Any comic book fan will tell you there is a big difference in tone between the Marvel and DC Universe. For all the sarcastic (“Wolverine”) or self-depreciatingly funny (“Spider-Man”) characters in Marvel’s books, the storylines and consequences are pretty serious. When somebody dies, it’s dramatic and reverberates throughout a series (we won’t go into all the endless resurrection of dead characters that under mine this of course, but you get the idea).
Besides a certain Dark Knight in Gotham City, the DC Universe is, for the most part, much different. There are dramatic turns of events and tragedies, but for the most part the design and tone of each series is a bit lighter, a bit more pop-friendly and for lack of a better word, “bright.” Characters grow and change, but they rarely die or face villains who are interested in wiping out entire races. A DC villain is usually interested in money (Flash’s Rogues) or world domination (Lex Luthor). Later this month, the first major DC character besides Superman and Batman hits the big screen in Martin Campbell’s “Green Lantern.” Based on a series of eight new clips released today, the Emerald Crusader may be the most direct comic book to screen adaptation of a DC character yet. Let’s find out why.
It’s always about the love interest
A staple of DC Comics’ major character is the conflict in romantic relations. Sure, Peter Parker has Mary Jane and Bruce Banner pines for Betty Ross, but there is little true romance in the lives of the Avengers, Fantastic Four or a slew of other Marvel titles. DC? Where to begin? Besides Bruce Wayne’s ever rotating series of ladies, the one true love storyline are key elements of the mythos for Flash, Hawkman, Superman, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman and, of course, Green Lantern. In this scene, Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris bicker. Do you feel the sexual chemistry flowing through the clip? (Wait, don’t answer that…)
Staying true to your hero’s origin
Hal Jordan’s early years as a fighter pilot could have easily been pushed aside in “Green Lantern,” but the filmmakers realized that background was necessary to demonstrate our hero’s lack of fear (or ability to overcome fear). Yes, self-confidence can take you far.
A classic beginning
The idea of a dying alien, god or creature giving a man powers before he dies wasn’t necessarily new when Abin Sur bestowed a power ring to Hal Jordan in “Showcase” #22 in 1959. Since then, however, it’s hard to think of any hero more associated with the familiar myth. Watch it reenacted for the big screen below.
A rich universe of characters
Marvel may have S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury, etc., but DC has it’s own cast of recurring characters. Meet Amanda Waller (Angela Bassett), a scientist in “Green Lantern,” but a formidable adversary and ally to many characters in the DCU as the leader of the Secret Six. Here she introduces a naive Hector Hammond to the body of Abin Sur.
A hero who doesn’t take himself that seriously
Wait, that’s not Hal Jordan. That’s not the Flash either. Or Superman. That’s…Plastic Man? Um, well, perhaps that’s the benefit of having Ryan Reynolds on board.
The space opera of super hero tales
Superman may hail from Krypton, but most of his adventures find him earthbound defending Metropolis. On the other hand, as a member of the Green Lantern Corps, Hal Jordan has the whole universe as his canvas. Including, as seen here, Oa, the home of the Guardians of the Universe and the Corps itself.
Honors the Corps
For true “Green Lantern” fans nothing may be more emotional than seeing all their favorite members of the Corps realized on screen. Even Sinestro. Save your tears for the theater, OK?
DC Comics Action
Many have wondered: how do you make a character who creates objects out of green energy look cool? Well, that’s the epitome of big, DC Comics action. There’s no “ka-pow” in this clip, but you’ll definitely see the difference from “Thor,” “X-Men: First Class” or “Iron Man.” Fun or freaky? You decide.
“Green Lantern” opens nationwide and in 3D on June 17.