By Sir Duke 29 Comments
With the recent announcement that one of the four Green Lanterns of Earth will be dying in the War of the Green Lanterns, I thought I'd take a look at all four, reasons they might or might not be the one to bite the bullet, and which one I think is most likely.
Hal is the lynch pin of the Green Lantern franchise. He's headlined the main series since it started after his resurrection in Green Lantern Rebirth and is the star of an upcoming feature film starring Ryan Reynolds. He's also to be featured in Emerald Knights and a future Green Lantern cartoon series. The main character of Blackest Night, expect Hal Jordan to once again take center stage in War of the Green Lanterns. Hal has always been characterized by his unwavering determination and rigid moral code. While Johns championed these qualities in Rebirth, he's now exploring the negatives of Jordan's stubbornness and will. He's made deals with devils, cut his friends out of his life, distanced himself from the Corps, and pursued Krona and the Entities at the expense of his own personal identity. For the first time since he was Parallax, Hal Jordan is truly alone. What's more, this isolation is entirely is own doing. Hal has only just recently come back from the dead, and I doubt he's so quick to return. In addition, it'd be a strange marketing move with the movie and cartoon series on the way. For the past seven years, Geoff Johns has been telling the definitive story of Hal Jordan, and I don't see Hal going anywhere so long as Johns is on the book. That said, if this is John's last hurrah (not saying it is, but its worth addressing the possibility), he might take the character out with him.
Chance of Dying: Very Low
John has been the odd man out within the GL quartet. He rose to great prominence thanks to his appearances in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, but comic writers really haven't known what to do with him. He was supposed to headline the main Green Lantern book, but fell to the wayside as Hal stole the show. With Guy Gardner getting his own title, John took his place headlining Green Lantern Corps. While the book had previously maintained a balance between Kyle Rayner and Guy, John has once again been overshadowed. No mistake about it, Green Lantern Corps is Kyle Rayner's book with guest appearances by John Stewart. It's more than possible that the writers will have John see his end soon, if only because they don't know what to do with him. It wouldn't be the first time this year the member of a quartet with the least attention got his due with an epic demise. Wouldn't be the first time that character was named John either. While I shouldn't have to, I need to bring up the race issue. We all remember the PR disaster that was the death of Ryan Choi. And for the sake of this blog, lets assume Jaime Reye's death in Generation Lost is real. John Stewart is arguably DC's most prominent African American character. Killing Ryan Choi, Jaime Reyes, and John Stewart would mean DC has killed three of their highest profile minority characters in the course of a single year. Poor taste? Absolutely. But after the death of Lian Harper in Cry For Justice, I've learned not to underestimate DC's potential for deaths in poor taste.
Chance of Dying: Medium
Kyle Rayner, once decreed the single and true Green Lantern, is now perhaps more representative of the Corps than any of the other Earth Lanterns. Kyle has been the main character of Green Lantern Corps through both the book's creative teams. We've seen him become an honor guard, develop a relationship with Sinestro's daughter, and get a swanky new apartment on Oa. He's no longer the host of Ion and is now a regular, if exemplary, Honor Guard Green Lantern. Twice now has Kyle avoided death. Fans feared Kyle's dismissal or death in Green Lantern Rebirth, and were instead treated to an affirmation of Kyle's importance to the Green Lantern mythos. The second time came in Blackest Night when Kyle actually did die saving the central power battery from Black Lanterns, but came back to life only an issue later. After so many near misses, I'd normally peg Kyle as our unlucky Lantern. He's the heart and soul of the Corps, and losing him would be a devastating blow. That said, given that he actually did die in Blackest Night, killing him again would just feel too much like treading the same ground. I don't see GLC going anywhere, and I don't see the book surviving without Kyle.
Chance of Dying: Low
You can't keep a good Lantern down, though in Guy's case, maybe you can. Since getting his ring back in 2004, Guy headlined Green Lantern Corps all the way through Blackest Night and has recently been given his own series, Emerald Warriors. While a new ongoing seems to make Guy one of the least likely to die, Emerald Warriors has really failed to establish its own identity. It's existed for little more than to set up War of the Green Lanterns, and I can easily see the title getting cancelled or revamped. But that goes back to why Guy Gardner is not long for this Earth, set up. Since his stint as a Red Lantern during Blackest Night, Guy has had a sense of sacrifice about him. He has more knowledge of the events ahead than anyone else, and has come to accept that this war will see him pitted against Hal Jordan. The red light has never been purged from him. So if Hal is making deals with devils, Guy is on his way to becoming one. What's interesting to me is the way Guy's slow turn towards the red light has been presented. He treats it like a fatal illness. The video he makes in Emerald Warriors #1 reads like a last will and testament. This all could be a red herring (pardon the pun), but I don't think this story will sacrifice its narrative for a plot twist. The ending with the most set up, and in my opinion the most pathos, means this could be the last hurrah of the most brazen of the Green Lanterns
Chance of Dying: High
And that's my rundown of the four Lanterns of Earth. If I missed any important details, be sure to let me know and feel free to sound in on how you think this story arc will shape out.