What’s up, my fellow followers and fans? Once again we’re picking up where yours truly, “The Belser“, left off in our multi-part report on a pair of my favorite characters, Marvel’s Nova, and DC’s Green Lantern. You can catch up on part one HERE, and once you’re good and ready, come on back for a more in-depth look right here!
Notable Multimedia Appearances:
Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014):
The Nova Corps make their live action debut in the tenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. While the movie is focused on the titled group of misfit aliens led by a human rogue in search of the Power Stone, the Nova Corps and the planet Xandar play a significant role in this movie. This version of planet Xandar and the Xandarian people is almost identical to Earth and humans respectively in appearance.
Xandar is the capital of the Nova Empire with a population of twelve billion. Xandar is located in the Andromeda Galaxy and orbits around three suns, and the main city that is seen on Xandar is even shaped like the emblem on the comic book hero Nova’s helmet. The Xandarians are shown to have been at war with the Kree for centuries. The Nova Corps in the film is much different than the comics version:
– Here, there is no Xandarian Worldmind or Nova Force so they have no powers.
– Irani Rael, the Nova Prime in this film, ( played by Glenn Close) is shown in a largely diplomatic position and serves as the strategic commander for the Nova Corps in combat.
– The Nova Corps is shown as an armored police force not unlike a SWAT team. They also greatly resemble the Judges from the Judge Dredd comics.
While The Nova Corps do not naturally fly, they have star shaped ships called Star Blasters that can interlock and create an energy shield.
– The primary Nova in the film is Rhomann Dey , played by John C. Reilly.
– It is in a Nova prison called The Kyln that the Guardians meet and work together for the first time. The climax with the combined forces of The Guardians, The Ravagers and Nova Corps against Ronan and his ship The Dark Aster takes place on Xandar. For their efforts in the defeat of Ronan, The Guardians’ criminal records are expunged. It is The Nova Corps that discovers an anomaly in Peter Quill’s genetic makeup which sets the stage for the next film, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. In the end, The Guardians turn the Power Stone over the Nova Corps for safekeeping (and possible experimentation).
– The Nova Corps and/or Xandar get mentions in other MCU films like Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. and Thor: Ragnarok.
– In the events preceding Avengers: Infinity War, it is explained by Thor that Thanos decimated the planet Xandar to get The Power Stone.
– In Spider-Man: Far From Home, an Easter egg involves an in- flight documentary with Thor supporting character Dr. Erik Selvig called NOVA: Einstein-Rosen Bridges With Dr. Erik Selvig. The font of the word Nova is the same as the current comic book and the outer space subject matter is line with the character’s usual adventures.
– As of this article, a solo NOVA film is currently development for the MCU.
An unidentified Nova Corpsman made a cameo appearance on two episodes of the Silver Surfer cartoon series. In both instances, he appears in the background and does not speak.
‘The Planet of Dr. Moreau’: as a bystander among a group of aliens on a starship.
‘The Learning Curve Part 1.’: as a member of Nebula’s space pirate crew.
The Super Hero Squad Show (2011):
The Richard Rider version of Nova makes his formal debut on the Cartoon Network series The Super Hero Squad Show. In the episode ‘So Pretty When They Explode’, Thanos has destroyed the Nova Corps and taken the last remaining Nova (Richard Rider) as a hostage in exchange for the Power Stone. Rider is voiced by Jason Marsden and is given a fun and carefree personality, even referring to himself as ‘The Human Rocket”. This was the character’s only appearance.
Ultimate Spider-Man (2012-2017):
This series marks the debut of Sam Alexander as Nova. As noted, Sam was created initially for this series and later made his comics debut (very similar to Firestar from Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends or Harley Quinn from Batman: The Animated Series). Voiced by Logan Miller, Nova is shown as a Hispanic teenager with no apparent biological family. On the show, he wears a black uniform with several golden metal plates. His Nova Corps Helmet is the traditional color of gold with a star symbol that looks a T-shaped red horn on the front.
Prior the beginning of the series, Sam lived in outer space as a valued member of The Guardians of the Galaxy for years, with Rocket Raccoon as his direct mentor (Sam even refers to him as ‘Master Rocket’). This is explained in the episode ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ but it is not shown when or why he left the Guardians to come to Earth. Nova was then recruited by Nick Fury to be a member of a S.H.I.E.L.D. sponsored team of teenage superheroes.
The kids are meant to be trained properly and become the next generation of Avengers. The team initially consists of Nova, White Tiger, Power Man and Iron Fist. Very soon, Fury adds the last recruit, The Amazing Spider-Man. As the most experienced of the teen heroes, Spider-Man is immediately put into a leadership role, which rubs Nova the wrong way. Here, Nova is given a very cocky and arrogant attitude. With his power set and extensive outer space background, Sam feels he should be the natural leader of the group. However, he is shown to be very reckless and immature and often puts himself and his teammates in unneeded danger. Spider-Man is (slightly) more level-headed but he and Nova eventually maintain a friendly rivalry throughout the series.
Sam’s main nemesis in this series is Titus, a large white tiger-like humanoid with a laser weapon in place of one of his hands. At some point, he was a member of The Nova Corps who betrayed the team to the Chituari. Titus is in constant pursuit of the last remaining Nova helmet, which is the source of Sam’s powers. Titus chastises Sam for being unable to unlock the helmet’s ‘true potential’. Sam finally does this in the episode ‘The Return of the Guardians of the Galaxy’. In doing so, he shows a significant increase in power( enough to destroy Titus’ starship by himself). In the final season, Nova is tasked with a secret mission to locate a missing Nick Fury and is last seen in at their SHIELD graduation ceremony.
Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy (2015-present):
The primary Nova Corps in this series is identical to the ones found in the Guardians live action movie, with Nova Prime Irani Rael and Rhomann Dey making multiple appearances. In the season 2 episode, ‘Black Helmet Woman’, a Black Nova helmet is discovered within a sarcophagus belonging to Thanos. It is explained that, early in their history, this special helmet was used to an elite group known as The Knights Of The Nova Corps.
They were meant to protect the cocoon of a being named Adam Warlock, who prophesied to return after centuries in stasis. However, he also is powerful enough to annihilate the universe. In case he turns evil, this Nova Corps group is tasked to destroy him. The helmet enables the wearer to harness a massive amount of energy for use. This helmet, however, was flawed and confiscated by The Nova Corps. After this, the story of Sam Alexander becomes a part of the series in the episode ‘Back in Black’ with Logan Miller reprising his role from Ultimate Spider-Man.
In this version, Sam’s origin is made to be more comic accurate. Like in the comics, he learns about the Nova Corps from his father Jesse Alexander, who goes missing one day. The Nova Centurion Helmet that is in Sam’s possession is being sought out by the Nova Corps and The Guardians( who want the bounty for it). While Sam is shown to be less cocky in this version, his inexperience, naviete and obsessive search for his father lead him to make many rash decisions.
The most notable mistake has Sam siding Star-Lord’s manipulative father J’son and his servant Mantis in a Xandarian spaceship that stores other Black Nova Centurian Helmets. Unfortunately, during a fight with the Guardians of the Galaxy, J’son gets ahold of a Black Nova helmet and becomes as powerful as Nova but with much more ruthless intention. In the episode, ‘Nova Me, Nova You’, Sam returns back to Earth and is attacked by the newly-powered J’son. Sam is able to fight him off with the Guardians of the Galaxy’s help. In a ast ditch effort, J’son attempts to go supernova but Sam flies him into the atmosphere and he explodes.In the aftermath, The Guardians of the Galaxy talk Rhomann Dey into training Sam on Earth as opposed to just taking his helmet. The final stamp of approval comes from Sam’s mother, who knows Sam’s secret identity and agrees with them. Sam begins the new season as a special member of the Nova Corps.
Green Lantern (2011):
Green Lantern makes a film debut in the 2011 self-titled film that would become one of the great train wrecks in comic book film history. In an effort to create a new DC franchise beyond Batman or Superman, development for this film started as early as 1997. At point, producer/director Greg Berlanti was attached to direct the film but dropped out to make the film This Is Where I Leave You.
Berlanti was replaced by veteran director Martin Campbell, who is best known for his successful James Bond films like GoldenEye (1995) and Casino Royale (2006). In casting the lead role of Hal Jordan, the producers went with comedic actor Ryan Reynolds with a budget of 150 to 200 million dollars, production began in early 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Here’s a synopsis of Green Lantern:
“In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan. Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and willpower, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity. With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris, if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax…he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all.” (2019, “Green Lantern (Film), Green Lantern Wiki).
– The film was released in theaters on June 1, 2011 to mainly negative reactions from both fans and critics. It had a disappointing box office run barely getting back its $200 million budget worldwide. The main source being its lackluster screenplay and the character’s controversial CGI costume. All plans for a sequel were scrapped.
Justice League (2017):
With the failure of the Green Lantern solo film, Warner Bros. has opted to reboot the Green Lantern mythos in the DC Extended Universe film franchise. The first indication of this came in the film Justice League. A flashback sequence in the film shows a large battle with the forces of humankind, the Amazonians, the Atlanteans, and the Olympians against Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons from Apokolips. During the battle, an unidentified Green Lantern is shown fighting alongside the force of Earth. The Lantern conjures up a giant hammer construct with their power ring but he is eventually killed by Steppenwolf. The power ring then leaves the body’s finger and flies away (possibly to find a new worthy individual to wield it). As of this article, plans for a Green Lantern Corps film continue to be in development.
DC Animated Universe appearances:
Superman: The Animated Series:
The first appearance of a Green Lantern in the DCAU was on Superman: The Animated Series in a 1999 episode “In Brightest Day..”. This Green Lantern origin is a mix of the origins of two different Lanterns: Kyle Rayner and Hal Jordan. The actual ring bearer shown here is Kyle Rayner, a commercial artist who works in the art design department for the Daily Planet. He hates his job and put down by the fact that the major comic book companies have rejected his art submissions. Jimmy Olsen is one of his best friends.
While Kyle is the Lantern, His origin is a modified version of Hal Jordan: A dying alien Abin Sur tells his ring to find a worthy host who turns out to be Kyle Rayner. Almost immediately, Sinestro, an evil former Green Lantern, arrives on earth looking for the ring. The Guardians enlist the assistance of Superman to help the new Green Lantern defeat Sinestro. Kyle is then sent to Oa for training.
There are a number of Green Lantern Easter eggs in this episodes:
– One of Kyle’s rejection letters came from DC Comics, the publisher of Green Lantern comics.
– The Italian restaurant at the beginning ( “Gil’s Ristorante” )and the air base at the climax (“Broome Lake”) are references to the creators of the Silver Age Green Lantern, Gil Kane and John Broome.
– Broome Lake is also a reference to Groom Lake, which is believed to be the location for Area 51.
– The thug that tries to steal Jimmy’s camera visually resembles Guy Gardner, another Green Lantern from the comics.
– The plane that Kyle crashes into during his final fight with Sinestro belongs to “Col. Hal Jordan”.
Justice League/ Justice League Unlimited (2001-2006):
– The most significant Green Lantern portrayal comes from the 2001 Cartoon Network series Justice League, and its continuation series, Justice League Unlimited. The Green Lantern of this series was not Kyle Rayner or Hal Jordan, but John Stewart. Interesting side note: John Stewart was created by Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams in Green Lantern #87 (December 1971/January 1972).
John was the first African-American superhero in DC Comics, and his design is based on the first African American male actor to win the Oscar for Best Actor, Sidney Poitier. Initially created as a backup for Hal Jordan, John was the first Earth Green Lantern to forgo a secret identity (“This black man lets it all hang out! I’ve got nothing to hide!“). When the lineup for Justice League was announced, John Stewart was the most controversial choice.
– Producer Bruce Timm explains his choice of John Stewart: “One of the things we really wanted to avoid was having a group of characters who were all pretty much interchangeable. Going back and rereading a lot of the Silver Age Justice League comics, they really are all the same character—Batman [had] no different a voice than Superman or Flash. They’re all kind of the same character; the only thing that differentiates them is what colors they’re wearing and what powers they have. So we really wanted to make sure they had a much more interesting group dynamic than that and that they all had different personalities. Going back to the original version of John Stewart from Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ day, the thing that made him interesting to us was that he was quite a bit more of a badass. If you go back and read those, he comes across as a stereotypical, angry, young black man. We knew we didn’t want to do that exactly, but we still wanted to keep a little bit of that edge to him so that he would be one of the more strident of the characters. We hit upon the idea of the Green Lanterns being kind of a paramilitary force, so we said, ‘Ah, marine. Okay, Louis Gossett Jr., Samuel Jackson.’ So that became our take on him” (2015, ‘Why John Stewart Became A Marine”, Comicvine)
– John was voiced by LA-based comedic actor Phil Lamarr. Lamarr is best known as the ill-fated ‘Marvin’ in Pulp Fiction, and one of the original cast members of the Fox 90’s sketch comedy series MADTV. Phil has gone on to a very prolific voice acting career, lending his talents to shows like Family Guy, Futurama, and Samurai Jack. For the voice of the character, Phil took inspiration from simply looking at a sketch of the character: “I chose to give John Stewart a very deep, powerful voice. For me that couldn’t be avoided, given the way Bruce designs characters. You have this gigantic chest and that says to me this guy has a huge resonating chamber [and] his voice has to boom”( 2004, “ Green Lantern”, Toonzone.Net).
– Little is known of John’s early history. He was born in Detroit, Michigan. He still maintains an apartment there with an old Asian landlady. He has at least one relative( an uncle) who get him into reading Justice Guild Of America comic books. John believes he developed much of his heroic characteristics from reading the comics. John’s ‘weakness’ is his favorite movie Old Yeller (an in-joke on how his power ring’s weakness is the color yellow). Per the series, John Stewart left home to enlist in the United States Marine Corps at a fairly young age. He continues to wear a ‘high and tight’ fade haircut as a reminder of his Marine past.
Relatively little is known of John’s military service other than he met and befriended Rex Mason during that time. NOTE: Rex would eventually become a superhero in his own right: Metamorpho The Element Man. At some point, he was recruited by the Green Lantern Corps. Early in his Corps career, John would train under the veteran Green Lantern Katma Tui (who eventually became his lover). The show states that John has been a Green Lantern for least ten years prior to the events of Justice League. His most unique physical feature would be his glowing green eyes (a result of years of power ring exposure).
As Sector 2814 was already under the protection of Green Lantern Abin Sur, John was eventually reassigned to another space sector. After the death of Abin Sur at the hands of Sinestro, John was reassigned to return to his home sector. Abin Sur’s chosen successor, Kyle Rayner, still required training before being assigned a sector of his own. John Stewart was therefore sent to stand guard over Sector 2814, while Kyle Rayner was sent to Katma Tui for training. Not long after John’s homecoming, he would answer the fateful summons to join six other heroes (including Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman) from an alien invasion.
In the aftermath of that crisis, John readily agreed to Superman’s suggestion that the seven heroes band together as the Justice League and John became a founding member. His most frequent team-ups were with The Flash (Wally West). The opposites of their personalities ( Wally’s carefree and funny; John is stern and serious) made a great Odd Couple dynamic between them. John’s most important League relation come in the form of a romance with Hawkgirl (Shayera Hol). Their shared military/police backgrounds brought them closer together.
In the episode ‘Comfort and Joy’, they even spent a Christmas together by first having a super snowball fight and then getting into a friendly bar fight at an outer space cantina After a near death experience involving The Joker in the episode ‘Wild Cards’, the two officially became romantically involved with a passionate kiss aboard the Watchtower.
However, This brief romance is all but destroyed by the Thanagarian invasion. It is revealed that Hawkgirl has been a spy during her entire time in the Justice League and she has been regularly reporting back to them about her teammates and Earth’s defense. It is also revealed that Shayera is ‘promised’ to Thanagarian Commander Hro Talak, which is the Thanagarian equivalent to an engagement for marriage. After Shayera defects to Earth and the Thanagarians were defeated, the League votes whether to reinstate or revoke Shayera’s Justice League membership but she quits anyway. They have one last goodbye on a mountain cliff and Shayera declares that the love she felt for John was not fake. As she flies away, John whispers “ I love you too”.
During the continuation series Justice League Unlimited, the League has a recruitment drive and expands far beyond the original sever heroes. John, like the other founders, becomes a senior member put into a supervisory mode and overseeing missions. He also serves as a mentor to younger heroes like Static and Supergirl. John gains a new look as well, trading in his fade for a shaved bald and a goatee (very similar to another space hero, Captain Ben Sisko from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). He even has a new girlfriend, fashion model/superhero Vixen.
This relationship is made awkward by the return of Shayera Hol to the Justice League. Even more so, Vixen and Shayera actually like each other, swapping stories of John’s quirks and initiating a friendly rivalry for John’s ultimate affections (a sort of Betty and Veronica relationship with John in the place of Archie). However, during a time travel mission with Batman (‘The Once and Future Thing’), John discovers that he is also the father of future JLU member Warhawk.
Given the young man’s mulatto nature and the facts he utilizes wings to fly, it confirms a startling fact: John will ultimately have a child with Shayera. John tells this experience to Shayera but chooses to remain in a relationship with Vixen, stating he would not be Destiny’s puppet and leaves it at that. Indicating she still has love for John, Shayera privately goes to Batman, John’s partner in the time travel incident, with only one request: “Tell me about my son”. John is last seen chasing down the Secret Society with the other members of the Justice League.
– John Stewart’s popularity rose tremendously as a result of his inclusion on this show. John became the focal point of many Justice League episodes and arguably became the show’s breakout character. IGN ranked John Stewart as the 55th greatest comic book hero of all time describing him as one of the first dominant African-American heroes in the pages of DC Comics; IGN also stated that John Stewart has gone from “semi-obscurity in the mainstream to absolute recognition” thanks to his starring role in the acclaimed Justice League cartoons.(2011, “John Stewart (Green Lantern) is number 55″, IGN).
– Static Shock:
John Stewart made a number of appearances on the DCAU series Static Shock. The series dealt with a young teenager named Virgil Hawkins who gains electromagnetic powers from exposure to an experimental gas in an incident call ‘The Big Bang’. Virgil assumes the identity of Static to help his city from other ‘Bang babies’ like him who use their powers for evil or criminal actions. Most episodes showed how Virgil balanced his life as a superhero and as a regular teen ( like the early Spider-Man comics). However, with Virgil being African- American, the show was able to tackle issues with the black community like gangs, gun violence, racism and drug abuse. Another underlying narrative is Virgil’s longing for an African American superhero mentor/role model. Here, both characters were voiced by the same actor: Phil Lamarr.
– In the episode’Power Play’, Virgil states that his favorite superhero is John Stewart, the Green Lantern, and he would pretend to be John when playing with friends.
– Static finally meets John Stewart in the two-parter ‘A League Of Their Own’. Here, Static and his best friend Richie (now a tech-based sidekick name Gear) are invited to their HQ, The Watchtower, at Batman’s suggestion for a special situation: A cosmic super string has drained most of the power from the station’s generator. As a result, the station’s thrusters are failing and the station will fall out of orbit. So, they need Static’s powers to charge their generator. Unknown to the League, the alien super computer Brainiac has escaped from his drained stasis field. Eventually, Brainiac creates mind control device to take over the League, including John. Static’s electro powers save the day and free The League. In parting, John Stewart tells Static: “For a rookie, you did well, Static. But I can tell you’re gonna be a handful when you join the League”. This leaves Static with a big smile at his possible future in The Justice League.
– ‘Fallen Hero’: Static hears the news that his hero is going on a rampaging crime spree. It is discovered that the Green Lantern on a rampage is actually his arch enemy Sinestro in disguise. Sinestro has stolen John’s power battery and he leaves the real Green Lantern behind to take the fall for his crimes. Soon after, the real powerless Green Lantern comes to Dakota by train. Static confronts him and helps put Green Lantern in jail. Static is hurt on a personal level, as he so looked up to the Emerald Knight. Static later discovers Green Lantern’s power ring in his own pocket and goes to talk to the disgraced hero. Realizing what has happened, Static teams up with John and provides a power source to recharge his Green Lantern ring: Static’s own electricity. Together, the heroes take down Sinestro, expose him as the culprit and restore Green Lantern’s reputation. With Static’s own faith restored in his hero, Static and Green Lantern salute each other as respected comrades and bid one another farewell.
‘The Once and Future Thing’: During John’s time travel adventure with Batman, John encounters a now 65 year old Static, who is still an active member of the Justice League. John is amazed and proud, stating that the last time saw Static, he was barely old enough to drive( a reference to their encounters on Static Shock).
– Batman Beyond:
– In the distant future of Batman Beyond, an Asian boy named Kai-Ro is the latest Green Lantern and a member of the future Justice League( where he works with John Stewart’s son WarHawk). It is not known how Kai-Ro received his ring or the fates of Kyle Rayner or John Stewart.
–The CW Arrowverse:
Though he was supposed to direct the Green Lantern movie, Greg Berlanti, along with one of that film’s producers (Marc Guggenheim,) would go on to create the CW Arrowverse, consisting of shows like Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. Though Green Lantern has yet to appear on any Arrowverse show, the character has been referenced several times:
– Season 1 of Arrow – ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’: During a flashback, Ollie, Slade Wilson and Shado attempt to stop Edward from shooting a Ferris Air jetliner out of the sky.
– Season 4 of Arrow – ‘Green Arrow’: As Oliver Queen and Amanda Waller are having a conversation at a bar in Coast City, a man in a flight jacket walks past the camera. His name tag reads “Jordan”.
– The Flash – On the wall of the CCPD is a large mural featuring Greek gods – Hephaestus, Hermes, Hera, Zeus, Hades, Apollo, and Poseidon – each one represents a DC superhero. It’s been confirmed that Hephaestus represents Green Lantern.
Season 1 of The Flash – ‘Pilot’: Barry Allen tests his newfound powers at the abandoned Ferris Air Testing Facility
Season 1 of The Flash – ‘Who is Harrison Wells?’: A billboard reading “Welcome to Coast City” is seen briefly; Coast City is Hal Jordan’s hometown.
Season 1 of The Flash – ‘Rogue Air’: Barry Allen states that Ferris Air in Central City “closed down after one of their test pilots went missing” – a clear reference to the origin of Hal Jordan.
Elseworlds crossover: The Flash from Earth-90 arrives through a portal from another dimension to warn this world’s heroes. He immediately looks at John Diggle and says “Hey John. Where’s your ring?”. This indicates that Diggle’s doppleganger on Earth-90 is the Green Lantern, John Stewart.
As always, I hope this article you some incentive to look into the exploits of both of these fantastic characters. Both have films in the works and I’m sure that the skies are in safe hands with these galactic guardians on our side. Until Next Time!!
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