Green Lantern inspires a kid at Comic Con

By Phil Plait | July 27, 2010 4:00 pm

I was a big Green Lantern fan when I was a kid. It may have been my favorite comic book, and I used to sneak into my brother’s room and read every issue he got.

I’m a grownup now, more or less, but sometimes those comic book heroes still get to me. At Comic Con last week, this wonderful thing happened when a young lad asked Ryan Reynolds — who will play Hal Jordan in the upcoming movie – about the Green Lantern oath:

I still know that oath by memory. And you know what? In general, it’s a pretty good motto for life, too.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Geekery

Comments (38)

  1. Yeah, it’s a great motto and all, but don’t you think if you stood on a street corner and shouted it out, you might get beaten up?

    And why didn’t you just ask to read the comics? I would have let you!

  2. jrpowell

    Ryan Reynolds? With a name like that he was destined to be a superhero.

  3. Gotta say, I think they chose the right dude.

  4. Bobcloclimar

    So, were you at the GL panel at last year’s Comic-Con, where Geoff Johns got the whole audience to recite the oath?

  5. “Ryan Reynolds? With a name like that he was destined to be a superhero.”

    Or a porn star.

  6. Gary Ansorge

    Dang! I actually remember that oath. I guess I really am a nerd.

    Gary 7

  7. Jamey

    Here’s my problem – he never did answer the kid’s question. “What does it feel like to say the Green Lantern Oath?”

    Truthfully, I found his recitation of it in this case rather flat, except for the *VERY* last line. Maybe he answered more about it after they cut the video here – but seriously – how would it feel to wear the costume, to recite the oath, and *KNOW* that for the next several years, your voice is the one kids are going to hear reciting it when they read the comics – you are the one they’re going to visualize as the Green Lantern. It’s big shoes – does this man really have the chops to wear them?

  8. Never did get into the Green Lantern as a kid. That whole getting his power from a ring made him a sissy kind of superhero.

  9. Is it any wonder the guy is on top of my “if I were gay” or “if there was a gun to my head” lists.

  10. NAW

    That was cool of Reynolds, that had to make that kid’s day.

  11. Cobey Cobb
  12. If you know the oath, you’ll never forget it. Hal Jordan was always one of my very favorite comic book heroes.

    #9 – @Lugosi

    Hal Jordan had to control those powers given him by the ring. It takes an incredible amount of will power, guts, and a true dedication to peace and freedom to wield the ring as he did (is he still around?). At least, that’s how I saw it growing up.

    Do I sound like a fanboy??

  13. Old Rockin' Dave

    I always loved Green Lantern, especially that whole business about Green Lanterns on other planets distributed across the galaxy. But it was the Martian Manhunter I couldn’t get enough of.

  14. Roger Freedman

    Thanks for the link, Phil! This sent shivers up my spine.

    I’d like to think that Oa, the home planet of the Guardians of the Galaxy, orbits one of the fast-moving stars that in turn orbit the supermassive black hole at the galactic center…

  15. Cory

    An oath littered with references to “evil” like some medieval witch-hunter’s guide isn’t much to live by, tbh.

  16. MW

    I was only ever slightly into superhero comics, but I’m afraid Green Lantern was pretty much my anti-favourite. His power was just too flexible and his weakness too silly to make good stories. Similarly, Superman was just so powerful you had to produce silly overpowered opponents. Batman was much more my style.

  17. Ditto on Green Lantern’s silly weakness. It never occurred to his enemies to paint their bullets yellow?

  18. Deepak

    Moon mission seems to be last achievement in the field of astronomy. Astronomy seems to be dying a slow death with hardly any progress in the last 40 years. Telecommunication, Electronics and Medical sciences have all moved far far ahead compared to Astronomy. All we get to hear these days in the name of astronomy is the discovery of new planets (indirect inference)orbiting some remote star. The LHC hype has also gone silent. Spirit and Opportunity did make it mars. But don’t see a gaint leap for mankind with that.

    Bring Astronomy back to life. Give us some breaking discoveries. The Astronomers are busy criticising Astrology and Homeopathy (both of which they are ignorant and incompetent to comment about) and have no time for real science in Astronomy.

  19. Cory

    Also, the kid looks non-plussed. I think he inspired a room of nerds more than the kid.

    @19. A list of the silliest things I’ve ever heard. We have robots wondering on foreign planets, have found reasonable candidates for life in our solar system, have found that terrestrial planets are the norm rather than a rarity — all within the past few years. Since the moon landings? Too much to even begin to list.

  20. Deepak

    @20. Dear Cory, Yes there have been a few developments. But what has been the difference between Viking landings (ages ago) and Spirit and Opportunity landings? All I am saying is that the progress in Astronomy is painfully slow and we spend tons of time criticizing other fields in the name of being a skeptic. Shouldnt we set our house in order before we comment on other fields?

  21. Ahh look it is sheldon at 6 yrs.

  22. The motto I try to live by is Wil Wheaton’s – “Don’t be a di*k.”

  23. Jester700

    Let’s not forget that Hal was a test pilot before he got the ring. He was ALREADY a hero. Though I agree, the powers were too great for good earthbound stories, and the yellow thing was just dumb. Maybe even dumber than the golden age “wood” thing. Still, I loved GL – especially the GL/GA mashups, which were often sillier yet.

  24. Richard Wolford

    Hal Jordan is still around; he died in the 90’s as Parallax, but was reintroduced recently in Green Lantern Reborn and was the central hero of Blackest Night. Kyle Raynor took over as Green Lantern of Earth back in the 90’s after Hal’s “death” and is still around as well as is Jon Stewart and Guy Gardner. Obviously, Hal Jordan is the most powerful of the Lanterns, surpassing even Superman in strength. There is an old comic where Superman goes toe to toe with Guy Gardner; Superman wins by willing the ring off of Gardner’s hand, but that was really what let Superman win; Hal Jordan has wiped the floor with Gardner before and Superman barely beat Gardner, so that gives you an idea of how powerful Jordan really is. I have a full run of the 90’s Green Lantern series (series three) as well as a lot of the second run (featuring Jordan); the first run featured Alan Scott and are not even close to affordable (there is one on eBay right now for just under 100K). I also own a copy of Showcase Comics #22, the first appearance of Hal Jordan, and I have the first appearance of Kyle Raynor, Jon Stewart and Guy Gardner. Hal Jordan, Batman, and Flash (Wally West more than Barry Allen, I have West’s first appearance and Allen’s second appearance) are by far my favorite superheros. Oh, and I own a comic book store.

    yeah, total fanboy.

  25. Chris

    For those who didn’t see Sheldon as the Green Lantern on The Big Bang Theory

  26. It never occurred to his enemies to paint their bullets yellow?

    Yes. Frequently. Heck, some of them had yellow power-armor, yellow forcefields, and yellow lasers. It wouldn’t be much of a story if the hero didn’t have to use his brain to overcome adversity.

    I don’t see why it’s a “silly weakness” anyway.

  27. Chris A.

    @Deepak (#19 and #21):
    “Astronomy seems to be dying a slow death with hardly any progress in the last 40 years. ”

    Oh, gee, let’s see. How about reducing the error in the estimated age of the universe from +/- 50% to less than 10%? Or discovering that baryonic matter comprises less than 5% of the universe’s mass/energy, and that 3/4ths of it is something utterly unknown to us (dark energy)? Or proving beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of black holes? Or returning the first samples of extraterrestrial matter from beyond the Moon? Or putting a lander on Titan? Or discovering water on the Moon? Or discovering the Kuiper Belt? Or solving the solar neutrino problem?

    I could go on, and on, and on. Bottom line: If you think astronomy has been stagnant for the past four decades, you simply haven’t been paying attention.

    As for astronomers “spend(ing) tons of time criticizing other fields in the name of being a skeptic,” hardly. It is the very, VERY rare astronomer who spends any time at all doing such things. The vast majority are loathe to sacrifice precious research time engaging the tinfoil hat crowd. Which makes people like Phil all the more valuable.

  28. Old Rockin' Dave

    @ Richard Wolford (#25): Jon Stewart is a superhero? I always thought that with more than a passing resemblance to Clark Kent that Stephen Colbert would be much more likely.

    @ Deepak: “The Astronomers are busy criticising Astrology and Homeopathy (both of which they are ignorant and incompetent to comment about)….” If astronomers are too ignorant and incompetent to comment on astrology, who is not – homeopaths? Priests? They study the stars and planets as they really are. They don’t make pronouncements based on the ideas of some Babylonians dead for five thousand years who probably would have run in terror from a telescope.
    As for homeopathy, astronomers have a good grounding in chemistry and physics, know at least some basic biology and are trained in the scientific method. That makes them more qualified to comment on homeopathy than about 99% of the general population.

  29. Mike C.

    Cute, though being a loyal card-carrying member of the Merry Marvel Marching Society I wasn’t into D.C. during the Silver Age of comics. But I’ll probably go and see the movie, being a fan of Ryan Reynold since “Blade: Trinity,” in which he was hilarious.

    I wonder how many kids today even know what a lantern is?

  30. @ Deepak: “The Astronomers are busy criticising Astrology and Homeopathy (both of which they are ignorant and incompetent to comment about)

    Astronomers aren’t competent to criticize astrology (I’m not capitalizing it)? Then who is? As for homeopathy…you only have to have three brain cells and at one time needed to have drunk a glass of water to criticize homeopathy.

  31. Brian Too

    I was more of a Spiderman kid. Green Lantern was not on my TV when I was young (never was much of a comic book fan, it all came from TV). I liked Captain America and X-Men too even though I didn’t see them often.

    Superman always seemed too strong to me. Any why didn’t he go crashing throught the floor of, well, everything? He was supposed to be made of super-dense matter, which would have made him massively heavy (many tons at least).

  32. Old Rockin' Dave

    @ Brian: I don’t remember anything about Superman being made of super-dense matter; that must have been introduced more recently. Don’t forget, Clark Kent had to go for physical exams where he would have been weighed. Anyway, I have a retcon for that – since his flying was similar to levitation, he just lifted himself off the surface enough to reduce his ground pressure!

  33. Cory

    @27. Um his weakness is a COLOR. That’s about as silly as it gets

  34. @ #17: I never really viewed Batman as a superhero. He was just really athletic with a fancy tool belt.

  35. Robert Carnegie

    Tek Jansen is played by Stephen Colbert.

    How DOES it feel to wear a nuclear-class weapon on your FINGER, that responds to whatever you THINK of, and to charge it with MORE power, from a device that you keep in your closet? The oath is probably to take your mind off what you’re actually doing.

    “Lantern to ring, I proudly stand.
    I hope it doesn’t melt my hand,
    Or let spill out stray radiation
    To the detriment of the next generation.”

  36. Brian Too

    33. Old Rockin’ Dave,

    You might be right about the recent addition to the Superman canon. However, while I appreciated the attempt to explain his invulnerability, it raised the whole mass problem.

    According to IMDB, “…the planet Krypton, the home world of a highly-evolved race of humans bearing a unique molecular density and structure, a result of the planet’s gravitational strength and the radiation of its crimson central star.”

    Then another source, , says that the main reason for his powers is the different light of the different stars, and that Superman/Clark Kent is 6’3″ and weighs 225 pounds.

    The main thing I get from all this is that we are in Superman fantasy world and stop trying to figure it out! Blah blah blah krypton, blah blah blah red light, blah blah blah special density. Wave arms and proclaim Shazam!

  37. nekompire



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