Green Lantern is hard to easily characterize because he’s not just “strong” or “fast.” He is a member of a space police force and uses a cosmically powered ring to create anything imaginable by the sheer power of his will. It’s pretty hard to boil that down to a 2 year old. He has long been one of my favorite DC superheroes, however, partially because his universe is so complex. It's even more complicated because there have also been many people to wear the costume. I was raised with Hal Jordan, who is, like most of the superheroes that taught me to read, white and male. The Little One, living in a world that fortunately recognizes diversity more readily than the one I was born into, usually sees the black John Stewart as Green Lantern. There are also others, and each one is a distinct character with a unique contribution to the canon.
Although I was still figuring out how to easily describe to her what Green Lantern does, It was not a stretch for me to decide the musical genre I was going to delve into to find his theme. His setting is the vast cosmos as realized by the DC universe, and, looking at some of my past posts, it’s probably not a secret that I am something of a sci-fi fanboy. I went right to space opera, which, thanks to John Williams iconic work in Star Wars, sets a pretty high standard. The problem was trying to figure out which one. My first choices were from Star Trek.
I was apprehensive, though, because these themes are really close to my heart. There was a time in my life that the escapism of the 90’s Star Trek universe was the high point of my week. I was not sure that I could, or even wanted to, attach either of these songs to Green Lantern. I also admit that I secretly hope that she will one day become a Trek fan. I wanted choose a tune that might inform her future appreciation of these compositions rather than prematurely and perhaps artificially pilfer them.
Looking back now, I sort of regret not using these themes. As much as I have listened to them in their respective shows, their majesty still moves me. At the suggestion of a reader, however, I decided to go back a bit further. I was a fan of the original Battlestar Galactica when I was very young, but unfortunately, the show really doesn't hold up well, especially in the light of its reboot. She will probably never go back and see it. The original theme song, however, is the granddad of both of great Star Trek themes. It’s grandiose and powerful, and at the same time contrasts the other pieces that she has heard so far. I can easily imagine the Green Lantern Corps gliding through space as it plays on. (we have an extended version, but I could not pass up on indulging in the intro as it was seen back then).
Once the Little One started to realize that there were themes for other heroes beyond Superman and Batman, she started making some inquiries. Just to be prepared, I put the Battlestar Galactica theme on the playlist at the same time as Anvil of Crom. Sure enough, the morning that she discovered Wonder Woman, she requested Green Lantern, and I was ready. Wonder Woman won her attention that morning, but she requests Green Lantern regularly, as well as several subsequent replays.
In the midst of this, I decided on a the character's one-word descriptor. As a prerequisite for being given a power ring, a Green Lantern is supposedly “born without fear.” When the Little One and I talk about him, then, his power is that he is “brave.” While the comic purist would probably balk at this, I think it’s not a bad start, and certainly a trait that I would like for my Little One to aspire to.
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