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Top Five Most Iconic Hal Jordan Covers

Here are the top five most iconic covers featuring Hal Jordan (with iconic being determined partially subjectively by what covers are called to mind when one thinks of Hal Jordan, but first being determined with a prominent objective standard of whether a cover is homaged a lot or featured a lot in histories of the character). The notable exception is no covers from a character’s first appearance (which isn’t applicable to all characters, of course, just those who appeared on the cover of the comic they debuted in)! Here‘s a list of all characters featured so far.

This one was a toughie, so I asked Green Lantern writer Geoff Johns for help putting the list together, and he was kind enough to help out with some excellent suggestions. The result is a first for these lists – all five of the covers have been homaged at least once!

Enjoy!

First off, while I’m exempting first appearance covers from the countdown, it’s only fair, I suppose, to share them here before the countdown begins, so here is the first cover appearance of Hal Jordan from his debut story, Showcase #22…

Artist: Gil Kane

5.

Artist: Brian Bolland

This is the first use of the now-iconic “Hal and a bunch of Green Lanterns stick their rings up in the air” cover that has been used a lot since, most recently on a Dave Gibbons Blackest Night cover (and most notably on Walt Simonson’s Green Lantern #200 cover).

4.

Artist: Darryl Banks

About as close to an “instant classic” as you can get – this cover preceded Banks becoming the ongoing Green Lantern artist, a spot he held for…damn, almost 100 issues!

3.

Artist: Brian Bolland

This is the first cover to feature the iconic “Hal leading a whole pile of Green Lanterns into battle” (something Bolland himself would use soon after in the Tales of the Green Lantern Corps #3) motif AND it is the first cover to show Hal with more than one power ring AND you could argue it’s the first cover to really show the Green Lantern Corps as a corps rather than a battalion.

2.

Artist: Gil Kane

Can’t have a most iconic Hal Jordan list without a Gil Kane cover!

This brilliant Hal/Sinestro cover has been homaged twice recently, including Alex Ross’ Justice – if Alex Ross is homaging you, that’s a pretty darn good sign that your work has reached iconic status.

1.

Artist: Neal Adams

This one is almost boring featured here – it’s just most likely the most famous Green Lantern cover by one of the (if not THE) most famous Green Lantern artists of all time.

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for the covers!

And, of course, thanks to Geoff Johns (check out his website here) for helping me figure the list out!

54 Comments

Is it just me or does Sinestro’s left hand on the Kane cover look extremely out of proportion.

What about GL #93 – isn’t that the first one with Green Lantern and Green Arrow sharing the title? Great image, if I recall correctly.

I’ll definitely agree with #4 (Hal will never get over his insanity period) and #1 (a defining period for the character).

Just for giggles: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/ba/Day_of_judgment_5.jpg . We’ll never get away from this period either.

I don’t know, that Bolland cover doesn’t really look like any Bolland cover I’ve seen in the past.
When was that cover done? $0.40 looks like it was done around 1980-1984, I could be wrong there.

I’m not even going to look at your cover selections before responding (and THEN I’ll look at them): You can expect triple-digit comments on this one, Brian! Good luck…

I thought the cover of Green Lantern Green Arrow 85 would be right up there: http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=24404&zoom=4

And my personal favourites include:

The beginning of the Crisis: http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=19506&zoom=4

The first death cover: http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=20163&zoom=4

The first Hal vs. the Corps cover: http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=21252&zoom=4

I don’t know about triple digits, but I don’t see a whole lot to disagree with here. #5 and #3 are a little generic, but if those are the first time those kinds of images were used, I can see why Brian used them.

The blurb, “For better and for worse” makes me think that #2 is implying that Hal and Sinestro are married.

Theno

GL/GA #85 is clearly an iconic cover, but I think it’s a stretch to call that an iconic Hal Jordan cover.

And the “death” and “Hal vs. the Corps” covers were definitely in consideration for the list.

The first one I thought of was the “I quit!” cover from Green Lantern #181.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_B5AJTvaU95U/RzoZbz_5TUI/AAAAAAAAA5E/8Q4Ff5itrmE/s1600-h/glv2181.jpg

Here’s the one I think of:
http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/green-lantern-1960/181-1.jpg
“I’m tired of being your whipping boy!! I quit!!”

Whoops…just saw Chad’s post.

One of my favorite Hal covers, though not that iconic is the cover to GL vs Aliens

Yeah, #181 is a great one, too.

How come Hal gets two rings?

I think 4 and 5 are more iconic than 2 and 3.

There are so many good Gil Kane covers from the first run.

This is great foreshadowing in an ironic way: http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=21911&zoom=4

This is just a great composition: http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=23212&zoom=4

Great choices. It is funny how some characters have maybe two clear-cut iconic covers and Hal Jordan has SEVEN. You could swap in either the GREEN LANTERN #40 or #46 for any the above covers and get an equally good list.

When I think of Hal Jordan, what comes to mind is his “first among equals” status in GLC, the fact that he has a dark side and his friendship with Oliver Queen. The Green Lantern concept is pretty clearly about the power of will.

Both the Bolland covers do a great job showing Hal’s status in the GLC. The Daryl Banks cover is THE iconic dark side cover. The Neal Adams cover does a great job creating a visual metaphor for the GL/GA relationship. Finally, the Kane cover does a great job with idea of will and Sinestro as Jordan’s Shadow.

Good thing they were all Hal Jordan covers.

Just curious, but are you going to attempt to do this with Batman and SUperman? I’d think there’d be so many to choose from that you’d be crazy to try. But as a reader it would be interesting to see your picks.

That was the original plan, jazzbo, but I ended up doing so many characters (with still so many characters left to do) that I’m considering extending this feature to an additional month some time in the future. If I do do that, then I’d hold off on a few major characters to do that time around.

In fact, I would say I’m heavily leaning in that direction.

That sounds great to me, but I sure as hell don’t envy you trying to narrow it down to 5. :)

The “I quit” cover (GL #181) was the first thing I thought of too. That one and the number 1 on this list are the only GL covers I’ve seen several times without ever having read the actual comic book.

Hmmm…if my “figures” are correct (quotes because they’re not particularly scientific), I suppose I could cobble together a second month if I split the second month into two parts – one half individual characters and one half teams. Hmmm…I guess I could even alternate days between characters and teams…

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

September 21, 2009 at 2:29 pm

As to characters like Superman and Batman…that might be best if you stayed to, say, covers of one of their ongoings, or even better, “covers from books that aren’t their own.” (That is, excluding Action, Superman, Man of Steel, the World of… titles, Man of Tomorrow, and Adventure Comics from Superman’s list; Batman, Detective Comics, Shadow of the Bat, LotDK, DKR/DKSA, etc. for Batman, and World’s Finest for both.)

all good choices though surprisde green latern green arrow cover where they find Speedy is a addict did not meet the list. though its proably disquilified from the covers list. otherwise love the choices the one with Hal and all the stolen power rings still insane looking

I liked #181 quite a bit. George Perez did some fine covers for the Omega Men trilogy, with #143 being particularly memorable. But I agree on #1 even though Ollie has a lot to do with its iconic status.

Other ones I really love include #147, 151, 163, and 199. Check out this very cool archive for more goodies:

http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/green-lantern-1960

I wish Brian Bolland did more interior work than just covers.

Yes, that is an equally iconic depiction of Ollie. I believe DC’s licensing dept used that image of him on various products throughout the 1970s.

Good choices. I’m still rather partial to some of the Mike Grell covers which were my first hook to the character:

(DC Special #17)
http://comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=28735&zoom=4

{DC Special #20)
http://comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=29516&zoom=4

(Green Lantern #90)
http://comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=30078&zoom=4

(Green Lantern #93)
http://comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=30722&zoom=4

Or the Gil Kane relaunch as a solo title (Green Lantern #123):
http://comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=33894&zoom=4

Glad to see Darryl Banks get some love. All through Kyle’s run there was great, CONSISTANT artwork because of Banks.

Don’t think I’ve ever seen #2 before, but the rest are solid choices.

Your #1 is everybody’s #1. Great pick.

This isn’t meant as a diss against Neal Adams ( I have the utmost respect for his work, like any red-blooded comics fan ), but it’s kind of pathetic that Hal’s most iconic cover is the one where he’s being symbolically castrated by a shmuck with a bow and arrow.

The Neil Adams crucifixion cover from the 70s. I grew up Irish-Catholic in Southie.

The existential awesomeness of GL #63 commends it to the top of my list.

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=22144&zoom=4

"O" the Humanatee!

September 21, 2009 at 7:25 pm

@Tom Fitzpatrick: What’s your point? If it’s that you doubt the cover’s by Bolland, you might want to have a look at the signature at the lower left.

Never realized Banks did so many issues. That is a great cover!

Bolland’s cover for #127 was his first DC cover and first published DC work, I believe. Apr 1980 cover date, on sale January 1980.

GL/GA #85 is clearly an iconic cover, but I think it’s a stretch to call that an iconic Hal Jordan cover.

I agree actually but it is an iconic cover and there’s never going to be a list of ‘Top Five Most Iconic Speedy Covers’ so… :-)

Speaking of which, if you are considering a second month of TFMICs why not try a round of themes, not just individuals or even teams?

Top Five Most Iconic Drug Abuse Covers, for instance, or Top Five Most Iconic Trial of a Superhero Covers? Or even the most iconic covers of a team fighting itself, or a team breaking up?

[…] Si deseas ver la lista, sólo tienes que darle click aquí. […]

Speaking of which, if you are considering a second month of TFMICs why not try a round of themes, not just individuals or even teams?

A theme month would certainly be interesting. Perhaps another month in the future? My “concern” with a theme month (quotes because I really don’t care enough to call it concern) is that once you start doing themes, you open yourself up to a LOT more possibilities for each list and thus, even more pissy comments like “Any list without Cover X is just wrong.”

I’d take GL #85 or #181 over the #4 choice.

I think you guys are overrating Banks’ consistency. Yes, he was the “regular” artist, but there were tons of fill-ins between #50 and when Eaglesham took over in the 140s.

I would go so far as to say the Paul Pelletier and Jeff Johnson were “co-regular” artists along with Banks. A decent number of true fill-ins, too.

Eliot – quite right. The wonderful Paul Pelletier was named official co-artist after just a few years, in fact. Perhaps Jeff Johnson as well. Banks still rules though.

As for the list, I think it’s really good. I’d have swapped out the Tales of the GLC # 1 for # 3 though, since it is referenced a lot in articles:

http://www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/73/37317_20060513095514_large.jpg

Other great GL covers I’d have considered:

GL 24 – The Strange World Named Green Lantern, which served as inspiration for Alan Moore’s Mogo:
http://www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/77/38093_20060523183345_large.jpg

GL 31 – Power Rings for Sale! A famous cover, and homaged a few times, I believe:
http://www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/53/32709_20060315172452_large.jpg

GL 163 – A simple space shot, but a classic. And one you see in articles on GL quite a bit too:
http://www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/31/19824_20051220021014_large.jpg

Anyway, great article!

As for the list, I think it’s really good. I’d have swapped out the Tales of the GLC # 1 for # 3 though, since it is referenced a lot in articles:

http://www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/73/37317_20060513095514_large.jpg

Other great GL covers I’d have considered:

GL 24 – The Strange World Named Green Lantern, which served as inspiration for Alan Moore’s Mogo:
http://www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/77/38093_20060523183345_large.jpg

GL 31 – Power Rings for Sale! A famous cover, and homaged a few times, I believe:
http://www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/53/32709_20060315172452_large.jpg

GL 163 – A simple space shot, but a classic. And one you see in articles on GL quite a bit too:
http://www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/31/19824_20051220021014_large.jpg

Anyway, great article!

Thanks!

Tales of the GLC #3 is definitely a great cover, but I think Bolland is doing a homage, of sorts, to his own cover (the cover that I put at #3), and when I think of “iconicity,” I think the original cover gets the credit over the homage, even if the homage ends up being done better than the original.

Boy. This article brings home how irreversible the damage that DC made to Hal Jordan is. To think that he would one day be thought of as a insane guy with a dark side…

#123 will always be my favourite,

http://comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=33894&zoom=4

But 171 & 177 are also great ones.

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Just think of all the fun we could have with themes! Best Green and Red Kryptonite covers! Best American flag-themed covers! Best drug-use covers! Best racism-themed covers! Best pollution-themed covers! Best Vietnam war-themed covers! Best women’s-lib covers! Best homosexual-themed covers! Best suicide-themed covers! Best “chaos at the United Nations” covers! Best nuclear explosion/mushroom cloud covers! Best Christmas covers! Best Valentine’s Day covers! Best “Alice in Wonderland” covers! Best “Sherlock Holmes” covers! Best Egyptian-themed covers! Best covers with no illustrations, only text! Best two-colors-only covers! Best ’60s psychedelic covers! Best “hero behind bars” covers! Best “sidekick betrays hero” covers! Best “hero vs. ape” covers! Best “hero and US president” covers! Best “hero fighting himself” covers! Best “hero burned at the stake” covers! Best “hero vs. vampire” covers! Best “hero sitting in a classroom” covers! Best “hero confronted by his own secret identity” covers! Best “hero turned into an animal” covers! Best “hero on trial” covers! Best “hero berated by his angry father” covers! Best “hero vs. Nazis” covers! Best “hero on the moon” covers! Best “hero cowering in fear” covers! Best “only the hero’s mask” covers! Best “hero vs. angry protesters in the streets” covers! Best “hero in a blinding snowstorm” covers! Best “hero vs. dinosaurs” covers! Best “hero clutching or ripping his chest emblem” covers! Best “hero as an old person” covers! Best “hero drowning underwater” covers! Best “hero quits” covers! Best “imaginary story featuring hero confronting his own son” covers! Best “hero vs. werewolf” covers! Best “hero’s funeral” covers! Best “hero as a beggar” covers! Best “hero gasping for water in a desert” covers! Best “hero trades bodies with his arch-enemy” covers! Best “hero getting married to someone who isn’t his longtime sweetheart” covers!

I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

P.S. I imagine you’d want to limit the choices to DC’s and Marvel’s superhero comics. No mystery, horror, or sci-fi comics or you’d have too many choices to deal with.

Yeah, I was going to mention Pelletier.

He was by far my more preferred GL asrtist at the time, he just seemed to get Kyle more than Banks (even though he was a Banks design – weird that)

[…] Top Five Most Iconic Hal Jordan Covers (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com) […]

so why was GA shoot arrows at GL?

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