6/15/2012 – You gotta wonder which Green Lantern pisses off the Midwest more.

My favorite thing about the kerfuffle surrounding the mystery GL being teased in Green Lantern #0 is how it’s begun to feed on itself. The first wave of responders criticized DC’s racial insensitivity in introducing a new Muslim character with a gun and what looks like a ski mask. And then the second wave of responders criticized the first wave’s racial insensitivity in immediately assuming any dark-skinned character with a gun is inherently a thug.

And we here at Comic Critics are never content to take a side when we can poke fun at both. I like how we seem to be unconsciously creating a continuity where Batman just doesn’t know how to react to black people.

I will say this, though. I haven’t given the image of the new GL a LOT of thought, but every thought I have given it centers on how ludicrously out of place the gun is. The people pointing out that other comic characters use guns are missing the point spectacularly, as those other characters generally do not have the “most powerful weapon in the universe” (direct quote from about 64% of all GL stories ever written) sitting snugly on their finger. War Machine has guns built into his armor, he’s not holding a gat.

(And if he ever was holding one, you can be damn sure he wouldn’t be holding it at an angle. Because, in the immortal words of the Punisher, “they put the sights on top for a reason.”)

Maybe it’ll turn out that there’s a great in-story reason for the gun, like it’s a badass space gun that shoots space bullets and fucks up space monsters. Or maybe it’s just got some connection to #0’s story and makes zero appearance afterward. I dunno. But that’s kind of irrelevant right now, since all we have to go on is this one image. Which is why you’ve gotta put a lot of thought into such images. Minus the gun, nobody’s having this conversation. Hell, even make the gun green and glowing, and we’re probably not having this conversation.

But hey, at least DC’s past the point where they’d rather scrap a story completely than publish one with a Muslim character in it.


Quotable quotes from @JoshCritic:

“I can’t wait for the issue where the Guardians have to update the Book of Oa with gun control laws.”




  1. Travis J

    Maybe he carries the gun because he uses it to kill people? Doesn’t the ring have built in fail safes to prevent that? I recall something in the Sinestro Corp War or Blackest Night where the rings were enabled to kill Yellow Lanterns. So maybe he is a cross between GL and the Punisher.

    I still think there is more to this character than we really know (or want to admit we think about) right now.

  2. Mike

    Why the Midwest? Surely there are far more vehemently racist and homophobic places in America than the Great Lakes?
    Great comic though.

    And I think that a Green Lantern probably couldn’t get away with killing people just by not using hi ring. I seem to remember the blue guys were constantly keeping tabs on everybody through the ring itself.

  3. Sean

    @Travis – So that’s one vote for badass space gun that shoots space bullets. 🙂

    @Mike – No particular reason, I just think that 8 out of 10 people would have said “the South”, and wanted to be a little different.

  4. Joe

    I’m from Nebraska. I’m not pissed off by either Green Lantern. I am pissed off that you assume we’re all homophobes and racists out here.

  5. Dreadjaws

    It’s become a staple in comic books that you should show a hero who doesn’t use guns holding one in the cover in order to shock readers. Like most comic book cliches, it stopped being shocking around the second time they did it, yet they’ve continued to do so for decades.

    I’ve seen, for instance, Batman, Spider-Man, Superman and Daredevil holding guns in their covers. In some cases, like Batman Year Two, it worked for the story, in others, like Superman at Earth’s End it was rubbish. But in the case of Green Lantern, it doesn’t make any friggin’ sense! GL can CREATE GUNS WITH HIS MIND! That’s his entire superpower! And I doubt it’s a super special space gun, since it’s shaped like a regular Earth gun.

    Maybe the gun helps his willpower, or it’s a memento, or something equally dumb. I honestly can’t think of any good reason why he should be holding it.

    And the other thing that bothers me is the accusations of racism from one side or the other. The guy is wearing a thug mask and waving a gun! It doesn’t matter that he’s black, he could be white, yellow, red or blue and he’d still look like a thug! Actually, if he were white, he’d look exactly like Kick-Ass, with the gun making him look like a thug anyway.

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