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‘The Green Lantern’ Kicks Off Summer of Super Heroes in Chicago: Pics

Green Lantern opens June 17.

Ryan Reynolds kicks off the summer of the superhero with DC Comics’ film adaptation of Green Lantern at a special screening of the film in Chicago.

The 100 Black Men of Chicago and several lucky rollingout.com readers were among the first audiences in the nation to screen the movie, and receive posters, T-shirts and other goodies. More important, The Green Lantern won rave reviews.

In The Green Lantern, Reynolds portrays Hal Jordan, a cocky test pilot who is chosen by a dying alien to fight the good fight on Oa, home of the Lanterns.

The Lanterns are being picked off by Parallax or the yellow essence of fear. Will power (green) trumps fear (yellow), a lesson Jordan has to learn before Parallax conquers earth as well.

Although they both hail from the house of DC Comics, The Green Lantern is no brutish Wolverine, however; Casino Royale director Martin Campbell has dipped Reynolds in just enough James Bond-like swagger to transform him into everyman’s cool best friend, and every woman’s knight in neon armor.

Reynolds and his co-star, Blake Lively, are a delightful pair to watch, even when they’re sparring. The action here, of course, can be found in the special effects, as the epic battle of will vs. fear plays itself out on-screen.

(Spoiler alert: Peter Sarsgaard’s mad scientist slide into evil is mesmerizing, on the opposite end of the spectrum, Angela Bassett is refreshing and likable as a government worker with a passion for the truth.)

The Green Lantern opens everywhere on Friday, June 17.

VIDEO: CHICAGOANS REACT TO THE GREEN LANTERN

Photos: Bernard Williams.