Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hal Jordan: Criminal?

Question for those of you with some knowledge of military law and justice - Exactly how many charges would get leveled against Hal Jordan because (thanks to Geoff Johns) he's back in the US Air Force?

Before we get too far into this, I just want to point out a couple of things. The reason I ask is that there have been stories told about the whole military/superhero conflict that is central to other military-inspired superheroes (i.e. Captain America, Captain Atom), but not so with Hal Jordan since his new status quo as an Air Force officer has been re-instated (and I'm still not even clear on how that works). I also want to draw particular attention to another major distinction between the common examples and Jordan: the fact that the Green Lantern Corps is an alien foreign power, of which Hal Jordan is an officer.

Now, this is the metaphor as I see it, and I may be wrong. Captain America and Captain Atom (depending on the status of continuity) are ex-military officers who act as independent vigilante operators with ties to organizations that co-operate with governmental bodies (most of the time). While there's definitely a certain level of bending/breaking the Posse Comitatus Act there (and I leave this to more studied experts in this field here), you could compare this to ex-military officers who join community actions groups, or even criminal cartels and gangs - not a good thing, but not quite the same as what Jordan does. In effect, when Jordan goes from U.S. Air Force captain to Green Lantern, he's putting on the uniform and assuming the office of a foreign power - there is a clear conflict of interest with regards to oaths of allegiance, priorities and standing. And, if I recall the current status quo correctly, his superior officer and several co-workers are co-operating in this endeavor - which definitely meets the definition of conspiracy.

So I leave this to you to discuss.

I'll have more in the days to come - sorry for taking so long with this.

1 comment:

John said...

While I haven't read much of the GL series on how Hal was reinstated in story, I do not that after a person leaves the military as an officer, they are a "reserve officer" for a certain period of time. Thus, if the military requires you to come back, you are forced to. I knew a lawyer who was a military officer 20-some years ago and after 9/11 he was called "out of reserve."