By now you should have seen the new Green Lantern headed our way. Baz will the next Earthling who joins the ranks of the Green Lantern Corps but he's already shaping up to be different from the others.
There are 3600 sectors and some have several Lanterns to protect it. Earth resides in sector 2814 which has already produced Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner. Sector 2814 might be a busy but there's another reason a new Green Lantern is needed.
There are five things that makes Baz a little different. If you've read GREEN LANTERN #12 and GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL #1, you have an idea why and how a new Lantern is needed and created. There will be spoilers below, so be sure to read those in preparation for this week's GREEN LANTERN #0.== TEASER ==
Descent and Background
This is the first obvious difference. We're all for equality and the Lanterns of Earth have mainly been white dudes. We have had John Stewart since 1971's GREEN LANTERN #87 but with the different ethnicities on Earth, it's about time we see something different. Baz has been reported as being an Arab-American. How many Arab-American comic book characters can you name? There aren't many. While a character's race shouldn't make a difference, it'll be great to see a different viewpoint at times.
A Gun and a Mask
The members of the Green Lantern Corps have slight variations in their costumes. Those that do choose to wear a mask usually go for the domino-type masks. Baz is going a different route.
Baz also has been seen with a gun. It appears to be a regular gun as well. A Green Lantern with a gun? This definitely sets him apart from Hal, Guy, John and Kyle. Even with Stewart's military background, he's never felt the urge to carry an actual gun. He's made a green construct gun before so why doesn't Baz simply do that?
His first appearance in GREEN LANTERN #0 should answer the question about why he would have a gun and a mask.
Yes, that's meant to be plural. Where will Baz get his power ring?
In GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL #1, Hal Jordan and Sinestro are in for the fight of their lives. After the Guardians of the Universe step in and help Black Hand take on the two Lanterns, the rings start to report their vital signs are threatened. They are even reported as being deceased while they are still struggling. Because Hal's ring was created by Sinestro's, he mentioned the rings would be fused back into one.
This does happen but there is an error. Assuming these reintegrated rings make their way to Baz, there's the possibility that the rings could work a little differently. Will the ring still have the power of a single ring or could it be twice as strong since it's now made up of Sinestro and Hal's rings? (Poor Hal and Sinestro). There's also the possibility that the ring won't work as well as it should if there was an error.
Guardians' Control over Baz
The Guardians are ready to wipe out the entire Green Lantern Corps, as well as the other Corps. When they witnessed the end of Hal and Sinestro, they could have recalled the fused power rings. Because the ring is still allowed to seek out a replacement and because of the error in the ring, this is likely to lead to cause more problems for the Guardians. Unless they are allowing the ring to seek out Baz. After all, a Green Lantern wearing a full mask and carrying a gun is a departure from what has normally come from Earth. They could see this as another way to help them put an end to the Corps.
We could end up seeing Baz as another tool of the Guardians but because they are creating the Third Army and have brought out the First Lantern, there doesn't seem to be a need for another Green Lantern. That and the error in the ring will likely give Baz some independence.
Will Baz be a worthy Lantern? We (and the GL Corps) have to hope this is the case. The tattoo on his arm apparently says "Courage," so that's definitely a plus. He may look angry, wearing a full mask like a thief and carrying a gun, but even with the ring acting up a bit, we have to assume it would choose wisely.
Baz will also become a member of Steve Trevor's Justice League of America. That would seem like a good thing but as seen on the cover of GREEN LANTERN #14, he seems to be at odds with the current Justice League.
The cover to GL 14 could easily be a misunderstanding. With Hal no longer around, the team might be wondering who Baz is and what exactly happened to Hal. Baz might not want to willingly have a discussion with the team which would naturally lead to a typical comic book conflict.
His allegiance to the upcoming Justice League of America could paint a different story. Steve has a couple good reasons to be upset at the Justice League (and Wonder Woman) after JUSTICE LEAGUE #12. Looking at the other members of this team, some don't appear to be too stable. Does that make Baz a perfect candidate or is he just easy to manipulate because he's new. Perhaps Trevor or the government will have some way to persuade him to join.
Baz's story is about to begin. He is definitely not your average Green Lantern. We'll have to keep a close eye on him to see what he fully is about and why he was chosen to become a Lantern. We have seen many new Lanterns over the years but this gives the feeling that things definitely won't be the same.