Now that the first "Green Lantern" trailer is online, there's still quite a bit of time until the movie's June 2011 premiere. So, how about a little light reading to get you caught up with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern universe?
When hardcore comics fans discuss their favorite Green Lantern stories, some of the first to come up include modern arcs like “The Sinestro Corps War,” “Rage of the Red Lanterns,” or the “Blackest Night” saga. However, while those are definitely great stories, they’re not necessarily the right entry point for people new to Hal Jordan's ring-wielding adventures.
That's why we've come up with a list of stories that can act as a crash course on pilot-turned-superhero Hal Jordan and the basics of the Green Lantern Corps, the group of intergalactic warriors who each wield a power ring fueled by willpower and imagination.
The following stories are listed in chronological order according to when they occurred in the DC universe...
GREEN LANTERN: SECRET ORIGIN
This is how it all starts, and serves as the "bible" for the upcoming "Green Lantern" movie, according to Ryan Reynolds. In the story, you'll learn about the childhood of Hal Jordan, how he became a test pilot and how that led him to being chosen by the Green Lantern Corps as the protector of Earth and Space Sector 2814. You'll also meet his trainers, Kilowog and Sinestro, one of whom will become his greatest enemy. "Secret Origins" is written by Geoff Johns, and illustrated by Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert.
GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW Vol. 1 & 2
For years, Hal had been operating as a cosmic superhero, defending Earth from alien menaces and super-villains. But in this critically acclaimed story line, Oliver Queen (AKA Green Arrow) confronts Hal over the fact that there are many social injustices happening in the streets of the U.S. that the Green Lantern Corps has done nothing about. Ollie and Hal then embark on a road trip across America to re-affirm what their roles are as heroes, and where the lines have to be drawn. Comic veterans Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams created the story.
FLASH & GREEN LANTERN: BRAVE AND THE BOLD
When Barry Allen (The Flash), and Hal Jordan founded the Justice League of America together, they became fast friends. This collection of stories shows various times during their friendship, including their first team-up, an adventure where Hal gets a sidekick, a camping trip they take with the original Flash and Green Lantern, and Barry’s reaction to Hal and Ollie’s road trip. Written by Mark Waid and Tom Peyer, the story is illustrated by Barry Kitson and Tom Grindberg.
GREEN LANTERN: IN BRIGHTEST DAY?
A collection of stories by a variety of artists and writers, "In Brightest Day" features the introduction of Guy Gardner, the early days of John Stewart, the secret of the Green Lantern named Mogo, the role of Superman in the universe, and a story by Alan Moore ("Watchmen") that inspired last year's big DC crossover event, "Blackest Night." A couple of these stories aren’t strictly in continuity anymore, but they show the foundation for many interesting aspects of the Green Lantern mythology.
GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD TWILIGHT & NEW DAWN
Though the collection for this story is out of print, you can search the back-issue bins and find this storyline in "Green Lantern" Vol. 2 #48-55. This is the famous fall of Hal Jordan that shook the "Green Lantern" comics universe to its foundation, turning the hero into a villain, destroying the Corps, and leaving behind a single, somewhat different ring that was given to Kyle Rayner. Kyle had to become a Green Lantern without any mentors or help, and his career was quickly marked by tragedy. Watch for the guest appearance by Earth’s first Green Lantern. The story was written by Ron Marz and illustrated by Daryl Banks.
Did we miss any of your favorite Hal Jordan stories? Let us know what you think of the list — and any books you'd add to it — in the comment section or on Twitter!