Warning: Spoilers for Green Lantern #4 ahead!
- Green Lantern #4 explores how Hal Jordan's version of Green Lantern is stuck in the past, while other heroes have moved on with the times.
- Hal's pursuit of Carol Ferris reflects his stagnant status quo, as he continues to use outdated tactics to win her over.
- The issue emphasizes how the DC Universe is moving forward without Hal, leaving him at risk of being left behind entirely.
When the DC world was new, the problems facing heroes like Green Lantern and the Flash were simple: confront a villain, surrender them to the proper authorities, and "get the girl." When a recent team-up has them reenacting their old roles, however, things take a turn for the philosophical as the heroes reflect on a world that has largely moved past such shenanigans — and may be moving on without them.
Jeremy Adams, Xermánico, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Dave Sharpe's Green Lantern #4 sees Hal Jordan teaming up with Barry Allen after a dire meeting with Sinestro. The two respond to an attack on Los Angeles in the hope they will find Sinestro there, but it turns out to be the work of the D-list villain Major Disaster. Pulling out their old tricks, the Flash and Green Lantern make quick work of Major Disaster.
Their moves aren't the only things getting old, however, as their conversation afterward revolves around how DC's kids — now the flagship team the Titans — have grown and how Carol has moved on and away from her relationship with Hal. Barry is quick to try and encourage Hal to not give up on her, but their talk is bittersweet.
Green Lantern Struggles to Keep Up with the Times
This issue is a deliberate homage to 1966's Green Lantern #43 by Gil Kane, Gardner Fox, Sid Greene, and Gaspar Saladino. Not only did Major Disaster debut in this issue, it also places a significant emphasis on Hal and Carol's relationship with the revelation that Carol has learned Hal's secret identity. This makes Barry's current-day invitation for Carol and Hal to have dinner with him and Iris (not knowing Carol and Hal are currently separated, of course) a direct call-out to Hal and Carol's double date with Barry and Iris at the beginning of Green Lantern #43.
By rehashing a similar plot, Green Lantern #4 points out that, while many heroes have moved on since the storylines of the Silver Age, Hal's version of Green Lantern seems stuck in place. His attempts to woo Carol throughout the Dawn of DC series are the kind of smarmy shenanigans that could be seen as romantic in the past, but now come off as desperate and contrived. By comparison, the Flash has settled down with Iris, and even Wally West — whom Barry and Hal have known since his sidekick days — is married with three kids of his own. Hal is arguably doing his best, but even he is forced to admit that he's watching the DC Universe more or less move ahead without him.
Green Lantern's Pursuit of Carol Ferris Reflects His Stagnant Status Quo
While Barry is there to help talk Hal out of his funk — and particularly away from his pursuit of Carol — the moment is a telling one. The DCU has long since moved away from the lone cowboy shenanigans that are Hal's specialty, but he's still out there popping meteors with pool cue constructs and snatching bombs with giant green hands. Green Lantern is getting old, and if he can't keep up with the changes to the DCU like his friend the Flash has, he may wind up getting left behind entirely.
Green Lantern #4 is now available from DC Comics.