Hello all. Welcome back to the snarky synopsis. As you may or may not know, I was busy finishing the latest issue of The Samurnauts (my own book, which I’d review, but hell, I’m sure I’d tear it apart…). Well, that’s all behind me. It’s time I get back to the piss and vinegar, eh? Luckily I’m writing this while listening to Clint Eastwood yammer and stammer through his insults against our sitting President. Yeah, this is getting me nice and angry. Well, I better let my hatespew out quick before I hurl my emergency brick through my TV.
Today on the DCU blog, they posted an ‘article’ entitled “5.2 Reasons to Love the Green Lantern Universe. After reading this marshmallow fluff piece, I could not help quell the bile rising in my throat. This is the worst kind of pandering jerk off writing DC is passing to it’s fans? Well allow me to refute every last point they bring up, in light of the Green Lantern Annual issue that hit stands this past week.
DC starts their article celebrating the newest member of the GL corps… the not-terrorist Baz. He will supposedly be taking Hal’s spot on Earth. We can assume Guy and John will be busy not selling as many issues over in Corps. In case you’ve not seen him yet, Baz wears a GL ski mask, has an Arabic tattoo, and brandishing a pistol. Ooooh. How edgy! Call me skeptical, but if ‘Baz’ is around 5 years from now and Hal (SPOILER ALERT) is still dead (again.) (no seriously, he died again.)? Well, you’re welcome to kick me in the funny bag, and call me Shirley. New Characters? Sure. At the expense of having to write deeply about the existing ones you already have Geoff. Green Lantern, unlike ANY other grouping in any other major comic publisher has truly embraced the ideology of legacy. But it never seems to be done in the name of good storytelling as much as it’s been used as a crutch for lethargy.
DC continues their circle jerk by celebrating the diverse litany of GL’s that have graced the pulp and paper. I’m almost ready to step aside on this one. They’re right. Like I said above, GL is the ONLY series that likes to add to it’s mythology and cast. And for the most part? It’s been done well. But here’s the rub; the cake is a lie. For all the rich casting in the lanternverse, only Hal seems to ever be the lynchpin. And if not him, then Guy, or Kyle, or John. GL Corps has been a series now for 5+ years. And in that time, I can’t count on a single hand the times a book has focused on any other GL aside from the Earthlings. Everyone plays second fiddle the humans in GL, and frankly, it’s not necessary. Ask Mogo.
Where do I even begin? DC wants to pat itself on the back for churning out epic after epic after epic? I’m sorry, but when your book can’t even take more than a 3 issue break from Changing. Everything. You’ve. Ever. Known? It’s not a reason to jump for joy. GL: Rebirth was a great way to bring Hal back. The Sinestro Corps War was tight, cohesive, and a fun crossover done right. Then, as if he’d become drunk off the orange light of avarice and sales… John’s couldn’t stop. Blackest Night. Brightest Day. War of the Green Lanterns. It. Didn’t. End! And now, we have the Rise of the Third Army. Yet another multi-book crossover that will reshape everything. It’s exhausting, angering, and making the book more and more impossible to follow with every iteration.
Seeing the Gaurdians Completely Lose It.
Was anyone else picking up on this fact over all of those super crossovers? Well, anyone not paying attention to the little boys in blue slowly losing touch with reality was simply not reading the books. Where the Guardians were once immortal beings simply looking out for the universe, John’s has slowly stripped all of that away. Remember how betrayed we felt when he retconned the whole Parralax thing? He took the amazing storytelling done by those before him to help define Hal as being truly imperfect… and just flushed it down the toilet to make Hal the hero he grew up reading. And now we can watch the last part of the original GL concept be darkened into totalitarian demigods who will ultimately fail at universal conquest.
The Emotional Spectrum.
Again, I want to give Johns a pass here. I like the idea of the emotional spectrum. The fact that he clearly loved D and D as a boy is evident in this extrapolation is actually a very cool idea. One that could have been mined for YEARS before we needed to do another epic milestone piece. Instead, the rainbow brigade remains largely unused… forgotten until a writer needs a quick villain, or excuse for a splash page. For this we should celebrate DC? We should celebrate that the yellow lanterns are without a real leader and are all comatose in cushy sciencells,? We should revel in the fact that the Red Lanterns are pathetic cosmic ‘Punisher-Lites’? We should sing songs about the still-confusing saga of Larfleeze and his constructs that may not be constructs? And when was the last time we saw much to do with Blue, or Violet? We only JUST scraped the surface on the mysterious Indigo Tribe. Much like Marvel’s botched “50 State Initiative”, Johns created a brilliant deep universe, but is too blind to explore it all without having to call a committee meeting.
Ultimately, Green Lantern was once my favorite super hero. With the advent of the new 52, I was legitimately excited for the new flagship title exploring Sinestro as an emerald warrior once more. I was geeked at the chance for more exploration into the 7200 member corps. I was even mildly curious to see the fate of my beloved Kyle Rayner. It took 4 issues of New Guardians to be unimpressed. Corps started terribly, but got 100 times better… only to betray the single point of conflict it had going for it in order to meet John’s vision. And Red Lanterns? Well, the less I say about that book, the more likely we can collectively forget it exists. It would seem these days the very reasons DC thinks I should continue to love this part of the DCU, are fast becoming the very reasons I’m turning towards Marvel now.
In Brightest Day, and Blackest Night, you took my money without a fight. Now I’m broke and full of spite. Stop gouging me with Green Lanterns Lite.