Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan and The Spectre before "bonding"

AT LAST, my computer and scanner are speaking to one another. The bulbs on my scanner are starting to go out, though -- so if you see a faint white line through my scans, that's why.

In DC Comics' current Blackest Night storyline, it looks like a showdown between Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan and the Spectre is imminent. Of course, this promises to be VERY interesting considering Hal Jordan was once a host for the Spectre. Hal and the Spectre certainly aren't bonded anymore, and given their history, there's certainly no love lost between them. Who will prevail in the upcoming battle? I think it's pretty obvious that Hal will, based on evidence that he will once again become Parallax to fight the Spectre, and based on some prior history between him and the Spectre BEFORE they were bonded together. My argument is based partly on events from Zero Hour, and partly from a rare little tidbit from Green Lantern Secret Files & Origins #2 (1999), called "Haunting."

(Besides, these two stories present an interesting view of the relationship between Hal and the Spectre before the two become bonded together.)

The Spectre, of course, is one of the oldest characters in the DC Universe. For the most part, it operates as a spirit of vengeance that, hosted by a human soul and supposedly directed by a higher power, inflicts horrific, Old Testament-style punishments on evil doers. Through most of its history, the Spectre's host was Jim Corrigan, and its hero team affiliations were mostly with the Justice Society.

Prior to the storyline Zero Hour -- and prior to becoming possessed by Parallax -- Hal had quite a bit of experience working alongside the Spectre in various team-ups involving the Justice Society and the Justice League. Hal dealt with the Spectre only very rarely outside of those teamups, and when he did, it was obvious he didn't approve of the Spectre's way of dealing with bad guys.

On one occasion, Hal and the Spectre get into a bit of a shoving match over how to best deal with the villain Evil Star. The Spectre, wanting very much to torture Evil Star, seemingly gets the drop on Hal (while reluctantly admitting it respects Hal's power as a hero). Hal fights back with the following argument:

Hal continues: "I'm surprised with all your power and wisdom -- your righteousness and sermons -- you've never heard of redemption."

At Hal's words, the Spectre stops in its tracks and allows Hal to haul Evil Star off to Oa for incarceration.

When Hal and the Spectre next meet, it's during Zero Hour, when Hal has been possessed by Parallax and is on the verge of reforming all of existence in his own image. A band of heroes from various timelines and universes try their best to stop Hal, but not even Superman is a match for him:

THEN, the Spectre shows up:

Hal is not the least bit intimidated by the Spectre, and the two engage in battle:

Hal continues to hold his own against the Spectre AND against the other heroes ...

... including poor Oliver (Green Arrow) Queen, who just can't believe that his best friend has seemingly gone off the deep end:

Hal actually manages to fight off the Spectre, but not without expending a LOT of his energy. This allows Kyle Rayner to get the drop on him.

Hal continues to fight, though, and people are dying -- including Batgirl from an alternate universe. This is the final straw for Green Arrow, who fights back the only way he can:

(Please note: In all of their history together, NOT ONCE has Hal Jordan EVER tried using his power to directly or deliberately hurt Oliver Queen. NOT ONCE, even when possessed by Parallax.)

With Hal finally out of action, the Spectre comes roaring back:

The Spectre then uses Damage's power to "restart" the universe and undo most of the damage done by Parallax. Hal and Kyle both disappear, and Oliver Queen falls into despair, believing he's killed his best friend.

Hal, of course, isn't dead. He reappears on Oa (Kyle does, too, very soon afterward):
Now that the universe is back the way it belongs, the Spectre once again comes after Hal. Hal doesn't back down one bit:

The Spectre hesitates and, remembering their earlier confrontation over Evil Star, halts his attack:

Immediately after this, Hal and Kyle get in a huge fight that results in the destruction of Oa (but that's another story). Hal eventually redeems himself somewhat by sacrificing his life to save Earth during Final Night, and then soon afterward his soul becomes a new host for the Spectre. Hal remains the Spectre's host until the Green Lantern: Rebirth storyline.

SO, based on Zero Hour (and based also on similar events that occur in Green Lantern: Rebirth -- though Hal, Parallax, AND the Spectre are ALL bonded together in THAT story), Hal Jordan as Parallax appears to be more than a match for the Spectre. Hmmmmm ...

UPDATE: By golly, I was right. As of Green Lantern #50 (2010), Hal has become Parallax again to fight the Spectre. Not that the creative team did anything to hide that possibility or anything ...


SallyP said...

Ooooohh...this is gonna be good. Does the Spectre have a soul at the moment? Because he has a tendancy to go wackity-woo when he doesn't have someone in charge. I'm assuming that Crispus Allen is in there.

It's true that Hal has never ever used his ring against Ollie. Even when Ollie was calling him a Nazi with every other breath. The same can't be said for Oliver of course.

Hal as Parallax again is going to be so Wicked!

Kevin T. said...

Is that yellow bug coming back to make Hal Parallax? I've been following Blackest Night on the blogosphere, but I don't see why he'll be Parallax again =/.

Scanners are annoying; I agree =/.

LissBirds said...

Very insightful, Sea! I'll be interested to see how your theory plays out in Blackest Night. I haven't read Zero Hour. I really need to...

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Sea-of-Green said...

It does look to me like Hal deliberately becomes Parallax again to fight the Spectre. We'll see!

Danny Florida said...

What comic is that scan of Hal pulling the arrow out of his chest?

Can anyone help?