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Millions of fans (as well as comic book newbies) poured into theaters these last two weekends to see Wonder Woman, our current cultural movement. In addition to being a genuinely good film, DC fans were also treated to the surprise of a brand new opening logo for DC, a la Marvel Studios. The logo featured brief animations for each member of the Justice League, as well as a line-up full of shadowed characters destined to hit the big screen in the coming years. It's a great intro, and people haven't missed the fact that a certain character that hasn't appeared in the DCEU yet got plenty of attention: Hal Jordan's Green Lantern.
Green Lantern was front and center in the intro, appearing right alongside Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. Not so coincidentally, those six are the main roster of Justice League, hitting theaters this November. For a character who has yet to appear in the cinematic universe, there's a suspicious amount of emphasis on him. Hell, you can see Mogo -- a Green Lantern who is literally a planet -- off in the background at one point. Seeing as how there are plans for a new Green Lantern movie, this isn't all that surprising, but GL's placement in the intro leads me to think that there may still be a role in Zack Snyder's Justice League yet for the iconic hero.
It might be stretching it to assume so much from what is essentially a company logo, but you can't deny that Green Lantern gets equal billing to Batman or Superman. In addition, if you recall, the first look at Jason Momoa as Aquaman branded the tagline "Unite the Seven," and by our count, that "Seven" would include Green Lantern. It's highly likely that Green Lantern isn't going to be a full-on main character in Justice League. If he were, that would be the single best-kept secret in Hollywood. No, if he is in the movie, we're probably looking at something closer to a cameo, which would make a lot of sense in the long run.
It's notable that the Justice League movie is using the starting roster from the New 52 reboot series, only minus Green Lantern. One can argue that this is mostly due to his horrible movie still being relatively fresh in people's minds. But the shafting of this classic superhero was disappointing to some. Green Lantern is a founding member of the Justice League, and one of DC's brightest characters. It'd be a shame to completely leave him out of the team's first live-action outing. Plus, Geoff Johns is in charge of the DCEU, and there's no way that the man who wrote Green Lantern for nine years would leave him out of the action for long.
However, Green Lantern is too hard a character to sell in the time frame of, say, a GIF in an email. Even compared to Wonder Woman, who pals around with the Greek pantheon, his mythology is really weird and can't be simplified quite as nicely as Flash ("lighting bolt hit me") or Cyborg ("accident"). Simply put, Warner Bros. didn't have the time to devote to him in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice like the rest of the League, and honestly, Justice League benefits from a smaller cast.
Green Lantern is the DCEU's ticket to the cosmos (like Guardians of the Galaxy was to Marvel), so they can't hide him forever. What better way to reward fans than to have him show up at the end of Justice League, a tease of bigger things to come? Picture this:
The Justice League stands victorious on a devastated battlefield, having just sent Steppenwolf and his army packing. Then a bright green light shines across the sky and reveals Hal Jordan.
"I was too late..." he says.
Batman looks him up and down, "Who the hell are you?"
"Me?" he smirks, "I'm the Green Lantern and I'm the last of your problems. You guys have no idea who you just pissed off."
True, this logo mainly captures the spirit of the comics rather than directly referencing the DCEU, but it isn't random that he's there. Someone had to make the conscious decision to put Green Lantern in the new opening. They wouldn't have done that (or placed him last, for maximum effect) unless they wanted people to think that he's important, and that he's associated with the Justice League. Green Lantern Corps is currently slated to open in 2020 but I would be extremely surprised if Green Lantern didn't show up sometime before then.
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