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.”