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YMMV / Green Lantern

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  • Anvilicious: When Robert Venditti started his run on the main Green Lantern book after Geoff Johns' departure, his first story arc revealed that excessive use of the emotional spectrum was damaging the fabric of reality itself and would eventually bring the universe to an early death. This led to the introduction of Relic, a new villain that survived the destruction of the universe that preceded the current one and attempts to destroy the Lantern Corps in a misguided effort to save reality, making him an intergalactic ecoterrorist. The allegory there was heavyhanded and everyone knew it, which was a detriment to the series.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Fans were so angry about the Parallax storyline where Hal underwent a Face–Heel Turn and subsequently died that when Geoff Johns took over the title, he brought Hal back to life and retconned the incident into Hal having been possessed and brainwashed by a physical embodiment of fear named Parallax who exploited his grief over the destruction of Coast City. And to a much lesser extent, the Parallax entity and its association with the color yellow provided what readers found a satisfying answer to the Green Lanterns power rings' Weaksauce Weakness.
    • In an issue of Wizard magazine, Johns stated he also used the Parallax entity as to explain why Hal is such an idiot in the Denny O'Neil/Neal Adams issues with Green Arrow.
  • Broken Base:
    • Fueled largely by DC, who shunted Hal Jordan and the rest of the Corps out of the spotlight to make way for Kyle Rayner, who himself was counter-shunted when Hal Jordan returned and Kyle became a supporting character.
    • The Green Lantern books not being affected by the New 52, at least less so than other books (Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, now no longer exists on Earth 1, which DC keeps pushing as the main/primary universe, which seriously alters the back story of Kyle Rayner since Alan was his mentor, and had his sexual orientation altered for what many believed was a cheap publicity stunt when he was shunted to Earth 2) to the point that the only costume change to Carol Ferris's Star Sapphire costume would be overhauled a year after the reboot and a slight variation to Hal's uniform from before the reboot. Whilst some are happy that nothing changed, others aren't happy that literally every other character in DC's roster that wasn't directly tied to the Lanterns underwent some sort of overhaul and every book had a creative team shake-up, whilst Johns got to stay on Green Lantern and keep all of his work in continuity.
    • The famous O'Neil/Adams run in the '70s. Some find it to be a trailblazing work of art for being one of the first superhero comics to take a stance on real-world issues like racism and drug abuse. Others find it a sentimental narmfest due to the fact that these issues have since become old news in pop culture.
  • Cant Unhear It:
  • Complete Monster:
    • Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #7's one-shot "Triumph of the Will": Ayria is a vicious, corrupt Green Lantern who uses his powers to oppress the residents of Aegri Somnia. Ayria has his forces brutally slaughter their way through the rebelling yellows on Aegri Somnia 2, resulting on millions of casualties on both sides, before establishing a holocaust and sending the yellows who remain into labor camps where they slowly and agonizingly perish by the millions to fuel Ayria's power battery. A paranoid despot unable to take any form of perceived challenge to his rule, Ayria viciously tortures to death several members of his staff—including his own brother—for reasons as varied as apparent treachery to as petty to having no faith in his rule, and ultimately orders every single remaining yellow to be sent to the camps and executed after torturing one who swallows his ring—ultimately resulting in Ayria's downfall when the ring resonates with the dead yellow's will to resurrect the billions Ayria has killed to tear him to bloody shreds. An unrelenting dictator, Ayria proves even the ostensibly righteous Green Lanterns aren't immune to pure evil in their ranks.
    • Mongul II is a case of Overlord Jr. at its worst, and has dedicated his life to aping and surpassing his equally unpleasant father, Mongul I. During his first appearance in Green Lantern, Mongul II used the Black Mercy plants to trap Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen in a fantasy world; he subsequently murdered his sister, Mongal, and kept her corpse as a trophy. When Mongul II really comes into his own, however, is after gaining a Sinestro Corps Ring (by murdering its owner). Taking control of the Black Mercy homeworld, Mongul II uses his ring to alter the genetics of the Black Mercies so that they will trap their victims in their worst nightmares, instead of their ideal fantasies. He coerces the benevolent Mother Mercy into aiding him by threatening to make her eat her own children if she does not. Defeated by the Green Lanterns, Mongul II escapes from prison, seizes control of the Sinestro Corps by killing anybody who disagrees with him (or even annoys him in the slightest), rips out Arkillo's tongue, and overruns the planet Daxam, slaughtering or enslaving the population. Beaten off by Sodam Yat and Arisia, Mongul II later arrives on Korugar, and is in the process of having the citizenry strung up along the streets when his reign is finally halted by the return of Sinestro.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: There are about a half a dozen or more series running with the storyline weaving in and out of each one at random. The storyline that started with Series A will continue along its course into Series B, C, D and friggin' Z and by the time it veers back into Series A the very next issue won't pick up where the last one left off. For a random example: New Guardians issue 12 ended with the "New Guardians" parting ways with Kyle all alone. Issue 13 rolls around and Kyle is suddenly back on Earth, training with Atrocitus and Carol, having at some point acquired the ability to channel the powers of all seven colors without the need for a respective ring.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Larfleeze will steal the coat off your back and claim it was his all along.
    • And Dex-Starr will puke explosive blood all over your new shag carpet unless you buy him the right catfood.
    • Salaak, with the whole "robot catgirl threesome" thing.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Dwayne McDuffie had Green Lantern John Stewart, though this was largely part of self-fulfilling prophecy; some fans didn't like Stewart for the way he leapfrogged Kyle Rayner (previously established in the animated canon) and longtime comic GL Hal Jordan to be the Justice League Unlimited Green Lantern. This led to McDuffie (a black creator who was quite vocal on racism within the TV and comic industry, and who had inherited Stewart on the cartoon from the previous showrunner) making some comments equating hatred of Stewart as racism, which led to the widespread notion that Stewart was McDuffie's pet character.
    • One could argue that the Green Lantern has been a source of shilling the creator's pet since the 90s. Start with Kyle Rayner replacing Hal Jordan and the writers trying to shill him to win over the fan base disgusted by Hal's Face–Heel Turn in Emerald Twilight. Fast forward 10 years, and a number of those fans are now writers/editors for DC, and they promptly retcon the heel turn and restore Hal to being GL Numero Uno - and now must shill him to the fan base who grew up with Kyle and are upset with him getting booted down - and John Stewart as described above.
    • Interestingly, a few writers did make Kyle work for his place in the DC Universe. A number of writers, like Grant Morrison, had characters like Wally West look down on the rookie Lantern for just being there and made to bust his chops to earn his place in the greater scheme of things.
    • Geoff Johns's Hal Jordan can come off as this at times. He's the Greatest of the Green Lanterns (and he is constantly told so) and he can be as much a jerkass as Guy Gardner but he is rarely called on it.
  • Dork Age:
    • Guy Gardner's "Warrior" incarnation, though he also underwent a whole lot of Character Development during this time.
    • The post-Johns New 52 ongoings, for introducing stupid concepts (the rings are actively destroying the universe), stupid villains (Relic) and just dumb creative decisions that were already proven to be bad ideas (making Hal the sole Green Lantern). Most of the creative decisions were undone for DC Rebirth.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: The Silver Age Green Lantern Hal Jordan had an Inuit sidekick called Pieface who served as his mechanic. Today, he is strictly called Tom Kalmaku and depicted with respect as an engineer. In a retelling of Hal's origin, the "Pieface" nickname is used by a jerkass rival pilot.
  • Fair for Its Day:
    • The characterization of Tom "Pieface" Kalmaku in the 60s. One one hand, the character was a minority in a highly skilled position at Ferris Air, spoke excellent English, and became Hal Jordan's close friend and confidant. On the other hand, his nickname was "Pieface" (as in Eskimo Pie), and he liked to exclaim "great fish hooks!" when shocked. It should be noted that Hal always treated him with respect.
    • The famed Green Lantern/Green Arrow series by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams was lauded in its time for being one of the first attempts by superhero comics to address real-life social issues. But today it looks pretty hacky and heavy-handed overall, with overwrought speechifying and overdramatic plot twists. It also created some well-intentioned but poorly developed ideas. For the issue that attempted to highlight the important issue of Native American rights, the cover has the unfortunate image of Hal strapped to a giant totem pole surrounded by stereotypical Native Americans while Green Arrow wears a huge headdress pointing his bow and arrow at his buddy while screaming, "My redskin brothers have found you GUILTY!!!!"
    • Carol Ferris was always Hal's girlfriend, and like many Silver Age comics, he engaged in Super Dickery to toy with her over whether she preferred Hal or Green Lantern, as well as generally manipulating her for his own amusement. Outside of her ties to Hal, however, Carol was strikingly progressive for a late-50s character: she was a female owner of a military business, and was never shown as anything less than completely competent at her job. Despite Hal being her love interest, she was also his boss, and could and did call him to task for misbehavior on the job.
    • John Stewart's earliest appearances were little more than Angry Black Man stereotypes, but John was also shown to be objectively correct in his anger (just short-tempered). He was also always the most-educated of the earthbound Green Lanterns, being an architect when Hal was a pilot who never attended college and Guy's original status as a public defender all but forgotten in Flanderization.
  • Faux Symbolism: It's been suggested that the Emotional Entities have Biblical origins, even though having existed for as long as life has, they've been around a LOT longer than humanity, and couldn't possibly have been created by them.
  • Foe Yay: Between Hal Jordan and Sinestro, according to Yaoi Fangirls.
  • Genius Bonus: Sinestro is usually depicted as wearing his ring on his left hand. For those unfamiliar with Italian (or Latin), the masculine for "sinister" is "sinistro", which means on the left hand, but also wrong, perverse, unfavorable, etc.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: During the Blackest Night, Guy and an Indigo Lantern teamed up to fight black lanterns. This was before it was revealed that the Indigo Tribe targets sociopaths and forces them to feel nothing but compassion.
    Guy: Still feel compassionate, Munk?
    Munk: Always.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Flash once had a villain called the Rainbow Raider, who could make hard-light rainbows and induce emotions in people by coloring them. He'd fit right in with the emotional spectrum retcon, but sadly, he's dead, so the only time he's been used since then was as yet another Black Lantern.
    • Similarly, there's the Outsiders member Halo, who has has a multicolored aura. Each color has a different power, except violet which brings out an alternate personality, just like with Carol Ferris in her earlier Star Sapphire incarnation.
    • There was an episode of Aladdin: The Series which featured multicoloured emotion-inducing rings – including a yellow one which made you cowardly, an orange one that made you self-destructively greedy and a red one which filled you with Unstoppable Rage – well before the Red and Orange Lanterns, and quite probably the modern Sinestro Corps, came onto the scene.
    • In the very first comic featuring the Green Lantern (then the first incarnation of Alan Scott, when the green light was connected to chinese folklore rather than the Emotional Spectrum), the Lantern's green light was reffered to as "queer". Flash forward to 2012...
    • In Rebirth, Ganthet tells Kyle that "hope is meaningless against fear". The guardian would later go on to co-found the corps channeling the power of hope itself. Depending on how much Johns planned in advance this may or may not be intentional.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Guy and Kyle's close relationship is interpreted this way pretty often, even by non-fangirls, especially after Kyle died and Guy was so heartbroken at losing his friend that he attracted a Red ring and went on a rampage. Seconds before this happened, he could even be seen holding Kyle's hand and crying.
    • So much of it between Bleez and Fatality. Actually, considering her unwillingness to ever take a suitor, it isn't unreasonable to assume Bleez may actually swing that way. Fatality is one of the only beings Bleez has willingly shown her face to.
    • Soranik Natu and her sector-partner, Princess Iolande, had shades of this in Iolande's first appearance. While rings tend to fly onto fingers when they select a new candidate, Iolande's entry into the Corps is by Natu manually sliding the ring onto Iolande's finger. Iolande's wearing a white dress at the time, making it almost look like the two women are getting married.
    • Green Lantern and Flash always tend to evoke this, no matter which Flash or Lantern it is. Alan/Jay, Hal/Barry, Wally/Kyle and Wally/John in the DCAU, etc. Bart and Guy are the only two who don't have this with anyone from the other side of the dynamic, mostly because Bart is too busy having it with Robin and Superboy and Guy is too busy having it with Kyle. This even applies to their Distaff Counterpart characters too, with Jesse Quick and Jade getting some scenes in their short-lived tenure together in the JLA.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • According to the Christmas comic, Larfleeze, as it's revealed he misses his family above everything.
    • Also, Guy Gardner. When you look at his history, it's no wonder he's constantly pissed off— he had an alcoholic father, he's been struck by buses, had Hal's power lantern explode in his face, which somehow caused him to get stuck in the Phantom Zone to get tortured by General Zod (no, really, that happened), rendered comatose, it all affected his personality to make him the Guy Gardner we all know.
    • Dex-Starr. He may be one of the most feared Red Lanterns around, but considering that his beloved owner was murdered and he was nearly drowned by some street punks afterwards, he has a damn good reason for behaving the way he does.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Killing Hal and Sinestro in the 2012 Annual... Or rather, keeping them dead beyond the Rise of the Third Army event, with most fans expecting the characters to return during the latter stages of the event. They were right on Sinestro, Hal had to wait a few months longer.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Sinestro is Hal Jordan's personal nemesis, and both a former Green Lantern and planetary dictator. Convinced that the Green Lanterns have failed in their mission of bringing order and security to the universe, Sinestro formed his own Sinestro Corps, and led them into a war against the Green Lanterns, who were only able to defeat Sinestro by resorting to lethal force—the very result the renegade Lantern had been aiming for. Since then Sinestro has changed allegiances multiple times, always with the intention of bringing his vision of stability to the DCU, whether it wants it or not.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • In certain sections of the Internet, Rot Lop Fan is this, being a Green Lantern despite not even grasping the concept of "light" or "color" because his race sees with sound.
    • Guy Gardner is a straighter example, one which would delight him immensely if he knew about it.
  • Memetic Loser: It's either Hal, for losing his mind despite supposedly being one of the most willful individuals in the universe and becoming his own antithesis (and having a panned movie, as well as his cases of Plot-Induced Stupidity in the Silver Age) or Kyle for not being able to catch a break to save his life.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Hal sure does get hit on the head a lot, doesn't he?
    • "Help me, Green Lantern. I have no arms." * PUNCH!*
    • The color-coded rings have spawned a takeoff of the "Advice Dog" meme. Examples:
    • Hal Jordan WILL FUCK ANYTHING!
    • RAGECAT. He's in ur sector, killing ur Lanterns.
    • "Mogo doesn't socialize."
    • Kyle Rayner has a poison dick. It's often joked that dating Kyle is the equivalent of signing your own death sentence.
  • Memetic Personality Change: In Fan Works focused on the Justice League where Hal is a secondary character, he'll usually be portrayed as a tryhard constantly attempting to prove his worth to the rest of the league. In fact portrayals of him like this are more common now than ones with Aquaman, which is saying something. This has only gained more steam following his appearance in The LEGO Batman Movie as The Friend Nobody Likes.
  • Misblamed: When McDuffie took over the Justice League of America comic, he was told to use John instead of Hal as the Justice League of America's Green Lantern on orders from above (partly because Hal was being given HIS JLA TEAM!). Sadly for McDuffie, fandom took the change badly, not helped in the least by the fact that Hal's JLA spin-off was delayed and reduced to a mini-series when it became apparent that James Robinson's artist was never going to get the book done on time. This lead to Hal returning to the title until his book was ready, followed by John's reinstatement just long enough for him to be bounced again and replaced with Hal until he was quickly replaced with Jade when they needed a book to focus on her Brightest Day storyline. The entire process was made progressively worse and worse by Executive Meddling, in case you couldn't tell. And when McDuffie had the gall to describe this and the other creative difficulties on his forum (without assigning blame or complaining), DC responded by firing him.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Krona reprogramming the Manhunters to slaughter a sector just to prove a point.
    • The Guardians mind raping Ganthet for having a personality, following War of the Green Lanterns. If not that, then powering up Black Hand so that he can kill both Hal and Sinestro to get them out of the way before the Rise of the Third Army event starts is definitely this. Even the mere premise of the Third Army counts.
    • Black Hand killing his family as a prologue to the Blackest Night, simply because Death told him too. Given Flashpoint and Green Lantern v5 #11 showed us that simply dying is enough to "rise", it counts.
  • My Real Daddy: The entirety of the modern Green Lantern mythos has Geoff Johns, but particularly Hal Jordan and Sinestro. For many readers, he is the Green Lantern writer.
  • Narm: Some of the Silver Age plots have not aged well at all.
    • The first version of the Star Sapphire's origin have them chose Carol Ferris as their leader on the basis that they have to chose a leader who looks exactly like their previous leader. Yeah...
    • The first "Pol Manning" story has a man in the 51st century deciding that a job needs filled, and since apparently no-one in the universe at that time is capable, they'll use a time machine to take Hal Jordan and give him the job. Did we mention the machine entirely wipes Hal's memory, meaning they have to retrain him to do the job anyway. Meanwhile, the villains of the story are... Gila monsters, which apparently have evolved (in the space of three thousand years). And developed laser eyes. From living underground.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Being weak to yellow.
    • Guy Gardner's One Punch knockout at the hands of Batman.
    • Hal Jordan's relationship with the underage Arisia. Hal, at least, got a Retcon escape from that: 13 years old on Graxos IV (Arisia's home planet) equals 240 years old on Earth.
    • Hal Jordan being possessed by Parallax.
    • John Stewart: Letting Xanshi get blown up. Blowing up Mogo did not help that "Destroyer of Worlds" reputation, despite Mogo's eventual reformation.
    • Many readers (and a few writers) seem to have trouble forgetting that Kyle Rayner's girlfriend was the trope namer for Stuffed in the Fridge, and his seeming parade of dead girlfriends has become a source of dark humor amongst the fanbase.
    • Hal and the Spectre making sure Linda Danvers would never see her child again during Many Happy Returns is a particular sore spot for fans of that version of Supergirl, especially when the narration made it clear Linda was more or less dead inside now.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • It's an FAQ where casual viewers confuse Justice League's Green Lantern John Stewart with all others and ask "Isn't Green Lantern black?," even though Hal first appeared a dozen years before John.
    • Modern GL readers are familiar with the many Corps and the emotional spectrum, but the Sinestro Corps was not the original opposite number of the Green Lantern Corps. That honor goes to the anti-matter ring wielding Anti-GL corps, from GL #150.
    • The Star Sapphire is generally known as a Green Lantern adversary, but a Star Sapphire first appeared as a Golden Age Flash enemy in All-Flash #32, December 1946. This Star Sapphire's identity was unknown, but she would later be retconned as a failed and exiled queen of the Zamarons.
    • The Green Lantern Oath associated with the Corps actually was first used by the Golden Age Alan Scott Green Lantern in a 1943 story. See here for details:
  • Protection from Editors: The Green Lantern books under Geoff Johns are one of the two things to enter the New 52 unscathed, the other being Grant Morrison's Batman run, which only had a few alterations. Whilst Morrison's Batman Inc. continued the plot he was writing before Flashpoint it had everyone spontaneously change costumes and some supporting characters' retconned out (E.g., Batwoman never joined Batman Inc., Cassandra Cain doesn't exist). The Green Lantern books don't even do that and just carry on as they were before the reboot. This can be attributed to Johns being the Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics, essentially the No. 3 guy at the company after co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee.
  • Recurring Fanon Character: Hope Corgi, an animal sidekick of the Blue Lanterns who wields one of their rings, powered by hope. He inspires a sense of calm in all those he meets, and to the people he appears before, he resembles their childhood dog. He is meant to be a Good Counterpart of Dex-Starr, the Earth cat member of the Red Lanterns.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Kyle Rayner to Hal Jordan fans. Hal Jordan to Kyle Rayner fans. Both to fans who only know about Green Lantern from the Justice League cartoons.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Kyle Rayner, as written by Grant Morrison in JLA. Grant Morrison asked Ron Marz "How would Rayner work in a team book as opposed to a solo one?" The characters were very similar, and Kyle's era was a best seller until Ron Marz left the book. and by that time Morrison was no longer writing JLA. It would be BETTER to say he became a Scrappy during the Judd Winick/Ben Raab Era and Ron Marz and Geoff Johns rescued him from the Scrappy Heap. The only people to whom he was ever a scrappy were die-hard Hal Jordan fans. Kyle Rayner was the star of the Green Lantern book for ten years, and thus had a generation of his own fans who couldn't care less about Hal Jordan and thus never saw him as The Scrappy in the first place. To those fans, it was Hal Jordan, and not Kyle Rayner, who was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
    • The DCAU was this for John Stewart when he was used as the primary Green Lantern for Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. After getting several on and off shots at the spotlight John Stewart had more or less faded into obscurity by the time the show went into production, and at the time that the roster was announced he was initially met with disdain by fans who were either angry that the Bruce Timm and his colleagues weren't using Kyle Rayner, who was the current Green Lantern of the comics at the time and had been previously introduced in Superman: The Animated Series, or Hal Jordan, who was the best known Green Lantern among comics fans but who had not appeared in the wider-media at that time (even though Hal was technically dead at the time of the show's creation) and, in some cases, because Timm and co admitted that one of the reasons for using Stewart was because they wanted a black hero to break up what would have otherwise been an all white line up (not counting the Martian Manhunter of course). Fortunately, Stewart received enough Character Development over the course of the series that fans eventually warmed up to him, and when DC comics bosses noticed this they decided to capitalize on it by making Stewart an important character in the comics again. Some critics even speculate that the reason the 2011 film failed was because general audiences who only knew of the Green Lantern mythos from the DCAU were confused at seeing Hal Jordan being used instead of John Stewart thanks to the exposure the DCAU had given him.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Sinestro has been getting some attention in this manner, mainly due to him being a very charismatic villain and his arguments against the Guardians being too involved with their mysteries and prophecies to do an effective job policing the cosmos.
  • The Scrappy: G'Nort, for mostly being nothing more than The Load.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Geoff Johns wrote for ten years on the franchise, which not only propelled the Green Lantern mythos into becoming a major part of the DC canon, but introduced the now iconic aspect of the Emotional Spectrum and other Lantern Corps, and was popular enough to support an entire Crisis Crossover. Good luck matching that.
  • Values Dissonance: The first "Pol Manning" story has a massive case of Squick attached to it, where the man who builds the time machine declares that Hal Jordan's cover identity must "logically" come with a love interest (or otherwise he'll question the whole thing), and immediately tells his secretary she has to pretend to be his girlfriend, since she's unmarried. She just goes along with this, without even protesting.
  • What an Idiot!: Hey Mongul—Sinestro created the friggin' rings; he'd have a manual override in case of an attempted coup!

     2011 Film 
  • Awesome Music: Reviews mostly pan the soundtrack, disappointed in James Newton Howard for making little more than uninteresting background music. Still, We're Going to Fly Now is one great cue for the character Green Lantern and a What Could Have Been for soundtrack fans.
  • Broken Base:
    • Hal's Adaptational Comic Relief, done by the writers to take advantage of Ryan Reynolds's comedic talents. Some fans love it for making an bland character interesting while others think it was a horrible casting choice.
    • The Green Lantern costume. Some fans argued that it being a glowing CGI construct made sense since it's supposed to be created by the ring, while others argued that it looked silly and was a needless waste of CGI. This is exacerbated by Green Lantern's classic comic outfit often being held up as one of the best superhero outfit designs of the Silver Age.
    • For some, the inclusion of Parallax as Hal's first major villain. Many people could see this as too high of a villain for Hal to defeat for his first adventures as a superhero considering his major influence to the Green Lantern lore and the reason why they go for Man of Steel as the first movie to kickstart the DCEU.
  • Can't Un-Hear It: Fans like to read Kilowog's lines in the voice of Michael Clarke Duncan.
  • Cliché Storm: Those who dislike the movie consider it to be this; those who do enjoy it, however, consider it to be a decent film that's very campy and doesn't take itself too seriously.
  • Critical Backlash: If you read some online reviews like at, a lot of people are saying "I liked the movie, I don't get why the critics absolutely hated it..."
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: As mentioned below in One-Scene Wonder, the other members of the Green Lantern Corps like Kilowog and Tomar-Re were liked despite their small role.
    • Most people agree that Sinestro looked great and was written and acted perfectly.
  • Misblamed: For a time, this happened to Ryan Reynolds due to the film's lackluster reception, by none other than the Deadpool fandom; after Green Lantern's release, many fanboys began bashing Reynolds for his acting and decrying how he 'ruined Green Lantern' and would most certainly ruin Deadpool, though Ryan Reynolds' acting was one of the few things fans and critics liked in the film. You'd think they wouldn't have needed to worry considering Reynolds had been previously praised for being perfect for Deadpool, but apparently some people had short memories. Fortunately for everyone involved, Reynolds performance in Deadpool (2016) and Deadpool 2 was received with near-universal acclaim, with most fans hoping that Reynolds will continue to play the character until he is no longer physically capable of such.
  • Moral Event Horizon: When Hector Hammond turns two giant flamethrowers on a US Senator and roasts him alive. To make it worse, the senator is his father.
  • Narm:
    • Hector Hammond's screaming. Just... really, it doesn't do his level of menace any favors, if he was even considered menacing.
    • Parallax, which has been described as a tentacle monster that literally looks like a pile of shit.
  • Never Live It Down: The CGI costume. Even Deadpool (2016) has a line making fun of it.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Kilowog in the film. In fact, most anything involving the GL Corps in the film.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Even though he was well known in his native New Zealand, the actor who played Thomas Kalmaku was Taika Waititi, who would later become known among Americans as the director of Thor: Ragnarok and actor of Korg, which is quite ironic considering how Green Lantern was dueling with Thor.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • The hero is a lazy, irresponsible, egotistical jerkass who never really has to work for his powers, and the villain, a smart, responsible, shy man who's been bullied by his father his entire life. Things get ridiculous when you take into account that the hero becomes more responsible and down-to-earth while the villain goes Ax-Crazy and and murders his own father.
    • Then there's the other guy, the guy meant to be the villain in the sequel that will never be, who is presented as basically being a strong, noble man trying to do what is right, making sure justice is done to the memory of his best friend, and having a crisis of faith in the corps that he has spent so much of his life serving in.
  • Signature Scene: Carol figuring out Hal is Green Lantern is the most remembered part of the movie.
  • So Okay, It's Average: What most fans and the average cinema-goer seemed to think of it. It was seen as the weakest superhero film in the post-Nolan, MCU-Phase 1 era.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • Noticeable CG is used with the Lantern uniform and constructs.
    • Also, all the introductory scenes look ridiculously fake, and there are plenty of times during Hal's training on Oa where it's inescapably obvious that you're watching Ryan Reynolds' head in front of a green screen. Plus, every scene with Sinestro (or any of the aliens, actually).
  • Tainted by the Preview:
    • Many fans were not encouraged by the trailers, partly due to the special effects being underwhelming and also due to the Iron Man vibe.
    • This was actually acknowledged by some people in the industry, the first teaser trailer was very underwhelming because they had very little completed special effects to work with. Thus the initial impression made it seem more like a sitcom than a genuine superhero movie. While the later trailers, were much more impressive, it came across as too little too late.
    • Probably the biggest problem with the trailers though is just how much they spoiled several plot points, including the fate of one of the villains.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The 2011 film chose Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern and set most of the action on Earth. Many fans feel that John Stewart, the Green Lantern of the DCAU would have been better choice. Most of John's backstory, origin, and characterization in both the comics and cartoons is tied to his cosmic function (his relationship with Katma Tui, his involvement with the destruction of Xanshi, his trial by the Manhunters), which would have made the Green Lantern distinct from Superman (an alien on Earth among earthlings, versus, an earthling in outer space among aliens). The DCAU Lantern, a duty-driven guy with a soft center, being formerly Black and Nerdy, was a more compelling and modern characterization than the 2011's Top Gun IN SPACE approach. Likewise, at the time Hal Jordan was known only among comics fans (a very small demographic) and from a brand perspective it made more sense to use a character that already had exposure from a very popular cartoon series. Even Stewart's co-creator Neal Adams said that since John Stewart is the Green Lantern to a whole generation of kids, it'd make sense to make him the main Lantern in the film, or at least a major supporting character to better set up the sequel (similar to how Rhodey/War Machine was used in the first Iron Man film).
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Not necessarily a bad movie, but being the first major DC film after The Dark Knight, Green Lantern had a lot to live up to comparatively speaking. The comparison isn't exactly fair in the first place, as although they are "superhero" movies within that spectrum, they are in wildly different genres. The Dark Knight is a crime/vigilante drama, while Green Lantern is a sci-fi Space Opera. Getting to theaters behind Thor didn't help things, either.
    • For fans of the DCAU, John Stewart was Green Lantern, and in the Justice League series, he had the strongest Character Development, and likewise was the main vehicle to introduce to the wider Green Lantern lore (Manhunters, Katma Tui, Guardians, other GL). The film by bringing the unfamiliar Hal Jordan, and likewise being highly earth-focused was seen as both inferior and a weak approach to introduce Green Lantern.
  • Uncanny Valley: The "painted" on mask and CGI suit never quite looked right to a lot of viewers. Although considering the uniforms are energy constructs, this may have been a deliberate design choice. The glowing blue eyes as part of Hal's "disguise" are perhaps the worst part.
  • Uncertain Audience: A common criticism leveled at the film is that it tried to find a middle ground between being targeted towards comics fans and general audiences and ended up pushing both of them away. It’s too nerdy for general audiences and not nerdy enough for existing fans.
  • The Un-Twist: A yellow ring is forged, and... no one ever actually uses it. Sinestro is still with the Corps at the end and rescues Hal after he collapses post-victory. Sinestro does put it on during the credits, but with the film's planned sequel getting canned, this too ended up going nowhere.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Tim Robbins and Peter Sarsgaard play father and son, respectively. They look around the same age and have no family resemblance.
    • Blake Lively being cast as a character who is supposed to be an incredibly adept pilot and vice president of a company; despite being only 24 years old at the time of filming. Also has some shades of Playing Gertrude when considering that Carol is supposed to be Hal's childhood sweetheart, in spite of a 9 year age difference between Lively and Reynolds (further compounded by some of the other actresses shortlisted for the role - Eva Green, Diane Kruger and Jennifer Garner - all of who are much closer in age to Reynolds than Lively).
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: The CGI Green Lantern uniforms proved to be pretty divisive among fans.


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