off My Mind: Green Lantern's Suit—Fabric or Energy Constructed?

What is the better choice for members of the Green Lantern Corps?

When comics are adapted into movies, we all know there's going to be quite a few differences between the two interpretations. I brought up the idea of comic book movie costumes before and because I've been reading some classic Green Lantern issues, I thought it was time to voice my opinions on the Green Lantern movie suit.

One of the first things you'll notice in the footage for the upcoming Green Lantern film with Ryan Reynolds is the suit is pretty different. It's debatable whether it can even really be called a suit since it's all CG. When it came to this decision, I'm sure everyone involved in making the film gave it some thought. There are advantages to having the suit be computer generated. But I'm don't want to get into the technical aspects of how the suit is created for the film but rather the difference between a suit generated by the power of the Green Lantern power ring and a traditional old fashion suit.

In other words, what is the better choice for a Green Lantern, regular clothes or a suit made out of power energy constructs? == TEASER ==

What are the advantages of an energy constructed suit? Obviously there's no need to worry about carrying the suit around or wearing it under your street clothes. You don't have to worry about any rips or tears during battles since it's all pure energy. If an emergency comes up, as long as your power ring is fully charged, all you have to do is think and will your costume to appear. 

Things were a bit different in the early days. While Hal Jordan was constantly doing new and different things with the ring, he did wear a traditional suit. In fact, when Abin Sur crashed on Earth and handed over the ring and battery to Hal, he also relinquished his costume. Let's think about that for a bit. Hal Jordan had to strip down a dead alien and put on his clothes. Did Abin Sur have any physical injuries? Was there any of his alien blood or juices on the suit? Hal didn't have time to wash the suit. He just put it right on. It also makes you wonder if Abin Sur was wearing any alien underwear or if Hal just left a dead and naked alien out in the wreckage.

Moving beyond whether or not the suit was clean, Hal was forced to physically change into suit when danger arose. It's pretty amazing that he could figure out the different powers of the ring such as moving through solid objects, creating fully powered duplicates of himself and even the ability to change bullets into water. Yet the idea of creating an energy constructed suit didn't cross his mind.

It might sound like an energy suit would be the best choice, right? But what happens when the ring runs out of power? What if Hal was unable to get to his ring in time to recharge it? And what if he wasn't wearing anything (or very little) underneath? That could cause an embarrassing moment. 

With the suit that Ryan Reynolds appears to wear in the movie, it's a pretty tight fit. What exactly does it do to the clothes underneath? Are his street clothes sent to some parallel coat check universe or are they simply smooshed down underneath? A suit that tight on top of your regular clothes would make them pretty wrinkly. I suppose you could always create a power constructed iron and ironing board to avoid explaining why your new suit suddenly looks like it's been wadded up in a tiny ball. Or maybe there's some sort of molecular change and wrinkles aren't an issue.

Despite this concern, I would have to say that the power constructed suit would be more practical. In the Spider-Man comics, Peter Parker can't keep his suit and gear in his apartment now that he's dating Carlie Cooper, a CSI police officer. Having a power constructed suit means you don't have to worry about anyone stumbling across it.

But what happens if Green Lantern is knocked unconscious or losing his will power? If he loses his focus, does that mean his suit and mask disappear? In the original comics, Green Lantern mentioned that his mask (which it was never explained where it came from since Abin Sur didn't have a need for one) was kept on by his will. In both cases, getting knocked out could jeopardize his secret identity.

Neither a traditional suit or a power constructed one are perfect. One created by your mind would make things easier for heroes that don't have the luxury of being friends with Reed Richards, who often gives costumes made from unstable molecules to others. Which makes more sense for Green Lantern? If the ring truly is one of the most powerful weapons in the universe, surely generating a suit and overcoming any of the problems I mentioned above should be a piece of cake.    
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Posted by comix christian


Hey-oo first!

 

 

Sorry....

Posted by TDK_1997

The costume in the film is cool but the only problem i have with it is the mask.But i think energy constructed is better but fabric is cool too, so i don't care if it is fabric or energy constructed.

Online
Posted by Grim

the ring can make thick jackets for the JLA in the cold.... why doesnt he construct a suit that looks/feels like one you would wear under your clothes?
 thats the first thing i thought when i actually saw the construct one for the movie. Im glad their going construct over actual separate costume.... but they can still make it look like clothes.
...looks like green lantern is in the matrix....

Posted by Eyz

The mask still looks kinda....off.
'wish they'd also use a real physical suit for some scenes/shots...

 Alright.. I wouldn't say it's completely bad...but it's not fantastic either.
So many "wrong" aspects of it, not counting the nerds' complaint about how faithful or not it is.
From a purely aesthetic approach, I understand why they would get rid of the white elements of the comic book costume.

  But was it important to show of his thumbs? Look at his feet!
 I mean, even diving suits will usually either cover the feet (and hide the thumbs) or have fins hide 'em.
The feet here looks kinda...silly.
Like he's actually completely naked (and fighting crime across space that way..) 

Edited by matthuliz
Posted by Billy Batson

It looks...interesting

Edited by ArtisticNeedham



I think the ring has the uniform programmed in, so that when they put it on its already there.  But it doesn't require concentration to form it or to keep it on.  At least I don't think.
I think the wearer can reprogram the ring's suit like Kyle did.  I think it makes more sense for the uniforms to be constructs created by the rings, that don't require concentration.  And I think the possibility of the ring running out leaving the Green Lantern without powers and without a costume is an interesting idea, it gives a weakness like the color yellow but a built in problem.  But I think if the suit disappears it returns to their regular cloths right?

I don't remember, but didn't John Stewart's ring loose power on the Savage Time episode, I forget how he dealt with it, but he ended up in as a soldier in uniform somehow.  Maybe he lost his costume with the ring's power, or maybe he still had the costume but changed to blend in since he didn't have powers.  I don't remember, but I am sure they dealt with the idea on the cartoon.

To me the GL costume, I was saying this long before the casting was even done, should be an alien material looking thing.  No zippers, no straps, no wrinkles or folds, no seems.  I said it should look like it came from the GL's mind, so it shouldn't look like a real world costume.  It should be like a second skin.  I never envisioned the muscular idea for the movie, but I like it.  I don't like the idea of him wearing a tight, real, costume made of fabric and having straps, zippers, and wrinkling at the bends of his elbows and such.
The ring makes the GL's thoughts reality, makes their ideas physical, so why not have part of that be the costume?  Why would the ring be able to make anything but the GL has to wear a fabric costume?  All I know is that the GL puts the ring on and is suddenly in costume, the ring comes off and they are out of costume and back in civilian clothes.  But I think I have also seen where a GL is killed and the ring leaves them but they are still in a costume, like Abin Sur.  So I don't know.

Kyle Rayner



hals hand, Abins Corpse
Posted by Coldbrand

Give him some goddamn boots! PERIOD.

Posted by theundead

wow !

Posted by Red Rum
Edited by DH69

wait this is a real movie?!

 

 

aaaanyway gotta go with energy construct. easier to change in and out of.

Posted by Soldier zero

Energy or fabric, I say both. As far as I rember one of the ring powers is to excute some limited matter manipulation, so I think it's safe to assume that a GL can use the ring to change his regular clothes intoo a costume and back, that will also save the problem of wardrobe malfunction due to power failure.

Posted by Croi
@Eyz said:
" The mask still looks kinda....off.'wish they'd also use a real physical suit for some scenes/shots... Alright.. I wouldn't say it's completely bad...but it's not fantastic either. So many "wrong" aspects of it, not counting the nerds' complaint about how faithful or not it is. From a purely aesthetic approach, I understand why they would get rid of the white elements of the comic book costume.  But was it important to show of his thumbs? Look at his feet!  I mean, even diving suits will usually either cover the feet (and hide the thumbs) or have fins hide 'em.The feet here looks kinda...silly.Like he's actually completely naked (and fighting crime across space that way..)  "
Agreed about the mask.
I do wish they used something real for that.

I'm pretty sure I've seen it slip off his face once or twice during that 4 minute footage.
Posted by blaakmawf

I'm cool with it. The movie suit seems more convenient.

Posted by Eyz

Oh and little point...shouldn't it technically be fabric and energy.
The ring comes up with whatever the ring-wielder imagine right?
So a human lantern should normally come up with an earth-based material, materializing it with the ring's power.
(as I'd imagine Guy Gardner would make up his GL jacket)

It is fabric, though technically energy manifesting itself as a fabric.

Posted by G-Man

I thought this was pretty funny:



Staff
Posted by dorsk188

Honestly, I dig the GL suit-as-anatomy-lesson idea.  On humans, it looks like a stylized musculature, on Kilowog it looks like armored skin-plates, on that lizard guy it looks like scales.  It makes each suit seem species specific, yet unified.  Very E Pluribus Unum.  Even if the cringe-worthy breathing effects and individual toes make it seem like they're wearing... nothing at all... nothing at all... nothing at all...

 
Posted by tbpinkfloyd

My idea that O hope someone else has thought of is battle-wear to the suit. Think about it. If Hal is fighting for a long time and losing, his suit would be a bit torn and missing pieces. However, if he gets inspired and has more willpower to fight, the suit would heal.

Posted by viin

i say i like the construct energy costume idea for green lantern anyway. for like batman and superman i would say carrying the costume around or under their cloths is really the only way to go about it. Its different so its good. 

Posted by SoA
@coldbrand said:
" Give him some goddamn boots! PERIOD. "
didnt realize the feet before UGGGHHHH now i hate it even more
the idea of a construct suit is fine i just wish it didnt look too cgi , its almost like syfy
is making this movie the suit looks too fake
Posted by Durakken

Ummm... Modern Age has it as the ring alters the matter around the GL with the ring. It is not an energy construct and it not a fabric like we generally consider it... It would probably better be described as an Organic metal material... which is not "fabric"... if we take into account what we know of the best elements in the universe to create things out of.


So both of your, the poser of the article, thoughts are pretty dumb considering modern cannon.
Posted by BalrogsBain

so how long before we see a real life suit by a fan ?

Posted by Sydpart2

I think it depends on how they will the costume into a construct. Like it seems that can will it to be fabric like or they can will it to just be energy like the standard style. I think the basic default GL costume is just energy and goes away when you lose the ring or concentration, but the custom ones don't because they're a kind of long standing construct...my two cents

Posted by Radread


 

  I get that the movie is dealing with the concept of using energy to construct the costume the same way in the comics. It can work either way, until I see it in complete action for than 45 seconds on screen.

Posted by Ninjistic
@dorsk188: Stupid, sexy Jordan!

The mask is downright goofy. No boots, and the lack of white gloves irks me a bit, but compared to the mask those are very minor niggles.
But more to the question; I think energy suit is the way to go as it forgoes any 'getting-dressed' logic problems. Plus it lets Hal change his GL appearance on the fly without need for much justification.
Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I'm biased in the sense that an energy construct suit seems to make more sense with the energies the ring possesses.  After all, in the cold vacuum of space its doubtful that simple fabric would protect a GL sentient from the harsh temperatures.  Still, it does raise interesting questions about indecency and power outages should the ring run out of juice.  And then again, look at the advantages.  What if you wanted to impress the ladies in your GL suit and make your shoes look bigger? ::Chuckles:: And kudos to those who know where I'm going with that. 

Posted by dondasch
@ArtisticNeedham said:
"


I think the ring has the uniform programmed in, so that when they put it on its already there.  But it doesn't require concentration to form it or to keep it on.  At least I don't think.
I think the wearer can reprogram the ring's suit like Kyle did.  I think it makes more sense for the uniforms to be constructs created by the rings, that don't require concentration.  And I think the possibility of the ring running out leaving the Green Lantern without powers and without a costume is an interesting idea, it gives a weakness like the color yellow but a built in problem.  But I think if the suit disappears it returns to their regular cloths right?

I don't remember, but didn't John Stewart's ring loose power on the Savage Time episode, I forget how he dealt with it, but he ended up in as a soldier in uniform somehow.  Maybe he lost his costume with the ring's power, or maybe he still had the costume but changed to blend in since he didn't have powers.  I don't remember, but I am sure they dealt with the idea on the cartoon.

To me the GL costume, I was saying this long before the casting was even done, should be an alien material looking thing.  No zippers, no straps, no wrinkles or folds, no seems.  I said it should look like it came from the GL's mind, so it shouldn't look like a real world costume.  It should be like a second skin.  I never envisioned the muscular idea for the movie, but I like it.  I don't like the idea of him wearing a tight, real, costume made of fabric and having straps, zippers, and wrinkling at the bends of his elbows and such.
The ring makes the GL's thoughts reality, makes their ideas physical, so why not have part of that be the costume?  Why would the ring be able to make anything but the GL has to wear a fabric costume?  All I know is that the GL puts the ring on and is suddenly in costume, the ring comes off and they are out of costume and back in civilian clothes.  But I think I have also seen where a GL is killed and the ring leaves them but they are still in a costume, like Abin Sur.  So I don't know.

Kyle Rayner



hals hand, Abins Corpse
"
This line of thinking makes more sense to me.  I would think also that the bearer of the ring wouldn't have to worry about creating/sustaining a costume (energy based or not) using will power, as the will power of the user is already going to be taxed in dealing with whatever super powered situation comes up. 

About the John Stewart item.  I "think" that he changed into that soldier's uniform for two reasons:  1.  I don't he wanted to call any unnecessary attention to his costume due to there being enough stress with the battle.  2.  I speculate that a part of him having been a Marine, wanted to share that experience again with the other soldiers, and wanting to know what it was like without having to rely on the ring
Posted by Out_of_Space

The movie suit is better.

Edited by Sammo21

Well, in the comics we already know that it's energy.  The best example is Secret Origins.  When Sinestro's GL costume "comes off" he is wearing the classic black and blue outfit from comic's past.  Hal Jordan typically is in his flight jack and normal clothing.  Also, they mention that the black on the green lantern's costume is freezing to the touch.

I'm not 100% in love with the movie GL costume, but this could change when I actually see it on the big screen.  The initial pictures of Reynolds as GL had me worried as the coloring was weird and I didn't care for the extremely fake looking textures of the costume.  I am fine with them taking liberties in designing something new for the movie as I can't expect white gloves and boots, but just like Green Goblin in the first Spider-Man movie I know there are/were better designs to use than what they actually came up with.

Either way, my biggest issues with the movie as of now (just judging based on trailers and clips) is Reynold's portrayal of Jordan.  Sure Jordan was anti-authority but to begin with he wasn't a wise cracking, typical for Ryan Reynolds, comedic character.  Also, I wish they would have used Secret Origins as the basis for the story opposed to us getting some huge story about Paralax right from the beginning.   Some people say this is a "bad idea" because its dumb to introduce the power rings, but these people probably haven't read the whole thing. You could easily take anything regarding other color spectrums or black hand out of it....Atrocitus would be a pretty cool bad guy. 

Edited by Jordanstine


Eh, it's okay.

 

Ryan Ryenolds' head looks to big.

 

I'm also not a fan of the " toes ".

 

   
Edited by ArtisticNeedham
@dondasch: 
Thanks, that was the feeling I got from the comics I have read too.  But I still am not sure.  I never thought of all the details while reading, like where their real clothes went.  I don't know.
But about Stewart, I do remember his ring ran out of power.  And eventually he ended up in a soldier uniform, but I am not sure why exactly.
I know he couldn't use his ring, but I don't remember if he lost his costume too.  Or still had it, even after loosing the ring's power.
Even if he still had his costume it could be the cartoon trying to keep things simple, like how characters like the Simpsons only where one outfit most of the time to keep the character designs consistent and easy to remember.  Maybe they didn't want to create confusion at that point by having his costume disappear once his ring lost power and show him in civilian clothing just to change into a uniform.
Posted by batflasharrow96

That's weird, I was thinking about that a lot lately

Posted by sladewilson30

energy, because fabric can be destroyed alot easier, and fabric rides up your crouch if the suit is to tight

Posted by vashdog

Fabric is energy, everything is energy, look it up in a physics book and stop wasting peoples time.

Posted by Maki_P

The suit has been made by the ring for a while now; and Secret Origins indicates it's automatic, same as the mask. 


Now, my problem with the movie-suit is that it looks Weird, and Fake. And seriously.... toes?
Posted by Solitaire

I'm gonna have to go with the power construct suit. For a human like Hal, Guy or Kyle a tailored suit could also work, but what about Kilowog? There would have to be some kind of Oa sanctioned Corps tailor for every new recruit.

Getting back to the issue of comic costumes verses movies, this is actually a pretty key point for film and television adaptations.

Part of what bothered me so much about Superman Returns (among many other things) was the costume. In the comics, we can draw in all of the individual muscles and tendons to truly emphasize the heroes' incredible physique. Most of the time heroes are drawn with costumes so tight it actually looks more like they just put on some differently colored skin rather than a costume. But no matter how tight your spandex are, we in the real world simply don't have fabric that fits that tightly, nor, I don't think, would we want to.

It worked out alright with Spider-Man's suit because of the varying colours and web pattern to distract from it, but Superman's costume is essentially a giant blue body glove with red briefs. In the comics it's all fine and good because it is wrapped around Superman's ridiculous physique and the costume becomes iconic and inspiring. The one that Brandon Routh wore however just couldn't show that and the end result ended up looking, well, silly.

Ryan Reynolds' GL  Costume is the only one we've seen thus far that truly shows the level of detail and musculature that we see in the comics, and it's an interesting change. I'm very eager to see Henry Cavill's Superman costume especially with the "modern re-telling" spin on the movie.

Posted by AssertingValor

@vashdog: half correct, everything is made up of matter and energy.

 

mater is stored energy and energy is matter at work..........................................

Posted by crusader8463

Energy! That way when they run out of power the hot ladies will be neked. I like neked ladies.

Posted by ReverseNegative

It is made of bread.



Posted by NightFang
@TDK_1997 said:
" The costume in the film is cool but the only problem i have with it is the mask."
             This.
Posted by Mbecks14

Energy Construct > Fabric hands down.


I like the movie costume. It's cool, different, yet traditional. not crazy about the toes or the mask, but honestly i can man-up and get over it and not pout about it. Is it really that awful? No. They'll probably fix the mask in the next movie anyway.

all in all, SO excited! Green Lantern is my all time favorite hero! Totally pumped for this movie. i'm going to love it no matter what.


Posted by MooseyMcMan

He should make a power created suit and wear that over a regular suit. 

Posted by Kyreo

It's energy.  At least that's what I always thought it was....  I could be wrong.

Posted by goldenkey

R U KIDDING!?!?!?!  What's with the toes.  That's just stupid.  I can deal with the energy suit, but to show his toes is just.........................dumb
Posted by Emperormeister734

i prefer the fabric, but this is the first GL MOVIE I'LL GIVE THE ENERGY A SHOT and  didn't have a picture of Reynolds wearing fabric without gloves what's up with that

Posted by batman_is_god


i think the comic outfit does not make sense. If the ring creates it, then why are parts black?

BTW, why is Hal ripped? If I was a GL i would be totally fat and fly on a green couch.

Posted by Kallarkz
Eh...i like the idea of a costume made out of clothes but that could be removed and placed on again using solely the ring (yes i know).

The toes don't bug me too much. Doubt we will be seeing much of his feet.


Posted by Kyle C

I like the energy suits if for no other reason than it makes a cool scene when a GL's ring runs out of power and they change back to their normal clothes. It's a nice visual representation of their vulnerability.

Posted by playdohsrepublic

Has anyone else noticed that the movie's GL costume has almost the same exact design cut-outs as Spiderman? I mean, just make the green red and the black blue and viola, other than the outer side of the arms, practically identical from the front. 


I prefer the energy suit BTW. I think its different enough from other superheroes out there. Also it just makes more sense to me when you see the variety of GL uniforms in the corps that the design them themselves 
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