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Green Lantern’s Movie Villain Just Became a Major Threat in The Comics

Hector Hammond was an underwhelming dud in 2011’s Green Lantern film, but now he has gotten a serious upgrade, and has his own power ring!

Warning: contains spoilers for The Green Lantern: Season Two #11!

Hector Hammond was one of the central antagonists in 2011’s poorly received Green Lantern movie, but that doesn’t mean fans think of him as a major threat. Just about everything in that film fell flat, Peter Sarsgaard’s portrayal of Hammond among them. That’s unfortunate, because in the comics, he is one of Green Lantern’s greatest foes, with a long history of villainous schemes. Now, Hammond may be getting his due, as he has become a major threat once again. It goes down in The Green Lantern: Season Two by writer Grant Morrison and artist Liam Sharp; the issue is available in stores and on digital platforms now.

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Hector Hammond first appeared in Green Lantern #5 in 1961 and was created by John Broome and Gil Kane. Originally an ordinary human, Hammond’s brain was mutated after being exposed to a meteorite, granting him genius intelligence and vast psychic powers. As an additional effect of the exposure, Hammond’s head grew to large and grotesque proportions. He has been a frequent villain of Green Lantern’s over the years, playing key roles in classic storyline such as Rebirth and Brightest Day. His sole live-action appearance may have been underwhelming, but he is a true menace to Green Lantern, and now he is more powerful than ever.

Related: Green Lantern: Grant Morrison’s Hal Jordan Comic is a Space Police Procedural 

A common thread running through this series has been the sage of the Golden Giants and the Ultrawar, and matters come to a head in this issue. Hal arrives on the world of Athmoora, which interferes with his ring’s functioning, and is injured by unseen enemies. When he awakes, he finds several members of his rogue’s gallery are on the planet, including the Black Hand and Major Disaster; if that was not enough, readers learn that Hector Hammond has been pulling the strings, and is now in possession of Hal’s Green Lantern ring. Hammond explains that Hal has fallen into a tailor-made trap, and the ring has been bent to his will. “So, come and get me, if you dare…” the villain broadcasts into Hal’s mind. “Hector Hammond,” Hal replies, raising the emerald sword that was just forged by his allies, “Challenge accepted…”

Hammond is already an immensely powerful telepath, capable of reading and controlling minds, and now he possesses a Green Lantern ring, one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. Sadly, power rings are wildly versatile, functioning as an extension of the wielder’s will, and so this isn’t just another weapon for Hammond, but an upgrade to his usual abilities. As the leashes he’s already fashioned from the ring’s energy show, Hammond is using it to enhance his ability to control others. Though he wears a creepy helmet, it parts for long enough to show that Hammond is the same wretched villain he’s always been – not the kind of grand, stately mastermind readers love, but a rage-filled bully motivated by envy and hate.

Sharp’s visuals are a step up from the lackluster film portrayal, presenting Hammond as a true threat in and of himself, and finding a way to turn the character’s often derided design into something genuinely chilling. The next issue is the series’ last, and readers must wait until then to see how a radically-depowered Green Lantern can overcome the power of Hector Hammond, who has positioned himself as a huge threat with all the advantages a coveted power ring can imbue.

Next: Green Lantern is Doing Gender-Swapped Heroes Right 

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