I don’t mean to sound angry or indignant, but why do people love these characters so much. They always just seemed bland to me, specially compared to Wally/Jason and John/Kyle/Jessica. In Barry’s case, I feel a lot of people like him currently, when his personality was basically altered to be Wally’s personality.
I’m a huge Hal Jordan fan. I’ve always loved his bucking of authority. He challenges everyone in authority if their ideas/rules don’t confirm with what he thinks it’s the right course. Does he make a lot of mistakes… absolutely. But I think that is true of anyone who walks their own path. One of the things I like about him the most is that he doesn’t kowtow to Batman. Everyone in the league(s) is always afraid to challenge Batman, Hal does it at every opportunity.
Barry Allen, I 100% agree he’s a character that I can do without. I’ve tried to read his stories, but I can’t really get into his character at all.
Because Hal was on Opera
Your criticism is fair. And I’ve heard it before, so you aren’t alone in thinking this. But to Hal Jordan’s defense, I love his cockiness, rashness, and his flaw of “Act first. Think second.” He also has well known relationships with the other Justice Leaguers. He’s famously friends/partners with Barry Allen and Oliver Queen, and his rivalry with Batman is hilarious. Those relationships have been solid and consistent for years. Slightly less so with Oliver though. It’s about time we got another Lantern/Arrow team up.
Truthfully, I always found John Stewart to be the most bland of all the human Green Lanterns. His popularity stems mainly from nostalgia for the Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited cartoons, which is fine. But would he be even half as popular if Hal or Kyle were the GL of those cartoons instead? I’d argue not. But don’t take it the wrong way, I still like and appreciate Corps Leader John Stewart!
I do agree with you about Barry - he’s pretty cool, but not terribly interesting personality-wise, except insofar as some writers try to copy Wally. Hal, though, is an awesome cowboy space cop who makes saving the universe look even cooler than it already is. He’s certainly been The Generic One at various points in time, but I think he’s distinguished himself pretty well. Basically, Geoff Johns tried to make both of them The Best Green Lantern Evar and The Best Flash Evar, respectively, and it’s debatable whether and to what extent he succeeded with either of them, but I think he did a better job of it with Hal.
While I love John Stewart just as much as Hal, I also freely admit that’s because I grew up watching Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, so he’s my Green Lantern. He was great in those shows, and while the comics have tried to make him more like his characterization there, main-continuity John has never been as interesting as DCAU John was.
I always liked the fact that Hal bucked authority, and he was a total mess. He was super talented as a pilot, but he couldn’t hold a job. Being Green Lantern allowed him to be himself, and he was successful.
As a kid, that really spoke to me. I was always screwing up. But inside, I knew I was good.
The short version- and this my opinion:
Hal- Cocksure cop that doesn’t always play by the rules. Will always break protocol in favor of doing “the right thing” and “goes with his gut”. This is common and classic trope you see in just about every police procedural and classic movies like Dirty Harry or Die Hard.
Barry- Forthright, honest, always strives to do the right thing, the quintessential “hero”. Always sees the good in people, even in his enemies. However, is still emotionally vulnerable like everyone else; a more relatable version of Superman.
Hal is cool, calm, and collected. A fighter with a tough spirit and caring heart. I like him because he of his personality. He is different than John, who seems more assertive and commanding, where as Hal is more laidback and understanding.
For me, I will always think of Barry as the one true Flash. Wally has always been then Kid Flash to me. I also like seeing his relationship with Iris and his other story arks.
Hal has a powerful personality. He bucks authority, he is a lady’s man (or at least tries to be, he flirted with Kara Zor-El once), he is a pilot who will do what is right, even if it’s not smart.
Barry is a father, a husband, a family man. He wants everyone to go home at the end of the day, even the bad guys. He’ll paint your fence, wash your car, and collect your mail if it’ll brighten your day. He goofs off a lot, but at the end of the day he’s just a nice guy.
See (one of) my favorite JLU episode, “Flash and Substance.”
“We’ll play darts! The soft fuzzy kind.”