Hal is, in a sense, the reason why I read DC comics. The first DC comic I bought was Green Lantern #26 by Geoff Johns and Mike McKone and Green Lantern: Rebirth shortly after that because I was hearing so many good things about Sinestro Corps War. I am always going to be biased towards Hal since he was one of my first experiences with DC comics much like I am always going to be biased towards Ben Reily because he the star of one of the first comics I read.
As for Hal's character, I like him for the most part. He maybe slightly old school is certain respects, but it doesn't bring down the character like it does with others. What I like most about Hal though is something that is not currently part of Geoff Johns's Green Lantern work. Part of Hal's origin, as a concept, was the wonder and awe of flight and space that was part of the 50s and 60s. Its seen in Justice League: The New Frontier (the comic and film) and looks like its going to be a part of the upcoming Green Lantern: First Flight movie. While it may not be currently part of Hal's character in in-continuity books, its something I really love about the character and its not something that is part of the other Green Lanterns.
Like a lot of characters, I like the ideas behind Kyle but find the execution tends to fall flat a lot. I never actually read any of Kyle's solo books and my first real experience with Kyle, comic book wise, was in Grant Morrison's JLA. What I loved about his take on Kyle was his youthful exuberance combined with his novice status made him stand out from the seasoned veterans of the JLA. Another thing that I think Morrison did well was play up Kyle's artistic side which has fallen by the wayside recently. If I think there was one thing that needed to be "fixed" about Kyle, it is that writers have generally abandoned the artist side of Kyle.
As for his current status quo, I'm generally okay with it. I do love the Torchbearer title he was taken on since it reaffirms his status in the Green Lantern Corps and I like the important role he has taken in the Corps as a Honor Guard Lantern.
Having never read a Barry Allen story (I've read stories with Barry Allen), I'm basing my opinions on what Barry Allen could be, not what he necessarily is. I'm also, generally, treating Barry like a new character because, honestly, in many ways, he is. I mean, there are always new characters that are retroactively into other character's histories and I'm treating Barry much in a similar fashion.
Also, he's never had the benefit of modern storytelling and there have been so changes to the DC Universe (Zero Hour, Identity Crisis and Infinite Crisis) since he left during Crisis of Infinite Earths. He is also something of a blank slate in many respects since he never made it into the Modern Age.
As I mentioned in my Top 5 Pros and Cons of Barry Allen's Return post, what I would really like to see is Barry function something as a man out of time, an uncorrupted hero. Now, while Johns seems like he is making Barry the new Black Flash, it does not preclude him taking up this kind of role. I'm definitely going to give Johns some more time before I decide one way or the other about Barry.
Much like with Kyle, I've never read any of Wally's solo adventures and have mostly read about Wally in the various Justice League books. Again, like Kyle, my first real experience with Wally in comics was with Morrison's JLA.
The Wally that I am most familiar with, from Justice League/Justice League Unlimited, is completely different from the one in the comics, and, as such, I have no real opinions on Wally. I did love the way he was portrayed in JLU, I think it captured a core essence of the character, but he has grown so much from that portrayal in the comics. He is currently a family man and I'm okay with that for him as a character since there are so few superhero families around. Outside of the Fantastic Four, there is not another really big one. Sure, groups like the JSA or Titans are treated like families but they are not families in the same way that Wally or the FF are.
Like many of the characters I've listed here, I have very little experience with Barbara as a comic book character. I'm mostly familiar with her as a cartoon character. That said, I really do like Oracle which I think is a wonderful concept for a character.
While I do think Barbara becoming Batgirl again could be a backward step, I also think there might be away to have her be both Oracle and Batgirl, or mix characteristics of the two, and make it work. Much like Barry, she has never really had any modern stories about her as Batgirl and have her as Batgirl doesn't necessary mean all of her new stories will be a retread of old stories.
Even though I think having her become Batgirl again, I am taking an open minded approach towards the characters future. Many Marvel and DC characters have generally been static recently or have had old status quos presented in new ways so I'm not trying to delude myself about the situation. Despite the fact that I think she works better as Oracle, that doesn't not mean DC can't put out good stories with Barbara as Batgirl.
Unlike all of the other characters here, I have never read a comic book with Cassandra Cain in it, either as a team member, supporting or main character. I think the concept of Cassandra as a character is a good one, but, like I've stated many times before, I think the execution of many stories has taken away from the character. I'm talking about even before the much hated Adam Beechen stories.
I like the idea of a mute character that reads body language but you really need a highly skilled team to pull it off and DC undid that relatively early in the character's history, or so Wikipedia tells me. Given that DC is never really going to use the concept to its full potential, I see no reason to care about Cassandra as a character. I mean, DC could have Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely do a series about Cassandra where she can't read or understand spoken language and communicates only through sign and body language but the odds of that happening are basically zero.
WHO DO YOU LIKE?
Readers, who is your favorite Green Lantern, Flash or Batgirl? Are fan of Guy, John or Bart? Maybe Alan or Jay? Sound off in the comments section.