Mar 30, 2011

Five Things I Would Love to Not See for At Least Five Years in Comics

We all have things in our favorite hobbies that we'd all like to not see for a while, simply because there's been so much of it. If you're a basketball fan, you might not want to see the LA Lakers in this year's Finals, or see the Miami Heat, like, ever. If you're a wrestling fan, you might be sick of John Cena or TNA screwing everything up. If you watch Smallville, you may just want the show to end already. If you love poetry, maybe you're sick of way-too-experimental-that-no-one-but-the-poet-can-understand poetry.

Well, there are things I hate about comics too, and I'd be happy to not see them for, oh, at least the next five years. Here they are.


5. Self-reference



That panel is from THE ADVENTURES OF UNEMPLOYED MAN, which is an otherwise excellent satire on the current state of the world's economy, using superheroes. It's also really nicely drawn, and I really hope the artists (one of whom is Rick Veitch) get more steady work in the future.

But then there's that panel. That panel that says "Look at this, we're making fun of comics, while simultaneously showing that comics can depict something other than what it's stereotypically known to show. It's a way to make it show that comics can convey serious stuff." It's trying to be ironic. I get it.

Here's a panel from ASTERIOS POLYP, which every regular reader of the blog knows is one of my favorite comics of all time.


That's not a new trend. Here's a panel from an issue of PROMETHEA from earlier in the century. This is by Alan Moore.


All right, guys. I get it. I'm sick of the self-reference. Comics can say something serious. I know it, you know it; the world's been catching on. At this point, after all these years, it just looks defensive and reeks of trying too hard. Let's stop doing it now.

4. Metafiction

Metafiction is tied into self-reference, but I thought I would set it apart in the sense that self-reference just talks about one-off jokes and sequences in otherwise straightforward stories, while metafiction actually makes the story about comics, in some sort of allegorical way. It's been done for a long time, most notably back in the late 80s and early 90s, in Grant Morrison's ANIMAL MAN:


And it's been a frequent topic of many comics since then. It was even kind of subtly hidden in Neil Gaiman and Greg Capullo's ANGELA series in the mid-90s. You read this and tell me they're not talking about working for DC and Marvel.



The two most notorious culprits of this lately are the DC architects, Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns. Johns is responsible for Superboy-Prime's recent characterization, where he's a fanboy who bitches that the universe isn't the way he'd prefer it to be. In the final issue of FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF THREE WORLDS, there isn't even any subtlety to it whatsoever.


And of course, there's Grant Morrison's FINAL CRISIS, a story that even on its most superficial level you know has hidden meanings. And of course, they're about the comics industry.



My favorite anecdote about this is that a friend read FINAL CRISIS, got that it meant something more than what was directly on the page, and asked me what it was. When I explained it to him — my interpretation, the popular fan interpretation, and Morrison's own interpretation — his reaction simply was, "Huh. Okay. But what about people like me, who don't care about that stuff?" I didn't have an answer.

Enough already, guys. Let's just have straightforward stories.

3. Batman




There's always that one guy with each company who just shows up so goddamn much. For Marvel, it changes — there was Spider-Man, Wolverine, Deadpool, and the next guy — but for DC, it's been the same damn guy since 1989. In the 90s, Batman went through a series of big events. And then in the 2000s, he lay low for a while, and then 2006 happened, and now he's everywhere. Again. All the time. They even killed him and he was still everywhere, with something like three separate series dedicated to finding him. In November, DC Comics took 8 spots out of the top 10 (the other two belonged to NEW AVENGERS and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN). Five of those were BATMAN books, two of which were #1s. I'm glad that DC's method for succeeding is to flood the market with Batman. That'll sure promote variety and originality in the industry.

Seriously, I'd love to see Batman go away just for a few years. Just give us the time to miss him, damn it. See what else you're capable of in that time period. And then you can bring him back, and when you do, you have a larger bag of tricks.

2. Iron Man



Marvel has a different go-to guy every eight years or so when they want someone to be a cash cow. In the 80s, it was Spider-Man; in the 90s, Wolverine; and now you have either Deadpool or Iron Man. Iron Man makes this list because he just has so much more exposure. Also, he sucks as a character.

(Before anyone comments and says that someone created by Rob Liefeld can't be better than someone created by Stan Lee and Don Heck, I'm going to say that Deadpool was created by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, and Fabian Nicieza.)

Does anyone really think that Rob Liefeld
did something other than rip off Deathstroke?


1. Big events


I said it here, and I'll say it again. Big events cause event fatigue, alienating potential new readers and exhausting current ones. At the end of the day, you don't get complete stories and everything always has to lead to something else.

Give me the done-in-one stories and the occasional two- or three-issue story. Give me Dick Giordano's "There Is No Hope in Crime Alley," or Roger Stern and Ron Frenz's "The Kid Who Collected Spider-Man." Give me Len Wein and Ross Andru's "The Longest Hundred Yards," or give me a random two-parter from Mark Waid's run on THE FLASH. Give me George Perez and Jill Thompson's "Chalk Drawings." Give me any of James Robinson and Tony Harris' STARMAN "Talking With David" stories. Give me the freaking LAUGHING FISH.


Just, please, give me complete stories.

You might be wondering why I named two characters I've had enough of over the last few years in items 2 and 3, while I omitted Green Lantern (seemingly again on a list), when half of DC's output has revolved around him. The reason is simple. Ever since 2006, when they brought back Hal Jordan, I've actually wanted a string of solid and good Hal Jordan stories. Instead, I keep getting the continuation of a long-as-the-Great-Wall story, a good portion of which doesn't even focus on Hal Jordan. ENOUGH ALREADY. Give me a series of one-issue stories about Hal Jordan. Maybe they can all link together, like they used to, but don't give me eight issues of a special series with tie-ins that you need to get to get the full story, with other supplemental issues around the rest of the DC Universe, only to have the ending pretty much say "Buy the next big event." Stop it already.

Do away with the events. Just give me actual stories. With a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Comments? Let me know.

Mar 27, 2011

Rob Granito Is an Asshole

My mom came back from the US recently. While she was there, my old friend, Aviva, who is awesome, sent her a present that she had been meaning to give me for a long time. I received it recently, and while I have yet to read it, I'm glad that I finally have it.

Oh, what is it? Oh...


That's right. It's the COMPLETE CALVIN AND HOBBES, by Bill Watterson. Look. It says Bill Watterson on the spines of the books.

You know what it doesn't say on the spines of the books? Rob Granito.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, you say, "Who the hell is Rob Granito?"

Well, I'm going to point you to a couple of Bleeding Cool articles about Rob Granito, who is a gigantic fraud.

Among his many supposed credits, he's supposed to have worked on both CALVIN AND HOBBES and GARFIELD, a  combination that anyone who knows anything about CALVIN AND HOBBES (the most anti-commercial and solitary [in terms of its vision and execution] comic strip that has ever existed) and GARFIELD (just about the exact opposite) would know this was impossible.

But here he is, pretending and swiping people's works. And making money from it.

"But Duy, what do you mean 'swipe'?"

Well, here's a picture of this asshole:


And here's a cover of ADVENTURES IN THE DC UNIVERSE #1, by John Delaney and Ron Boyd.


Does that Wonder Woman look familiar?

Yes, yes it does. Because Rob Granito swiped it and made her cross-eyed.

That's another thing that sucks about it, is that he ABSOLUTELY SUCKS. This is his Luke Skywalker.


Of course, I found out about him through Ethan Van Sciver linking to this particular eBay sale.

And the thing is, I don't even think Granito did that stamp. He's just not that talented.

Granito showed up at Megacon this weekend and still continues to claim that he's worked in the comics industry when no one has ever heard of him prior to this.

Rob Granito is a fraud. Perhaps more importantly, Rob Granito is a giant asshole.

I've joined the anti-Granito group on Facebook. I suggest you do as well to send a message to this asshat.

Mar 24, 2011

Comics' Biggest Boners: Brola, Not Jack Kirby's Finest Creation

Welcome to the second edition of Comics' Biggest Boners, in which we showcase some of the biggest goofs and gaffes in comics! Click here for the archive!

And now, your host, 1950s Joker!


Another present from my mom from her recent trip to the States, where she used and abused Amazon.com, was JACK KIRBY'S FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS, which is, to sum it up in one word, incredible. I know that Jack Kirby created the Marvel Universe, and I'm not saying that the New Gods are better characters than Thor and Captain America and the Fantastic Four, but the creativity and the craft that he puts into the New Gods was so off-the-charts that I would actually call that time period, 1970s DC, prime Kirby.



Except for Brola.

In THE NEW GODS #2, Orion walks into an apartment and sees Darkseid. Darkseid is accompanied by an evil henchman named Brola, who wields a shock-prod and the "hand of stone." Here he is, using the shock-prod.


When Orion stops him from shocking him any further, he then uses his hand of stone.


In the next panel, we have a closeup of the hand of stone. Which just looks like a hand holding a brick. Permanently. Forever. It's not Jack Kirby's finest creation, but it had me in enough fits that I wanted to blog about it immediately.


But then the next panel happens, and I knew to blog about it right in this category, because when Orion gets the upper hand and throws Brola, all of a sudden, Brola's got TWO hands of stone!


Somehow this got past Jack, his inker Vince Colletta, and the editors, letterers, and colorists at the time!

Thanks to the people at DC Wikia and Collin David for the scans. Go read Kirby's Fourth World, folks. It's incredible.

Mar 21, 2011

Ask Duy: Create a JLA/Avengers Dream Team!

Over on the Cube's Facebook page, I asked people what topic they'd like me to talk about next. My brother jokingly suggested I talk about the NBA, since I've been playing NBA 2K11 a lot recently and any basketball fan in the world should play it and try that "MJ: Creating a Legend" mode where you control rookie Jordan. Rocky suggested that I do a JLA/Avengers dream team. It's hard to create such a dream team without any restrictions, so when I asked for restrictions, he said I should tie it in with my brother's NBA suggestion and create an analogue to the 1992 Dream Team, the only true Dream Team in history. In other words, I have to create a team from the JLA and the Avengers that could stand up to any foe, and I had to use these guys as a template for the membership:



And I thought this sounded fun. As a rule, I know the Dream Team is all men, but for any women reading the Cube right now, I had to put in at least one woman. I also had to use characters who had been members of the JLA and the Avengers in the past. So no Silver Surfers, for example. In other words, if they're not in this big cover by George Perez, I can't use them.



So let's get started.

IRON MAN as ISIAH THOMAS


I know what you're thinking. "Isiah Thomas? He wasn't on the Dream Team." That's right; he wasn't. Isiah Thomas was a great leader, a great shooter, and a dirty defender, never afraid to get more physical despite the fact that he was very undersized. He was also an unlikable character, and if you believe the stories, at least two members of the Dream Team went out of their way to ensure that he wouldn't make it in.

There are only two characters from DC or Marvel whom a higher-ranking member would actually ask to be kept off the team, and who are both great long-range attackers, defenders, and leaders. One of them is Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, who spent some time possessed by a yellow fear demon, and the other one is Iron Man, who just has a history of dickery. I don't think isiah Thomas was ever possessed by a yellow fear demon, so Tony Stark gets the unfortunate recognition as the big intentional omission.

(I realize that this makes it about the third article where I seem to be writing off Green Lantern, but he really does always get to be the guy who almost always makes a list and just doesn't. Seriously, no agenda there. I love the Lanterns.)

CAPTAIN AMERICA as MAGIC JOHNSON


Magic Johnson is the greatest point guard in the history of the NBA. Put it simply: that means he is the game's greatest tactician. He can surmise where everyone is at any given time, set the pace for his team, and set up attacks better than anyone ever could before or since. The only character in the history of both DC and Marvel who can fit that job description is Captain America, who as a soldier in World War II got all the tactical training he'd ever need. In fact, in the JLA/AVENGERS crossover, Captain America was almost unanimously elected to lead the two teams into the final battle. The one vote against him? His own.

Captain America would also have been a good pick for Michael Jordan, the NBA's greatest athlete and player, but no one else could have been Magic Johnson, and there's another suitable candidate for Jordan. In 1992, Michael Jordan deferred to Magic Johnson. I don't see Captain America deferring to anyone, ever.

SUPERMAN as DAVID ROBINSON


 David Robinson, "The Admiral," was the backup center for this team, meaning they didn't use him as much as maybe they should have. He was also the strongest center for his time (before Shaquille O'Neal showed up) and one of the most athletic (Hakeem Olajuwon was the other one, but he was Nigerian and therefore was not a member of the Dream Team), making him very versatile for his position. That kind of combination can only be filled out by the Man of Steel, who, aside from being the strongest character on either team, also has an array of other superpowers that he could use in the unlikely event that he runs into someone who's even stronger.


Being the backup center is even better: if there is any one member of this team I don't want to use unless I absolutely, totally have to, it's Superman.


David Robinson is also known as one of the nicest people to ever step foot on a basketball court, and that just supports the case for his being Superman that much more.


HAWKEYE as LARRY BIRD


Larry Bird is the greatest shooter, ever, in the history of the NBA. He also works well in the low post and can scrap physically if he had to.

Clint Barton, Hawkeye, is the greatest shooter, ever, in the history of the Avengers. And if we put him up against the greatest shooter, ever, in the history of the Justice League, Hawkeye's been trained by Captain America in hand-to-hand fighting, while Green Arrow is an unbearable windbag.

Of all the people I had to pick, this was the easiest choice.

THE MIGHTY THOR as PATRICK EWING


Patrick Ewing, like David Robinson, is strong and versatile, though not as much as the Admiral. He is, however, more experienced, more rugged, and generally tougher, willing to pick fights if he had to. The guy who fits that description is the Mighty Thor of the Avengers, and it does make sense to start off an attack with him with Captain America as the team's tactician, since the two are teammates of the highest caliber.

THE FLASH as JOHN STOCKTON



John Stockton had two tricks: he passes really, really well, setting up his teammates for better opportunities to attack, and he can also intercept the ball and swipe at it with lightning quickness, which is how he became the NBA's all-time leader in assists and steals.

To be able to set up teammates for attacks, you have to be able to survey the situation immediately in the span of a microsecond. To be able to anticipate what the enemies are going to do next, you need lighting quickness and sharp reflexes.

Given that criteria, John Stockton can only be the Flash. We'll make it Wally West just because I like him better than Barry Allen, and because he works much better with my next pick.

SHE-HULK as KARL MALONE



Karl Malone was the backup power forward, whose entire game was based around just that: power. He and John Stockton were one of the greatest duos in history.
 
I originally had Wonder Woman on here, because she is Wonder Woman, but ultimately I went with She-Hulk. Because although She-Hulk and Wally West have never interacted, to the best of my knowledge, can you imagine the dialogue between these two when they're working together? I would pay to read that. That would be so fun. Get Dan Slott on that crossover, tooto pronto.

THE HUNTRESS as CHRIS MULLIN



Chris Mullin is a guy whose membership in the Dream Team was questionable at best. He was often compared to Larry Bird, but in the NBA, he had an attitude problem and was just not as good.

The Huntress is a character whose JLA membership is solely due to her connections, specifically because she has an attitude problem and is not as good as Hawkeye.

For anyone complaining that this team has more DC characters than Marvel characters, keep in mind that this is one of the selections.

CAPTAIN MARVEL as CHRISTIAN LAETTNER


Christian Laettner, a center, played backup to David Robinson and Patrick Ewing. Thus, whoever took this spot has to play backup to Thor and Superman. Captain Marvel's power set fits that bill.

More importantly, Christian Laettner was the best college basketball player of his time, and then went on to the NBA where he pretty much fumbled into mediocrity. Doesn't that sound a lot like being the most successful comic book character ever, then being bought by DC Comics, who then proceeded to pound you into mediocrity?

Again, for anyone complaining about this team having more DC than Marvel characters, keep in mind that this was one of the selections.

THE MARTIAN MANHUNTER as SCOTTIE PIPPEN 



Scottie Pippen is the greatest all-around player in the history of basketball. He could play every position on the court and is also, in the entire dream team, the second-best tactician next to Magic Johnson. He had no weaknesses to his game, and even if he wasn't the best at any one particular thing, he was the best at having all of the necessary things put together in one package.

J'onn J'onnz is the most versatile member of either the JLA or the Avengers, able to do — well, anything. He's also got an incredible tactical mind, and even Batman defers to him when it comes to planning.

When you want to replace anyone on the basketball court, you can look to Scottie Pippen. When you want to replace anyone in the JLA or the Avengers, you can look to the Martian Manhunter.

As an aside, does anyone else feel that the Martian Manhunter was created by a five-year-old? "Um, um, he can fly, he's really strong, he can do everything that Superman can, he can change shape, he can read minds, and um, he's scared of fire."

THE THING as CHARLES BARKLEY


Charles Barkley was the starting power forward for the Dream Team, so anyone who represented him on the JLA/Avengers dream team would have to be strong as well. But let's not kid ourselves: the true value of Charles Barkley is not in his style of play, but in his personality. Charles Barkley is hot-tempered, entertaining, takes no gruff from anyone, and is funny as all hell.

Given all that, the only character who could be Charles Barkley is Ben Grimm, the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing.

NIGHTWING as CLYDE DREXLER



Clyde Drexler was the Dream Team's backup shooting guard, meaning he would come in to replace Michael Jordan. Drexler could do everything Jordan could do; he just wasn't as driven, and by all accounts, he was a nicer guy off the court than Michael was. But he was an excellent sharpshooter, he could lead, and he was almost always the man on his team.

Nightwing fits that bill perfectly, being the man on the Teen Titans and coming into the JLA to replace Batman only when he's sorely needed.

BATMAN as MICHAEL JORDAN


Were you expecting anyone else? Michael Jordan is the greatest and most dominant player in the history of basketball. More than his training and conditioning, he and his teammates credit his mental toughness and his will to win. For Michael Jordan, basketball was life, and everything else was secondary. The only thing more important was winning.

Although you could make the case for Captain America as the better athlete and fighter, we (1) need Captain America to be Magic Johnson, and (2) need to recognize that Batman is just so much more driven than Cap is, more obsessed, and takes it harder on himself whenever he even comes close to losing.

How could this have been anyone else?

There it is. The NBA/JLA Avengers Dream Team! Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

Mar 17, 2011

Escher in Comics: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #655

Welcome to another installment of Escher in Comics, in which we take a look at how some comics use MC Escher's artistic techniques! Click here for the archive!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #655 by Dan Slott and Marcos Martin came out a couple of weeks ago, and thus far it's been the best comic book of 2011. Artistically, it's filled with so many comics techniques and tricks that make people like me giddy to be a comics fan, which I'm sure to be covering in that feature over the next year.



One of those tricks places us in the wonderful Escher category. In a dream sequence, Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man, chases the long-lost love of his life, Gwen Stacy, across buildings and into a sea of people who have died on his watch (including the Scarlet Spider, making this the first time Marcos Martin has drawn Ben Reilly):

This image was taken from this review.

With the shifting centers of gravity, that two-page spread is clearly Escher-inspired, and since I already used Relativity in this post, I'll show you Convex and Concave instead.

I took this one from here.

Marcos Martin is an artistic genius.

This story can be found in:

Mar 10, 2011

Why Green Lantern Isn't As Important As You Might Think He Is

Welcome to a new installment of Reclaiming History, an ongoing series where the Comics Cube! tries to balance out what the history books say and what actually happened! Click here for the archive!

So there's been a lot of talk lately about Green Lantern, mainly because Ryan Reynolds is playing him in a movie. Green Lantern is also the hottest character in comics right now, being the central character in the last big DC event, BLACKEST NIGHT. And of course, since he's GREEN LANTERN, he sounds like a very important character. What you may not realize is that he's not as important as you probably think he is.

To be clear, we're talking about Hal Jordan and not any other Green Lantern:


Hal Jordan is arguably the most popular Green Lantern, and after the movie with Ryan Reynolds comes out this year, he will inarguably be the most popular Green Lantern.

For the uninitiated, Hal Jordan was created in October 1959, the beginning of the Silver Age of Comics. He was part of the resurgence of superheroes of that time, was made a founding and central member of the Justice League. He also starred in some of the most historically important stories in comics, like this one by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams:


Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, is a cultural icon. But how big is he as a cultural icon?

One of the important things to remember is that Hal Jordan was not the first Green Lantern. That would have to be my man, Alan Scott, created by Bill Finger and Martin Nodell, from the Golden Age of Comics.


Hal Jordan was created to utilize the name "Green Lantern" at a time when Alan Scott as a character was no longer being published. They were doing this because four years before he even debuted, DC relaunched a new character based on the original Flash:


And they gave us Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash, the character who would be credited as being the one who ushered in the Silver Age of Comics. In fact, this cover is known across many comics historians' circles as the one that launched the Silver Age:


So in that sense, Hal Jordan was not a trailblazer by any means.


He would then be a founding member of the Justice League of America! Truly an honored collection of superheroes. A cursory glance at them would say that, truly, being a founding member of the Justice League places you in the elite. But that's where history plays with you. We say that now, in hindsight. But can we look at the members of the Justice League when it was founded?


Not only are Superman and Batman SO downplayed so as to emphasize the less popular characters that they don't even appear on the cover, but there are two characters in this cover who never even had a comic of their own until AFTER they were longtime members of the JLA. In fact, both Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter were back-up features for different magazines prior to this, and this is actually Aquaman's FIRST COVER APPEARANCE EVER in what was then almost twenty years of existence. Historically speaking, Green Lantern is the third most important character on this cover (anyone who tries to downplay Wonder Woman's significance in history is a sexist). Factor in the other two founders, and he's bumped down to number 5. And the only thing he has over the other two? The fact that he had his own magazine. Nothing of historical note or importance. He just had his own magazine.

And that magazine was not even considered all that successful, because over ten years and 75 issues later, sales on GREEN LANTERN were dropping, that it was given a whole new "socially relevant" direction by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams:


In this series, Green Lantern was given the personality of an obedient cop, while Green Arrow is the liberal, socially-minded hippie who questions every order. And in fact, in these stories, it's Green Arrow who is the driving force behind the story. I hesitate to say it, because I can't stand Oliver Queen as a character, but the guy who really carried these stories in terms of instigating action and reaction was Green Arrow.



The Green Lantern name did play into something historically important and socially relevant during the O'Neil/Adams era: the introduction of John Stewart, the first prominent black superhero without the word "black" in his name (the Black Panther was the first prominent black superhero), and the first prominent African-American superhero, period:


In fact, it could be easily argued that in terms of social relevance, John Stewart far outweighs Hal Jordan — but we'll get to that.

The O'Neil/Adams run was critically acclaimed but was still not financially successful. And pretty soon, Hal Jordan was a back-up feature in — you guessed it — THE FLASH. He would come back years later with another magazine, still at first featuring Green Arrow then switching to focusing on the Green Lantern Corps — meaning that sometimes Hal Jordan wouldn't even show up — and was one of the superheroes on the SUPER FRIENDS, which surely means that Green Lantern is one of the most important cultural icons ever, what with its membership being composed of Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, and other icons.


On second thought, with some of those "icons" being Black Vulcan, Apache Chief, Samurai, and the Wonder Twins, this logic might not work. I would even argue that the fifth biggest star on this show was Aquaman, and only because he pretty much became a joke due to this show.

When DC Comics hit its 50th Anniversary in 1986, they decided to do a big companywide event. You may have heard of it. It's called CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. It was, among other things, a celebration of DC's history, and it had a lot of the characters from DC's catalog, from Anthro, the first boy, to Kamandi, the last. The most prominent guy not in it? Hal Jordan.

Look, here's the cover of the Absolute Edition. (I have this on my wall.) It has every character who starred in Crisis. It's by George Perez and Alex Ross. You'll find a ton of Green Lanterns in there — including John Stewart and Alan Scott. But you won't find Hal Jordan.

Be warned. This is huge. Click to embiggen.


I should point out that the big climax for this story is the death of Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash. The symbolism is that this is a new beginning for DC, as we kill off the symbol of the Silver Age. Barry Allen gets that kind of focus, as he is that important a symbol, and Hal Jordan doesn't get a single appearance — nor once is even mentioned by name. (He's referred to indirectly in a conversation between Alan Scott and John Stewart.)


In the 90s, Hal Jordan was brought back again, and they tried making him relevant, by giving him — GASP — graying temples! I'm unsure of the philosophy behind that boneheaded move, but when that didn't work, they turned him into the EVIL PARALLAX!


The Green Lantern ring was then given to a new character, artist Kyle Rayner, who more fit the Spider-Man template of a relatable, down-to-earth superhero than anything DC was more known for.


Around this time, Hal Jordan was responsible for the closest thing you could say was historically important. A fan club called "Hal's Emerald Advancement Team" or HEAT was formed, all for the sole reason of reinstating Hal Jordan as Green Lantern. While this may seem like the ultimate act of desperate fanboyism that has given comic books its stigma, HEAT did do some good things, such as offer a scholarship in the name of Gil Kane. But still, so far, this is as close as it gets to Hal Jordan actually being relevant to comics history in a major way.

In fact, let's look at the way a couple of generations just view the DC Universe: via the Paul Dini/Bruce Timm/Alan Burnett animated series. In the SUPERMAN show, one Green Lantern shows up. That Green Lantern has a similar origin to Hal and has brown hair like Hal, but he's an artist, and his name? Kyle Rayner.


More significantly, in the JUSTICE LEAGUE/JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED series, Green Lantern had a very very prominent role, being a key figure in many key episodes. That Green Lantern, however? John Stewart.


This is actually how an entire generation views the Green Lantern. Google "Isn't Green Lantern black" and you'll see a bunch of discussions from people who are confused as to why a white guy is playing Green Lantern. Like I said, it could easily be argued that in terms of history and relevance, John Stewart is more important than Hal Jordan.

Hal Jordan was killed, revived, then turned good again by Geoff Johns in 2005. Since then, his profile's constantly risen, and he's been the central figure of the DC Universe, most notably in BLACKEST NIGHT.


Given all that and with a new movie coming out, this is the most historically important Hal Jordan has ever been.

Of course, when you look at the fact that Hal's latest movie is just the latest in a trend and just how many people are actually reading comics today (not a lot, if there is still a good amount of the population wondering why Green Lantern isn't black), I think "the most historically important Hal Jordan has ever been" still amounts to maybe a page in the unwritten book of complete comics history.


These Hal Jordan stories are really good, though:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...