Hector Hammond in the Comic Books
In the comics, Hector Hammond has a few different origins, all of which involve a strange meteor that transforms him into a giant-headed telepath with the ability to control others but the inability to walk, talk, or prevent saliva from constantly spilling out of his mouth.
Again, for the sake of conserving precious word space, we’re just going to go with the origin revamped in Secret Origin. There, Hector Hammond was a consultant for Ferris Air in addition to being Carol Ferris’ strangely obsessed stalker. Unlike the film, though, he’s not hideous to begin with. He’s no, say, George Clooney, but he’s a normal-looking guy with a mustache. If you saw him walking down the street you wouldn’t violently cringe like you would if you saw Peter Sarsgaard in full Hector Hammond makeup.
About halfway through Origin, Hammond is hired by the US Air Force to inspect Abin Sur’s crashed spacecraft. Because his mind is on other things during the inspection – namely Carol, who won’t call him back or go out to dinner with him again – he neglects to wear protective headgear and gets blasted with the spacecraft’s thrusters. Apparently, the ship isn’t powered by fuel, as Hammond previously assumed, but rather a strange meteor.
Cue telepathy, cue ever-expanding brain + skull (eventually to the point of being gigantic), cue greedy, psychopathic behavior and mind control powers – and most importantly, cue a lifelong career as one of the few satisfactory Green Lantern villains around.
Hector Hammond in the Movie
In Green Lantern the film, Hector Hammond has conveniently known both Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris since childhood, and has been infatuated with Carol all that time. But how could Carol ever notice nerdy little Hector when handsome Hal Jordan was always there to steal his thunder?
Cinematic Hector Hammond is hired by the US Air Force – because his father, played by Tim Robbins, is a nepotistic congressman – to study the corpse of Abin Sur. In studying Abin’s corpse, Hammond is inadvertently infected with the leftover fear juice inside. However, instead of dying like Abin did, Hammond’s head grows to gargantuan size and he develops both telepathic and telekinetic powers.
There’s very little character development for Hammond in the film, but what little we get seems to indicate that he’s an upstanding fellow until the fear juice gets him. This seems to be a common theme in Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern – basically, there are no “bad guys” who make their own “bad choices,” just guys who are negatively influenced by cosmic yellow fear energy. Just like in real life.
Advantage: The Comic Books – Even though Peter Sarsgaard is bizarrely awesome in the role of Hector Hammond, he just doesn’t have a whole lot to work with.