This weekend marks another lesser Comicon, this one is “Wondercon” and it is held in San Francisco. However, Wondercon has garnered much attention in the realms of the geekstrati online for Wondercon is the place that glorious footage from the much-anticipated GREEN LANTERN film was finally unveiled (and subsequently placed online for all to see).
For those not in the know, GREEN LANTERN is a film adaptation of a popular comic book super-hero who wields a magic ring that can turn his thoughts into physical form.
I realized after I watched these 4 minutes (repeatedly), that the closest I could come to explaining my reaction was that I was having a secular religious experience. I don't mean that I touched the mind of God or anything, but I am not kidding that the first time I watched it I got choked up and literally found a tear welling in my eye. In my life, that's only happened a handful of times over something this silly and inconsequential– not counting the death of Mr. Spock in STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN because if you didn't cry when you saw that in 1982, you have no soul– and it led me to write this.
GREEN LANTERN specifically. Since at least third grade, I have proclaimed GL to be my favorite super-hero. I have huge love and appreciation for my other top heroes, Superman, Capt. Marvel, Iron Man, Thor, Capt. America, and lesser knowns like Metamorpho and Dr. Mid-Nite. I remember playing super-hero with my friends back then and us choosing heroes. There was always the smart-ass who quickly declared himself “Superman” so he could be the most powerful. I, the bigger smart-ass, always came back with “Green Lantern.” To which, and this was back in the early 70s, the reaction was usually a bit of ridicule as they snickered “Green Lantern?? Haha! Why him?” And I would respond that “He's the most powerful super-hero of them all.” They would laugh more and start throwing super-hero names out and I would quickly inform them how GL would take them out, then eventually they'd throw out “Superman!” and smirk. I confidently declared that as GL, I would use my ring to make “Green Kryptonite” and kill Superman. Which always left them unable to come up with a retort. Battle done and won and I smirked on the inside and led the way as “Green Lantern.”
I'll confess now, at 44, that even then I knew I was blowing smoke because I knew GL couldn't really make “Green Kryptonite.” He could make a green rock, but that's all it would be. But I always relied upon the collective ignorance of my Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man obsessed friends to NOT know that.
And I was always correct.
Well, after this summer, the collective ignorance surrounding the Green Lantern character will go by the wayside as he enters the zeitgeist in a huge way if this amazing piece of 4-minute footage from the film is any indication.
To me, he is the ultimate in super-hero concept and to see it so perfectly visualized as if it were real...it is a transcendent experience.
|I did believe a man could fly!
I can never regain that 12 year-old's sense of wonder ever again, but I am hoping for as close to it as a 44 year-old can get this summer.
It wasn't until the first teaser trailer for the BATMAN film came out in 1989 that I got another tingle of excitement. By this time, I was out of college and into my adult life, but I remember the first time that trailer played. My fiance and I were at a movie in Austin at the Arboretum theater (which is now The Cheesecake Factory) and the trailer came on and the entire audience erupted into thunderous applause when the trailer was done. This was Batman....done....seriously? I knew at that moment that “super-hero” movies were about to become a reality as never before after those in charge of the SUPERMAN movie franchise had let it deteriorate into the embarrassments of SUPERMAN III & IV.
The first time I saw Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN swinging his way through the skyscrapers of New York City, I felt that little tickle of a choke in my throat seeing something I thought was impossible. The opening credits of WATCHMEN (a film I truly thought was unfilm-able but was proved wrong) that established the background and history of the world of WATCHMEN while Bob Dylan's “The Times They Are A-Changin'” plays.
That brought a tear to my eye the first time I saw it. The upcoming CAPTAIN AMERICA and THOR movies are thrilling as well. The first time I saw Asgard visualized and it looked like Jack Kirby's art come to life, yeah, I got choked up.
“In Brightest Day; in Blackest Night. No Evil shall Escape My Sight. Let Those Who Worship Evil's Might....Beware My Power....GREEN LANTERN'S LIGHT!”