Is Hal the best Green Lantern?


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. 

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Posted by joshmightbe
technically he's the reason we have Green Lanterns
Posted by joshmightbe

in case you don't know that's the Original Green Lantern Alan Scott

Posted by Gambit1024

I think Hal is a good GL, but he's only second best, imo. Kyle Rayner has done more good for the GL Corps than Hal has. I realize that you've brought up the events of Emerald Twilight and how the SCW and Blackest Night redeemed him, but no matter what events followed after that, you can't deny that Hal played a key role in destroying things as Paralax.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@joshmightbe 
 
Ok yes I think I have actually heard of him before.  That statement is analogous to saying  Jim Hammond and not Johnny Storm is the one that made the Human Torch so popular.  
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Posted by joshmightbe

@RazzaTazz: you didn't say who made them popular you said that he was the reason they exist which he isn't

Posted by RazzaTazz
@joshmightbe: All right, I changed my text to reflect that.  
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Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Interesting part you mention of James Bond here because it totally applies to Hal and addressing his worthiness as a GL. Personally for me Timothy Dalton was two things to me when he played 007. He wasn't exactly the most charismatic and good looking to play the part, for if we were looking at those kinds of particulars then the trophy would go to ones like Roger Moore or Daniel Craig hands down. But what Timothy Dalton DID do for the role was play Bond in the most accurate way according to Ian Fleming's novels. And when taking this into consideration, it would be my undertaking to say that Sinestro was the greatest Green lantern of all time considering how alike the two of them are with regard to Machiavellian principles. Dalton's 007 and Sinestro were both no-nonsense hardhitters that just got the job done. But yes in the end their greatness only came about because ones like Hal Jordan and Sean Connery made their rise to stardom possible. Good stuff!

Posted by fodigg

"Best" depends on writer preference, but my favorite is John Stewart.

Posted by illmatic06

Very well written. I'm new to the GL Mythos, but I am heavily leaning to Hal as my favorite.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@illmatic06: Oh well  would recommend reading both series that just ended recently.  Lots of really good stories in there.  
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Posted by illmatic06

Ive been on board since the War of the light and Blackest Night.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@illmatic06: My favourite of the past ten years was RingQuest
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Posted by TheGoldenOne
Hal is my favorite Lantern.
Posted by Daveyo520

I like him.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@TheGoldenOne:  
@Daveyo520:  
 
Fair enough but it is kind of beside the point.  My favourite is Soranik, but Hal laid the groundwork in the making the sci fi version of a Green Lantern popular before the others could come along.  
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Posted by Mr. Dead Pool

Guy is the best. Deal with it.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@Mr. Dead Pool: Maybe not a strange sentiment coming from someone that is a Deadpool fan as the two characters are not all that dissimilar.  To put this in a different way Hal is the baseline by which all Green Lanterns are measured.  If you like a Green Lantern, chances are you will reference him or her being better than Hal as opposed to any other characters
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Posted by Chaos Prime

Got alot of time for Hal but for me its Kyle Rayner all the way :-)

Posted by Primmaster64

Kyle is cool, But so is Hal.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@Chaos Prime: Well I like Kyle more as well personally, just I would say that Hal is best.  
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Posted by PowerHerc

Hal is the best Green Lantern.

Always will be.

Posted by batflasharrow96

It's incredibly annoying when people all over this website saying that Hal sucks and Kyle's the best by saying "Hal makes boxing gloves. That's boooring.". They hardly ever give any valid points. They start getting confused with what makes a good GL with what makes a good hero.

Posted by HalJordan888

Hal is my favorite and I think he is one of the best. I could say because he's my favorite that's why he is the best but I absolutely love what you wrote about why he is the best. Still I think he is one of the best, because honestly Hal, Kyle, Sinestro, Kilowog, Mogo, Stel and others are the best for the different things that they did and still doing. I hated when people called Hal the greatest in the comics; it felt jarring as I am reading since 2005 here. Hal to me just doesn't seem like someone who would really acknowledge himself as the greatest, I mean he is one who enjoys the ring and knows how to be serious when he needs to be. He is one of the best honestly but there is not just one best Green Lantern.

Posted by Deranged Midget

John is my personal favourite mostly due to the JL show but I've grown to respect him even more once I started picking GL comics up.

Hal is the greatest Green Lantern, although Kyle comes extremely close, he still lags behind.

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Edited by FadeToBlackBolt

  @batflasharrow96 said:

It's incredibly annoying when people all over this website saying that Hal sucks and Kyle's the best by saying "Hal makes boxing gloves. That's boooring.". They hardly ever give any valid points. They start getting confused with what makes a good GL with what makes a good hero.


I know, right? Don't you hate that they overlook sleeping with a 13 year old and destroying your friends and fellow Corps members as being really heroic!?
 
 
 
Hal's a terrible Green Lantern. He's either an arrogant jag, or a personality-less Gary Stu. Then there's the fact that he guy killed the Corps.  
 
"Oh, that was Parallax" 
 
No, it was Hal. It was written to be Hal. It made sense as Hal. 
  
Kyle is the best. He carried the Torch, he saved the Corps, he was responsible for bringing new Guardians to the GLC. Kyle is Green Lantern. No amount of Silver Age nostalgia, misguided objectiveness or writer fanwank will change that.  
 
Kyle Rayner
Posted by PowerHerc

Yes! Clearly, he is.

Posted by MetropolisKid41

I think Hal is the best of the earth Green Lanterns for sure. He has overcome the influence of the GLC's greatest enemy, Parallax, the embodiment of Fear. And I think he definitely has the most willpower of any GLC member ever, that was evident when his will overcame the failsafe protcols in the ring and he was able to kill Krona the Mad Guardian. However in the first 3 issues so far we've seen Sinestro make Hal look like a rookie, my bet is that Sinestro's time as the host for the White Lantern entity opened his eyes and unblocked the true power of the ring to him. So in the past 3 issues one could make a good case that Sinestro may be the best Green Lantern of all time. But I think as far as earthman Green Lantern's go, Hal just edges out Kyle as the best, even tho Kyle was the torchbearer and ION.

Posted by fury714

Hal is great, but not the best for me.

Posted by HolySerpent

Hal is the best. Comicviners need to accept that. So what if kyle has the best artistry or imagination. Doesn't make you the best.

Posted by The Stegman

Kyle is my favorite, but i will admit Hal IS the best GL

Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

Hal isn't the best Green Lantern. He should have been. But he isn't. Because DC didn't give a sh$t enough about him to try to devlop him in any way. Whereas Barry Allen got a respectable death that made him look like a hero,Hal got turned into a statutory rapist/mass murderer/traitor.........and that's during the times where DC actually focused on him enough to wire about him. Why the hell couldn't DC give him what Marvel gave to guys like Daredevil and Hank Pym?

Posted by Nerx

Didn't he like went omnicidal as Parallax ION and destroyed the DCU at some point?

and they forgive him for that

Posted by TheCrowbar

@HolySerpent said:

Hal is the best. Comicviners need to accept that. So what if kyle has the best artistry or imagination. Doesn't make you the best.

Sorry who resurrected the entire corps back from oblivion?

Oh that's right Kyle.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@TheCrowbar: Not saying Kyle is not important, just Hal was the only earth based GL for 20 years or so
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Posted by Supreme Marvel

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@batflasharrow96 said:

It's incredibly annoying when people all over this website saying that Hal sucks and Kyle's the best by saying "Hal makes boxing gloves. That's boooring.". They hardly ever give any valid points. They start getting confused with what makes a good GL with what makes a good hero.


I know, right? Don't you hate that they overlook sleeping with a 13 year old and destroying your friends and fellow Corps members as being really heroic!?



Hal's a terrible Green Lantern. He's either an arrogant jag, or a personality-less Gary Stu. Then there's the fact that he guy killed the Corps.

"Oh, that was Parallax"

No, it was Hal. It was written to be Hal. It made sense as Hal.

Kyle is the best. He carried the Torch, he saved the Corps, he was responsible for bringing new Guardians to the GLC. Kyle is Green Lantern. No amount of Silver Age nostalgia, misguided objectiveness or writer fanwank will change that.

Kyle Rayner

I concur.

Posted by TheCrowbar

@RazzaTazz said:

@TheCrowbar: Not saying Kyle is not important, just Hal was the only earth based GL for 20 years or so

Time doesn't make you the best, what you do in the time you have does. Kyle beats out Hal.

Posted by Billy Batson

BB

Posted by jrock85

It seems like these days, all Lanterns are being debased in favor of Sinestro. (Looking at you, Geoff Johns)

Edited by Loki9876

Hal is a cool character. He might had a bad time but most characters once had a bad time.

but Kyle is also cool.

Posted by thechessclub

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

I know, right? Don't you hate that they overlook sleeping with a 13 year old

Um. What? When all did this happen?

Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

@thechessclub. Arisia. Some fu&$wit writer that it would be a good idea for her and Hal to have sex

Posted by RyuHayabusa

He never was and he never will be.

Posted by ReVamp

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

I know, right? Don't you hate that they overlook sleeping with a 13 year old and destroying your friends and fellow Corps members as being really heroic!?

I know this is old, but I'm sorry that was just DC's attempt to make Hal popular again. Its more of an editorial stupidity than anything else.

Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

@Revamp

somehow I truly doubt he cares

Posted by primepower53

@Primmaster64 said:

Kyle is cool, But so is Hal.
Posted by hcd43

Well I don't know.Sinestro was the best Green Lantern ever,but when he ''left'' ,I guess it is Kyle or Hal.

Posted by BlueLantern1995

Before Hal. Sinestro
After Sinestro left: Hal
After Hal left: Sinestro
Overall Hal or Sinestro. They seem to tie in my book for different reasons.

Posted by BlueLantern1995
@hcd43: Welcome to the Forums.
Posted by sethysquare

I would say Hal is my favourite Green Lantern.

Posted by jobbernos

@Chaos Prime said:

Got alot of time for Hal but for me its Kyle Rayner all the way :-)
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