Green Lantern–Failure of Imagination   5 comments

In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight, let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power–Green Lantern’s light!

Duh! What is evil? Green Lanterns know it when they see it.

One of my favorite comics from D.C. has always been Green Lantern. I always wanted to be Hal Jordan–gifted with a ring that would enable me to do anything I could imagine. Of course, Hal was supposed to be without fear, and I, being a normal human being have plenty of fear. Chicken is one of my middle names, along with Stupid, Insensitive, and Klutzy. Needless to say, I don’t mention those names on any official forms.

But, if willpower and imagination counted for anything, then I should have one of those magic rings. Reading those comics all my life, I’ve come to see how abysmally stupid and limited the ring wielders are. It’s like they never once sat down and asked themselves what they could really do with a ring like that.

First of all, the ring’s description says it’s powers are only limited by the imagination of the wielders–imagination and willpower. Some comic writer, i forget who, but it was probably Gardner Fox, once suggested that the rings were only placebos–the true power came from the will power and the minds of the wielders, but everyone else seems to think the power comes from the rings, and that it’s limited to a 24-hour charge.

That’s a weird concept–why 24 hours? Surely that time period has no meaning anywhere else in the galaxy than Earth?  But let’s say the ring can hold X amount of power, let’s call X one hundred percent. In order to recharge the rings, every wielder has a power battery. One would think that ring-slingers would want that battery on hand at all times, and they should find some way to take it with them, not leave it lying around the airplane hanger like Hal always did.

The rings can communicate over distance–do telepathy, act as a scanner. Why can’t they power up over distance? I bet they could if anyone ever had the imagination to order it. So, the whole running out of power thing should never happen, and Lanterns should never lose their power batteries.

Lately, a lot of Green Lanterns have died. In Emerald Twilight, Hal Jordan went mad with grief and killed everyone who stood in his path. Why? Why do Lanterns die? If I were a Lantern, the first thing I’d do is use the ring’s power to make myself invulnerable to harm. Projectiles of all sorts would either bounce off or harmlessly dissipate–the ring’s forcefield would automatically counter them all. Sound waves would be acoustically countered. Poisons would be filtered out and neutralized by little green nanobots in my bloodstream. If I did get injured, I’d have the ring fix me. Why cant the rings do medicine? Failure of will? It is no more difficult to mend a broken arm than to fly unprotected through interstellar space at warp speeds. And it would all be done by standing orders. Green Lanterns shoud be like Superman, unharmable by most of the things in the universe.

For most of D.C.’s history Green Lanterns weren’t supposed to kill. That seems like a good rule–killing is so final. What are you supposed to do with a horrendous evil bad guy who won’t stop attacking, and who won’t change, if you can’t kill him? How about paralyzing them? All voluntary muscle control negated by the power of the ring. You could leave autonomic functions so that the bad guy could breathe, digest food, and excrete. That would stop most of them. How about simply slowing down the speed of thought by  a factor of one hundred or one thousand or one million? It would take so long for the bad guy to think of what he wanted to say or do that ordinary humans could walk up and carry him away. How about teleporting the bad guys to another galaxy? How about accellerating their metabolic processes to the point where they grew old and died in minutes? I tell  you that not many would dare to mess with the Green Lanterns if they took that kind of action against their foes.

Green Lanterns are always firing off force blasts of pure concussive energy–good for knocking things down or back, and not much else. Sufficiently powerful enemies just shrug those off. How about firing off rays of concentrated microwave radiation that would so accellerate the atoms of whatever they touched that the recipient would burn up or explode on contact? Let’s say they have a moral code against doing that to living beings? Most of their enemies have physcial tools of some sort, from ray guns to super space dreadnaughts. How about just blowing up all the weapons that the Weaponeers of Qward use? Boom!

How about being pro-active, seeking out their known enemies remotely, and then just blowing up all the enemies’ tools and weapons?  Don’t tell me they can’t use those rings for remote viewing.  Each Green Lantern is responsible for a considerable volume of galactic space. How do they watch over dozens or hundreds of planets? That is never explained. If I had that responsibilty, you can bet there would be a green monitor on every single planet in my territory, especially those with life. If there was a catastrophe, I would know, and I’d be there to fix it.  The Green Lanterns in the DC universe seem to either hang around Oa waiting for the Guardians to send them off, or stay on their homeworlds looking after the home population. That’s not right.

And while I’m talking about failure of imagination, let’s consider the imaginations of the DC writing staff. The Green Lantern corps has 3600 members who are supposed to police the universe, although it seems to be just the Milky Way galaxy that they cover.  There are about one hundred billion stars in our galaxy alone. If the load were distributed fairly, that leaves each Green Lantern with 27,777,778 stars to watch over. If only one star in a thousand has life and civilization, that leaves each Green Lantern to care for 27,777 different races.   Let’s make life really rare. Only one star in a million supports intelligent life. That leaves each Green Lantern looking after 27 different full time civilizations. That’s more than enough to keep one person busy.

In short, it seems like no one has ever really sat down and thought seriously about the whole idea of Green Lanterns in the galaxy.  I love the color, the scope, the sheer science fictional brilliance of the Green Lantern books, but the overwhelming idiocies associated with them are enough to drive any moderately intelligent reader away.

And I could probably go on for another ten pages talking about discrepancies in the Green Lantern universe. I won’t. Just believe I know I’ve barely scratched the surface of the GL problem. I leave it to you readers to point out some of the other idiocies of the whole epic.


Posted December 22, 2009 by atroll in Uncategorized

5 responses to “Green Lantern–Failure of Imagination

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I’m sorry to read that. 😦

  2. Whenever I use the power of my imagination to grant me wishes or abilities I have to put severe restrictions on those things because all too often I can come up with ways to use these things too easily, too well, or too far beyond the original concept that it becomes carte blanche. The classic example of which is what do you wish for when granted three wishes? More wishes!

  3. You’re called “Atroll” for a reason 😀

  4. Pingback: 2010 in review « Atroll's Entertainment

  5. Pingback: Top 10 Superhero Weapons | Superhero etc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: