Greetings, Maniacs! It’s time once again for Comicscape: a weekly collection of four-color rants, ramblings and raves culled from the deepest, darkest recesses of a mind that functions less like a steel trap and more like a spinner rack. As usual, the contents have been bagged and boarded, but they are not code-approved.
For today’s edition of Comicscape, I thought we’d take a moment to shine a spotlight on the current golden boy of the DC Universe: Green Lantern. He’s the star of a top selling comic book and the focal point of possibly the most anticipated event of 2009, Blackest Night. He’ll also be leading his very own Justice League later this year and to top it all off, he’s got an animated feature on the way as well as a feature film. It’s enough to make the rest of the heroes green with envy.
There was a Green Lantern back in the 1940’s who also wore a ring and fought crime, but we’re not talking about Alan Scott today. Not for any lack of awesomeness, but simply because he isn’t the guy who’s going to be in the movies and the crossovers and all that. That’s Hal Jordan.
But Alan Scott was a popular character in his day and still fights the good fight as a member of the Justice Society of America. He’s still slingin’ the ring and he’s still wearing a costume that doesn’t feature nearly as much green as you’d think it should. Not that a purple cape and red satin pirate shirt aren’t the height of fashion or anything; but you’d think that a guy with the word “green” in his name would put a little more emphasis on the color when picking out a costume. Whatever. You’re cool in my book, Alan Scott.
Three years after the Flash kicked off the Silver Age, DC did another revamp with the Hal Jordan version of Green Lantern, who first appeared in Showcase #22 (1959). This Lantern was more of a sci-fi hero and less magic based than his predecessor and he’s pretty much the GL that comic fans and non-comic readers are most familiar with. He wasn’t just some random hero who got his powers through a freak accident either; he was a member of the Green Lantern Corps, sort of an intergalactic police man. It’s a pretty cool idea that takes him out of the realm of the simple superhero and into a much larger world.
He also has a super-sweet costume. So sweet, in fact, that I’d go so far as to call it downright iconic. Much like the look of the Silver Age Flash, it is a costume so sweet, it’s barely been changed over the years. Both heroes have been subject to minor updates and revamps from time to time but their basic looks have been altered very little since their creation. Here’s a lesson to up-and-coming heroes: gloves that don’t match your boots = awesome. I’m serious. I remember being a kid and seeing Flash and Green Lantern on The Superfriends and being shocked that their gloves and boots weren’t the same color. It seemed like the Batman-style look of matching boots, gloves and underwear was the standard, so seeing a guy with white gloves and green boots… it blew my mind. And those white gloves still look awesome to this day.
And let’s not forget the fact that Donovan mentioned him in “Sunshine Superman” back in ’66. Green Lantern might be cool, but he’s got nothin’ on Donovan.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to pay homage to two of my favorite artists in the history of comics, both of whom worked on Green Lantern at some point: Gil Kane and Neal Adams.
Gil Kane… my god. I can’t remember what year it was, but I met him a long time ago at the Motor City Comic Con, probably not too terribly long before he died. At the time, I knew I liked his work and that he was well respected, but I didn’t really understand just how far-reaching his awesomeness was. I remember that he seemed really fragile and his hands were shaky when he signed that old Spider-Man comic I’d brought with me. Now here I am in 2009 wishing I could go back and thank him for being such a freakin’ fantastic artist. Gil Kane drew the first 75 issues of Green Lantern and his sleek and streamlined style still excites me every time I see it.
And then there’s Neal Adams. Now, Neal was working on the book with Denny O’Neil during the Green Lantern/Green Arrow “Hard Traveling Heroes” era when the book took on a lot more social relevance. No more little blue aliens; the topics of these thought-provoking comics were environmentalism, drug abuse and racism, with Green Lantern playing the conservative lawman and Green Arrow cast as the liberal iconoclast. It’s a bit dated by today’s standard and quite heavy-handed, but I’d still call ‘em must reads for superhero fans.
Anyway, back to Neal Adams. I know that he’s probably better known for his work on Batman as well as his advocacy of creator rights and the expanding-earth theory, but Neal’s work on Green Lantern is pretty spiffy as well. I guess “dynamic” might be a good word to describe his work, as it seems to pop right off the page. Take a look at some ‘70s Neal Adams pages and it isn’t hard to see that his influence is still being felt today.
Oh yeah, Green Lantern. I’ve always found the character to be pretty cool, but I’ve never really been what you’d call a fan. Obviously, he had a fantastic power (well, power ring) and any time he appeared in a comic or cartoon, I was impressed; but I could probably count the number of Green Lantern comics I’d purchased prior to 2008 on one hand. As usual, Geoff Johns changed all that with his uncanny ability to reintroduce Silver Age elements to a character while modernizing him at the same time.
Prior to Green Lantern: Rebirth, I was one of those guys opposed to bringing a dead hero back from the grave. Especially a square like Hal Jordan. Especially since I thought that the Emerald Twilight story was kind of cool. I liked the idea that a hero could turn bad after facing a tragedy like the destruction of Coast City. Oh well. Luckily for us, I was outvoted and Hal Jordan returned. I read the first few issues of the Green Lantern comic, liked ‘em quite a bit, but still never picked up another issue until a few years later with the Sinestro Corps War – which, I am embarrassed to say, I didn’t even read until it had wrapped. And now here I am, loving every minute of green goodness and reading both the main title and even Green Lantern Corps every month.
To be honest with you, I thought the notion of anything other than green and yellow Lanterns was kind of lame at first. A Sinestro Corps was genius and one of those things that seemed so obvious that it was shocking to me that no one had thought of it earlier. But a rainbow of Lanterns? It sounded like something a 7-year-old would come up with. “That sounds like a terrible idea!” I said. Once again, I was outvoted and once again I was proven wrong. Have you been reading Green Lantern lately? It may very well be DC’s best book and one of the best comics on the stands right now. People dog Dan DiDio all the time, but you’d better thank your lucky stars I’m not in charge of DC, because the decisions I’d make would make DiDio look like Stan Lee circa 1964.
The notion of the emotional spectrum and the manner in which it has been handled is nothing short of brilliant. If green is willpower and yellow is fear, then of course red would be anger and blue would be hope. Once again, it seems like an idea that is so obvious I can’t believe no one else has thought of it before. It’s been right there in front of our faces this whole time.
And now Blackest Night looms on the horizon. I’ve been suffering from “event fatigue” for a long time now and didn’t even bother with Final Crisis (which, from what I’ve heard, was a wise decision), but I can’t express to you how excited I am about this one. It’s supposed to be a Green Lantern epic, but with all the Origins & Omens backup features we’ve seen in recent DC Comics, it would seem that this one is going to affect more than just the Corps.
And then what? Well, fans who picked up the Wonder Woman animated feature no doubt watched the preview for the Green Lantern animated film that will be hitting shelves on July 28, 2009. And Warner Brothers has announced that Green Lantern will be the next DC hero to get the big budget movie treatment. Shooting starts in September and rumors are flying about Chris Pine, who we’ll soon see as Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek reboot, being offered the role of Hal Jordan.
We have the technology to make a Green Lantern movie look nothing short of amazing. Even if the script sucks, it will likely be one of the coolest visual experiences in recent years. Writers and directors (should, by now) have the know-how to craft a great superhero story that will appeal to long-time fans and newbies alike. This movie has the potential to be the next Iron Man, raking in tons of money and appealing to fans on both sides of the fence.
If all goes well, 2009 will be Green Lantern’s year in the realm of comics and he’ll dominate the silver screen in 2010. I’m looking forward to it.
Hey, I like artwork and so do you. Comic books degrade and eventually fall apart. So does the human body. Here’s some sweet comic book tattoos.
And that’s it until next week! Stay tuned for The Spinner Rack!
By Ben Johnson and Chad “The Chadster” Derdowski
AMAZE INK/SLAVE LABOR GRAPHICS
Stitch GN, $10.95
Chad: One of these in time saves nine.
Ubu Bubu #4, $3.50
Chad: Good dog.
Walking Tour Of The Shambles SC (New Printing), $15.00
Ben: Really? Mine always involved (very) hot fudge, butter, a car battery, and a vhs copy of Titanic.
AP How To Draw Shoujo Pocket Manga TP Vol 1, $14.95
Ben: Now that I think about it, there was a live king crab included in that as well.
Super Human Resources #2 (of 4), $3.50
Ben: Toby to the rescue!
Anna Mercury HC Vol 1 The Cutter, $27.99
Crossed #4 (of 9), $3.99
Ben: This is really the most twisted comic I’ve ever seen.
Crossed #4 (of 9)(Incentive Red Crossed Cover), AR
Crossed #4 (of 9)(Wrap Cover), $3.99
Doktor Sleepless #11 (Incentive Future Warning Sign Cover)(Release not confirmed by Diamond Distribution), AR
Night Of The Living Dead New York (One Shot)(Platinum Foil Cover)(Release not confirmed by Diamond Distribution), AR
Ben: If you didn’t read this last week, don’t ever. Talk about destroying source material.
No Hero #1 (No Justice Cover)(Release not confirmed by Diamond Distribution), $5.99
No Hero #3 (Auxiliary Edition)(Release not confirmed by Diamond Distribution), $3.99
Futurama Comics #42, $2.99
Simpsons Comics TP Vol 17 Hit The Road, $15.95
Caped #1 (of 4), $3.99
Hero Squared Love & Death #2 (of 3), $3.99
Incredibles Family Matters #1 (of 4)(Cover A Mr Incredible), $2.99
Incredibles Family Matters #1 (of 4)(Cover B Elastigirl), $2.99
Incredibles Family Matters #1 (of 4)(Cover C Frozone & Jack-Jack), $2.99
Incredibles Family Matters #1 (of 4)(Cover D Dash & Violet), $2.99
Incredibles Family Matters #1 (of 4)(Variant Incentive Cover), AR
Ben: WTF? Five covers for a kid’s book? Just for that I’m going to stuff copies of Crossed in every one of these I find.
Muppet Show #1 (of 4)(Cover A), $2.99
Muppet Show #1 (of 4)(Cover B), $2.99
Tarot Witch Of The Black Rose #55, $2.95
Ben: This is the worst comic ever.
Berserk TP Vol 28, $13.95
Conan the Cimmerian #9, $2.99
Indiana Jones And The Tomb Of The Gods #4 (of 4), $2.99
Star Wars Legacy #34 (Storms Part 1 of 2), $2.99
Umbrella Academy Dallas #5 (of 6), $2.99
Ben: Who knew emo could not suck this much?
Usagi Yojimbo #119, $3.50
Vampire Hunter D Novel Vol 12 Pale Fallen Angel Parts 3 & 4, $14.95
Batman Battle for the Cowl Commissioner Gordon (One Shot), $2.99
Ben: Yeah… Right through the heart! Amirite?
Batman Gotham After Midnight #11 (of 12), $2.99
Batman The Brave And The Bold #3, $2.50
Brave And The Bold HC Vol 3 Demons And Dragons, $24.99
Cartoon Network Block Party #55, $2.50
Checkmate Chimera TP, $17.99
Flash Archives HC Vol 5, $49.99
Ben: I was stoked until I found out it was just guys.
Gears Of War #5 (Brandon Badeaux Regular Cover), $3.99
Gears of War #5 (Variant Cover), AR
Jack Of Fables #32, $2.99
Justice League Of America #31, $2.99
Madame Xanadu #9, $2.99
March On Earth TP Vol 1, $9.99
Ben: I prefer April on the moon.
Oracle #1 (of 3)(Batman Battle For The Cowl Tie-In), $2.99
Penguin Revolution TP Vol 7, $9.99
Planetary #1 (Special Edition), $1.00
Resistance #4 (of 6), $3.99
Ben: As in: We the Resistance refuse to spend $3.99 on a comic book?
Secret History Of The Authority Hawksmoor TP, $19.99
Showcase Presents Ambush Bug TP Vol 1, $16.99
Superman #686, $2.99
Superman Batman TP Vol 5 Enemies Among Us, $12.99
Top 10 Special #1, $2.99
Ben: With just a hint of ammonia.
Trinity #43, $2.99
Unknown Soldier #6, $2.99
War That Time Forgot #11 (of 12), $2.99
Wildcats #9, $2.99
Wonder Woman #30 (Aaron Lopresti Regular Cover), $2.99
Wonder Woman #30 (Eric Shanower Variant Cover), AR
A Murder Of Scarecrows GN (Release not confirmed by Diamond Distribution), $9.99
Ben: And that little dog, too!
DEVILS DUE PUBLISHING
Hack Slash Series #21 (Cover A Greg Titus), $3.50
Hack Slash Series #21 (Cover B Joel Humberto Herrera), $3.50
Mercy Sparx #3 (Cover A Matt Merhoff), $3.50
Mercy Sparx #3 (Cover B Josh Blaylock), $3.50
Spooks TP Vol 2 Omega Team, $18.99
Battlestar Galactica Cylon War #3 (of 4)(Nigel Raynor Regular Cover), $3.99
Battlestar Galactica Cylon War #3 (of 4)(Stephen Segovia Regular Cover), $3.99
Death Defying Devil #4 (Alex Ross Regular Cover), $3.50
Death Defying Devil #4 (John Cassaday Regular Cover), $3.50
Death Defying Devil #4 (Edgar Salazar Variant Cover), AR
Death Defying Devil #4 (Alex Ross Negative Art Incentive Variant Cover), AR
Garth Ennis Battlefields Dear Billy #3, $3.50
Desperadoes TP Omnibus, $24.99
GI Joe Origins #2 (Cover A), $3.99
Ben: The first one was actually really kick ass! And I hate G.I. Joe.
GI Joe Origins #2 (Cover B), $3.99
GI Joe Origins #2 (Andrea DiVito Incentive Virgin Cover), AR
Life And Times Of Savior 28 #1 (Sal Buscema Incentive Variant Cover)(Release not confirmed by Diamond Distribution), AR
Michael Recycle Meets Litterbug Doug HC, $15.99
Spaghetti Bros HC Vol 3, $24.99
Star Trek Alien Spotlight Tribbles (Mike Hawthorne Cover), $3.99
Star Trek Alien Spotlight Tribbles (Photo Cover), $3.99
Star Trek Missions End #1 (Cover A), $3.99
Star Trek Missions End #1 (Cover B), $3.99
Star Trek The Next Generation Last Generation #5 (Cover A), $3.99
Star Trek The Next Generation Last Generation #5 (Cover B), $3.99
Terminator Salvation Movie Prequel #3 (of 4)(Nick Runge Regular Cover), $3.99
Terminator Salvation Movie Prequel #3 (of 4)(Klaus Scherwinski Incentive Variant Cover), AR
Transformers All Hail Megatron #9 (Casey Coller Regular Cover), $3.99
Transformers All Hail Megatron #9 (Trevor Hutchison Regular Cover), $3.99
Transformers All Hail Megatron #9 (Don Perlin Incentive Variant Cover), AR
Transformers Beast Wars Omnibus TP, $24.99
Transformers Revenge Of The Fallen Movie Prequel Alliance #4 (Alex Milne Cover), $3.99
Transformers Revenge Of The Fallen Movie Prequel Alliance #4 (Josh Nizzi Cover), $3.99
Ben: It looks like $3.99 is here to stay. Why don’t they offer digital copies for a reasonable price? I know they aren’t for everyone, but $3.99 isn’t for anyone.
Amber Atoms #2, $3.50
American Jesus TP Vol 1 Chosen, $9.99
Ben: Stay away from me-e. American Jesus, mamma let me be-e.
Darkness #76 (Cover A Frazer Irving), $2.99
Darkness #76 (Cover B Josh Medors), $2.99
Elephantmen #17 (resolicited), $3.50
McFarlanes Sports NBA 2009 Wave 1 Action Figure Assortment, AR
Proof #18, $3.50
Spawn #190, $2.95
Ted Mckeever Library HC Vol 3 Metropol, $39.99
Youngblood #8 (2nd Printing)(Release not confirmed by Diamond Distribution), $2.99
Amazing Spider-Man #589, $2.99
Avengers Initiative Featuring Reptil #1, $3.99
Avengers Premiere HC Hawkeye, $24.99
Avengers Premiere HC Hawkeye (Direct Market Variant Edition Vol 22), $24.99
Captain America #48, $2.99
Daredevil #117, $2.99
Daredevil TP Lady Bullseye, $14.99
Ben: He’s wiping the scum out of Hell’s Kitchen.
Dark Avengers #2 (Mike Deodato Second Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Dark Reign Elektra #1 (of 5)(Lee Bermejo Regular Cover), $3.99
Dark Reign Elektra #1 (of 5)(Clay Mann Variant Cover), AR
Fantastic Four #565, $2.99
Guardians Of The Galaxy #12, $2.99
Guardians Of The Galaxy TP Vol 1 Legacy, $16.99
Hulk Skaar Son Of Hulk Premiere HC Vol 1, $29.99
Immortal Iron Fist #24, $2.99
Immortal Iron Fist Premiere HC Vol 4 The Mortal Iron Fist, $19.99
Incredible Hercules #127 (Dark Reign Tie-In), $2.99
Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four #46, $2.99
Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four TP Vol 11 Doomed If You Dont Digest, $9.99
Marvel Adventures Two-In-One #21, $4.99
Marvel Masterworks X-Men TP Vol 1, $24.99
Marvel Masterworks X-Men TP Vol 1 (Direct Market Variant Edition Vol 3), $24.99
Mighty Avengers #23 (Dark Reign Tie-In), $2.99
Ms Marvel #37 (Dark Reign Tie-In), $2.99
Ms Marvel TP Vol 5 Secret Invasion, $14.99
Ms Marvel TP Vol 5 Secret Invasion (Direct Market Edition), $14.99
New Avengers #49 (Billy Tan Second Printing Variant Cover)(Dark Reign Tie-In), $3.99
New Avengers #51 (Billy Tan Regular Cover)(Dark Reign Tie-In), $3.99
New Avengers #51 (Chris Bachalo Variant Cover)(Dark Reign Tie-In), AR
Nova #23 (War Of Kings Tie-In), $2.99
Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe A To Z Premiere HC Vol 7, $24.99
Punisher #2 (Jerome Opena Second Printing Variant)(Dark Reign Tie-In), $2.99
Runaways 3 #8, $2.99
Secret Invasion Chronicles #1 (of 9), $5.99
Secret Invasion TP Amazing Spider-Man, $14.99
Secret Invasion TP Thor, $14.99
Skaar Son Of Hulk #9, $2.99
Squadron Supreme 2 #9, $2.99
Thunderbolts #130 (Francesco "Matt" Mattina Regular Cover)(Dark Reign Tie-In)(Magnum Opus Part 2), $2.99
Ben: Completely not enjoying this at all, and including Deadpool in a crossover doesn’t help.
Thunderbolts #130 (Clint Langley Variant Cover)(Dark Reign Tie-In)(Magnum Opus Part 2), AR
Ultimate Spider-Man Premiere HC Power & Responsibility, $24.99
War Machine #2 (Leonardo Manco Second Printing Variant)(Dark Reign Tie-In), $2.99
War Machine #4 (Dark Reign Tie-In), $2.99
War Of Kings Darkhawk #2 (of 2), $3.99
Chad: $3.99 is bad enough but now they expect us to pay $3.99 for a book starring Darkhawk?!?!
Wolverine First Class #13, $2.99
Wolverine Saga, AR
X-Force Cable Messiah War Prologue (One Shot)(Kaare Andrews Regular Cover)(Messiah War Tie-In), $3.99
X-Force Cable Messiah War Prologue (One Shot)(Mike Choi & Sonia Oback 50/50 Cover)(Messiah War Tie-In), AR
X-Force Cable Messiah War Prologue (One Shot)(Rob Liefeld Variant Cover)(Messiah War Tie-In), AR
X-Infernus #4 (of 4)(David Finch Cover), $3.99
X-Infernus #4 (of 4)(Travis Charest Cover), $3.99
X-Men Kingbreaker #4 (of 4)(War Of Kings Tie-In), $3.99
X-Men Sword Of Braddocks (One Shot), $3.99
X-Men Times and Life of Lucas Bishop #2 (of 3), $3.99
Phantom Ghost Who Walks #1 (Cover A -Joe Corroney Cover), $3.99
Phantom Ghost Who Walks #1 (Cover B - Vivek Goel Cover), $3.99
Phantom Ghost Who Walks #1 (Cover C - Sy Barry Cover), $3.99
Phantom Ghost Who Walks #1 (Sy Barry Limited Edition Virgin Inked Cover), $8.99
Ben: And pulls off purple like a champ!