September 23rd, 2010 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

So once upon a time, not so very long ago, there was a book called Green Lantern: Secret Origin, which retold Hal Jordan’s origin story.  Since Hal Jordan’s origin story is not long or complicated (test pilot.  got ring from alien.  might as well say ‘a wizard did it’.) and is probably the best known of any Green Lantern origin, it recounted this story for reasons known only to itself, but it was a pleasant enough book, with good art and clear story-telling.

Towards the end of the first issue, it threw in the following scene:

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The Top Ten Real Life Black Lanterns I Want to See

June 30th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

In only a few weeks, DC will release Blackest Night, the big summer event and culmination of Geoff Johns’ fantastic run on Green Lantern. Willpower, fear, love, hate, compassion, greed and hope will be duking it out as Black Hand and that Cosmic Harvey Dent Smurf resurrect all sorts of heroes and villains to join their side. We’ve been given notice about some who would return and others who might. Earth 2 Superman, Martian Manhunter, Terra and the Flying Graysons will be there for sure. Perhaps we’ll see Elongated Man, Alexander Luthor, or General Glory rise from the grave.

But you know what? It’s a bit cheap. All these black rings are flying around and the only major resurrections go to those who are superheroes, supervillains or acquaintances thereof? That’s no fun! Okay, that’s a lie, since this is going to rock, but that’s not as fun as it could be!

By focusing on the fictional, think of all those we’re missing out on. What about the real corpses out there? We could not only have Heath Ledger back, but also Cesar Romero as the icing on the cake. David Carradine could return to get revenge on those murdering ninjas. Jack Kirby could engulf Jim Starlin in a bubble construct and toss him into the deep recesses of space out of revenge for Death of the New Gods. Elvis Presley could return to Graceland and… oops. Disregard that. I forgot that Elvis never actually died.

After much deliberation, I have put together the Top Ten Real Life Black Lanterns I Want to See.

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Friday Flashbacks 02: Ghosts and Rivals

June 19th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

I guess I should put down some set-up first. This is from Avengers/JLA #4, written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by George Perez. It came out a little bit before Marvel and DC made some of their bigger modern changes. The team rosters were still more classic than in recent years, still before the days of Disassembled and Crisis of Conscience. Hal Jordan was still the Spectre.

I won’t go too deep into the story, but it involves Krona making a bet with the Grandmaster that puts the two super-teams on opposing sides. Not that that needs too much extra effort, though, as Captain America and Superman seem to have it in for each other. Superman sees mutant hatred, Dr. Doom, the Hulk and the Punisher running wild and considers the Avengers a bunch of failures. Captain America sees how the people in the DC world worship the Justice League to the point of museums and monuments and considers them little better than world conquerors. This leads into more than one throwdown, including a fight where Superman beats up Thor.

Fast-forward a bit. To save reality from Krona, the Grandmaster has been pushing the two worlds closer together. Reality rewrites itself again and again. The Avengers and Justice League go from being from two distant alternate realities to neighboring realities. Then they go from two teams that visit each other’s worlds on a regular basis to two teams that co-exist in the same world. Few are able to see through the lies.

Finally, the two teams find the Grandmaster, who wants the heroes to go stop Krona from destroying both their worlds. Due to reality being rewritten over and over, the teams are both down to their more base, classic rosters and identities and want to know exactly what they’re fighting for. Using the last of his powers, Grandmaster shows them a series of screens that broadcasts their histories. Despite all their victories, it focuses mainly on these heroes watching the losses that are meant to be. Tony Stark’s alcoholism, Aquaman’s loss of hand, Bane breaking Batman’s back, Doomsday killing Superman, Captain America losing his abilities and failing in his attempt to rely on armor tech, Odin’s death, Jason Todd’s death, and so on. The more important ones here are that Barry Allen sees that he’s going to die, Scarlet Witch and Vision see that their children will be creations from Wanda’s own madness, Giant Man sees the smack that he will never live down and Hal Jordan sees his descent into becoming Parallax.

And yet, in the end, the two sides decide that it is not up to them to judge the realities they are saving. They band together and plot against Krona. Superman suggests Captain America lead them, which he agrees to.

I swear, when I was intending to write this article, I thought these pages were more than two. Three, maybe four. They’re just so dense with dialogue that it’s bursting at the seams. That’s George Perez for you, I guess.

All five of those different conversations are aces, especially when you notice the segues. Notice how each conversation ends with another character in the shot. It took me forever to see Captain America in the background window. What I really loved about this scene is the stuff with Hal and Barry.

How messed up it has to be for these two. Barry knows that win or lose, he’s going to be dead within hours. It’s depressing, but not nearly as bad as what Hal has to be going through. Barry goes out honorably. Hal knows that not only is he going to die, but first he’s going to go crazy and take out a bunch of his friends before becoming the Darth Vader of the DC Universe. And he’s fighting to preserve that! It’s fucked.

Maybe it’s just me, but you can read the weight of it in Hal’s oath. The way he seems so less enthused compared to all the other times. Is it defeat? Sadness? Intent to do his best one last time? Shame? Bitterness? Is it that he realizes that the very oath he’s reciting has been proven to be nothing more than a lie?

But there they are, Hal and Barry, supporting each other. Just by the mutual reassurance, the two doomed friends are all but removed of that weight. It’s a nice, bittersweet scene, but sadly loses something thanks to their later resurrections.

I think I decided about including these pages for this installment because of all of that going on these days. Personally, I feel totally fine with Hal coming back (Green Lantern is more of a job position than identity, allowing Kyle to thrive on his own, though admittedly to a lesser extent). I can’t bring myself to care about Barry Allen’s return, outside of a couple choice moments in Final Crisis. Unless Steve Rogers stays away from the Captain America mantle and becomes the new leader of SHIELD/HAMMER for an extended period of time, I feel like his death could have lasted another three years. And Bart Allen… shit, I don’t know. That poor guy got messed up so much since Geoff Johns got his hands on him that I can’t say what’s best for him at this point.

Bottom line: I guess I feel like in scenes like this, the finality of one fictional character’s death strengthens the quality of life. But that’s me.

Back to the Avengers/JLA comic, there was one panel I’ve always loved for a stupid reason.

Look at Captain America. That’s the moment I realized that Steve Rogers has balls made of vibranium. He goes on to threaten Superman with such confidence that even now, my brain is trying to come up with ways for that outcome to be a possibility. I’ll get back to you on that. Cool as that is, that’s not why I bring it up.

I don’t know if this was a subtle way to intentionally foreshadow Avengers: Disassembled, but let’s see what happens when we remove the guys on the right.

Hey, now!

By the way, I still miss Hal’s kickass white hair tufts.

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Do Comic Movements Work?

May 30th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

HEAT worked. It took ten years, but they finally got back their totally awesome better-than-everybody-else forever-and-ever-amen hero back.

All the others, though– Girl-Wonder (at least regarding Stephanie Brown), whoever it is that wants Ted Kord/The Question/Firestorm back, and various other comics movements– have any of those ever worked? I can’t think of one.

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Final Edit Week 5: Day Six

April 1st, 2009 Posted by Gavok

We’re almost done with yet another week of this awful Morrison mind-scramble crap. God, what a hack. Between this and his Seven Soldiers run, I don’t even get why the man gets any work. Did you even read his New X-Men run a few years back? The guy who followed him was SOOOO much better.

But enough about that. Yesterday’s update saw some incomprehensible garbage involving Rubik’s Cubes and Metron as a tard. I don’t know, Final Crisis sucks. Let’s move forward!

As always, thanks to david “hermanos” brothers for helping me with this. He wanted me to remind you that a new Seaguy miniseries comes out today. Make sure to stay far away from that tripe. The last one was bad enough. Fucking Morrison.

We’re almost done with this week. Tomorrow, we get Darkseid at a rave and a guy with a bunch of bubble monitor things wrapped around his head. You can see a preview here.

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A Hal of a Guy

December 4th, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

First of all, I apologize for the title of this entry.

I’m not particularly well-versed in Green Lantern lore, but I’ve noticed a few trends in how people respond to Hal versus how they respond to Guy.

Even discounting the Kyle fans, Hal seems to be the less popular of the two. Among fans, an appearance by Guy gets cheers, while Hal is viewed as business as usual. There are a lot of reasons for that. Hal is business as usual for Green Lantern fans. When a character has been appearing pretty regularly since 1959, it’s a lot harder to keep up his appeal compared to the guy who, despite a shortlived series of his own, gets added in for spice every now and again. Guy is the more extreme character, and extreme characters tend to be interesting.

But Guy has his own deficiencies. Deficiency. Okay. He’s a jerk. A biggun. However, that deficiency is also his strength, as a character. Why? Because every character and every writer makes it clear that they know he’s a jerk. Once that happens, once the text makes it clear that the story is about a jerk who also happens to do good things, it’s possible to relish the outrageousness of the character the same way we can relish the violence and the spandex costumes.

Hal, on the other hand, is a Hero. He is shown as not only the first Green Lantern, but the best Green Lantern. The sense I’m getting from diehard Green Lantern fans is that the outrage is not just about the mistakes Hal makes, but the fact that he is being sold as the One True Lantern. Because of that, all of his flaws, from his odd courtship with Carol Ferris to that little tantrum during which he almost ended the Universe, are being excused or ignored. And so Guy, with his rudeness, sexism, arrogance, and sometimes outright meanness is popular, and Hal is reviled.

Maybe a little accountability goes a long way?

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Oan Election Day

November 5th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

A month and a half ago, I posted this interview. Now the conclusion.

Note: Karu-Sil isn’t included in this image because she was off being phone pranked by Ambush Bug. I mean, she was off being a rogue. Yeah.

The universe still has the Rage of the Red Lanterns and the Blackest Night to deal with, but our new Oan President-Elect can get us through it. I hope.

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Ruining the Moment: Volume 6

September 22nd, 2008 Posted by Gavok

It’s been a while, but here’s another bunch of memorable segments from comics past and present altered in the name of comedy and, sometimes, spite. To start, here’s something form the end of What If: Annihilation.

Next up, the Sinestro Corps War ends in a way that legitimately made me kind of sad. What kind of monster am I?

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And Now, a Look at the Oan Presidential Race

September 17th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

Jack Ryder: And welcome back to You Are Wrong! I’d like to take a second to introduce you to today’s fine guests. First up is Keeper of the Book of Oa and high ranking member of the Green Lantern Corps, Salaak.

Salaak: A pleasure to be here, Mr. Ryder.

Jack: On my right is Lyssa Drak, Keeper of the Book of Parallax and member of the Sinestro Corps.

Lyssa: Charmed.

Jack: Let’s get down to brass tacks. The Oan Presidency is heating up. On one side we have John Stewart, Green Lantern and author of The Audacity of Will, along with his running mate Hal Jordan.

Lyssa: Mass murderer.

Jack: Hey, save it! Stewart is up against war veteran Sinestro, who has recently announced his candidate for Vice President, Karu-Sil. Now, Lyssa, I have to say, this announcement came out of nowhere. We were expecting someone a bit more deserving like Ranx the Sentient City. He is, after all, prophesized to kill Mogo one day. What do you say to the claims that Karu-Sil, who most people haven’t even heard of, was chosen for no reason other than capitalizing on voters angry that Soranik Natu didn’t make it through the primaries?

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Infinite Crisis: The Graphic Audio

August 31st, 2008 Posted by Gavok

Can you believe Infinite Crisis only ended a little over two years ago? It feels so much longer. At the time, it was an exciting time to read DC. A lot was going down, 52 was on the horizon, One Year Later was starting up, among other things. The miniseries did come off as a letdown, but considering how hyped it was, how could it be anything but? By the time the seventh issue landed, with its rushed art to meet the deadline, I couldn’t be happier to be done with this whole storyline.

Sometime after, author Greg Cox wrote a novelization of Infinite Crisis. Such an odd concept, isn’t it? A novelization of a comic book? It’s like the literary version of hearing a country singer covering a rock group’s hit song. I guess I shouldn’t talk, since years back, before I was even into comics in the first place, I read the novelization of Knightfall. Plus there’s the whole movie novelization thing I do for the sake of getting site hits.

I didn’t read Cox’s take on Infinite Crisis, but through chance, I discovered an interesting piece relating to it. A company called Graphic Audio had done a book on CD version of his take. That’s right, an audio book based on a book based on a graphic novel. What an insane concept. Too curious, I ordered the two sets and spent a couple weeks listening through them. Yes, weeks. The entire story is told with twelve discs over the course of thirteen hours. Thirteen hours to tell the story of seven issues.

Well, that’s not fair. It’s more than just the seven issues. Cox chose to cherry-pick tie-in issues to help pad out the story to differing success. This includes the end of Crisis of Conscience where Superboy Prime attacks Martian Manhunter, the Spectre vs. Shazam fight from the end of Day of Vengeance, the part of Gotham Central where Crispus Allen got killed, an issue of Aquaman and parts of the Rann/Thanagar War Special.

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