Hal Jordan has been the main star of Green Lantern Franchise for 42 years. There may be a few people who disagree with this article due to there attachment to a GL character but my goal is to inform why Hal Jordan is the definitive Green Lantern.
Some of you may wonder why I said 42 years instead of 54 years? I mean the character has been around since 1959 right? Well that's simple its because Hal has had replacements in the years following his first appearance. John Stewart filled in from issues #182 until #190 with frequent appearances by Hal Jordan. In 1994 the story Emerald Twilight commenced in hopes of revitalizing the Green Lantern franchise as it was in a bit of a decline. The story lasted from volume 3 issues #49 to #55. From that point onward Kyle Rayner was the main protagonist of the Green Lantern Franchise. This lasted for 10 years until the storyline "Rebirth" in which Hal Jordan comes back to life and reclaims his rightful position as the main protagonist. In that time John Stewart has appeared in the very successful Justice League cartoon. John and Kyle have both solidified themselves in comic goers minds and in the general public's eye. But unbeknownst to some of you Hal Jordan has made more appearances then all of the other green lanterns combined. Which I know has made him more well known. Out of all the Green Lantern he also has the Largest fan base which all together furthers his place as the definitive Green Lantern. So let me show you some examples of his dominance over other lanterns when it comes to media exposure.
TV;The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, The All-New Super Friends Hour, Challenge of the SuperFriends,t Super Friends, Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show,The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians,Duck Dodgers,Justice League Unlimited(cameo),The Batman,Batman: The Brave and the Bold,Young Justice(He appears alongside John Stewart), MAD, and most importantly the New Green Lantern: The Animated Series of which he is the main character.
Video Games; Justice League Heroes(Hal and Kyle are both skins for the John Stewart character), Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe,Wii version of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, DC Universe Online,Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes,Injustice: Gods Among Us,and in the upcoming Infinite Crisis.
Movies;Justice League: The New Frontier (Main character),Green Lantern: First Flight,Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths,Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Justice League: Doom, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite, and as bad as it was Green Lantern(2011)
John Stewart; Justice League,JLU,Static Shock,Young Justice,Justice league Heroes, and DC Universe Online
Kyle Rayner; Superman TAS,JLU,and Justice League Heroes,DC Universe Online
Guy Gardner;Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice, Green Lantern: The Animated Series( 3 episodes),Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Video game,DC Universe Online
So collectively when you look through comics and and media he is the definitive Lantern. The main reason people feel that John Stewart is the more popular Lantern or should be the main one is because he has been exposed during the JLU cartoon which lasted from 2001 to 2006. That is 5 years of exposure but its not like he was the main character he was always accompanied by some other member. On the other hand Hal Jordan has had stared in the Green Lantern TAS which is mainly about his character and it lasted for 2 years.
Green Lantern(2011) was horrible but it did sell it made $219,851,172. Green Lantern First Flight and Emerald warriors also starred Hal Jordan and together made 8,972,645. A movie can more effectively influence the general public's eye than the JL cartoons which is why Hal is more well- known.
It is also said in the comics that he is the Greatest Green Lantern. Not only is he said to be the greatest Green lantern he is also the leader of the corps in the next issue of Green lantern( issue #21). In comic he is also a founding member of the Justice League which further establishes his importance in the DC universe. His importance in the comics out weighs the other lanterns because he has a larger role as the leader of the corps and a founding member of the Justice League.
So in conclusion he has been the main character of the comic longer than any other lantern and has more media exposure which has made him the first lantern to come to mind. Some people will argue that other lanterns are just as important because they star in their own books. That mentality is invalid because then you could say Nightwing or Batgirl are just as important in that Batman franchise because they have there own titles. The Last page of Issue #20 should make most fans understand this. "He was the spark....... that started the everlasting fire"