16 Burning Questions About Green Lantern, Answered By A Comics Expert

Here at Cinema Blend, we evenly distribute our geekery. Josh can tell you everything you ever needed to know about the Star Trek universe, Katey can name every house elf and owl in the Harry Potter movies, and Mack has an alarmingly deep knowledge of every comedy that came out in the 80s. When it comes to comic book movies-- Marvel, DC, you name it-- Eric Eisenberg is the man to turn to. Which is why Katey, walking out of Green Lantern with a ton of questions and more than a little confused, e-mailed Eric all her questions and demanded answers. That's right, demanded! Luckily Eric, the helpful geek that he is, was able to answer all of them. If you too were a little confused coming out of Green Lantern and need a comics expert to guide you, check out Katey's 16 questions and Eric's detailed answers below. SPOILERS INCLUDED, so this is something best watched after you've seen the movie, if you dare.

Why do Hal Jordan's eyes turn that weird color with the mask on?

It basically serves the same purpose as the mask: a means to protect his identity. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Who are the Guardians? Are they their own race of people? Did they come from their own planet and then go settle on Oa, or were they already there? Isn't Oa supposed to be for the Lanterns only?

The Guardians are indeed their own race and were, in fact, the first intelligent life forms in the universe. In the comics they actually first evolved on the planet known as Maltus (not mentioned in the film) but then moved to Oa – the planet at the center of the universe - to start the Green Lantern Corps.

Why 3600 sectors?

I’m not aware of a reason for the number “3600,” but these are the sections of the universe that the Guardians and Lanterns have jurisdiction in.

So do the Lanterns live on Oa and then go back to their home sectors once in a while, like members of Congress? Or do they just live on Oa all the time and protect their districts through general good-doing?

With some exception, the Lanterns live on their respective home planets but return to Oa for meetings (which we see twice in the film) and for training/teaching, hence why Sinestro, Kilowog, and Tomar-Re are on the planet to meet Hal.

Parallax was a Lantern, right? I know this was explained in the film, but because you never really saw him it wasn't totally clear to me what he'd been before.

Parallax was not a Lantern, he was a Guardian who wants to try to harness the power of fear in addition to the power of will. He ends up being banished for this idea and when he tries to take control of fear himself, it corrupts him and he becomes Parallax.

Did the people Parallax attacked on that planet to escape just happen upon him? Kinda like Kirk happened upon Old Spock in exile in the new Star Trek?

Sadly, yes. After Abin Sur defeated Parallax he was able to trap him on a distant planet, but when the aliens stumble into his presence he is able to feed on their fear and gain enough power to break out.

Where is Hal Jordan supposed to be living exactly? He does his test piloting out in the desert, but they don't seem to be pretending that city skyline is anything but New Orleans.

Hal actually lives in a fictional place called Coast City (much like Batman has Gotham and Superman has Metropolis). In the comics it’s in California and is meant to be similar to Los Angeles or San Diego (hence why there’s both water and desert in the same general area). Having never been to New Orleans I personally didn’t recognize the city’s skyline, but I’ll take your word for it.

Hal Jordan's dad died in 1993, when Hal was like 9, as seen in flashbacks .So we're supposed to assume Ryan Reynolds is 26? He's 35!

The actor who plays young Hal Jordan, Gattlin Griffith, turns 13 this year (born in November 1998). If young Hal is meant to be the same age, this means that Hal is 31 in the movie, which, to me, is totally reasonable.

How exactly do Hector Hammond and Hal Jordan know each other? Are they all just chums from the old days? I get that Hector had a crush on Carol forever, but it seems weird that he and Hal just chat for a minute and then otherwise don't relate to each other at all until they're pitted against each other as mortal enemies.

In the comics Hector’s background is totally different, so my take on it is pretty much just me trying to make sense of what I saw in the movie. Given the way that Hector’s father, played by Tim Robbins, treats Hal, I think that they may have grown up together kind of like Peter Parker and Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man universe. Unlike Peter and Harry, however, they don’t seem to get along very well and it’s quite obvious that Senator Hammond wishes that Hal was his son instead of Hector.

What is up with that bit of Angela Bassett's back story? Is her character hugely important in the comics and they felt they needed to include her husband getting shot? Or was that just a lame way of showing off Sarsgaard's new powers?

Dr. Amanda Waller, played by Angela Bassett, is actually a huge character in the comics, bother literally and figuratively (her nickname is “The Wall”). In the comics her husband and two of her children are murdered and after escaping from the projects of Chicago she gets a doctorate in political science and eventually becomes a powerful figure that controls The Suicide Squad, a group of captured supervillains who go on covert missions for the government to lessen their sentences.

What exactly does the lantern itself do? Hal carries it around and only seems to use it to recharge the ring. Does it have like a direct line to the big source of green power in the universe? Why are they all called lanterns if the lantern doesn't do that much.

The lantern isn’t so much a lantern, in the sense that is to provide light. It’s main purpose is, as you mention, to be used as a battery to recharge the ring. The word “Lantern” comes from the first Green Lantern, Alan Scott, which featured a much more literal lantern, but now it’s more like being a beacon of hope (hence when Sinestro says, “A great light has gone out in the universe.”). That and the battery is still shaped kind of like a lantern.

Why did no one on Oa seem to care when Hal just up and quit the Corps. You'd think someone would try and get him back, or give the ring to somebody else, or something!

It’s said multiple times throughout the film: the ring is never wrong. While there may have been plenty of doubt on the part of Sinestro and Kilowog, but fate is a funny thing. There’s never a real doubt that he will come back, so the Corps let him go to find himself. Turns out they were right to do so!

Why can the yellow energy actually move things, while the green energy can just imagine things? Why do they have different powers?

In the comics green energy and yellow energy actually have many of the same abilities; the difference comes in how they are applied. When concentrated into a ring the Yellow energy can create constructs as well, but both Parallax and Hector use the abilities in different ways.

Can the ring read minds? When he presses it against Hector's skull he seems to know what's up.

The ring can’t, but much in the same way that Hector’s psionic powers could read Amanda Waller’s mind, he can project images into others’ minds.

What is the oath actually supposed to be able to do? It seems like it's just a motivational speech he gives himself when Parallax is about to take over, but clearly the nerds are all about it.

Every Green Lantern actually has his/her own oath and in the comics they would recite it while charging their ring. In the film it really is more of a motivational thing, helping Hal to realize the strength he has to overcome fear.

Is Sinestro supposed to be kind of a dick? I figured he was a pretty good guy, until the very end, when he was all "Hey, I just saw the power of this yellow energy defeated by the sun, but I'm going for it anyway!" I mean, the fact that he's named Sinestro and is bright red with pointy ears and ISN'T the villain in this is kind of crazy.

Not to mention the fact that he is played by Mark Strong: Villain Extraordinaire. In this case I am going to just tell you to be patient. Sinestro actually becomes the greatest villain of the Green Lantern Corps. When he tries to harness the power of yellow energy aka fear he, to borrow a phrase from another sci-fi franchise, goes over to the dark side. His motivations for doing this aren’t really explained in the movie, but hopefully a sequel will clear it up.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.