Hector Hammond

Lucy W. brings us to Green Lantern once again, but not for a corpsman: this time we’re seeing the movie’s secondary villain, Hector Hammond, portrayed by Peter Sarsgaard. In the movie, he’s a childhood friend of both Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris, as well as a high school science teacher who for some reasons is called by the government to perform an autopsy on Abin Sur‘s corpse: in the process, he’s infected by Parallax, and he becomes and insane telekinetic monster enslaved by Parallax’s will…the same master who’ll eventually consume him. In the comics, believe it or not, his head is even bigger, but Parallax doesn’t give orders around. Let’s see together! (after this, the blog will be on hiatus for some days: see you soon!)

As it usually happens, there are (at least) two different version of Hector Hammond’s story. According to the first one, Hammond was a petty criminal born in Coast CityCalifornia. Resourceful but non particularly brilliant, Hammond was on the run from the law after an umpteenth heist, and he was hiding in the forest when he saw a meteorite crash in the surroundings. It was the same meteor that in Africa forced the evolution of the apes from Gorilla City, and Hammond spied from a distance some scientists who approached the space rock to study it. Much to Hammond’s surprise, the scientists evolved before his very eyes into super-intelligent beings…whose free will, however, had vanished in thin air. Wanting to exploit the situation, Hammond appeared in front of the scientists and started giving them orders, transforming them into his genius slaves. The futuristic tech the slaves produced, Hector sold on the market, becoming an insanely rich man in a ridiculously amount of time. Now a celebrity, Hammond gained a lot of attention…even unwanted one. The superhero Green Lantern found Hammond’s sudden wealth fishy, and he started investigating on him. Green Lantern’s Power Ring was however a tool Hector was interested in, so he kidnapped the hero and stole his weapon…only to find out he had abducted a decoy, Thomas Kalmaku, with a replica. The real hero appeared, and after a brief struggle Hector was captured, while the scientists were brought back to their normal state. Needless to say, the villain was locked in jail, with a few hopes of coming out in a short time.

Hector Hammond however didn’t have any intention of making his time, and he escaped from prison with one thing in mind: he came back to the meteorite, and deliberately exposed himself to it, in a much greater capacity than the scientists before him. His brain grew to grotesque proportions, and his intellect grew exponentially, adding untold psionic abilities…unfortunately, his body couldn’t keep the pace, and all the energies at disposal of Hector’s organism went to his now futuristic mind. Unable to move or even to speak, Hammond was stranded in the woods…until he started realising how his mind powers worked: he could use his telekinesis to fly his own body from place to place, and he could control other people’s mind to bend them to his will and use them as manual labourers. He couldn’t speak anymore, but his telepathy supplied for that as well. Using his mind to steal an invention of Amos Fortune, he attempted once again to steal Green Lantern’s Power Ring, and he actually managed to do so. Unfortunately, right before wielding the Ring, Green Lantern “ordered” the weapon to drain itself of all its power, so that it was useless for the villain. While the immobilised genius was still trying to figure the alien tech out, a powerless Green Lantern knocked him out in the most traditional (and effective) way of all. Following this defeat, Hammond changed approach, and always taking inspiration from Fortune he gathered a number of minor criminals to create the second Royal Flush Gang, maneuvring everyone from behind the curtains. This time he was unfortunate enough to find on his path an equally gifted mind, Martin Stein, who overpowered him on the Astral Plane in a clash of intellects. Every time he was defeated, however, Hammond learnt something more: soon, he would have been too formidable for anyone to oppose.

Hector Hammond is a greedy and ambitious individual, a criminal who’s been given a superior mind, and who uses it for the same, petty purposes. He’s an incredibly powerful telepath, able to read and control any mind, to project illusions and to erase other people’s memory, but he also can use telekinesis, moving things (himself included) with his mind and projecting powerful mental blasts; he’s also immortal. One of the greatest minds on the planet, Hector Hammond also possesses a frail and useless body: as time passes, he regrets more and more what he’s lost, and he now sucks on other people’s life experiences like a parasite, desperate to feel through others what he can’t experience on his own.

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