Monday, July 7, 2014

Saint Walker

Green Lantern: The Animated Series only lasted one season and two story archs, but there's a lot packed into those 26 episodes. For one, we have the character of Saint Walker.  What are we to make of him (or, at least, of his cartoon incarnation)?

He has a bit of an Asian martial arts/anime feel; I was reminded of The Last Airbender when watching him fight.  But what about his character development?

In episode 12, "Invasion", he goes up a mountain to ask for help. There he hears a mysterious voice (Mogo in this case, rather than God).

Saint Walker: "Are you sure the galaxy's saviour isn't you, wise one? I would willingly serve you."
Mogo: "I am not."
SW: "...I quite like how mysterious you can be. But now I ask a direct question. Who is the savior? And where do I find him or her?"
M: "Climb."

And so he climbs, in faith. He climbs and waits.

Finally fearing that the message is that "there is no hope", he shouts back, "I cannot give up. My spirit will not be broken. I believe!... All will be well."  His statement is reminiscent of what the mystic Julian of Norwich claimed to hear from God Himself: "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manners of things shall be well." (And Walker, like Julian, is called "Saint" even though not formally canonized.)

On the mountain he asked for help and was instead sent himself. (In Latin, "missa" - the word from which we get "Mass" - means "sent".)  He is called and sent, like Moses, to be an agent of salvation himself.

In the GL universe, he becomes a living embodiment of Hope. Only by holding on to hope can he use his blue power ring and, therefore, his powers. His power is a free gift (grace) and works only while he holds on to that particular theological virtue. No hope, no power.

It is this hope that saves. He brings hope when the corps is losing to the red lanterns. It is this hope (specifically hope in life beyond death) that saves Razor in the series finale -- but that is a post for another time.

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