Green Lantern Round and Round

Dennis O'Neil, who has written actual Green Lantern stories, references my orginal Green Lantern Theory post and writes a bit about the politics of the character:

Green Lantern's proclivity for that ol' action wasn't my biggest problem with the character when I began writing monthly stories about him way, way back in the last century. We were just past the fabled Sixties, the era of peace and civil rights activism, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, love-ins, be-ins, the march on the Pentagon, the Chicago Seven...(You can add your own examples, or consult one of the remaining hippies; look for tie-dye and a grey ponytail.) The rebel-activists weren't right about everything, far from it, but I think they were right when they advised their contemporaries not to trust anyone over 30. Translation: be wary of authority figures. I don't know when you're reading this, but I'll bet your current newspaper has evidence that mistrusting authority figures is an excellent life strategy.

Which brings us to Green Lantern: here's this guy, a human living on Earth, who takes his orders from a bunch of high-and-mighty blue extraterrestrials and is expected to act on their commands without questioning them. We might assume him to be George Bush's idea of a hero, if we recall that Mr. Bush and cohorts discouraged questioning by keeping as much information as possible secret, and stage-managing what were supposed to be public events, but he isn't my idea of a hero and I hope he isn't yours. Our heroes, yours and mine, are warrior-philosophers, who make their own decisions, do their own thinking and question the hell out of everything.

My tendency is to look at the Guardians as a kind of awesome interstellar United Nations. It's true, however, that they aren't actually an interplanetary organization in the way that the UN is an international organization. Nobody's represented in the decision-making process except the Guardians themselves who have no source of legitimacy except their own sense of rectitude and their practical power. The Guardians, in a sense, are like a "benevolent hegemony" vision of the American hyperpower.