The costume, the costume, the costume… that’s what everybody’s going to talk about whenever a new superhero movie’s coming and GREEN LANTERN's no exception. Does the skin-tight-with-flesh-grooves all-CGI outfit look cool or silly? How about the seemingly painted-on mask? The debate has only begun so, to get some perspective, I figured I’d take a look at how the GLs' duds have evolved over the years...Sticking to Hal Jordan would, of course, make for a pretty limited list since, barring some Parallax and Spectre tangents, he hasn't actually changed his outfit that much. I was actually pretty surprised to see how much the layout and color scheme of his movie outfit stuck to the tradition in comics. Anyway, without further preamble, let's stretch this fashion show cat walk back to the beginning... == TEASER ==
Martin Nodell’s original inspiration for this character drew partly from the classic story of Aladdin and that influence is obvious in the character’s (very) vaguely Arabesque outfit. For a character called the Green Lantern, there’s an awful lot more purple and red in this get-up. Honestly, I've always thought it was one of the more garish outfits from the Golden Age, and I think the Sentinel make-over went a long way to improve on it.
This iconic outfit served as the basis for every GL who's followed, and it’s only been amended a little over the years. You’ll notice that the current version has tapered the green over the shoulders and cut the bottom portion to a point at the hips, making it look more like a jumpsuit than these earlier near-pajamas. I do agree with Reynolds' assessment that white valet gloves stick out kind of glaringly.
His first costume was the same as Hal’s and his second was a really awkward design. The one that most people are aware of is from the JUSTICE LEAGUE cartoon (a look that ironically started with Kyle’s appearance in the SUPERMAN show.) The outfit subtly reflects Stewart’s military background and it also recalls the uniforms from STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION. It's probably the most sensible of the bunch, but it maybe went overboard in downplaying the flair.
Guy similarily wore the exact same outfit as Hal in his first appearance and it wasn’t until he showed up in JUSTICE LEAGUE that he got his own look. I always figured it was appropriate that this costume debuted in the 80s, because Guy was a jerk back then and this really makes you think of a frat boy wearing a letterman’s jacket. It’s probably better not to bring up the shirtless-with-wild-tattoos look he had while he was Warrior.
The manga influence on this is a lot more pronounced in hindsight than it was when I was reading JLA with Kyle as a member. This does look more like a spacesuit with armor, although I remember the “crab mask” was always the most controversial element for H.E.A.T. members. It does look a little clunky, now, although I still prefer this over the redesign.
I’m going to disregard the roid-raging-Mohawk-and-cape Yat we saw in his first appearance because the outfit he’s worn as the Ion is, in my opinion, one of the better looking modern costumes. Cobbling some elements from Kyle’s own days as the Ion, it’s basically a negative, color-reversed GL outfit that looks like a surfing suit in the best way. That is, it's practical while still having enough larger-than-life flash for you to buy that this is the ultimate GL.
Even though she was born with some innate powers, she’s worth involving here as an unofficial Green Lantern. However, like the Wasp, she’s one of those characters whose had so many outfits over the years, that it’s hard to really pin down a definitive one. She’s yet to find one that really sticks and I suppose there’s reason for that, as a lot of them haven’t had a great design focus (and some of them are pretty skeevy.)
Which Green Lantern do you think has had the spiffiest costume? What costumes have we missed that should be included here?
Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon here & here . Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk