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Green Lanterns Ghost Rider Form Puts Marvels To Shame

Hal Jordans stint as the Spectre put the Ghost in Ghost Rider far better than Johnny Blaze ever could even if his methods were far more brutal.

Hal Jordan is best known in DC Comics as a Green Lantern but his time as the vengeful Spectre proved that he was even more brutal than Ghost Rider. The Green Lanterns are held to a high standard of accountability due to the capabilities of their power rings which give them the ability to create constructs bound only by their imagination and willpower. Despite this Hal Jordan was led down a dark path beginning with the Emerald Twilight storyline from Ron Marz and Darryl Banks in the pages of Green Lantern continuing through to DCs Zero Hour Crisis in Time event by Dan Jurgens and Jerry Orday where he almost destroyed the entire universe in his villainous Parallax form. It was only until Hals death that he was given a chance at redemption by becoming the Avenging Wrath of God himself the Spectre.

uch like Marvel Comics Ghost Rider the Spectre seeks to avenge the suffering of innocents in the universe by brutalizing wrongdoers. The Spectre persona is a difficult one to share a body with as he is the embodiment of Gods Wrath and his desire to dole out punishment is insatiable. While Green Lantern avoids killing at all costs the Spectre will not hesitate to violently murder his targets. This is similar to the Spirit of Vengeance behind Ghost Rider whose own turbulent relationship with his human host has been welldocumented in comics with Johnny Blaze. For both Hal Jordan and Johnny Blaze the forces that power their supernatural abilities are truly terrifying and frequently call into question their moral codes.

In an arc spanning Legends of the DC Universe #3336 by J.M. DeMatteis Michael Zulli Vince Locke and Bill Oakley Hal Jordan sought to reclaim his life as the Spectre as an opportunity for personal redemption rather than penance for the destruction he wrought during Zero Hour. Still he found it difficult as embodying the Wrath of God called for the Spectre to dole out far harsher punishment than Hal was comfortable doing.

While Ghost Riders flaming skull chain and dreaded Penance Stare are all horrifying aspects of his persona the Spectre is almost limitless in the types of torture that he can bring onto people. With the ability to shapeshift alter reality and manipulate his surroundings the Spectre can easily bring Hell upon Earth at the drop of a hat. This ultimately makes Hal Jordans stint as the character more severe than any of Marvels Ghost Riders despite the similarities of their missions.

Even though Ghost Rider is undeniably a supernatural character it is Hal Jordans Spectre that fits the Ghost component of his name far better than Johnny Blaze does. When not in Spectre form Hal Jordan wanders the universe as an actual ghost appearing as a pale version of himself unrecognizable to his loved ones. By being dead and bringing lethal punishment onto those deserving of Gods Wrath Hal is constantly reminded of the circumstances that brought him to the Spectre condition in the first place. With the horrible damage he wrought on the universe as Parallax Hal is unable to escape the feeling that he too is worthy of the extreme justice the Spectre represents.

Hal Jordan committed horrible crimes in life and by becoming the Spectre he hoped to achieve some sort of redemption for his past. However his redemption arc is contradictory because the Spectres murderous habits do not give his victims the chance to grow from their mistakes. Hal on the other hand by being the Spectre himself gets that chance to grow from his mistakes as Parallax. This makes the former Green Lanterns job as DCs own Spirit of Vengeance much more thorny than Ghost Riders is in Marvel Comics providing an added layer of complexity to what redemption actually means in practice.


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