Contrasting Hal and Clark in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 31

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 31 features the fourth chapter of Superman’s escapades in Green Lantern’s world. Robert Venditti uses the opportunity to examine Hal Jordan as a man compared to Clark Kent.

The psychic Green Lantern villain Hector Hammond has been abducted and is being experimented on by the aliens known as the Kroloteans. When our heroes show up the possessed Hammond hits them with some “For the Man Who Has Everything”-level visions.

Patrick Zircher draws Hal in an oh-so-sweet civilian home life with his brother’s family and sometimes soulmate Carol Ferris. Zircher neglects to show us Superman’s vision, opting for an image of him writhing in pain: “…ma? …pa?”

Anyone with a base-level knowledge of Superman can imagine/understand what Superman might be seeing. I find it more interesting as a counterpoint to Hal’s life.

Hal essentially realizes that what he’s seeing isn’t true because there’s no way his life is that perfect — let alone his relationship with Carol. At issue’s end, Hal is just about to knock on Carol’s door, but GL duty calls. My read is that Hal Jordan can’t have the life that Clark Kent has. Carol and Hal don’t share an epic romance like Lois and Clark mostly because Hal won’t let himself.

Another interesting exploration Venditti makes is the notion of superheroes killing. Hammond’s attempted Superman-assisted suicide brings this issue to the table.

Zircher lingers on Hal and Supes for an excruciating amount of time as they both contemplate the ease of killing their enemies. Either: both have considered killing but know it goes against their morals or Hal changes the answer to his question based on Superman’s example.

Green Lanterns are permitted to kill nowadays. Have we ever seen Hal pull the trigger?

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

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