The Green Lantern: John Stewart
One day, the Green Lantern for sector 2814 flew to the planet OA, home of the blue skinned, telepathic Guardians, and quit. His name was Hal Jordan. His long time girlfriend, Carol Ferris, had demanded that he choose: the ring, or her. He chose her.
This left a vacuum that needed to be filled. The Guardians could have picked anyone from sector 2814, anyone who was worthy. In the end, they chose a guy from Earth named John Stewart.
John Stewart had been around for a very long time. Early in his career, Hal Jordan found out that he had a fifty fifty chance of becoming the Green Lantern. There was another person who was just as worthy as he was, a man named Guy Gardner. When he learned about Gardner, he made a point of getting to know him and even arranging for Guy to be his backup and take his place protecting his sector whenever he was unable to do so himself.
When Guy was hurt, the Guardians found a new backup for Jordan – John Stewart. And when Hal quit the corps, the Guardians decided to go with an experienced replacement rather than train someone outright – they picked Stewart.
When he became a full fledged Green Lantern, the Guardians assigned Katma Tui to train him. From the planet Korugar, the red-skinned alien was one of my favorite characters in the whole GL universe. I really liked her style. John did too – he ended up engaged to marry her. Would’ve have, too, if Hal Jordan’s former main squeeze turned psycho super villain, Carol Ferris / Star Sapphire hadn’t killed her. 🙁
Stewart himself has never been a favorite of mine. I liked that he decided to go without a mask early on:
But other than that, I didn’t care much for him. It could’ve been that I just missed Hal Jordan or felt some sort of loyalty to him or something – I don’t know. But even after the series became The Green Lantern Corps, and Stewart had his own spin off in Mosaic and then the whole thing was rebooted as ‘Green Lantern’ again, I still didn’t care much for him.
I stopped collecting Green Lantern before Jordan went all crazy super villain and Stewart went all loopy/sappy pining for a dead Katma, which I’m glad for.
I will say this: the animated series Justice League from Cartoon Network elevated my respect for John Stewart quite a bit. I ended up really liking that version of the character.