From the time that I was a very young boy I have always been into comic books and their characters in some form or another. Whether it was actually collecting and reading the comic books or simply following the stories with my brother on Saturday morning’s “SuperFriends” I loved to see these larger-than-life heroes with their amazing powers.
In some ways it was like my own personal mythology. Instead of stories of Zeus, Hermes, Ares, Poseidon or Athena, the stories were of Superman, The Flash, Batman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman. I loved the way good always triumphed over evil. I loved the way the writers allowed me to relate to these characters, and I loved the amazing art.
This love affair was strengthened and renewed after my car accident. I was in the hospital for 13 months without anything to do. To fill my time I began collecting comic books again. It gave me something to look forward to each week (Wednesday is the day new comics hit the shelves) and provided me something to pursue.
When I wasn’t reading the comic books themselves I used my laptop to search the Internet for the ones I needed to complete my collection. When big events happened in “Comicdom” then I would work to ensure that I had every piece and part of the storyline along with every cover drawn by every artist. I know there were times when the whole thing drove my family crazy, but it gave me something to think about outside of syringes, catheters, CPAP machines and therapy–and that made it important to everyone.
After my initial 13 months stay I found myself in the hospital repeatedly for the following 11 years. During one such 3+ month stay that was more emergent and serious than the others I asked Colette to put up a poster of Hal Jordan a.k.a. “The Green Lantern.”
The Green Lantern was always one of my favorite characters. I was always enamored with his abilities and the way with which he gained his strength. Hal Jordan was a test pilot who was one day brought to the crash site of an alien spaceship. Inside the ship Hal found an alien named Abin Sur. Abin Sur was a part of a group called The Green Lanterns who oversaw that good and right happened across the universe. He happened to be The Green Lantern for the area of the cosmos that included Earth, and because his spaceship crashed he needed to find someone quickly to be his replacement. Hal was that man. Hal was given the two things he needed to become the new Green Lantern; a green ring, and a battery (also green and shaped as a lantern) that could recharge the ring.
What made the ring special and unique was that it could produce anything its wearer could imagine out of a green energy that would emanate from the ring. If The Green Lantern needed to fight a villain he could imagine a giant baseball bat and the bat would appear and the evildoer would be knocked out of the way. If The Green Lantern wanted to capture his enemy he could simply imagine a jail cell and the iron doors would appear. The ring would continue to do this until it ran out of energy at which time The Green Lantern could place his hand with the ring on it inside the Green battery shaped as a lantern and say the words, “In brightest day, and blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight; Let those who worship evil’s might, Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light.”
The thing that really endeared me to The Green Lantern was the source of his true power. The ring would allow him to create anything he could imagine but it was his willpower that decided the strength and longevity of the items he would create. Hal Jordan ended up becoming the greatest of all Green Lanterns because no one in the universe had a willpower like his.
When I was in the hospital fighting to get my body through its most recent onslaught trying all the while to keep a positive attitude, I would look up at the poster of The Green Lantern and remember the importance of my own willpower.
Although I lacked the fanciful ring and lantern, I did have the ability to fight off my enemies with a willpower second to none. As my enemies of death, disability, negativity, and negligence conspired against me I could win the day if like The Green Lantern I kept my imagination and will strong.
In many ways we are all like Hal Jordan, The Green Lantern. Following the example of this comic book hero we can find ways to endure and find success. Our efforts will wax or wain all based on the strength of our will. There is nothing that will ever be to difficult to acquire and no obstacle we can’t overcome with dedication and willpower.
For, lo truebeliever, remember “In brightest day and blackest night” we will find glory and honor if we will but keep our will strong and true.