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Posts Tagged ‘Green Lantern’

Verse 1: “Now Saul was consenting to his death.”

2 comic book characters come to mind when you speak of hero turning villain (from the classic origins…I realize DC Comics has been revamping their universe of characters, so I speak from the classic origins here, not retconned ones).

Mighty Adam was the choice of the wizard Shazam during the dynasties of Egypt to wield the gifts of the wizard to fight injustice. However, he had a taste of what that power could do, and wielded it selfishly, killing the ruler and making himself king. Shazam banished him, though he would later return with his new name, Black Adam. He became a chief antagonist against Shazam’s modern champion, Captain Marvel.

Sinestro was made a Green Lantern of the planet Korugar and served the Guardians faithfully, using his emerald ring and lantern to defend and to protect his planet and space sector. Again, power went to his head, and he allowed himself to “enjoy” the powers he wielded for personal gain. Banished by the Guardians to an anti-mater universe of Qward (where good is evil and vice versa), Sinestro fashioned a yellow power ring (yellow being a weakness in the green lanterns’/rings’ makeup) to get revenge. He, too, became an antagonist…this time, for Hal Jordan, Green Lantern of Earth.

Both these men were heroes; both let power corrupt them; both became villains.

Here we have what will be the reverse: a zealous Jew named Saul, who saw the violence against Stephen…and endorsed it. He actually became emboldened by it, and turned himself into Public Enemy No. 1 for the Christian church. He became a hero in his own eyes (my wife’s pertinent observation here!)

But, God had other plans…

More to come!

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Verse 16: “And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.”

The evil Lord of Time had captured and transported 4 Justice Leaguers to the 1870’s Old West. He had robbed Green Lantern, the Elongated Man, Zatanna, and the Flash of their memories, making them his unwitting pawns in a scheme to capture an anti-matter bubble from space from vaporizing on Earth (so he could use its power in his schemes). He arranged for them to meet up with some of the Old West’s more famous adventurers (in the DC universe anyway): Jonah Hex, Scalphunter, Cinnamon, and Bat Lash.

Jonah Hex, the West’s greatest bounty hunter of the late 1800’s, encountered Green Lantern as he was on the verge of dying from dehydration and sun exposure in the desert. Nursing him back to health at his campsite, Green Lantern recovered enough to accompany Jonah to a town named Desecration. On their way, Hex remarked how GL looked “a whole lot better than yuh did when I found yuh…could be that magic ring of yours that did the job.” GL confided that he wish he knew…that he knew how to use the “power ring” but had no idea how he got it or what it was…”that worries me even more than losing my name!”

Here is where Jonah Hex says something interesting: “ How d’yuh figure that? Seems to me a man’s name is more important than most anything else he’s got!” Lighting a freshly-rolled cigarette, Hex continues, “A good name will get yuh welcomed by polite society.” Tossing his spent match on the ground, it hits the head of a rattlesnake who can begins to rattle and to rise and strike…”a bad name…” at which point Hex lightning-draws his six-shooter and blows the head off the snake “…gets you nothing but enemies!” he says, as he blows the gunsmoke off the gun’s barrel. (all this was from the original Justice League of America series #199 story “Grand Canyon Showdown” from 1981.)

Ironically enough, the beginning of the story peers into the thoughts of the villainous Time Lord, as the narrator remarks he had long ago quit using a name, discarding its importance, remarking that a title was more desirable.

Peter is preaching to the crowd at the temple, telling them that the lame man was healed by the power of the name of Jesus Christ…”through faith in His name”. Jesus had departed from His earthly form and ministry but charged the disciples to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. They were to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, and thus empowered, do healing and miracles in His name. Jesus…the Name above all Names. People have come to salvation through His name from the time of Acts…until today and tomorrow. Talk about an important name!

Something to think about.

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