Warning: spoilers for Green Lantern, Season Two #11 and Future State: Green Lantern #2!
While some heroes are vigilantes responsible to no-one, that isn’t the case in the Green Lantern Corps, which has rigorous protocols and rules – rules Hal Jordan, the most famous Green Lantern, is famous for pushing back against when he believes they’re in the wrong. That quality has often made Hal one of the DC Universe’s most steadfast and dependable heroes, but Future State has revealed that if he chooses to fight back against the most recent restructuring of the Corps, the Green Lanterns are doomed.
Green Lantern, Season Two #11 – from Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp – reveals the Young Guardians’ plans for the Corps. The Guardians tell Hal that they want to rely less on the Central Power Battery and by extension the power rings, trusting more in collective behavior and less in rash individuals. Fans of DC’s Future State know that in the near future, the Central Power Battery will fail, marooning the entire Corps throughout space without leadership, structure, or the use of their power rings. Only Jo Mullein – a Lantern the Young Guardians hold up as emblematic of their vision – will retain the use of her ring, since it has the unique ability to charge itself over time.
Hal Jordan doesn’t agree with the Guardians’ plans and, like any good cop who doesn’t play by the rules, he leaves the Corps and strikes out on his own in defiance of this new protocol, using his official leave to take a vacation rather than go on a final mission. But as villain Hector Hammond springs a trap that involves all Hal’s old foes, there’s a chance that Hal is about to get the opportunity to prove that his way is best – something that would guarantee the Corps will be left powerless when disaster strikes in just a few years’ time. Hal doesn’t know it, but this time being a hero could cause way more harm than simply accepting his superiors’ decision.
While they do say that hindsight is twenty-twenty, Hal’s defiance of the new proposed protocol is totally in character for him, so it almost feels like it’s a sad inevitability that while Future State‘s disaster could have been prevented, his heroism will make sure it comes to pass. Green Lantern’s most recent adventure seems to be going the way of the old Greek tragedies, where the readers know this is going to go bad, and they’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop for the characters. Green Lanterns draw from the green light of will power, meaning that being composed of a group of renegades has always been their biggest problem. Generally, it’s also been their biggest strength, but this time hard-headed Hal Jordan just doesn’t have the full picture.
Hal isn’t explicitly out to change his bosses’ minds, and other heroes are working to prevent Future State, so it’s possible the disaster could still be avoided. But having torn the Corps apart once – when possessed by the Parallax entity – Hal has form for exercising a truly cataclysmic influence over his friends and allies. In the moment, all a hero can do is what’s right, but as Green Lantern‘s story continues to unfold, readers can’t help but understand the long-term consequences of his outlook and his belief that he alone knows what’s best for the Green Lantern Corps.