The world of DC movies may still be trying to make Green Lantern work, but DC Comics is already reinventing the hero (with an Interstellar twist) in the newly-announced Green Lantern: Earth One. Following in the footsteps of previous Earth One graphic novels like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, the entire mythology and origin story of Hal Jordan is being reinvented for a modern age. New science, new attitude, and apparently, a new mission to restart the extinct Green Lantern Corps.
It may only be intended as an inspired reimagining of DC's envelope-pushing test pilot, swapping out the 1950s Space Race for a race into the stars. But considering the comic's pitch, premise, and the creative team on hand, fans may see Green Lantern: Earth One as a science fiction epic in the making. One that could provide the spark of reinvention and excitement that fans expect from superhero movies these days. Even if Earth One sounds like is a story too bold to fit into any shared universe.
The news comes from IGN along with the creative team and first cover image of Green Lantern: Earth One. With several months to craft this bold new tale in the Green Lantern mythology (with perhaps a new DCEU Lantern introduced in the meantime), DC has turned to some top-tier talent. Having proven their knack for speculative, otherworldly science fiction in the "Blade Runner meets Breaking Bad" series Invisible Rebublic from Image Comics, Gabriel Hardman, Corinna Bechko, and Jordan Boyd are turning their talents to a similarly forward-looking Green Lantern.
No longer a test pilot recruited to an interstellar police force, the new Hal Jordan is a promising astronaut forced to mine asteroids in the manual labor of tomorrow. Take a look at the cover of Green Lantern: Earth One below:
Writer Corinna Bechko explains how the chance to update or modernize Hal Jordan's story isn't quite the same as DC's "Rebirth," since this new hero is truly a different Hal Jordan. One that shares the same heart most fans will recognize, but one born of ideas in the world today:
"Hal Jordan is a smart, capable person with a space and science background who has a lot of untapped potential even before he finds the ring. That means he’s going to approach everything the ring does from the perspective of a scientist, but he’s going to employ it for action and adventure. The result for us as writers is the opportunity to fully embrace the science fiction aspects of the story in a way that would be impossible with a lot of other characters."
Obviously, his pedestrian life and wasted potential are blown into the stratosphere-- or beyond the stratosphere when he uncovers an emerald ring, presumably in the midst of his asteroid prospecting for Ferris Galactic. It's the last remaining ring of the Green Lantern Corps, he soon discovers, existing in an alternate reality where the robotic army known as Manhunters succeeded in wiping out the Lanterns across the galaxy. With a new mission begging him to leave his own star system behind, Hal Jordan sets out to reignite the Green Lantern Corps in a DC Universe free to be whatever the creators choose to make it.
A science fiction story at its heart, from a team of seasoned sci-fi fans would be compelling without the 'Green Lantern' name. But as writer/artist Gabriel Hardman explains, his experience with Christopher Nolan's Interstellar was a fitting primer for this blend of grounded science and otherworldly adventure:
"Approaching this as an Earth One story gives us the opportunity to go back to the core concept of Green Lantern and interpret it through the lens of a modern, grounded sci-fi story while still being true to the Silver Age roots of Hal Jordan. Having storyboarded Interstellar, this is an approach I’m comfortable with and have wanted to explore in comics. Realistic sci-fi is only the beginning of this story; we have something much more epic in store."
The devoted DC Comics fans may view any reboot, reimagining, or reinvention with a raised eyebrow. But as Geoff Johns's Batman: Earth One and Grant Morrison's Wonder Woman: Earth One have shown, provocative interpretations of classic superheroes can lead to some profound ideas. Whether Green Lantern's installment in the Earth One line will break as much ground for modern TV or film adaptations... remains to be seen.
Green Lanter: Earth One will arrive on March 20, 2018.