Posts Tagged ‘Green Lantern’

2/17/2012 – Stop watching the Watchmen, already.

Friday, February 17th, 2012

This is as good a time as any to reveal that my favorite incarnation of Hal Jordan was the contemplative, grey-templed wanderer by Gerard Jones and Pat Broderick. Which is another way of saying that’s when I first started reading his book regularly. I’ve learned enough about the character in the following years that I can appreciate why it might not be everyone’s favorite interpretation, but that’s a whole ‘nother subject for a whole ‘nother day.

Right now, we might as well mention Before Watchmen, since it likely won’t be showing up again in the comic until the actual books are upon us. It’s obviously been causing quite a number of debates online, some of them reasoned and high-minded, others stupid and completely missing the point. I’m not interested in starting another one (though if you’d like to do so in the comments section, please do, we could use the hits), and I don’t have the energy anymore to get worked up about anything Marvel or DC does, but I’ll briefly state where I stand just to get it out there: artistically speaking, it’s misguided, to say the least.

There is a very simple reason why this is even a question; why anyone would have any kind of negative feeling towards this idea simply on the face of it. It’s not because this is a cheap cashgrab first and foremost, because let’s face it, that describes the majority of superhero comics. It’s not about copyright or respecting creators, because the bulk of fandom was sick of those arguments long before this was announced. It’s not a perception that these prequels will be half-assed, because there’s some major-league talent at play here. Darwyn Cooke’s books will almost certainly have something worth seeing in them, even if the project itself is wrongheaded.

The reason is this: the power of Watchmen is that it is a self-contained work. That’s what sets it apart, what makes it an Important Thing. If the story in Watchmen had comprised the first 12 issues of an ongoing series, it would have been just as good, but it wouldn’t be as significant. It would be held in the same regard as the Kirby Fantastic Four and Ditko Spider-Man; brilliant company to be in, don’t get me wrong, but the Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus doesn’t share the same venerated status as Watchmen (whether you think it should or not). The strength of those comics is the character of Spider-Man. The strength of Watchmen is THAT story. The same thing that keeps Watchmen viable today, the same thing that legitimizes it in the minds of people who don’t like comics in general or superhero comics in particular, is what makes a series of prequels seem almost completely beside the point.

And besides, Dan Didio refers to the characters as “the Watchmen”, which should sort of clue you in to the mindset behind all this. It sort of brings to mind some executive at 20th Century Fox referring to John McClane as “Die Hard” while he pitches the next sequel, Die Hard vs. Thieves Pretending to be Terrorists in Hawaii.


Quotable quotes from the world of comics:

“Lest anyone be confused by PR flack, Watchmen was not a “universe.” It was a BOOK.”
Chris Roberson



6/5/2012 – Leave the “vulnerable to wood” jokes to Kevin Smith’s crew.

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

I can’t take credit for this one; the “Rainbow Lantern” line came from my girlfriend. And she doesn’t even read comics, so that she thought of it before me just goes to show how out of it I’ve been lately.

Prior to that, we didn’t have any plan to mention the Alan Scott thing at all. I didn’t have anything particularly insightful to add, and I really wanted to avoid the increasingly tired formula of  “prejudiced guy says something ignorant and our wise and evolved hero points out why he’s wrong”. I’m not saying we’ve never gone to that well (though we have always tried to add a little twist to the exercise), just that I’m conscious about not repeating it at every opportunity.

I’m kind of interested to check out Earth 2 now, where I wasn’t before. I mean…James Robinson has NOT had a great track record for, like, a little while now. But I like his approach to this change. It was precipitated by the realization that de-aging the JSA would remove one of DC’s existing gay characters from canon: Alan’s son, Obsidian. So why not balance the scales and make Alan gay? And when asked if Robinson would be writing this version of Alan any differen, his response has been simply, “No. He’s attracted to men, and that’s the only difference.” That appeals to me, as does the knowledge that Alan won’t just be “the gay one” on the team, swallowed back into the roster when nobody has a particular use for him.  (Northstar, I’m staring a hole right through you) No, he’s the square-jawed leader of this world’s premiere superhero team, and possibly the most powerful mortal on the planet. That’ll certainly make those “Gay Superheroes in Comics” lists less of a lame read.

Of course, anyone put off by DC’s “Look at us! Look at us!” patting-themselves-on-the-back parade, it’s hard to blame you. Promotion is one thing, but it’s not terribly classy to be THAT proud of yourself for doing the right thing. Act like you’ve been there before, y’know?


Quotable quotes from @JoshCritic:

“Wonder if the mainstream news is more surprised about the original Green Lantern being gay or about there being more than one Green Lantern.”