The Silver Age (1959-1970)
Hal Jordan was introduced as a test pilot at Ferris Aircraft in 1959’s SHOWCASE #22, in the Silver Age of comics. Throughout this era, both on his own and as a member of the Justice League, Hal fought a variety of Earthborn Super-Villains and outer-space menaces. He became friends with Barry Allen, a.k.a. the Flash, and also trusted Ferris Aircraft engineer Tom Kalmaku with his secret identity and activities. His occasional absences from work got him in trouble with his boss, Carol Ferris, particularly since his honest nature meant he often couldn’t give a decent excuse. At the same time, Carol found herself attracted to Coast City’s new Super Hero, Green Lantern.
Over the years, Hal befriended a number of his colleagues in the Green Lantern Corps, including Tomar-Re and Katma Tui. While some were impressed with Hal’s reputation as one of the most cunning and formidable Green Lanterns, others believed he was reckless. Hal’s instinct to question authority and his dissatisfaction with being told that certain matters and secrets didn’t concern him led to repeated clashes between him and the Guardians of the Universe.
Hal and the Corps eventually fought one of the Guardians’ own people, the renegade scientist of Maltus named Krona. Krona’s forbidden experiments to discover the origins of reality resulted in the explosion of the temporal barrier, shattering the universe into infinite parallel universes–creating the Multiverse–and unleashing evil into the Cosmos through the creation of the Anti-Matter Universe. Though seemingly executed by the Guardians by being converted into energy, Krona returned several times to plague the Corps.
Hal’s greatest enemy, however, came from within the Green Lantern Corps itself. Sinestro Thaal had been a trusted friend to Abin Sur. But Sinestro had since become corrupt, seizing control of his own planet in order to ensure order through fear. Hal and the Corps turned on him, and he was put on trial for his actions and exiled to the antimatter universe of Qward, home to an alien race waging perpetual war with the Guardians and the Corps. Sinestro allied with the Qwardians and, with their help, gained a yellow ring that seemed to absorb power from Green Lantern rings. Introduced in 1961’s GREEN LANTERN #7, he swore vengeance upon the Corps and returned time and again to battle Hal Jordan.
Carol Ferris would also emerge as an enemy to Hal, though against her will. The Zamarons, natives of of the planet Maltus who had taken a different path than the Guardians, accessed the power of love from the emotional spectrum via a “star sapphire” gem. They then gave this gemstone to Carol Ferris (in 1961’s GREEN LANTERN #16), empowering her but altering her mind. She became their champion Star Sapphire, and in this identity fought Earth’s Green Lantern. Carol later regained her mind, but over the years she would repeatedly be taken over by the Star Sapphire identity.
Hard-Traveling Heroes (1971-1972)
Hal left Ferris Aircraft and for years worked a series of different jobs, among them an insurance claims investigator, a truck driver and a toy salesman. During this time, an encounter with his former Justice League teammate Oliver Queen, a.k.a. Green Arrow (in GREEN LANTERN #76, 1970), convinced Hal he had focused too much on Super-Villains and alien threats while not doing enough to help the people of Earth. Hal agreed to join Green Arrow on a road trip, resulting in a string of adventures across America. The two “hard-traveling heroes” focused on social justice issues and problems that affected common people on localized levels. Over time they became strong friends despite often disagreeing with each other. During this period Hal also found allies in Earth’s reserve Green Lanterns, Guy Gardner and John Stewart, and resumed his relationship with Carol Ferris after she finally learned his secret identity.
Exile, Retirement and Crisis (1982-1986)
Told he needed to put more effort into patrolling and protecting the rest of Space Sector 2814, Hal was exiled from Earth for a full year by the Guardians of the Universe (in GREEN LANTERN #151-172, 1982-1984). When he returned to Earth, Hal formally left the Justice League of America, as he couldn’t commit to the team full-time. He also decided to resign from the Corps in order to resume a normal life on Earth with Carol Ferris at his side. This decision made John Stewart the new official Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814. Later, however, Carol and Hal once again broke off their romance.
In the 1985 event CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, several Green Lanterns died, including Tomar-Re of Sector 2813. Tomar-Re’s ring chose John Stewart to be its new bearer, which allowed Hal to rejoin the Corps as Lantern for Sector 2814 (GREEN LANTERN #190-197, 1985-1986).
Earth’s Green Lantern Corps (1986-1988)
Following the Crisis, the Guardians of the Universe left Earth’s dimension, and the Green Lantern Corps was left to reform. Hal Jordan and John Stewart—along with such colleagues as Arisia, Katma Tui, Ch’p and Kilowog—formed their own faction known as the Green Lantern Corps of Earth. During this time, Arisia and Hal dated. (GREEN LANTERN CORPS 1986-1988).
This Earth-based Corps soon suffered a tragedy. When they sentenced Sinestro for the latest of his terrible crimes, his consciousness entered the Central Power Battery on Oa, the machine that harnessed the emotional spectrum’s green willpower and distributed it to the Corps’ batteries and power rings. A chain of events led to Hal entering the Central Battery, where he encountered not only Sinestro but also a creature identified as the “yellow impurity” that existed in every battery and ring. The adventure ended with the Central Power Battery destroyed and only a few Green Lantern rings still functional, including Hal’s. The GL Corps disbanded, and Hal and Arisia later broke up (GREEN LANTERN CORPS #224, 1988).
Unbeknownst to Hal, the voice of this yellow impurity belonged to a creature called Parallax, the living embodiment of the yellow, fear-based power of the emotional spectrum. Secretly imprisoned within the Central Power Battery by the Guardians, Parallax stirred awake when Sinestro began using his fear-empowered ring. Now, thanks to the Central Power Battery providing energy to Hal’s personal battery and ring, Parallax stretched out its power to subtly influence Hal’s mind.
Hal continued his adventures on Earth. Eventually the Guardians of the Universe returned in full force and the Green Lantern Corps was reformed, with the return of old members and the recruitment of many newcomers, including Tomar-Re’s son Tomar-Tu. During this time, Parallax’s influence on Hal grew stronger. The hero become more hesitant, more prone to introspection and doubt, and his hair started graying prematurely.
Prompted by Hal’s return to Earth to regain “his” sector, Guy Gardner challenged Hal to a fight in which the loser was obligated to quit the Corps. Using the “rope-a-dope” maneuver, Hal tired Guy out and defeated him, earning the official mantle of Earth’s Green Lantern (GREEN LANTERN #25, 1992). Guy was true to his word about leaving the Corps, but he then partnered with Lobo to steal Sinestro’s yellow ring in order to still act as a hero on Earth.
“Emerald Twilight” (1994)
While Hal was away from Earth, Coast City was completely vaporized by the villain Cyborg Superman and the alien warlord Mongul. Hal returned home, shocked and traumatized that most of his friends and family were gone. Overcome with grief, he knelt in the ashes of Coast City and concluded that, having failed his people, he was now obligated to warp reality to return them to life. The Guardians warned Hal that altering history was not the way of the Green Lantern Corps and threatened to discipline him (GREEN LANTERN #48, 1994).
Enraged at being punished after his many years of service, Hal fought his way through several Green Lanterns in order to access the Central Power Battery on Oa. There, Sinestro appeared, apparently resurrected and reinstated as a Lantern by the Guardians. Hal fought and killed Sinestro and then killed Kilowog, who had tried reaching out to him one last time. Convinced he’d gone too far to turn back, Hal accessed the Central Power Battery, stealing its power and rendering all Green Lantern rings powerless. In the process, Parallax possessed him. Hal emerged from the remains of the battery, now possessing incredible power. He crushed his own power ring beneath his boot before leaving Oa.
Knowing they would soon be attacked by Hal, the Guardians of the Universe decided to sacrifice their lives to ensure that at least one power ring and personal battery would remain active, guided by the Guardian named Ganthet who was chosen to survive. Ganthet repaired Hal’s ring and gave it a young Earthman named Kyle Rayner (GREEN LANTERN #49-50, 1994).
Hal, after absorbing the full power of the Guardians and emerging from the Central Power Battery, declared he was to be called Parallax. Only Ganthet understood he was now possessed by a creature of that name. Others simply assumed this was a new name Hal had selected to signify he was a new man. Hal himself didn’t realize he was under mental possession, believing he had a new point of view and had achieved mental clarity.
Guy Gardner led a team of heroes to confront Hal/Parallax, but they were defeated.
ZERO HOUR: CRISIS IN TIME (1994)
With his new power, Hal was no longer satisfied with only resurrecting Coast City. He concluded there was too much tragedy in the universe and that history needed to be redesigned. Taking advantage of time anomalies and other phenomena, Hal set off a chain reaction that unleashed entropy and began corrupting time. Earth’s heroes banded together and defeated him, with the final blows coming from Oliver Queen and Kyle Rayner (ZERO HOUR #0-5).
After the events of ZERO HOUR, Hal was determined to increase his power again so he could fix history. He went after Kyle Rayner in order to take back his power ring, but then thought better of it and gave the young man his blessing to be the new Green Lantern. The experience also led to Hal seeing himself through Ganthet’s eyes, and Hal was humbled by the man he used to be in comparison to the person he had become (GREEN LANTERN #63-64, 1995).
During the 1996 event FINAL NIGHT, all life on Earth was threatened by a creature known as a Sun-Eater. Kyle Rayner sought Hal Jordan to help defeat him. Hal then used all his power to simultaneously reignite the sun and absorb the Sun-Eater into himself. He died in the process, and many of his former colleagues forgave him for losing his way as Parallax, satisfied he had redeemed himself through his sacrifice.
Hal’s spirit wandered limbo until the 1999 event DAY OF JUDGMENT—in which the angel of vengeance known as the Spectre needed to bond with a new soul to guide its powers and judgment. The Spectre bonded with Hal, declaring that his soul needed to be redeemed and could do so as its new host. Hal accepted, hoping to be not an angel of vengeance but an angel of redemption.
Back to Basics (2005-2011)
In 2005’s GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH, Kyle Rayner learned about the emotional spectrum and about Parallax, realizing that Hal Jordan’s madness following the destruction of Coast City was due to mental possession by the fear monster. The Spectre then revealed that it had bound itself to Hal’s soul in order to exorcise Parallax. After doing so, the Spectre severed its connection to Hal, leaving his soul in Purgatory. Parallax and Sinestro (who had faked his death at Hal’s hands), then fought Kyle Rayner, John Stewart, Guy Gardner and others. Ganthet was able to guide Hal's soul back to his preserved body and resurrect him, and the four men from Earth joined forces as Green Lanterns to imprison Parallax once more.
The Guardians restarted the Green Lantern Corps while Hal, free of fearful influence for the first time in years, became a hero again in the newly rebuilt Coast City, California. Under the Corps’ new regulations, each sector of space was assigned two Green Lanterns rather than one. Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner remained on Oa to help with recruitment and training of new Green Lanterns, working alongside the resurrected Kilowog. Hal Jordan and John Stewart were both assigned to Sector 2814. Hal Jordan was designated Green Lantern 2814.1 and Stewart was designated Green Lantern 2814.2. The Green Lantern Corps also created their own internal affairs unit, composed of Lanterns who were turned into cyborg Alpha Lanterns.
Meanwhile, Hal and the Green Lantern Corps discovered that others were accessing the remaining powers and emotions of the emotional spectrum. Ganthet left the Guardians to found the Blue Lantern Corps, which utilized the power of hope. A secret Indigo Tribe using the power of compassion was revealed to have been formed years ago by Abin Sur. A creature named Larfleeze possessed the single orange lantern ring empowered by avarice. The alien Atrocitus created a Red Lantern Corps empowered by rage. And Sinestro raised an army of fear-empowered soldiers he called the Sinestro Corps. At different times, Hal Jordan temporarily wielded a Blue Lantern ring (learning that Ganthet had originally intended him to lead the Blue Lantern Corps) and an Orange Lantern ring.
Hal and the Corps fought in major battles during 2005’s INFINITE CRISIS, 2007’s SINESTRO CORPS WAR and 2008's FINAL CRISIS.
Blackest Night (2008)
In 2008’s BLACKEST NIGHT, Hal’s former enemy William Hand, a.k.a. Black Hand, committed suicide as a means of unlocking the full potential of the dark energy he’d been using against Green Lantern for years. The herald of Nekron, Black Hand could manipulate this death energy--the opposite of the emotional spectrum’s life energy. After being reanimated, he released thousands of Black rings from the Central Battery, and the Black Lantern Corps arose, an army of undead heroes, villains and civilians reanimated by the rings. To command his undead army and wreak havoc upon the universe, the entity Nekron returned as an avatar of the Black Lanterns’ power.
The many Lantern Corps of the emotional spectrum ceased their rivalries and banded together against the Black Lanterns. After several battles, Hal Jordan bonded with an entity representing the full power of the entire emotional spectrum, becoming a White Lantern, capable of destroying the Black Lanterns’ main power battery. Hal then recruited several of Earth’s heroes into a temporary White Lantern Corps, and together they defeated Nekron. Hal then resurrected William Hand so the villain could be punished, no longer able to access the Black Lantern power–his link to Nekron severed. Hal and the White Lantern entity then separated, with Hal and the other heroes of the White Lantern Corps returning to their normal states. The Blackest Night had ended, and it was followed by another event, the “Brightest Day,” in which twelve newly resurrected heroes and villains learned about the White Lantern power and sought to discover the secrets behind their new chance at life.
War of the Green Lanterns (2011)
During 2011’s “War of the Green Lanterns,” Hal, Kyle, Guy, John, Carol Ferris and others defied the Guardians of the Universe and the Green Lantern Corps, all of whom had been temporarily corrupted by Krona and Parallax. During this time, Hal used a Sinestro Corps ring and encountered the technology of the earliest Green Lanterns. Hal also inspired Sinestro to join the fight, which led to him returning to the Green Lantern Corps.
New 52 (2011-2016)
Following 2011’s FLASHPOINT event, DC comics history was reimagined. In this new continuity, some of Hal’s previous adventures were revised or erased.
In the wake of the War of the Green Lanterns, Hal Jordan’s ring was rescinded by the Guardians, who considered him too dangerous and rebellious. Simon Baz took his place as one of the Green Lanterns of Sector 2814.
Hal attempted to start a new life on Earth. But Sinestro arrived and used his own Green Lantern ring to create a copy for Jordan to use. After aiding Sinestro in freeing his home planet Korugar from its control by the Sinestro Corps, Hal returned to Earth, took a new job at Ferris Aircraft and restarted his relationship with Carol anew (GREEN LANTERN #1-6, 2011).
The Guardians of the Universe decided that the Green Lantern Corps, like the first army of protectors they had created—the Manhunters—was too flawed to be trusted. In their eyes, Green Lanterns were fueled by will and thus too many were rebellious. A Third Army would be created, of warriors with no individual will, and their first task would be to aid in the expulsion of the most dangerous Lanterns, including Sinestro and Hal Jordan.
In order to create their Third Army, the Guardians needed to retrieve the First Lantern Volthoom, the first Lantern to access the power of the emotional spectrum, from his imprisonment in The Chamber of Shadows. They used Volthoom’s cosmic power to create the Third Army from the Oans' own flesh. Volthoom ultimately escaped from Oa, reabsorbed his power from the Third Army, and began a mission to feed on the emotional turmoil of his enemies.
Hal and Sinestro joined forces against Volthoom as he fed on other Lanterns' emotional energy and grew in power. Hal took control of a Black Lantern ring and raised an army of the undead against Volthoom. In the end, Hal prevailed and officially became a Green Lantern again. Sinestro then rejoined the Sinestro Corps and, despite Hal’s efforts to stop him, killed most of the Guardians of the Universe for their corrupt actions. As they parted ways, Hal wondered if he and Sinestro had ever actually been friends during their weeks as allies. Sinestro remarked that the real tragedy was that they had always been friends (GREEN LANTERN #16-20, 2013).
Following the events of 2016’s DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1, some of the DC Universe’s pre-New 52 history has been restored. In Hal’s case, some of his experiences with the Justice League during the New 52 era appear similar to those that took place prior to the New 52 timeline.
Hal has continued to serve as a Green Lantern with honor, spending much of his time in space. During one recent adventure, he was briefly trapped in Emerald Space, another dimension serving as an afterlife for many Lanterns. While there, he reunited with his predecessor Abin Sur (HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #9, 2017).