The Greenest of the Green

Being green nowadays means a lot of things. It can be both negative or positive — being environment friendly, being new to a workplace, an area or a system — being green minded may mean that one always has naughty thoughts. Green as a color represents many things as well, well being, balance, and is generally used to denote freshness and youth. In the Philippines, 2011-2012 is considered the year of the green as one of its top universities — De La Salle University — celebrates 100 years of presence in the country. Of course, its banner color of green and white is displayed all over Lasallian schools nationwide to pay tribute to the first Lasallian brothers who arrived to the country exactly one century ago. This blog however, is a tribute not only to DLSU (which I sneaked in because I’m an alumna) but to the most popular green figures in pop culture. And there are quite a few.

1. Green Lantern: Hal Jordan, Alex Ross, the mortals who were chosen by the Green Lantern power ring to join a 3,600 strong army of warriors that protect  various sections of the universe from evil, harnessing the power borne from will. The Green Lanterns make it to the top of the list following the release of the highly controversial movie starring Ryan Reynolds, which critics panned for being the worst movie of the year. (I highly doubt that, but still, I must admit that it is inferior to its summer box office competition of late).

2. Kermit the Frog: One of the most popular Sesame Street characters, most children grew up with this gangly, yet adorable puppet who is romantically linked to Miss Piggy. Kermit, often seen au neturele, sings, dances and is known as the leader of the muppets.

3. The Mask: Flamboyant, obnoxious, loud and wacky, the Mask transforms its wearer, in the movie, Stanley Ipcus (played by Jim Carrey) into a devil may care, yellow suit wearing menace, who is always one step ahead of his nemesis. Funny and entertaining, the Mask is one of the most memorable characters on film, audiences will either love him or hate him — a cross between live action and animation.

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: This group of mutant turtles who take residence in New York City’s sewers are some of the coolest characters spawned in the 90’s. Trained as ninjas by a mutant rat named Splinter — Leonardo, Donatelo, Raphael and Michaelangelo, who were named after mild mannered artists, fight crime, eat pizza and repel their mortal enemies led by a pink brain in a bowl Krang and his lieutenant Shredder, along with a variety of henchmen.

5. The Incredible Hulk: A lot like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Bruce Banner, a scientist who designed the gamma bomb, is exposed to the gamma component of his invention and finds that he transforms into a green monster when he is angry or emotionally unstable. During this transformation, his rage clouds his judgement and he goes on a rampage, destroying most of what he sees. As time progresses, he learns to maintain a certain level of control and begins to use his strength for good.

6. The Grinch: Grumpy, grouchy, mean and nasty, the character was penned by Dr. Seuss as a hermit who lives in the outskirts of Whoville. He has catlike features, green fur and yellow eyes but his most striking quality is that he hates Christmas. He wears a Santa suit and steals all of the presents from the residents of Whoville, but later has a change of heart and returns them to their owners after he realizes that presents are not the true meaning of Christmas .

7.Ben 10: After finding the Omnitrix, which he first mistook for a watch, Ben Tennyson finds that he has the ability to transform into 10 different alien superheroes on command. Being a kid, cocky, stubborn and brash, he often finds himself in trouble because of his powers rather than better for it at the beginning. With the help of his Grandpa Max (who was a former government agent in charge of taking care of alien problems) and his cousin Gwen (who is a powerful spellmaster), Ben tries to master his gifts and use his alien powers to protect the planet from aliens who want to get hold of the Omnitrix. Several versions of Ben 10 are out now due largely to the strong following.

8. Green Hornet: From being a radio program in the 1930s, the Green Hornet has been adapted by several media including comic books, television and movies. The character of the Green Hornet is a newspaper publisher Britt Reid who turns into a masked vigilante at night, fighting crime with his sidekick Kato who drives a cool car named Black Beauty.

9. Marvin the Martian: Marvin, a Martian appears in Looney Tunes cartoons often pitting him against Bugs Bunny. He wears a Roman uniform that are several sizes too big for him which hides his face in shadow, leaving only his eyes to denote his displeasure or satisfaction. He is soft spoken and methodical, yet he is always outsmarted by Bugs.

10. The Riddler: One of the Dark Knight’s arch nemesis, the Riddler takes pride in committing crimes and leaving trails for Batman to follow. Most of these clues are in the form of riddles (duh! That’s why he’s the Riddler!), which he could not resist leaving due to his obsessive compulsive personality. Before he was a supervillain, the Riddler  assumed the name of Robert Nygma, a play on the word enigma which means msytery.

So, there you have it. My Top 10 green characters in pop culture. Feel free to sound in if you think I missed anyone, anything… whatever! Have a good one folks!