Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why it sucks to be named "Hal"

“I don't know if Hal is homicidal, suicidal, neurotic, psychotic, or just plain broken.”

No, that line is NOT from a comic book, nor from any other source related to superhero Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan becoming the villain Parallax. It’s actually from the movie 2010: Odyssey Two, in reference to the most famous computer in film history, the HAL 9000 (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic Computer).

However, Hal Jordan and HAL 9000 actually have an AWFUL lot in common:

- After the destruction of Coast City, Hal Jordan rebels against the Green Lantern Corps and tries to force the Guardians of the Universe to give him the power to restore Coast City (Green Lantern: Emerald Twilight).
- After learning that the astronauts aboard spaceship Discovery are thinking about disconnecting him due to a perceived error, HAL 9000 decides to defend himself and his mission by any means necessary (2001: A Space Odyssey).

- Hal Jordan ends up destroying the Green Lantern Corps and murdering all of the Guardians of the Universe, except Ganthet.
- HAL 9000 ends up disabling life support and murdering all of the Discovery astronauts, except David Bowman.

- Hal Jordan’s colleagues assume he’s gone crazy, and do everything necessary to stop him.
- David Bowman assumes HAL 9000 has gone crazy, and does everything necessary to shut him down.

- It later turns out Hal Jordan is innocent, because he’s been infected by an all-powerful alien parasite. He’s eventually redeemed (Green Lantern: Rebirth).
- It later turns out that HAL 9000 is innocent, due to a programming contradiction from White House officials that caused him to become paranoid. He’s eventually redeemed (2010: Odyssey Two).

So, what does all this prove? Probably nothing -- except that in the world of fiction, it really SUCKS to be named Hal.

(Actually, it sucks in the real world, too. Halliburton [NYSE: HAL], anyone?)


SallyP said... just makes so much SENSE! I was always secretly rooting for HAL in the movie anyway.

TF said...


Now I wanna see a comic where GL starts singing 'daisy... daisy... giveeee meeee your ooonssososostroooooo...."

Sea_of_Green said...

"I'm sorry, Ollie -- I'm afraid I can't do that!"