First, a disclaimer:
this is a comic book hero that I loved as a kid.
Maybe because heís human, he has to use his imagination, and heís
part of a greater good. Plus, that
requirement of having to re-charge the ring every day gives rise to all manner
of good analogies. (Fill in your own similes here.)
Ryan Reynolds is a good choice for this
role of Hal
. Heís a talented Air Force test
pilot who enjoys playing the irresponsible slackard when not on duty, which
makes him relaxed and rariní to go when he does report.
He has no family, other than a good friend, Carol (Blake Lively),
whoís also a pilot, but while she shares his passion and equals his skills,
she doesnít know how to think outside the box.
OK, here comes something so outside the
box itís from outer space. It seems
that the universe is actually run by a council of immortal guardians (the
pantheon legend morphs into an intergalactic form).
The guardians, in turn, have divided the universe into 360 sectors
(didnít Hammurabi do that?), each protected by a chosen Jedi---no wait, a
Green Lantern protector. The central
Green Lantern is powered by the collective will of the universe, and,
conveniently, each warrior is entrusted with a ring, which in turn is re-chargable,
through a portable Green Lantern, by repeating the ancient oath to defend
against evil. (Never mind where evil
comes from in the first place.)
One of the immortal guardians decides to
turn to the Dark Side, attempting to explore the powers of Fear, which Courage
was supposed to overcome. Plus, he
enlists the aid of an earthling mad scientist (Peter Skaarsgard) who becomes
more physically ugly as his soul turns toward the darkness. (Making it even
harder for him to get the girl.)
He feeds off the fears of others,
becoming more and more powerful, eventually even threatening the power of the
immortals, and destroying a couple of the chosen Green Lanterns.
Yes, you donít choose to be a Green
Lantern, it chooses you, in a wonderful twist of comic book predestination.
It sees something in you that perhaps others donít, maybe even you
yourself donít. Kind of like
You gotta like a superhero whose powers
are limited only by his imagination. He
has to envision something before he can bring it to reality.
And yet, he can create it merely by willing it (much as we think of God
ordering the creation). Yes, heís
still human, and therefore still fears, but he has to overcome his inherent
weaknesses in order to fight against the strength of evil (much like Jesus had
to do in his earthly life). It is
tempting to think of the intergalactic Green Lanterns as powerful angels who
can transport themselves across galaxies, but youíd hate to think of The
Highest Power as a balky, dispassionate, isolationist, indecisive committee.
That would seem more like Hell.
Of course. But the romance is
oh-so-formal, there is no gutter slang, evil is conquered, and the cosmos is
safe for quirky humans who can occasionally rise above themselves when the
need arises, but only when understanding themselves invisibly connected to a
universal force united for the greater good. Not
a bad view of the world at all.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Co-Pastor, United