One of the very first posts I wrote on Cinematical was whether or not pure and unsullied heroism was dead in movies. I disagreed at the time and I still do, though some recent Green Lantern news has led me to backtrack a little bit. Just a little, mind you.
Superheroes are pretty much defined by their own label – they are super heroes. Better than good. Larger than life. A finely sculpted Adonis with nary a crack in the marble. When you call someone a superhero, it's because they did something so wonderful that it was out of the ordinary level of heroism – the heroism displayed by soldiers, policemen, firemen and doctors who will always tell you that they were just doing their job. (I don't mean to lessen their job in any way. I'm just trying to classify.) There's Superman, and then there's Backdraft. The appeal of one is that he's unpaid and he can rescue airplanes, whereas the appeal of the other is that regular men and women against fiery odds. They may not always win, whereas Superman always does. Theoretically, we enjoy the superhero stories because of that moral certainty and comfort blanket of goodness. Or we used to.
CHUD caught up with Martin Campbell, who let slip a little about how The Green Lantern will tackle Hal Jordan's origin story. In the comics, Hal was given the ring because he was a modern day Galahad. He was pure of heart, incorruptible, the right human to wield a ring of enormous power. But DC Comics decided that was too boring, especially in comparison to embittered Batman and drunk Tony Stark, so they did a miniseries called Emerald Dawn. The miniseries retconned Hal into a bit of a screw-up. His father dies in a fiery plane wreck, and he carries those demons into a bit of a bad boy persona. He drives drunk, he crashes his car, severely injures his friend, and winds up in jail. Hal receives the ring not because he's the white knight of the crash site, but because he just happened to be there when Abin Sur crashed. It was quite controversial and unpopular, and remains so to this day.