Who is he?
His name is Hal Jordan, and he has been recruited/chosen to be the first human to join an intergalactic police force called the Green Lantern Corps. There is a whole spectrum of Lantern Corps with their own essence, or trait needed to power them: green (willpower), yellow (fear), violet (love), red (rage), blue (hope), orange (greed), indigo (compassion), black (death), and white (life).
How does he reflect on our humanity?
The Green Lantern is one of the most powerful characters in the DC Comic Universe, but he is a part of something bigger than himself. He gets his strength through allegiance to a belief and follows the Green Lantern Oath:
In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!
At his core, The Green Lantern shows us that we are never trapped, that we are never stuck, that we can overcome, and that we can accomplish great things if we tap into our will power and imagination. If you look at the above spectrum pictured, then you have the ability to chose your own path from a starting point (Will Power) in the middle. From this point we can become someone who creates life, death, or anything in between.
The Green Lantern has a power ring that makes whatever he can imagine a reality, and it is powered by his own will. He is then put one the same playing level as an Amazonian princess (Wonder Woman), the fastest being alive (The Flash), and the most powerful individual in comics (Superman). The Green Lantern is important, because his superpower is his HEART. It is not his money, it is not the Yellow Sun, it is not his heritage, it is not a science experiment or a mutation. His superpower is our superpower. He was chosen, much like Moses in the Bible, and he was accepting of this choice.
The Green Lantern Movie
I have nothing but hope for the Green Lantern Movie, but the character is so beloved by fans and so complicated for general audiences, that is needs to be EPIC in order to win either crowd over. I have high hopes for the character’s theatric potential, but not for this particular movie.