Marvel Nova Series vs DC Green Lantern Series Is A One-Sided Showdown

By Zack Zagranis | Published

It’s no secret that Marvel and DC rip each other off all the time, but for the first time ever, there’s a chance that two similar characters could be facing off against each other. Marvel is developing a Nova series at the same time DC is working on Lanterns, a Green Lantern-themed TV show. If both shows go into production at roughly the same time, we could get a head-to-head battle between competing Space Cops. Of course, it’s not much of a battle when Green Lantern is the clear winner by a mile.

Full disclosure: while I love and grew up with both Marvel and DC, I’m definitely more of a DC guy. That bias, however, has nothing to do with my prediction that a Green Lantern series will absolutely crush a Marvel Nova series. That declaration is based on name recognition and the core concept of both projects.

Nova Is Painfully Generic On The Surface

For starters, Nova is, in many ways, a ripoff of Green Lantern. Hal Jordan—the most recognizable Green Lantern, although John Stewart is definitely up there—became the Green Lantern when a dying alien gave him one of the most powerful weapons in the cosmos, the Green Lantern power ring. Richard Ryder became Nova when a dying alien imbued him with the Nova Force: a cosmic MacGuffin that basically gives him a lesser version of Superman’s powerset.

Intergalatic Police

green lantern series

Later, it was established that there was a whole Green Lantern Corps, each one assigned to protect a different planet. Unsurprisingly, Marvel has the Nova Corps, which is a similar group of intergalactic police. While I know that occasionally ripoffs are more popular than the original—Hydrox cookies routinely lose to Oreos despite predating them—it’s rare, and just its unoriginal nature alone is enough for me to predict that Marvel’s Nova series will fall to DC’s Green Lantern series.

Nova’s Premise Is Unexciting

marvel nova

By the way, Nova is actually one of three Green Lantern proxies in the Marvel universe. There’s also Quasar, whose quantum bands literally work like Green Lantern’s power ring and Doctor Spectrum. Spectrum gets a pass, though, because he was part of Squadron Supreme, a team meant to be an analog for the Justice League. Being a Green Lantern rip-off is his whole deal.

Rip-off status aside, Marvel’s Nova Series sounds like a weaker premise than the Green Lantern series. By weaker premise, I mean it has none, or rather, Marvel hasn’t disclosed anything about the actual nature of the show. The most recent update on the project came earlier this year when Marvel’s streaming Boss Brad Winderbaum gave a vague statement hinting that the show was still happening, albeit slowly.

Marvel Isn’t Talking About It

Marvel Nova

Winderbaum’s whole statement is the very definition of a word salad. He mentions that Nova “certainly is exciting to us,” and that he has some “great ideas simmering,” before reassuring everyone about his feelings for the character. “I love Nova,” Winderbaum said in his statement before going on to again say how “excited,” Marvel is to be developing their Nova series.

That’s pretty much the extent of his update, and I don’t know about you, but just hearing how excited Marvel is about the project isn’t enough to get my blood pumping. When would a studio ever admit to not being excited about one of its upcoming projects? That would just be bad business. Now just so that it doesn’t look like I’m picking on Marvel unfairly for giving a standard generic update on Nova, I will now tell you what James Gunn said about the upcoming Green Lantern series.

Green Lantern Has James Gunn’s Full Support

Last year, Gunn announced that Lanterns will be a mystery series starring John Stewart and Hal Jordan. Gunn described the series as “more of a True Detective-type mystery,” where Stewart and Jordan are “basically, supercops on Precinct Earth.” Boom! Gunn not only gave us an idea of what type of show the Green Lantern series would be, but he also compared it to one of HBO’s most successful dramas ever, True Detective.

Gunn also said the two Lanterns would find an “ancient horror on Earth,” hinting that the series could have some Lovecraftian elements. We already know that DC—unlike the MCU—isn’t afraid to go dark and mature with its content, so we can further assume that the Green Lantern series will be more adult and possibly R-rated. Just going by Marvel’s previous streaming output, how could they possibly compete with that?

I’m going to go out on a limb and say they can’t.

Green Lantern Has The Most Potential To Be Great

green lantern

Bottom line: Marvel is most likely going to make a Nova series where a wisecracking teen gets flight, super speed, invulnerability, yadda, yadda, yadda, and has some fun adventures while learning how to control his new powers. Nothing inherently wrong with that.

DC, on the other hand, has flat-out stated that the Green Lantern series will be a weird, gritty True Detective-style horror/mystery starring everyone’s favorite Green Lanterns.

I don’t know about you, but I know which one I want to watch. Here’s a hint: it’s the one James Gunn described using the words “ancient horror.” Green Lantern is the clear winner here, and it’s not even close.

robert downey jr

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