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CSBG Archive

2011 Top DC Characters #5

After nearly 1,400 ballots were cast, YOU the reader ranked your favorite comic book characters of all-time from 1-10. I assigned point totals to each ranking and then tabulated it all into a Top 50 list. We’re now revealing that list throughout September. Here is the master list of all the characters revealed so far. The countdown continues…

5. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) –2549 points (74 first place votes)

Created by John Broome and Gil Kane, the revamped Green Lantern debuted in the pages of Showcase. Hal Jordan was a test pilot who was chosen by the dying former Green Lantern of Sector 2814 to be the next Green Lantern for the Sector (which includes Earth). The Green Lantern Corps are basically space cops, who use these rings that can create anything that the ringbearer can imagine.

Hal basically went on to become the most successful Green Lantern there ever was. He also helped co-found the Justice League of America.

Years later, Hal embarked on a tour of America with his Justice League teammate, Green Arrow. The series of adventures were written by Denny O’Neil and drawn by Neal Adams, and are well regarded classics to this day.

Eventually, Hal appeared to have snapped after his hometown of Coast City was destroyed by a bad guy. It appeared as though Hal was now a villain called Parallax. He even tried to recreate the entire universe!!

Hal then sacrificed himself to re-ignite the Sun, which had gone out. He returned as the human host for the Spectre, but soon, we learned that not all was right with Hal.

As it turned out, the powerful fear entity Parallax had possessed Hal back when he became a villain, and IT was responsible for him being a bad guy.

Once free of the possession, Hal helped rebuild the Corps that he had destroyed as Parallax, and he once again became the most notable Green Lantern in the entire Corps!

Recently, Hal was stripped of his ring once again by the Guardians. Hal’s rival, Sinestro, was given Hal’s ring! So now Sinestro and Hal have to try to work something out that would result in both men returning to their respective status quos.


The Crazed Spruce

September 26, 2011 at 7:04 am

While I do respect why he received the most votes out of any of the Green Lanterns, I didn’t vote for him. His personality is a little too flat for my tastes.

I think his whole problem is that, except for a few tweaks and plot twists that wound up being retconned away, his personality stayed pretty much the same since he was created in 1959. Sure, back then he was one of the more entertaining characters in the DC roster, but what’s new and exciting in the Silver Age is dull as dishwater in the 2000’s.

Perhaps Hal Jordan is not really a fan favorite for other Green Lantern fans. But Hal Hordan has been identified with the Green Lantern character longer than Earth’s other Green Lanterns (with the exception of Alan Scot). They have killed him and brought him back from the death to boost the Green Lantern comic franchise and it brought back popularity to him with great events like the Sinestro War, Blackest Night, Brightest Day, etc.

I think his popularity depends on two factors: DC management and the fan response. Bringing Hal Jordan back made wonders for DC and they stick with it. With good storylines and great fan response , Hal Jordan attracted old and new followers.

Hal is probably a more interesting character than he’s potrayed as.
A cocky test pilot who uses his arrogrance as a mask for his fear of dying in a crash like his dad. A rebel amongst a collection of space cops overseen by universal watchdogs who look to maintain order by any means.

During the Hard Travelling Heroes arc, he’s played as the conservative maintainer of the law. This can be seen as a bit of a contradiction.

The other member of the corps who often questions how the Guardians lead them is his arch enemy, Sinestro.

I wouldn’t be suprised if this current arc of GL starts to show a bit more depth of Hal. Or not. We’ll see.

Ah…I wondered when Hal was going to show up. I like Hal well enough…although Guy is my favorite. And he does have awfully pretty hair.

I had Hal as my top GL (of two on my list). Historically, John was my favorite (thanks largely to Mosaic), but it’s been too long since I’ve really liked… well, anything they did with John. So I moved Hal up above, if only for consistency.

figured if wonder woman did not get in the top five then odds are it would be hal since the rest of the dc list is no doubt the big guns . and number one and two do not need to guess at.

I think Green Lantern is a sold number five. Great stories and art. Can’t wait to start reading the new 52 Lantern

I’ll be honest: I don’t get it. The only time I ever found Hal Jordan compelling, he was slaughtering the Corps and then calling himself Parallax. Even the generally pretty good GL comics over the last 7 years have presented him completely void of a personality.

For me, Hal Jordan is an example of a weak protagonist who is buoyed by the other pieces of his “story telling engine”.

Ferris Aircraft is a pretty terrific setting. It naturally puts Hal in contact with the military-industrial complex. Hal could fight communists in the sixties and Jihads today without changing his setting. There is natural intrigue with contracts and rival firms.

Green Lantern being a job is a unique modus operandi. There is a never ending stream of alien-related problems for Hal to contend with. It can easily support ideas as gonzo as Geoff Johns’ rainbow corps.

The Rogues Gallery is ok. EMERALD DAWN did a great job re-inventing Sinestro (except for the name). Geoff Johns did interesting things with Black Hand and Hector Hammond.

The supporting cast has the traditional Silver Age DC problem of limited depth, but the characters are good ones. Carol Ferris is interesting and unique. Tom Kalmaku at least added some early diversity.

However, Hal himself is a terrible protagonist. He is boring at best and often genuinely unlikable.

I’m with Brian Fowler.

I enjoyed the big reveal in Zero Hour. Other than that Hal bores me.

Guy is the best Green Lantern!

i agree with Apollo9000:

“Hal is probably a more interesting character than he’s potrayed as.

A cocky test pilot who uses his arrogrance as a mask for his fear of dying in a crash like his dad. A rebel amongst a collection of space cops overseen by universal watchdogs who look to maintain order by any means.”

It is only bad writing that makes Hal boring. He should be one of the most interesting characters in comics. i actually think that ‘Hard-Traveling Heroes’ damaged Hal as a character. He could have been a big USA patriot as a counterpoint to Green Arrow, and they could have both learned someingt. However, he was portrayed as “The Man” who was corrupt & covered up for his country, while Ollie was the hero of the piece [just read the 1st issue to get Denny’s perspective].

If Hal is portrayed as he is in New Frontier [i think, haven’t read it in a while] where he is more of a maverick and hot head to cover for insecurties, then he could be a compelling character.


September 27, 2011 at 4:20 pm

danjack – I largely agree. I think Cooke’s take on GL is just about the best ever done.

Having said that, let’s clear the decks: Obviously Hal, as a central character to a bigger concept, is plenty compelling; he’s been one of DC’s more popular characters for 50 years. His book has been one of DC’s best-selling books in the last 10 years, to the point DC’s come out with DTVs, animated series and even a fairly crappy live-action adaptation. Counted amongst his fans are a lot of highly gifted, intelligent pros – Kurt Busiek, Darwyn Cooke, Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison, etc. And of course, he finished 5th in this little popularity poll too. The point being – obviously Green Lantern / Hal Jordan is a compelling character to newer readers.

It’s jaded, longtime fans from the 90s – mostly fans of OTHER Green Lanterns – that typically take issue with Hal Jordan. For them, it’s all just competition.

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