In the wake of the first trailer for Captain Marvel, many comics fans have noticed a similarity to between Marvel's Starforce and DC's Green Lantern Corps. The 2011 Green Lantern movie starring Ryan Reynolds had been intended to test the waters for developing a shared universe between several DC Comics film franchises (in much the same way that 2008's Iron Man lay the groundwork for the Marvel Cinematic Universe) before becoming a critical and commercial flop. Ironically, Captain Marvel now seems to be adapting a similar concept as a foundation for Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While the characters of Carol Danvers and Hal Jordan (the first person from Earth to join the Green Lantern Corps) have a surprising number of similarities regarding their backgrounds and superheroic origins, there is a marked difference between the Starforce of the comic books and the Starforce of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What we have seen of the MCU Starforce so far greatly resembles the Green Lantern Corps from the comics.
Captain Marvel has no need to imitate Green Lantern, given Marvel Comics' dominance at the box office and the rich history of Carol Danvers' character and her connection to the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe. However, the two companies have a history of tackling similar concepts in their movies, such as DC's upcoming Aquaman movie, which has been compared to Marvel's Black Panther, with both featuring a battle for the crown of a secret and highly advanced civilization. Captain Marvel's writers have explicitly said that they're trying to avoid Green Lantern comparisons with Carol Danvers' origins, but a few similarities still seem to be shining through.
- This Page: Carol Danvers and Hal Jordan Have Similar Comic Origins
- Page 2: Can Starforce Do The Green Lantern Concept Justice?
Carol Danvers and Hal Jordan Have Similar Comic Origins
When comic fans discuss team-ups between various characters from different universes they would like to see someday, Hal Jordan and Carol Danvers usually top the list. The characters have a lot in common, even ignoring their shared history as ex-Air Force pilots who became superheroes after a close encounter with an alien. Indeed, it has been commented by some that Carol and Hal might fall in love at first sight, assuming they didn't kill each other first.
Carol Danvers was a USAF Officer and Security Chief of a restricted military base where she worked alongside Dr. Walter Lawson. Unbeknownst to her, Lawson was really Mar-Vell - a captain in the army of an alien race called The Kree, who had been sent to Earth as a spy to determine if the world might become a threat to The Kree Empire. Mar-Vell would later attempt to shield Carol from the explosion of a piece of Kree technology, resulting in his DNA becoming imprinted upon her and granting her the enhanced physicality and energy absorption powers of a Kree warrior. Carol would go on to fight crime under a number of aliases, such as Ms. Marvel, Binary, and Warbird, but would eventually take on the name of Captain Marvel to honor Mar-Vell's sacrifice.
Hal Jordan was introduced as a hot-shot test pilot who was known for being completely fearless and totally honest. These qualities summoned Hal to the side of a dying Abin Sur - an alien and member of an intergalactic police force known as The Green Lantern Corps. Abin Sur explained that his ring had sought out a worthy replacement and that Hal had been the closest being worthy to take up his mantle as a Green Lantern and wield the power ring that gives its bearer the ability to do nearly anything their imagination and willpower could envision. Hal would go on to serve The Corps. with distinction, becoming known across the universe as the greatest of Green Lanterns.
Despite having completely different power-sets as superheroes, the resemblance between Hal and Carol's origins stories is apparent. Yet the similarities between their characters only start with how they gained powers from alien sources and had a shared background as American fighter pilots. Both characters have similar personalities and are known for being bold to the point of recklessness, strong-willed and fiercely independent. Both characters also have battled alcoholism, with Hal having served jail time for Driving While Intoxicated in the story Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn II and Carol being confronted on her drinking problem in the pages of The Avengers comic book.
Carol and Hal also had surprisingly similar upbringings. They're both military brats, with Carol's dad having served in the US Navy and Hal's dad having been a fighter pilot in the USAF. They're both part of a family with three children, though Hal was the middle child of three brothers whereas Carol was the oldest of three children with two younger brothers. Their families were both highly dysfunctional, with Carol's father being physically and emotionally abusive and Hal's family falling apart in the wake of his father's death in a plane crash.
Despite her independent nature, Carol thrived in a military environment and became a top-notch pilot, a highly-decorated intelligence agent, and the head of security for NASA by the time she was 30 and retired from the Air Force with the rank of Colonel. By contrast, Hal was said to have lost more planes than any pilot since the Vietnam War due to his recklessness as a USAF test pilot and was dishonorably discharged after punching his commanding officer. Only the fact that the President of Ferris Air had been a friend of his father won Hal a second chance working as a pilot for his company.
Page 2 of 2: Can Starforce Do The Green Lantern Concept Justice?
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Green Lantern Corps. (2020) release date: Jul 24, 2020