The Green Lantern Corps is tasked with protecting the various sectors of space from any evil that may be lurking in the shadows. In the midst of thousands of alien lanterns, there are a few human warriors who have distinguished themselves as some of the strongest, most dedicated fighters in the corps. Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner have made various appearances outside of comic books, but for some reason Kyle Rayner is still waiting for his moment in the spotlight!
There are countless Green Lanterns, but that doesn’t mean they are all equally heroic. Some members are quicker on their toes or more capable of developing complex constructs, but at the end of the day they all try their best. Similar to how not all Lanterns are made equal, not all depictions of Green Lanterns in other media are made equal. Whether it’s a lousy performance or a clunky script, sometimes characters are depicted poorly outside of the comic books. There have been a lot of great Green Lantern appearances in various TV shows, but sometimes the exciting character comes across as boring or lame.
Read on to discover Every Adaptation Of Green Lantern, Ranked Worst To Best!
15. Justice League (2017)
It’s unfair to call the cameos in Justice League the flat-out worst appearance from a Green Lantern, but it’s easily one of the most frustrating. Instead of giving fans a cameo from fan-favorite Lanterns like Kilowag, the creative team just threw in two nameless, faceless Green Lanterns during the movie’s flashback battle against Steppenwolf. As Amazons and Atlanteans fought together to defend Earth from a parademon army, a few Green Lanterns can be seen participating in the fight.
The Green Lanterns were kicking butt and looked cool from a visual perspective, but it felt like a cheap Easter egg instead of a necessary inclusion. It leaves the door open for the Corps’ inclusion in the DCU, but it would have made sense to introduce audiences to at least some recognizable Green Lanterns before Green Lantern Corps hits theaters in 2020.
14. Failed Justice League Pilot – Matthew Settle
Justice League may have finally hit the big screens, but it’s not the first time the team assembled in live action. Back in 1997, director Felix Alcala crafted a television film that doubled as a failed pilot for a CBS series, where the League assembles to defeat The Weather Man, a weather-manipulating criminal.
The Green Lantern on the team was called Guy Gardner, but the character’s personality had nothing in common with his comic book counterpart. Instead of the juvenile, bar-loving Gardner fans knew, this version of the character was a boring, software salesman.
Not only is this version of Guy a square, but he is de-powered to a ridiculous extent. Instead of being able to take down a measly weather manipulating villain on his own, Green Lantern relies on his teammates to stop the D-Lister.
13. Super Friends – Michael Rye
Like every character on Super Friends, Green Lantern is extremely one-dimensional. He wasn’t a core member of the cast, but Hal Jordan came in to support the team whenever they needed extra help. Full of Silver Age goodness, Super Friends depicts Jordan as someone incapable of using his ring against anything yellow and locked in battle with his rival, Sinestro.
The show is still enjoyable for those who appreciate a schlock filled look into the past, but for those looking for complex characters and clever ring constructs, look elsewhere. Instead of allowing Hal to fly on his own, he would often construct airplanes for himself to move around. There were even a few occasions where the constructs he created would be shown in realistic colors instead of the neon green that is typically associated with his constructs.
12. Justice League Dark – Roger Cross
In his first appearance in the new DC Animated Universe timeline, John Stewart essentially paints himself as a fill-in character for Hal Jordan. He even literally says “I fill in for Hal” as the team discusses the incoming supernatural threats in Justice League: Dark. Stewart doesn’t have that substantial of a role in the film, but it’s a poor way to incorporate such an intelligent character.
If this was WB’s attempt to start reintroducing wider audiences to Stewart before Green Lantern Corps hits theaters in 2020, they left fans wanting a lot more. He’s not used to his full potential, and during his one fight scene he is shown fighting fellow League members Batman and Zatanna. Instead of wiping them out like the expert Lantern he is, he falls when Batman gets close enough to remove Stewart’s ring when he’s not looking.
11. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths – Nolan North
Green Lantern is one of the core members of the Justice League, so it makes sense that a mirror version of the team includes an evil Lantern. In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the Justice League fights evil versions of themselves from Earth 3. As Superman squares off against Ultraman, Green Lantern takes on Power Ring, a weak man who constantly gives and lets his fear get the best of him.
Originally, the movie was designed to as a gap-filler between Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. Ultimately, the project moved away from the TV world and to distinguish the project further from the TV show John Stewart was replaced with Hal Jordan. Jordan is there throughout the movie, but he’s never utilized to his full potential. During one of his major fight scenes, he is brutally beaten by villains from another planet and has to rely on his team to save the day.
10. Green Lantern – Ryan Reynolds
Before Man of Steel came out and disappointed some of DC’s biggest fans, there was another film that was met with equal disdain. In 2010, Green Lantern made his big screen debut with Ryan Reynolds playing Hal Jordan. While Reynolds was decent in the role, the film felt incredibly lazy and contrived. Instead of allowing any of the mythos to play themselves out over time, the movie immediately established Jordan and Sinestro’s rivalry and even ended with Sinestro developing his own yellow power ring.
The movie has some fun moments and Reynolds does his best with his comedic take on the character, but ultimately the movie has too many things going against it. From a visual perspective, the CGI made his costume and most of his constructs look silly instead of engaging or threatening.
9. The Batman – Dermot Mulroney
Originally introduced in a silent cameo at the end of the fourth-season, Green Lantern made a few other appearances in The Batman. Out of all the members of the Justice League, Robin is most excited to meet Green Lantern and even thinks his secret identity as a test pilot is awesome, proving just how cool he is.
During the “Ring Toss” episode in season five, Jordan turns to Batman for help taking down Sinestro. Somehow, The Penguin ends up acquiring Jordan’s ring and leaving him defenseless for the fight. Initially, it falls to Batman to take down Sinestro with the power ring, but he is able to get it back to Jordan who quickly takes care of Sinestro.
8. Injustice – Adam Baldwin/Steve Blum
Hal Jordan had an intense emotional journey in the Injustice universe. During the events of the first game, as Superman starts acting like a dictator, Green Lantern buys into his tough, borderline villainous behavior as a method to keep the world safe. Instead of believing in the power of will, Jordan turns to fear as a tool and ultimately becomes a Yellow Lantern as he supports Superman’s One Earth regime.
Though an antagonist in the first game, Jordan is a protagonist seeking redemption in Injustice 2 and returns to Earth to help fight Brainiac.
The voice acting was done by Adam Baldwin in the first game and Steve Blum in the sequel, but the performances don’t skip a beat. There’s no huge, noticeable difference between the two actors’ take on the character as Jordan claws himself back out of a dark, personal hole.
7. Justice League: War – Justin Kirk
Justice League: War, released in 2011, is the first movie in the new DC animated timeline. Loosely based on Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s opening Justice League arc from the New 52 era, the movie shows what happens as the Justice League comes together for the first time to defend the Earth from Darkseid.
A looser, more comedic version of the character, Hal Jordan is still depicted as a fearless warrior willing to rush head-first into danger. The movie even opens with a fight scene between Green Lantern and a parademon before transitioning into a scene where Hal mocks Batman for not having any powers. Ultimately, Jordan performs an essential blow as he strikes at Darkseid’s eyes and stops him from being able to use his dreaded Omega Beams.
6. Batman: Brave and the Bold – James Arnold Taylor
A recurring supporting character on the tongue-in-cheek Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Guy Gardner is one of Earth’s Green Lanterns. A cocky guy with a choppy bowl cut, Guy Gardner has a bit of a temper. Not only does he brawl with villains, he even argues with his teammates on the Justice League International. He may think he’s the best thing since sliced bread, but Batman is able to knock him out with one punch, proving that the Caped Crusader still has an advantage in the best hero competition.
His hotheaded behavior is so out of control that the Guardians of the Universe sometimes view him as a liability and insist that he works with a partner. He may cause trouble on the field, but he has his heart in the right place and is willing to do anything to defend the innocent.
5. New Frontier – David Boreanz
DC: The New Frontier is one of DC’s most introspective books of all time. Originally published in 2004, the Darwyn Cooke masterpiece explores the intersection between the Golden Age and Silver Age of comics. Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern first tied into science fiction instead of magic, is essentially the star of the film as he watches the world transform around him.
The film does a wonderful job showing how Jordan deals with the stress and responsibility of defending the Earth. David Boreanaz truly brings the character to life on this introspective journey. As the world transitions from general superheroics to the sci-fi infused evils of the atomic age, Jordan emerges as the perfect hero to bridge the gap between classic superheroes and the new generation of global defenders.
4. Lego Movie/Lego Batman Movie – Jonah Hill
Most depictions of Hal Jordan feature him as a smooth, cocky guy who people enjoy being around. But in Chris Lord and Phil Miller’s Lego version of the character, voiced by their 21 Jump Street collaborator Jonah Hill, Green Lantern is a bit of a square. He’s not in the LEGO movies for very long, but his small appearances are still some of the most entertaining scenes to ever include a Green Lantern.
Instead of presenting him as an effective Justice League member, the Lego movies choose to depict him as a carefree guy who no one wants to be around. The butt of every joke, Hal isn’t sure why Superman takes months to reply to his e-mails. He’s not the most apt fighter, but his presence in the movies is so funny it’s enough to make up for his goofy behavior.
3. Green Lantern: The Animated Series – Josh Keaton
Green Lantern has been in numerous TV shows, but up until 2012, he never starred in his own series. DC Icon Bruce Timm took a spin with 3D animation and developed a show based around Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. The first-ever human Green Lantern, Hal Jordan is a fearless individual who has no problem disobeying orders if he thinks he can do something good by working outside the rules. A bit of a loose cannon, Jordan is known for his results and was promoted to the Honor Guard after taking down the Red Lanterns.
Unfortunately, Green Lantern: The Animated Series only lasted 26 episodes. Despite the small episode count, it did a great job of delving into various corners of the mythos, including red and blue lanterns, and gave audiences a fun, buddy-cop relationship between partners Kilowag and Jordan.
2. Various DC Movies – Nathan Fillion
For years, Nathan Fillion was on the top of people’s Green Lantern fan casting. The star of fan-favorite shows like Firefly and Castle, Fillion oozes the charisma and charm many people associate with Hal Jordan. While it’s unlikely he will be cast as the character on the big screen, the fine folks over at WB Animation did their best to please the fans. Cast as Hal Jordan for the animated world, Fillion took over for Justin Kirk after Justice League: War as the character’s sole voice actor.
Appearing in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Justice League: Doom, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, and a few Robot Chicken specials, Fillion has left his mark on the character in a big way. His cocky delivery adds a great layer to this more comedic, easy-going version of Jordan as he does his best to defend space sector 2814 from all kinds of threats.
1. Justice League/Justice League Unlimited – Phil LaMarr
Bruce Timm’s Justice League TV series includes one of the best team depictions ever. Alongside titans like Wonder Woman and Batman, lesser-known characters like Hawkgirl and John Stewart defend the Earth from DC’s nastiest villains.
A former marine, John Stewart is represented as a founding member of the Justice League in the show who isn’t afraid to take on any foe. As the show progressed, Stewart develops a relationship with Hawkgirl, a nice change from the comic which allowed the traditionally stern character to slowly open up.
Part of what makes this version so important is the fact that he was included at all. Stewart may have had a long history in DC Comics at this point, but Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner were probably more popular at the time. By utilizing Stewart, Timm was able to broadcast images of a strong, African-American character kicking butt to young viewers on a weekly basis.
Did your favorite adaptation of Green Lantern not line-up with our list? Well, sound off with your thoughts in the comment section!
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