Over the years, DC has introduced a wide array of iconic superheroes into the pop culture landscape, each of whom has a wildly different perspective on heroics and morality. Two of the most buzzworthy ones have been Hal Jordan/Green Lantern and Bruce Wayne/Batman, who individually (and together, as members of the Justice League) have inspired countless fans. In a story recently published in the Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular, the pair's dynamic - and their varied outlooks on being a superhero - was showcased in a surprisingly poignant way. Spoilers for Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular below! Only look if you want to know!
One of the special's stories, Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis' "Last Will", opens on Hal Jordan landing on some sort of unknown alien planet. As Hal's Green Lantern ring quickly tells him, the ring's power levels are nearing zero percent, leaving him enough time to send three virtual messages before the ring shuts down. Once Hal confirms as much, he begins to send his messages. He sends one to the rest of the Green Lantern Corps, in hopes that they will be able to locate and save him. He sends another to Carol Ferris, thanking her for their relationship and their time together. But the second message might be the most surprising yet, as he sends a video message to Batman.
Hal opens by apologizing, and by revealing that he's been envious of Bruce's smarts ever since he joined the Justice League. As Hal put it, something in his personality has made him feel like he needs to keep proving himself "over and over", as if he's "not good enough" to wear the Green Lantern ring. Meanwhile, he's "always been envious" of Bruce's confidence in his own heroics, and the fact that he doesn't need a ring to be a true hero. He also thanks Bruce for teaching him humility, as he worries he would have remained Parallax without him.
While there definitely have been moments over the years where Hal has exhibited heroic qualities without the Green Lantern ring - about half a dozen instances in the "Hard Traveling Heroes" arc of the 1970s come to mind - this scene is still a pretty profound one. Not only does it put to words one of the biggest narrative contrasts between Green Lantern and Batman, but it acknowledges Bruce's role (intentional and unintentional) in affecting Hal's life. Even though, by the end of the story, Hal realizes that his life wasn't hanging in the balance (and seems slightly embarrassed about the message he sent to Bruce), it's still an endearing sentiment.
What do you think of the Green Lantern/Batman moment in Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
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