After years of being sidelined by his fellow Justice Leaguers, Green Lantern will be coming back in a big way for a new HBO Max series. I’ve suggested in the past that the Green Lantern mythology would be far better suited for a prestige, big budget episodic series. But there are certain elements we think a Green Lantern series—or more likely, a Green Lantern Corps series—should showcase. And here are what I think are the essentials which would ensure success.
Go Full Cosmic
Although we exist in a virtual dream world of comic book TV shows right now, just about every single one of them is Earthbound. Because of budgetary reasons, most television shows actively stay away from getting too cosmic on us. But outer space adventure is baked into the very concept of the Green Lantern mythology. They are defined as being space cops, after all.
While a handful of adventures could (and should) take place on Earth, what we really want to see is action in space and stories set on weird alien worlds. This would have all been too cost prohibitive once upon a time, but recent big budget shows like Star Trek: Discovery and Lost in Space have proven you can do a space-based series that actually looks good.
Focus on Geoff Johns’ Seminal Comic Book Run
The entire Green Lantern Corps mythology began in 1959 with the introduction of Hal Jordan as the Silver Age Lantern. Over the years, we’d meet many other Corps members and the lore would expand. But in 2004, DC Comics writer Geoff Johns took over the title, and during his decade-long run on the book would he greatly expand the Green Lantern’s canvas. And he would make Green Lantern a central part of the DC Universe in a way he never had been before.
During Johns’ run, he introduced larger concepts like the differently colored Lantern corps, reveal many secrets of the Guardians of the Universe, and give DC Comics one of its biggest epic storylines ever, The Blackest Night. His run is as important to Green Lantern as a series as Chris Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men run was to Marvel. Johns run should 100% be the basis for any Green Lantern TV series. The new series would be wise to have a heavy dose of Johns’ input.
Explore the Emotional Spectrum
One of the key components of Geoff Johns’ seminal run on Green Lantern was the creation of the Emotional Spectrum, and it should be at the core of any new series. The Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum is an energy field fueled by the emotions of all sentient beings across the universe. The different Lantern corps have channeled and created seven powerful forms of energy based on their emotions, with a different color from the spectrum unique to those emotions.
Green is pure willpower (which one can also describe as courage), while yellow represents fear, and violet is love. Red is anger, while blue is hope. Indigo represents compassion, and orange symbolizes greed. The ultimate endgame of introducing these different corps would be to introduce the Black and White Lantern corps as well, which wield the power of life and death. This allows for several different corps with different agendas, all of which made for a decade’s worth of amazing comics stories. The Emotional Spectrum should be a key component to any mythology contained in the series.
Expand on the Guardians of Oa and Their Many Secrets
In the Green Lantern mythology, the Guardians of the Universe are the billion-year-old aliens who govern the Green Lantern Corps from the planet Oa. Technically, they are benevolent beings who want what is best for the universe. However, it has long been a staple of the comics that the Guardians have many skeletons in their closet. Among them are the Manhunters, a robotic police force that predated the Green Lanterns and went rogue. They were also responsible for unleashing entropy itself on the universe billions of years ago, which is why they decided to police reality in the first place. The many secrets of the Guardians of the Universe could fuel several seasons of storytelling.
Don’t Forget the Original Green Lantern, Alan Scott
I’ve suggested before that any Green Lantern Corps television series has got to take full advantage of the many Green Lanterns that are out there, and not just Hal Jordan. There’s not only John Stewart, but also Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, Simon Baz, Jessica Cruz, and dozens of alien lanterns we’ve met in the comics. But the Green Lantern character actually began in 1940, with Alan Scott. And although he was a very different kind of Lantern than we’re used to, including him would open up cool new possibilities for story.
Alan Scott was the first DC hero who called himself Green Lantern, and his ring was magic-based and not powered by alien science. After the early ’50s, he became a bit player in DC Comics, as the Silver Age Green Lantern Hal Jordan totally overshadowed his predecessor. But in the New 52 reboot, DC reinvented Scott as a gay man in the modern day, who lives on an alternate Earth. His ring is still magic, and he is his universe’s only Green Lantern. Including him would be a great way to pay homage to DC’s first ring bearer, and include his story in the larger Green Lantern tapestry.
Featured Image: DC Comics