Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Big Picture: "Going Green - Part I"

25 comments:

Timothy said...

Just out of curiosity, are you going to mention the other lanterns? The blue lanterns of hope, the red rage lanterns and so on?

I personally always liked the blues more than the greens but that's just me.

BIll said...

Unlike most fans I don't have a problem with "Emerald Twilight", I do think it fits the character considering everything happened and all the changes made to the character in volume 3.
However, I hated Geoff John's Parallax retcon which I'm sure you will go in detail in part 2.

Brent said...

I'm almost certainly in the (rapidly shrinking) minority on this, but the Green Lantern as a solo hero just bugs the crap out of me.

I enjoy the idea of a Corps of Space Cops, and I love the idea of them wielding the most powerful weapon in the universe through the power of their own will.

What I can't stand, and what I can't believe hasn't stood in the way of his popularity are the constructs. Why, instead of creating an energy field and throwing an object, does Green Lantern make a giant green-energy baseball bat and hit said object away?

Hell, I even like Hal Jordan as a character - I think that DC's shown enough respect since Zero Hour that he's more or less redeemed entirely.

I just don't get how he's suddenly the most popular superhero in the world right now given that his powers amount to "make large, green object".

Adam said...

That was a lot more interesting than I was expecting it to be. Looking forward to part 2.

Minor-not-terribly-important-question: Has there ever been an explanation as to why Green Latern's Kryptonite is the color yellow? I don't have a good grasp on this but is there some sort of scientific explanation about light absorbing colors or something? It's always bugged me for some reason, particularly since you need yellow to make green in the first place.

CraftyAndy said...

Never thought usless history of comics could be so fascinating to me. Probably cause I found a love for the green lantern stuff ever since Justice League TV show. Just the responsibility, traits or attributions like Hope, fear, death, and rage having elemental physical existence. Just fascinating.

Ryan said...

@ Adam

Kind of. In the recent Geoff Johns books, its explained that the Guardians of the Universe designed the rings to falter in the presence of the color yellow. This was meant as a safeguard in case the Lanterns ever rebelled against them. In those books, the giant city covering Oa is mostly yellow, and the Guardians reside in a giant, yellow palace/temple.

As for a scientific explanation...well, this is a comic about a man in green, glowing pajamas flying through space and battling obviously-named alien baddies.

Reverend Allan Ironside said...

And thus the greatest weakness of comics comes forth: stagnation. Pissing and moaning fanboys unwilling to let go of anything and keep comics stuck firmly in the 70s and 80s formulas they ware forever doomed to live in

TheDVDGrouch said...

What an awesome episode. Like most people I learned about Green Lantern from watching Justice League & the other expanded animated DC.

Daniel R said...

Nice episode, wow the Lantern's got some pretty ridiculous elements. I can't wait for the "emotional color spectrum" explanation, I still only partially get that.

Surprised you didn't do a "same bob-time, same bob-channel" joke at the end. Then again, that would be better served for a batman two-parter. ^_^

Kyle said...

Its funny, but I've always liked Green Lantern... but I've never read anything or seen anything with him in it. I just know ABOUT him, and I like him.

One of the reasons I'm excited for the upcoming movie is that I finally get to experience a Green lantern story. :)

Dave said...

@Bob: Other than the mention of H.E.A.T., the entire second half of this video is absolutely, 110% NOT TRUE. (including the degree to which you play up H.E.A.T.'s significance, which is entirely overblown)

Go check your facts. Seriously, like before you even think about making part 2. Or just quit making videos like this, because you're embarrassing yourself.

The real story? Fans lashed out at Ron Marz with both hate mail and DEATH THREATS for turning Hal Jordan - a C-Lister most people never gave a crap about or just outright didn't like because he was a royal tool - into a mass murderer. Truth is, DC editorial actually wanted him to kill the character off immediately, and Ron spun it into what's actually one of the greatest, most emotionally evocative Hal Jordan stories of all time that fans had an immediate knee-jerk reaction to - that they got over shortly after he finally died and Kyle rose to immense popularity (contrary to what you claim in your video, because you're wrong as usual). Ron chose to keep him around longer because he knew that killing off the character right off the bat would piss off fans even more, because it would've been meaningless.

The whole Parallax schtick from back in those days was essentially DC's version of the Dark Phoenix Saga, nearly to a T (an issue which is also deserving of its own video for details I won't bother listin here). It has nothing to do with a '90s reimagining of the character.

In the immediate sequel story to Emerald Twilight - entitled New Dawn - the whole "women in refrigerators" incident happened and Ron continued to be the fandom's punching bag (the efficacy of "women in refrigerators" is a different issue entirely).

Some time after Ron Marz left the book, artist Darryl Banks (co-creator of both the original Parallax AND Kyle Rayner) stayed on the book with writer Judd Winick, who - in spite of all the shit he's recently received for his work on the Batman & Robin title and a variety of other things that were editorial edicts and not actually his choice - almost single-handedly succeeded in turning Kyle Rayner - the Generation-X Green Lantern (NOT college age) whose sole mission in life was to earn a buck and get laid - into a fan favorite character with a personality that has since been diluted down by Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi, much to the dismay of many fans.

Prior to his death, Hal Jordan was a bumbling oaf who was known for being an asshole and even picked fights with people for no good reason. Most old-time fans actually preferred Kyle because he wasn't an excessively-flawed douchebag with an ego that could fill Oa itself. Plus, he was actually entertaining. The whole H.E.A.T. thing was regarded as little more than a joke from over-zealous fanboys who never really moved on from the whole Parallax thing (which, btw, ended with Final Night).

"GL Legacy: Last Will & Testament of Hal Jordan" completely debunks a bunch of what you said in this video, as does about a decade worth of Kyle Rayner comics and fan reaction to them.

Oh, and in Green Lantern/Green Arrow volumes 1 & 2, Hal is - and never was - the conservative one. They were both left-wing, but Hal represented the "old left" whilst Green Arrow - who was depicted more-or-less as the Sammy Davis, Jr. of white people - represented the "new left". Volume 1 is largely GA educating GL, whereas Volume 2 is largely the other way around - and also contains the first appearance of architect and Green Lantern John Stewart.

Clearly, Bob, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Please, do shut up.........

The Karligarchy said...

I´ve been reading GL for a long time. There are alot of confusing things in GL. By far the most convoluted thing in my opinion is the post-crises attempts to reconcile Alan Scott and Jade with the rest of the corps and the relationship between the Starheart - the source of Alan Scott´s power - and the central power battery on OA. They touch on it every once in a while but it still makes little sense. From what I know Starheart is the Earth-2 variant that the guardians of that universe decided to go with and differs itself by being magic based. ??? Jade is even more confusing she´s like Alan Scott´s daughter but also the Starheart´s daughter? Jade is confusing.

The Karligarchy said...

Also fun side note. If you think the green lantern corps´s weakness against yellow is silly... Allen Scott´s ring doesn´t work on anything made out of wood. He could be taken out by an MLB player! Finally, I´ve been suspecting that Kyle will eventually be written to meander off with the blue folks. There are four earth lanterns and alot of their personality traits are sort of redundant, especially when compared with Hal. Guy, Hal, and John are really similar characters... Wow, Guy Gardener was pretty freaking weird for a while too. He became The Warrior, stole a yellow ring (or sinestro´s I forget) was a pseudo bad guy for a while - think Vegeta. Apparently he also had like mad beef with Superman. I don´t really know much about Kyle Rayner´s time as the only green lantern. I know all of his girlfriends die he and he fought like C-list villains. He also became Ion and went out into the universe to explore his power and left Jade as the GL for a bit if I remember correctly. They were also dating. I can´t remember if they used that to try and reconcile the Starheart and GL Corp rings... Hal becomes binded to the Spectre for a while and just appears randomly and casts judgment and acts schizophrenic for a for years. Man, speaking of schizo, typing this stuff makes me feel like a crazy person. Conclusion: you know a franchise´s continuity is convoluted if trying to explain it makes you sound like a crazy person.

The Karligarchy said...

Oh yeah, its about to get even crazier too. DC´s summer event is called Flashpoint. Apparently its supposed to reset the back stories of many of DC´s first stringers. Which will be even MORE confusing. Keep in mind that when DC does things like this they eventually have to ret-con it closer to normal in 1-3 years. So yeah Flashpoint and its inevitable ret-con will make talking about comics make you sound EVEN MORE like a crazy person.

Timothy said...

@Ryan

I thought the reason was that yellow was the color of fear on the emotional spectrum? Green is willpower, yellow is fear, blue is hope, red is rage, orange is desire, violet is compassion, indigo is love.

At least that's what I always understood.

The Karligarchy said...

@Timothy the Guardians of the Universe (the blue guys) created the green lantern corps as their second attempt at universal law enforcement. Their first attempt were the Manhunters, a bunch of super powered androids. Due to a programming error (which has been explained as several different things) the Guardians lost control of the Manhunters and they wiped out a bunch a lot of people. Building OA out of yellow materials was supposed to be meant as a fail safe in case the GL corps went beserk too.
Also the colors are:
red-rage beserker power, orange-greed, yellow-fear, green-will, blue-hope acts as a buff for green and dispels fear, greed and rage, indigo-compassion-megaman ring, allows wearers to use the powers of any of the rings if they are in close proximity, violet-love allows artists to draw scantily clad women. R O Y G B I V the outlying colors are supposed to be less controllable and unstable while the inner colors, especially green, are more stable. There is also White - life, and the ability to make spin off comics and make it easier for writers to resurrect characters. Black - death, ability make zombie comics or story arcs and bring back evil zombie versions of popular dead characters.
Back to the yellow impurity - once they established all the colors they also established that each color has a uh... spirit animal which was the embodiment of that emotion and also the first to have experienced it I guess. The spirit animals need hosts and possess people. Parallax, the yellow spirit animal, was explained to have been imprisoned by the Guardians in the central power battery where he corrupted the rings. That is current explanation of the yellow weakness. Parallax was removed from the power battery a while back and GL corps no longer has the weakness to yellow. Well, Bob, again I did not appreciate how convoluted this all was until you made this video and I actually tried to sit down and explain a bunch of it.

The Karligarchy said...

One last thing: The Guardians of the Universe, who have been around for billions of years and are supposed to be the wisest beings in the universe time and again demonstrate that they are stupidest assholes in the universe. They are always being tricked, and making obviously poor decisions that ALWAYS come back to screw them over. The corps almost gets destroyed like once a year and 9 times out of 10 it turns out to be the Guardians´ fault for either keeping very important information from everyone or having screwed someone over in the past. The Guardians consistently make these mistakes because every so often one or all of them decides that they hate feelings.

Will said...

Am I the only one who liked Kyle Rayner back then?

I mean, I did see the bullshit DC was doing but I think something good came from the bad intentions.

Having an artist in college, a kid who has so little direction or hope in life, gifted a Green Lantern ring. The Guardian knew, despite all outward appearances, Rayner would be the one.

The unexpected college kid now has the earth on his shoulders as Hal goes around destroying humanity. And yet, through thick and thin, he succeeded and became a great Green Lantern.

Okay, maybe not great, but its a fantastic scenario that was executed decently well. I think Kyle has the best possibilities but because what DC did to Hal, he never did get the chance he deserved. He usually ended with crummy writers who just made him a whiny, broody, and annoying character.

I would love for Kyle to really get his own major story or a secret origins type-thing just for him. Perhaps not use Hal as Pharalax but simply have it in it's normal form.

P.S. The color yellow is not their weakness, its yellow energy. Yellow energy is fueled by hate (or is it greed?). So, it just so happens that the energy takes a yellow color, not that yellow in and of itself has any power on them.

The Karligarchy said...

yellow is fear

Lee Kalba said...

For once, I agree with Allan and the "90's sucked", which, after Bob's explanation for using it all the time, just comes off as whiny. Yeah, for the most part, the 90's did suck, for comics. At least in terms of story. Image was founded by a bunch of pencil artists that didn't know anything but flashy art, but once most of them left, you actually have a good company that's independent and small enough to focus on making interesting comics, but big enough that production doesn't suffer.
And yeah, the fanboys bitch about any change to even minor characters, it seems. And if it's a major character actually evolving? Holy shit: "ugh Iron Man has powers now, he's ruined forever" (if you don't understand that reference, look up Iron Man: Extremis on your wiki of choice then, for extra points, mention it on 4chan's /co/ board). Hell, even the writers do it, though. Former Batman writers called up Frank Miller, after Dark Night Returns to tell Miller that he had ruined the character. Now, it's the basis for modern Batman, especially the Nolan one. Characters should be allowed to evolve.

Dave said...

@Will: First off, no you aren't. Kyle had a bigger fandom before Geoff Johns brought Hal back. Then, his whole popularity became solely due to the then-extreme, now-dwindling celebrity of Geoff Johns.

Oh, and Kyle wasn't a college kid; he was already working as a graphic designer when we first see him. That's just Bob perpetuating mistruths again.

@Lee: I take issue with this whole "the '90s sucked for comics" thing. It was easily the biggest expansion the comic book industry ever saw. Some of the greatest stories came out of the '90s ("Batman: No Man's Land" and other quintessential Batman reads, including "Batman: The Long Halloween" and "Batman: Dark Victory").

Bob just cherry picks things here and there that he doesn't like and uses it to make fallacious, broad generalizations about a decade that sucked in general.

Were there a lot of sucky ideas during the '90s? Sure, but most of the stuff was great. Even the CrossGen comics were really good, but it fell under due to a combination of financial issues and an abusive working environment. And now it's back, having been bought out by Marvel.

Hell, not all Image, Top Cow and Wildstorm stuff sucked, either. That was the era when Spawn and other titles were still relevant (Spawn overstayed his welcome, I agree), but many of them have continued and became great. Witchblade - under writer Ron Marz - has been nothing short of SPECTACULAR.

Also, the '90s gave us many characters in Marvel (most notably the X-Men but also others) that are now considered fan favorites, like Gambit and Jubilee, for example. Say what you will about Rob Liefeld, but he gave us Deadpool, who was loved enough to have several titles running at once. And he was created during the '90s.

As was Harley Quinn, Tim Drake, and dozens of other fan-favorite characters.

This is all just bullshit from Bob, as per usual. He talks about the '90s across the board like it was one big unilateral suck-fest, projecting it onto even the good that came from it. Jesus Christ..... :/

The Parallax stories were the DC version of the Dark Phoenix Saga. It's really that simple. And hell, seeing as Dark Phoenix ranks within the Top 10 Marvel Villains of all time (according to IGN), you can't say it wasn't a good idea for DC to try out a decade later.

Thing is, Bob misrepresents the realities of what went on, or why, hence this shitty vid on the subject.

counterpoint said...

In the interest of disclosure, I know almost nothing about the green lantern

My question for all of you is this:

How can the existence of the GL Corp and such things NOT trivialize other DC characters like Batman? Why does Batman even matter when there are aliens above fighting for the universe?

Kind of how the last Indiana Jones movie "ruined" the previous series because it rewrote the setting and redefinied everything we thought we knew, how can these stories coexist? Reminds me of how in the X-files, Mulder and Scully would spend most of their time catching serial killers and stuff.... despite an obvious cataclysmic alien invasion being just around the corner.

If your country was being invaded next week, would you really still sue your neighbor for that window he broke?

I dunno, I just feel like, from an outsider perspective, this whole DC universe doesn't seem particularly unified in either aesthetic or even the laws of physics.

Will said...

@Dave: That's good to know. I haven't read Green Lantern in awhile, one of the comics I cut a decade back to save some money.

Then, when I tried to get back into Green Lantern, Blackest Night happened and I, personally, hated the hell out of it.

But its good to know Kyle Rayner didn't end up hated. Whenever I ask people about him or John Stewart (my favorite Green Lanterns), I never hear anything good.

The Karligarchy said...

@ Dave I agree, there were definitely alot of good things for comics in the 90s especially for the X-men. The 90s redefined them just as DKR redefined batman.

@ Counterpoint:
"How can the existence of the GL Corp and such things NOT trivialize other DC characters like Batman? Why does Batman even matter when there are aliens above fighting for the universe?"
Don´t think too deeply about stuff like that in comics it can definitely keep you from enjoying mainstream comics as entertainment. I mean why not ask a broader question. How is there even human civilization in either the Marvel or DC universe? At least once a year some super-powered demi gods, or aliens, or demons, or the splitting, merging of universes reigns complete chaos and destruction on all of human civilization. But, everything is back to normal again in like a month. If nothing else the majority of humanity should be too traumatized crazy to function. Let alone completely rebuild civilization every 12 months. I mean its pretty much the book of Revolution once a year for the DC and Marvel Earths. IT DOESNT MAKE SENSE! See when you think too much about like that it sort of ruins it.

The Karligarchy said...

Correction: Book of Revelation.