I have debated a few people here recently about the overall merits of Hal as a Green Lantern. Some feel as though he is not such a great example of a hero seeing as he has disappeared at some important times and at others times turned downright villainous. I personally do not really see it like this, in my mind Hal is the best of all, even though he is not my favourite. I think the first thing to consider is what could be called the James Bond rule. A lot of James Bond fans have their favourite for one reason or another. I have even heard of people saying Timothy Dalton was the best. In all considerations though the role would not be popular or potentially even exist without Sean Connery having defined the role. The same here applies to Hal. While others may have gotten a better treatment as of late, he is the only reason why there are Green Lanterns to start with. It is no secret that Soranik is my favourite Green Lantern, but she would not exist except for Hal being so popular. In considering this it is important not to forget Alan Scott, but in terms of the characters, he stands somewhat alone in terms of the mythos of the character. The golden age favoured mystical elements and the silver age favoured science fiction ones, and there is therefore somewhat of a clean break between the characters (for instance there would be no Kyle Rayner with only an Alan Scott). The next consideration should go to what I call The George Lucas rule, that being that no matter how much you alter the perception of your artistic achievements, that your original story still stands. Many didn’t like the prequel trilogy of Star Wars, and while there is some legitimate reason not to, taken as they are it does not really ruin what made them great in the first place. So although Hal did fall from grace, he still had someplace to fall from. A final consideration could be called the Kanigher rule, for Robert Kanigher who seemingly did everything he could to make Wonder Woman so unpopular in the 1950s and 1960s. Every character, especially ones with such long publication histories go through periods both good and bad. While Emerald Twilight in some ways fundamentally altered his history, his actions later in the Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night mostly redeemed him. In terms of a character being published in comics and as a hero featured in stories within them, I therefore don’t see how Hal can be considered anything but the best Green Lantern.