Hard Question for a Soft Target

April 1st, 2010 by | Tags: , , ,

NRAMA: Fair enough. Back on the subject of your work on Blackest Night, is there a character you’re writing that you’re liking more than you expected?

GJ: A bunch. The biggest surprise is how easy it is to write when Hal and Barry are together. These two know each other so well, and there’s such a strong tie to them…it’s like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. And something happens to Hal when he’s with Barry. It happens to me when I hang out with my friend, Matt. He’s so organized and punctual that a little part of my brain shuts off. I don’t need to worry about the time or where we’re going. I feel like that happens to Hal when he’s around Barry. Hal goes with the flow a little more, while Barry’s taking up the slack of figuring out where to go. I have more Barry and Hal scenes written down because they just keep writing themselves. Introvert and extrovert. Saint and sinner. Time and space.

And then there’s a character that’s really surprised me. I don’t want to give it away but she’s one of the strongest and most recognizable characters in the DC Universe, and yet she hasn’t been in the spotlight for a very long time. But she will be now. For quite some time to come.

NRAMA: OK, then which character will people get to know better in Blackest Night than they’ve ever known before?

GJ: Same character. She’s been around since the ’60s.

-Geoff Johns, from an interview with Vaneta Rogers. Newsarama is currently throwing up malware warnings in my browser, and there’s really no reason to click through anyway, but if you do, browser beware.

Let’s take a brief look at a few high-profile moves in Geoff Johns’s post-Flash career:
1. Brought back Hal Jordan
2. Brought back Barry Allen
3. Brought back Professor Zoom
4. Brought back Ronnie Raymond
5. Introduced a bunch of lame-os in JSA
6. Wrote Blackest Night
7. Explained various minutiae, including Power Girl’s boob window, Barry Allen’s bowtie, and why love is actually a bunch of creepo stalker chicks who don’t wear clothes and love to brainwash people
8. Called Aquaman’s wife “one of the strongest and most recognizable characters in the DC Universe”

Honest question: why’s Geoff Johns seem to like the boringest parts of comics?

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19 comments to “Hard Question for a Soft Target”

  1. Silver Age fanboy. Next question…

    (And it could be worse. He could be Winick.)

  2. Enh. I don’t think that’s the case. Maybe it’s a generational thing, though.

    Btw, how do we know GJ was talking about Mera?

  3. Dude,

    Your little blue blanket might not be very exciting, but remember how it made you feel all safe and warm when you were a little kid?

  4. @West: He said he was in a later interview.

  5. Because boredom is a large area left unexplored in the DCU?

  6. I dunno, but I like them too.

  7. I’d be more forgiving of Johns problems as a writer if he would learn how END things instead of using every story as set up for the next one. Is it too much to ask to not leave a million plot threads dangling when things are said and done.

  8. ok, good to see its not just me that’s getting all out of whack with Newsarama

    also in response for all the bland, he does succeed with some good. I mean he took Sinestro and Captain Cold and made them into two of my alltime favorite characters

  9. Who says they are boring. Hal Jordan isn’t boring at all-he’s a test pilot. Test. Pilot.
    Barry ain’t my dude but hey some people wanted him back they were still salty. I now understand that saltiness I have it towards Spider-man and Jubilee. I don’t know why you are hating on the JSA and some of that was Alex Ross’ thing too. Most of those character are from Kingdom Come. You also skipped over Infinite Crisis and 52 and making Action Comics an entertaining comic again. I just don’t see the issues people have with him. He writes entertaining super hero comics that are for fans. It’s not that hard. I learned the DC universe through cartoons if I can get it anyone can. Ain’t no excuses in a world with wikipedia.

    @NeoKefka: No superhero comic in a ongoing universe ends. That defeats the purpose of the universe. The X-men hasn’t had an ending since the 70s. It’s like getting mad at a tv show for having a season finale.

  10. why’s Geoff Johns seem to like the boringest parts of comics?

    To save me money!

  11. …because he’s a massively insecure human being who can’t deal with the fact that some of the shit he liked was stupid at some points, so he’s got to redeem or explain everything to quell the ghost-Ellis (or ghost-Dorkin, or ghost-Ennis, or ghost-MacDonald, YMMV) in his head from telling him he’s worthless.

  12. I think it’s because he’s a good writer still.

  13. @Lakdif:
    This is what I get for posting while distracted. I meant “He THINKS he’s a good writer still”. I think I just lost edginess points.

  14. Thinking it over, I have figured out why Johns likes the “boringest” parts of comics, and why I do too.

    Guys like Hal and Barry make being superheroes seem normal, but still special. So many of the characters with EXTREEEEEEME type personalities are little better than villains and characters that really embrace superherodom seem to bring their problems on themselves. THey travel to some fantastic alternate universe and accidentally bring something back then they have to fight it. That’s not being heroic, that’s cleaning up your own mess.

    With the type of characters Johns writes you don’t end up thinking “Okay, they saved everyone, but no one would have been in danger if not for them.”

  15. @Jason: Hal Jordan and Barry Allen aren’t normal. Hell they were barely normal back in the silver age.

    Jaime Reyes and Ted Kord–THOSE guys make super-heroics seem normal but still remarkable.

  16. OnimaruXLR- I’ll agree with Jaime. I’ve never seen Ted work without Booster and the stuff they often came up with brought danger down on their teams and the people around them.

  17. Why isn’t anyone talking about how, after Blackest Night, it seems we have Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond fusing to make White Firestorm?

  18. @Julian Lytle Re ending superhero comics: NeoKefka didn’t talk about superhero comics ending as much as Geoff Johns tendency to pick up a plot thread from 2003’s Flash #200 and continue it in 2007’s Justice Society of America #8.

  19. @Jason: Reading Beetle and Booster’s adventures in that manner is like watching The Three Stooges and exclaiming, “Wow, these guys are really shitty at making pies, and should lose their employment immediately.” They were written in a humorous tone, and shouldn’t be judged as though their shenanigans were going to get their teammates maimed or murdered.

    Plus, you sort of discount all the times they were actually effectual, like when the two stopped the cosmic vampire Starkbreaker, or when Beetle beat Eclipso by himself.