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Old 06-14-2018, 06:47 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by MikeandRaph87 View Post
Its hard to believe. I always saw Aquaman, Green Lantern, and Flash as the secondary trinity. Granted Aquaman's limitations keep him from having a solid ongoing title, Hal Jordan and Barry Allen did. At least, I never thought Hal would be hurting in sales so much as unpopular as a character just stale directions. It's just a Superman villain blows up Green Lantern's home and he becomes a mass murderer killing Green Lanterns and Guardians? Its just too much. Not much respect for a JLA founder who had been a big part of the comic line for 35 years. So 90s extreme, no respect for characters, temporary sales peak is the answer to the Emerald Twilight debacle? Its all fixed now, its just the 1994 event seems drastic. Perhaps as soon as this happened people wanted Hal Jordan back and lead to the revival a decade later?



Yes, a lot of fans think he was always a test pilot for Ferris Air, but from around 1968 to 1980 that was not the case. The whole GA/GL do America was made possible due to Hal's truck driver occupation. I can see it as a way to freshen up the character, but like the general public or casual fans know Hal is tied to Ferris air. A lot of obscure stuff like Itty the alien starfish friend of Hal. I have read some of the comics from 1979-1981 and its a pretty solid run, earth-based enemies like Sonar, Evil Star, and Shark all plague Hal while at Ferris and rekindling a relationship with Carol after a brief romance with a gypsy.
What is your opinion about the silver age era GL? I know it contains the first Hal Jordan's adventures. There are very tempting omnibus on Amazon but I don't know if this is good on a storyline point of view, or only for a collection point of view.

I own the GL/GA run. Is this comparable or did GL improve with time?
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:05 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by MikeandRaph87 View Post
It's just a Superman villain blows up Green Lantern's home and he becomes a mass murderer killing Green Lanterns and Guardians?
Number of Green Lanterns Hal killed? 1. Kilowog, and he was brought back quickly.

Number of Guardians Hal killed? 0. They killed themselves.

So a grand total death toll of 1. Hardly a "mass murderer." And even Kilowog, he gave him fair warning to get out of his way.

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Its just too much. Not much respect for a JLA founder who had been a big part of the comic line for 35 years. So 90s extreme, no respect for characters, temporary sales peak is the answer to the Emerald Twilight debacle? Its all fixed now, its just the 1994 event seems drastic. Perhaps as soon as this happened people wanted Hal Jordan back and lead to the revival a decade later?
"Fixed"? Nobody cares about Hal Jordan unless they do some gimmick with him. There's a reason his latest comic (literally called "Hal Jordan") has just been cancelled.

Parallax was the best thing to ever happen to him. I would have happily read a Parallax ongoing.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:16 PM   #43
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We have to disagree there. When I got into comics in the Spring of 2002 I was disappointed to learn Hal Jordan was not Green Lantern and how it happened. Two and half years later he came back in a big way. I have not dropped the title since GL: Rebirth#1. There have been points of frustration,but I have enjoyed it overall.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:06 PM   #44
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I try not to post anymore, but as a huge GL fan myself I have to step in and call horse sh*t on the "Parallax was out of character for Hal Jordan" nonsense. It ignores years' worth of story set-up and character development beforehand, for one thing, and also dismisses the information presented in the story itself.

Consider that everyone Hal Jordan knew violently died. I'll ask everyone to forget and put aside editorial considerations for a moment - I didn't know about sh*t like "sales numbers" or "market trends" when I was 10, and I didn't spend all my free time trying to figure out WHY people were writing this story or that one. I just read them and went along for the ride. So while we all know now that there were a lot of marketing reasons why the end of the "Reign of the Supermen" story and the beginning of the "Emerald Twilight" story were tied together; it solved a lot of issues across the entire DC line to do things as they did. Fine. Business is business, "Money talks and bullsh*t walks", okay, we know that. So let's put it all aside, ignore the "cheap marketing gimmick" nonsense, and focus on the stories themselves.

First off... I DON'T agree with Andrew about lots of things, just in general. I actually like Geoff Johns as a writer, generally speaking, and he's done a lot of stuff I enjoyed BUT he's definitely not as deserving of all the praise he gets in some circles. So we'll agree to disagree on Johns, but as far as GL in general, I have to give Andrew credit because, as far as fans go, he is to GL what I am to Superman. Seen it all, read it all, has insight others don't have... so, respect. Even when I absolutely don't agree with him I recognize where his opinions come from.

But I DO agree on Hal Jordan... at least, to a point. As a kid, I knew Hal from Super-Friends. I liked Green Lantern in general, but didn't know much about him, and when I finally read some GL comics, the powers were always FAR more interesting than the man wearing the ring. He was, much like the "real" Barry Allen, good-natured and well-meaning but horribly bland, dry as cardboard as a character.

When I first "met" Guy Gardner, it was like going from black and white to Color. He was everything Hal wasn't, and although he wasn't perfect, that imperfection became his entire character; the TRUE "hard-luck hero" who always tried his best to do his version of "the right thing" no matter what despite it never, EVER working out for him. He always fought harder than anyone, and always lost. Or, if he won, he got no credit for it. Even when he saved Superman during the Eclipso mess - by dropping a giant scoop of pure molten sun on top of a possessed Superman, like a F*CKING BADASS - everything Guy did was dismissed, downplayed, and ignored. Not only did the character take on great personal significance for me, he became my third favorite DC character of all time behind Superman and Batman.

What was great about the interactions between Guy and Hal, and the incredible consistency between the writers of the various DC books by then, was that Guy would ALWAYS point out what a fraud and a hypocrite Hal was, despite always treating Guy like some kind of moron or even a liability. How everyone always looked up to and admired Hal, despite Hal hardly ever doing anything to earn such admiration; whereas Guy may have gotten on everyone's nerves, HE was the one who always had to fight harder than anyone else just to prove he even "belonged" in the JLA. And he did belong. He earned it. He was fighting alongside the JLA against guys like Despero while Hal was taking time off from being a GL to "figure his life out", or something. Not that Hal was, again, a "bad" character, but he just simply wasn't anything "special", and whenever he was contrasted with a much more dynamic personality like Guy, that blandness was spotlighted tenfold.

When Guy kept his word and left the Corps after losing a fight to Hal... I know, for a FACT, that I wasn't the only kid who was disappointed - although it gave us the AWESOME Yellow Ring era, and Guy's incredible solo book (at least, the first 16 issues). But even in the material, everything was presenting it like the wrong guy (pun intended) got to keep the ring. Hal was clearly a jerkoff and Guy was standing up for himself against a bully; by this point, I and a LOT of people were ready to see Hal Jordan take a little rest. He was a dick, and he was a dick who did nothing to EARN being so smug.

Now, this will bring us back to Hal's personality in general, and how it's been altered several times, as Andrew has pointed out. Up through the 80s, he was pretty generic. When Crisis happened, making heroes more "three-dimensional" was the order of the day. Superman became more introspective, Batman was placed in stories dealing with the fallout from Robin's death, and Hal... well, they weren't sure what to do with Hal. I, personally, was a big fan of the two "Emerald Dawn" mini-series that re-told Hal's origin and the basic origin of the mythos. Some people weren't fans, because for one thing, a major story point involved Hal Jordan getting involved in a drunk driving accident and being sentenced to jail time, and since the Silver Age and its eternally-pure heroes were still fresh in peoples' minds, there was a vocal chorus of "Hal Jordan Wouldn't Do That". Conversely, "Emerald Dawn" was the first version of the GL origin that I'd ever read, so I grew up with the basic idea, as established therein, that Hal Jordan was a deeply flawed person; He made a lot of bad decisions, didn't like authority, had way too high an opinion of himself, and didn't always know how to deal with consequences when he'd make a mistake. I honestly liked it. I still preferred Guy, but some of who Hal was made more sense to me, now, and I was more sympathetic towards him based on all he'd been through. The "new" GL stories of the late 80s and early 90s were very much about Hal using the role of GL to become a better human being, and he didn't always get it right, and I thought that was really great.

Then, JUST when he finally seemed to have a handle on things, someone nukes his city and kills everyone he loves. He practically took his eye off the ball for a DAY, and it cost him EVERYTHING in his life. He wasn't even a part of the Superman/Mongul beef beforehand, making it all the more tragic; everyone he knew died because of someone ELSE's grudge match.

Now, if you honestly, TRULY can't see how that would have driven even the sanest man mad, to say nothing of someone like Hal who by then was established as having... issues, then you're not considering the weight of the story and are thinking too much about the real-life "marketing" stuff behind it. IN THE STORY, this guy lost everyone he cared about. Gone. For no reason. He had already been on edge, and then he fell over.

It DID make sense. It made PERFECT sense.

They'd spent years by then establishing Hal's relationships, and how far he'd go for the people he cared for, and how he'd always struggled with his failures and the guilt, and how much of his bravado was a false front to mask insecurities, and how he often felt like he wasn't even worthy of the ring... and then this happens. He snaps. "If only I'd been there." "This isn't fair." "I should have done something. I should DO something." We've all felt these things when we lose someone for unjust reasons, but most of us don't have the most powerful weapon in the universe on our finger at the time. Or else, most of us would have done EXACTLY what Hal did.

You have a ring that makes your dreams reality, and now everyone you love is dead and you want them back. So what do you do? You throw logic and reason out the window and try to "bring them back" because it's all you can think about. Someone tells you "No." Even though you have the power, you don't have the Right. Your personal injustice is just one more thing in an infinite cosmos. It's completely trivial in the big picture, it means nothing, it's insignificant, and by the way, head right to Oa for your f*cking spanking. How DARE you have feelings? How DARE you miss your family?

Jesus, I wanted to take a swing at one of the Guardians myself, for not having the slightest bit of compassion, or even TRYING to understand what Hal was going through. Instead, they pushed him; and when you go after a wounded animal, it will fight to the death to defend itself.

The rub is... Hal as Parallax WAS NOT THE VILLAIN. Not really. He was only ever misguided. He became the BEST kind of "villain", one whose motives make absolute sense and are completely relatable to anyone reading, and is only "evil" in the sense that they're completely uncaring of how their plans would hurt anyone else because they're 100% convinced of their own righteousness. He was "doing the wrong things for the right reasons". Trying to wipe out all existence and recreate the Multiverse "His Way" was obviously wrong on its face, but he could still justify it. It's easy, as a reader, to read a story and say, "This guy is the Bad Guy", but when you're IN the story, and the guy with the power to recreate existence says, "I can make a world where Bruce Wayne's parents lived. I can make a world where Kal-El grows up on Krypton with his family. I can erase the Holocaust. I can un-crucify Jesus. I can literally make it so that not a bad thing ever happens to anyone, anywhere, in the entire universe and all of history. Don't sweat the details, I'm just God, and I'm a God who doesn't want anyone to suffer, ever"... come ON. Anyone would be tempted by what he was offering.

(Cont.)
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Last edited by Leo656; 06-15-2018 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:49 PM   #45
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Someone mentioned the 70s "Hard Traveling Heroes" stories from Dennis O'Neil with Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen. Really great stories! They haven't aged particularly well, as those as seeded with then very topical issues. It's a bit telling that Hal Jordan was used as kind of the one dimensional "straight man" to Oliver Queen's more spirited activist. Appreciation of those stories also made me appreciate their later team-ups, and especially when Hal visited Oliver as Parallax during "Parallax View." Chilling. Also, Oliver was always supposed to be Hal's best friend... I guess Geoff didn't like that, so that's one of the first things he removed, replacing him with Barry... and then never actually bothering to include Barry, ever (no time... it's always from one big GL megavent to the next).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo656
The rub is... Hal as Parallax WAS NOT THE VILLAIN. Not really. He was only ever misguided. He became the BEST kind of "villain", one whose motives make absolute sense and are completely relatable to anyone reading, and is only "evil" in the sense that they're completely uncaring of how their plans would hurt anyone else because they're 100% convinced of their own righteousness. He was "doing the wrong things for the right reasons". Trying to wipe out all existence and recreate the Multiverse "His Way" was obviously wrong on its face, but he could still justify it. It's easy, as a reader, to read a story and say, "This guy is the Bad Guy", but when you're IN the story, and the guy with the power to recreate existence says, "I can make a world where Bruce Wayne's parents lived. I can make a world where Kal-El grows up on Krypton with his family. I can erase the Holocaust. I can un-crucify Jesus. I can literally make it so that not a bad thing ever happens to anyone, anywhere, in the entire universe and all of history. Don't sweat the details, I'm just God, and I'm a God who doesn't want anyone to suffer, ever"... come ON. Anyone would be tempted by what he was offering.
Exactly. They did something completely unexpected with Hal Jordan and brilliantly gifted to DC its own version of Dr. Doom or Magneto, something they'd never ever had (unless you count the lame attempt with Monarch/Extant). And then they pissed him away because of H.E.A.T., fanboys, and Geoff Johns.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:53 PM   #46
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About Hal Jordan himself... someone once made a very excellent post on my site/board, the "Definitive Anti-Hal Post" from about 9 years ago. I retrieved it. It's still relevant, especially with the latest GL book that's literally titled "Hal Jordan" being cancelled today. Here it is:

(apparently it's too long to post... here's the first half)

Hello all,

Before beginning, I'd like to make a few things clear. One, if you don't like the Hal/Kyle debate, or posts about it, than you don't have to read this one. I happen to like the Hal/Kyle debate, because I enjoy debating things comic related and GL fans are passionate. If you don't want to read this..don't. I'm sure there are plenty of posts on each message board that you check that you don't read from disinterest...simply make this one of them.

Two, I don't consider this post trolling or flame bait. I consider trolling when you say things JUST to start a fight. These are actually my feelings on the subject and someone not agreeing with them doesn't make them flame bait. It just makes them different than yours.

Three, I'm going to avoid using the word "hate" because even though I know when I say I "hate" Hal I mean it more as an expression, but apparently some MB posters only speak literally and feel the need to post how it's stupid to hate a fictional character, and I literally loathe those responses.

Finally...just to avoid a lot of the over used insults I get here...I'm 34 and married, and prior to marriage I always had girlfriends.

That said, let me say that the reason I felt the need to write this (aside from being bored at work ) was because after over a year of posting my various feeling on the Hal/Kyle debates (actually over 10 years) I'm still often told I "just" dislike the character Hal Jordan.

This isn't true. I didn't put a bunch of superhero names in a hat and decide whoever I pulled out I would dislike. I dislike Hal as a fictional character because of legitimate reasons that I've developed over decades of reading the character (including collect his book through a HUGE chunk of the 80's).

They may not be your feelings about the character, but that alone doesn't negate my opinions.

It is these opinions, and my knowledge of Hal's past sales, that have caused me to come up with this theory:

"Hal doesn't sell well over long periods. His numbers will drop to the point of cancellation within the next few years."

That's my theory. Are Hal's sales great now? Awesome! But...his return was heavily hyped and he has a writer (Geoff Johns) who could put "Brother Power the Geek" in the Top 10 for at least one issue.

However, this won't last. It is like many characters that go through a period of major hype. Iron Man and Fantastic Four sold well for awhile after the "Heroes Reborn" saga, but both books dropped back to their regular numbers after the hype was over.

Ka-zar sold really well...when mark Waid and Andy Kubert were on it, and then what? His numbers dropped to the numbers a Ka-zar book would normally generate.

And even with both these advantages, Hal has already lost something like 54% of the books readers in a year. That's not a leveling off. That's a drop. Granted the first issue posted high enough numbers that the book is still doing really well, but that is a BIG drop off. It lost over 2,000 readers this month alone...a year in.

Why?

Again, my theory is "Hal doesn't sell". His return, the hype, the creative team, it's made people forget that for now, but that will die down eventually, and he'll be back on the verge of cancellation or having to undergo a major re-direction.

Why?

Because that's what always happens with Hal.

Now as for why this is constantly happening to Hal...I have my theories on this too.

Now before I begin posting those, you may ask why I want to post these opinions/theories on Hal. Good question. I dislike several superheroes, why post about Hal.

I'll admit...it's because Hal replaced my boy Kyle as the main DCU GL. That's why I'm arguing about Hal and not Wolverine, Silver Surfer, or any of the other heroes I don't like.

BUT that doesn't mean I'm JUST picking on Hal. I have legitimate reasons I don't like Hal that date back to before Kyle was created. Hal is just getting my attention because he is in my boy's seat. However I'm not making up reasons just because I like Kyle better.

Anyway, as for why I feel Hal doesn't sell...I think it has to do with the fact he has no personality besides that of a generic superhero personality.

To better explain this, I'm going to quote something said about Hawkman's powers from a website called seanbaby.com:

"If you're a Super Friend, being able to fly is like being able to break a graham cracker along the line...Don't get me wrong. Flying is pretty cool. But if you're a super hero, it might as well be the ability to read."

What 'seanbaby' is saying about Hawkman's main superpower is exactly how I see Hal's personality in a world of superheroes.

To be a superhero a character must have certain traits: sense of justice, willingness to put ones self at risk, etc. After that, it is the traits the characters have BESIDES those that makes then interesting as individuals. Hal doesn't have any of these. He's a throwback to the pre-Lee/Kirby days of big chinned grinning cardboard cutout superheroes distinguishable only by their costumes and hair coloring.

Nowhere is this better shown than in the much ballyhooed speech Hal gives in 'Rebirth' where he describes why he's different from the other GL's.

In the speech he says how you can tell the ring constructs of the other GL's (Kyle, John, and Guy) are affected by their personalities, but not Hal's. Why? Because Hal does "just what needs to done".

EXACTLY! Hal only does what a generic superhero would do BEFORE you added an actual personality to him. His ring isn't affected by his personality because there is nothing about his personality that isn't covered in the list of generic superhero traits.

Oh...and then he punches Batman.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:54 PM   #47
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(here's the rest)

That's the new way to do characterization for Hal. First over-explain things he does that all other superheroes do, than have him punch someone to stress how macho he is, despite the fact it's out of character.

Look the new JLA #1 with Roy talking about Hal. First Roy says only one person taught him to be fearless...Hal! This makes no sense. Roy grew up surrounded by superheroes, all of whom acted as brave as Hal. Second..it literally makes no sense. You can't teach someone to be fearless. You can teach them to overcome fear, sure, but teach them how to never experience it? Huh? That makes no sense. Plus, Hal was born without fear. It wasn't something he picked up.

Oh, and then he threatens to fight Roy.

And speaking of the born without fear thing, it embodies another problem with Hal as a character. He's too perfect. And by that I mean he's literally a character who is already at the end of his arc. He has nothing to achieve. He is the best GL, he is confident, he is a respected hero, he's fearless, etc. Individually, these traits can be fine, but together, and in a character who was born with them, where is Hal's arc? Where is his internal drive or conflict? Easy...he has none. He's already at the stage that usually comes at the end of a character arc.

Due to this a lot of dopey things have to be done to Hal to try and make him have a personality, as perfect characters can't drive stories with their personality (or as Denny O'Neil said about Hal, he's a character that needs to write around, not written about).

Currently those things are things like Hal having to deal with the judgments of his fellow heroes (i.e. Batman) and the recently found GL's for his time as Parallax...which could actually be interesting except for one thing: Hal was never Parallax. Parallax was giant yellow cockroach controlling Hal. Hal actually did NOTHING wrong (how could he? He's perfect) so it's actually those other people (Batman and the not-dead-GL's) that have something to overcome (i.e their prejudice towards Hal) and hence the ones with the actual character arcs in this tale.

This is just one example of the balancing act of how to make Hal interesting without infringing upon the perfection inherent in the character, which is dealt with by him having to occasionally act uncharacteristically, like punching people out of nowhere, or acting uncharacteristically stupid as in his POW storyline.

I mean, if you want to play Hal as someone who wouldn't take his ring on a test flight because it kills his buzz, fine, but not taking it on a mission where it could come in handy with helping his OTHER soldiers, that's just stupid, which is not a trait of Hal's. But again, they have to decide what they want to do with Hal first, than decide how to get him there (even if it is uncharacteristic) because perfect, flawless, fearless characters don't really drive stories.

I mean, they could if they didn't have a magic wishing ring that would do whatever they want as then the conflict would be between this hero and finding a way to accomplish his goals (ala Indiana Jones), but the ring negates that, so we're left with a character with no shortcomings as a character and giant deus ex machina wrapped around his finger to negate any outer conflicts he may face.

Which brings me to the mantra Geoff Jones is repeating through all his interviews about Hal...that the great thing about Hal is (unlike Batman) he doesn't plan...he just jumps right into things and then thinks his way out of it. This too could be interesting if not for, again, the fact has the power ring, so when he does think of what to do...voila...it's right there, and two...it's not true. Like the teaching Roy to be fearless thing, and the Rebirth "My personality is my lack of personality" speech, this is all smoke and mirrors. Nicely written but essentially meaningless.

All heroes jump into things and then figure their way out. Even Batman. Does Bats make plans? Sure...when he knows what's going to hit him, which is only like 5% of the time, or if the story has to do with the fact Batman is a control freak (ala Waid's "Tower of Babel" storyline in JLA), but mostly he, like most superheroes, await for the threats to reveal themselves, then jumps into battle.

Like most superheroes. Like Hal.

Now I know a lot of you will say Hal isn't perfect, and use his often rebelling against the Guardians as proof, but it isn't. Hal only rebels when the Guardians are wrong, making him perfect again. Am I saying he should not rebel when the Guardians are wrong? No. I'm just saying it doesn't prove he's not perfect, and also...it's something every superhero would have, hence backing up the generic superhero personality thing. The one time he was wrong with his rebellion, it wasn't him...it was the big bug. The other time, he was drunk...and now that's retconned away.

Also, I know many will argue I'm someone who only likes brooding characters, but that's not the case and would only be something said to try and blow off my actual arguments.

I like all kinds of character, funny, brooding, flirty, mysterious, daring, whiny, obnoxious... whatever. I'm not saying Hal isn't "dark" enough or "reflective" enough...I'm saying he isn't ANYTHING enough and that affects the character.

It makes him uninteresting.

It causes his books to fail numerous times.

And it will rear its head again, and the books sales will reflect that...again.

Hal is nothing but a cardboard cutout superhero with no internal conflict to drive the story personally and too much power to get into any situations he can't get out of.

In a world full of superheroes, he's generic, and that makes him dull, and as the hype dies down and nostalgia gives way people will remember why they didn't collect Hal in the past and his books numbers will drop, and in a few short years he will be on the verge of cancellation or needing to be revamped. Big events like the Sinestro Corps War will get people excited about Green Lantern....but not do a thing for Hal. He merely attends these events and any additional attention he receives is only residual, and otherwise only serve as delightful (temporary) distractions to take our eyes off the ball.

I know it like I know at that point Wizard will stop sucking up and do an article on whether or not DC made a mistake bringing back Hal as GL.

That is my theory.

Sincerely,
N.T. Platypus
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:02 PM   #48
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Thanks for not letting me finish. I'll wrap it up, I swear!

Anyways...

The entire time he was Parallax, up until he sacrificed himself to stop the Sun-Eater, that's ALL he ever talked about doing: "Making Things Right." In his mind, he was still just trying to right a wrong... ALL "wrongs", really, and that over-reaching is what made him a "villain", but he never did too much that was "evil". Brutal, maybe, like putting Guy's eye out or cutting off Boodika's hand, but as Andrew said, even killing Kilowog was more circumstantial than a willing act of murder. His repeatedly stated goal was simply to end all suffering, everywhere, forever. Not to "take over", although obviously that would be the means to the end... not to "crush" anyone, no typical "villain" motivation... simply his natural heroic ideals, now twisted by too many tragedies.

It was all led up to, it all made sense, it WAS all in-character (consistent with how his character had been presented for the previous several years), and it all paid off when he sacrificed and redeemed himself. I even dug how they forced him to take on the mantle of the Spectre as "penance", just because it was so unexpected and fresh.

Unlike Andrew, I do like how "GL: Rebirth" brought Hal back and re-established the "normal" GL mythos, but I think I'm just more lenient of things in comics than he is, in general. I always expected someone to un-do or re-set everything, since Hal and the Corps had been such a huge part of the DCU for so long, so when someone finally did it, and it wasn't stupid or nonsensical (in my opinion), AND Kyle got to stick around, I was pretty happy with it. I do agree that making Parallax a "Fear Parasite" that simply latched onto Hal and "forced" him to do all of those things is kind of a cop-out, BUT I allow for a certain amount of "have your cake and eat it too" with these things. In MY headcanon, the Parallax entity had become too weak from its imprisonment in the Central Battery to fully take control of Hal, but was able though exposure to influence him somewhat by manipulating thoughts, fears, and insecurities that Hal already had and bringing them to the surface, making him so unbalanced. It makes sense, because retroactively, even though it was later explained that he was "possessed" the entire time, many times during his Parallax run the "real" Hal would emerge briefly, before he would start acting unbalanced again. So again, I personally dismiss the angle of, "He wasn't at all in control of himself", because that's not even consistent with the earlier stories, but I DO accept, "He was being influenced to a degree, but still acting mostly on his own" because there was evidence of that LONG before Johns ever came up with his "parasite" explanation, which leads me to think they always had a seed planted in case they wanted to flip Hal back to "good".

I mean, they must have. If the Kyle experiment hadn't been such a runaway success, I mean if fans really demanded in like 1994 that Kyle go away and Hal come back... they would have had to un-do Emerald Twilight, somehow. Like how Bruce during that same time period was always going to come back as Batman, but Azrael was originally supposed to keep the role for a while longer than he did, and DC sped up the resolution due to how poorly the AzBats angle was being received in general. It's different in that Bruce was always going to come back, and DC really did intend on keeping Hal away, at least for a long while, BUT if fans demanded he come back, they would have caved. Therefore, I do believe that DC ALWAYS had a back-up plan to bring Hal and the Corps back, and they probably always planned to explain that Hal had been manipulated by SOMEONE during Twilight. Personally, since Parallax hadn't been revealed as a "Fear Parasite" back then, I strongly suspect that Sinestro would eventually have been revealed to be the direct and sole mastermind. Sinestro and the Yellow Ring were HUGE plot points in the DCU that year-plus, like it was all building to something, and then it all got abruptly dropped when Kyle came in, but I don't doubt for a second that if "Rebirth" had happened ten years earlier than it did, it would have been Sinestro, not "The Real Parallax" that had turned Hal.

Instead, Geoff kind of juggled the details of what they already had established, AND doubled-down on Hal being possessed so he wouldn't have to take any responsibility for anything less-than-heroic he'd ever done. Which I agree with Andrew is kind of a cop-out, but eh. Could've been worse.

I AM glad Hal and the Corps came back, and unlike Andrew I generally enjoyed most of what I read afterwards (until I stopped buying books in 2008-ish). But to dismiss the entire Parallax storyline as somehow fraudulent, or to say that it did any kind of disservice to the character of Hal Jordan... no, Andrew is right, that was the most interesting few years that Hal Jordan's character EVER had. He was no great shakes before, and he came out of the whole mess with an actual personality and motivations, had faced untold adversity and come through it changed. That's called "Character Development". He never had any until the 80s/90s. Sad But True Facts.

Another thing Andrew's right about is that Kyle Rayner's run as GL was f*cking awesome. I wasn't sure what was going to come next for GL after Hal flipped out, but I took to Kyle instantly. He was greatly serviced by having writers who understood that they needed to create a realistic, complicated, three-dimensional character if they were going to have him take the place of someone like Hal who had almost always been an archetype more than anything. Making Kyle an artist was great, because it gave them a chance to do more creative things with the ring's powers than the generic Giant Boxing Gloves and Ping-Pong Paddles of yore. And although it's gotten tons of criticism, especially in recent years, I 100% maintain that Major Force murdering Kyle's girlfriend almost immediately after Kyle got the ring was absolutely necessary, because it instantly established that this kid was way out of his depth, in a world he didn't understand, with stakes he wasn't ready to deal with. The first couple issues, Kyle gets the standard "I'm a super-hero now and life is PERFECT!" origin story, letting the reader settle into the new status quo and feel "safe"... then, sharp left turn, the hugely-endearing girlfriend character gets murdered and stuffed in the fridge, with no build-up or warning. Brutal, yes, BUT, Bad Sh*t needs to happen to establish that there are consequences, and it made everyone immediately aware that this was not the "safe, predictable" Green Lantern anymore. Furthermore, Alex remained a presence in the book long after her death and the event affected literally everything Kyle did afterwards, and every one of his relationships. Again, that's Character Development. Good stuff.

Kyle's run COULD have simply been gradually unraveling the mystery of all the GL mythos that had come before him, finding his place in it, and growing into a hero on his own terms... and it WAS all of that, but it also became so much more than that. I can't stress enough, that if anyone is actively avoiding the Kyle Rayner Era of the comics, simply because they prefer Hal Jordan, they're a damn fool. Not because one is better than the other, but because objectively, the Kyle Rayner issues are, by and large, very, very, VERY good Green Lantern stories. There's action and drama and poignancy and tragedy and heartbreak and evolution and heroism. Everything that makes good fiction, period.

From 1997 through 2002, I will admit as a HUGE fan, that DC's output was mostly crap. Only a few books were worth reading at all, but Kyle's run as GL was, by far, consistently one of the very best books for many years. Hey, I'm a "purist" myself, I grew up with Hal, wasn't thrilled to see him replaced by "some nobody". But to be blunt, once Kyle was established and even Superman was treating him as an equal... if Hal never came back, I wouldn't have cried about it. Kyle was more than fine. Better than Hal? The best ever GL, period? That's up to individual interpretation and preference. But any and all biases aside, Kyle had one of the all-time greatest runs in comics. Anyone who says otherwise is lying and can't see past their own nostalgia.

Hal is fine. He's awesome sometimes. Kyle is also extremely awesome. I totally get why he's "The Real Green Lantern" to Andrew, and many others of "our" generation, the way Wally West is "The Real Flash" to me. Not just because they got tapped to fill a slot as a "legacy" character, but because they were DEVELOPED and GREW into the role over many years and many more stories, and became fully-formed characters of their own. Whenever anyone dismisses Wally or Kyle as "the fill-ins", I get pretty upset, because that is NOT what happened. Kyle is "Green Lantern" every bit as much as Hal, or Kilowog, or any of the "classics". He more than earned it.

Just had to throw my two cents in. Again, Green Lantern is something I've long been fairly passionate about, and the "Rise/Fall/Rise" of Hal Jordan was what initially made me care about him to begin with, so I felt I had to set the record straight on a few things that were being misspoken.
--------------------------

Now, it's all really inconsequential, anyways, because everyone knows that Guy f*ckin' Gardner is, was, and forever shall be, "The One, TRUE Green Lantern"!

"FUHGEDDABOWDIT!"
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:34 PM   #49
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Unlike Andrew, I do like how "GL: Rebirth" brought Hal back and re-established the "normal" GL mythos,
I actually really enjoy Rebirth itself. It's really well done, and delicately done. You can feel the touch of editorial in reining in Johns there, but it works. And I know from Ethan Van Sciver that Ethan Van Sciver was as much a part of the creative process there as Johns... hell, even Peter Tomasi weighed in on it, and that was his editor.

The wheels didn't come off until the first few issues of the Sinestro Corps War... and then things were laid threadbare by the completely anti-climactic end of it. There really was no plan. Geoff was just playing with his action figures in an official comic, and people threw a lot of money at it. And then he never stopped.

So I don't dislike "Rebirth," I just don't like the turn in what it represented. I certainly never wanted the Corps to stay gone... during the Kyle run, an eventual restoration of the Corps seemed an obvious thing to happen eventually, with Kyle destined to have some place of prominence within it. It was something to look forward to. I just didn't expect that would come at a personal cost to him, as a character. He's been jerked around more than anybody else.

Eleven years. Eleven years he was the only GL. That's like two whole generations of GL fans. And despite some initial allusions of goodwill towards Kyle, Geoff made it clear he would make it his mission to undermine and sweep under the rug everything Kyle ever did.

He even went so far as to have Sinestro kill Kyle's mom! And then ignore it! There's whole comic stories afterward where Kyle is interacting with Sinestro and it's never even brought up.

But "Green Lantern" to me has always been more interesting as a grand space saga or space opera rather than "I really like Kyle" or "I really don't like Hal." Things like the intrigue with the Guardians, the Controllers, the Zamarons, and ancient stuff with the Empire of Tears and Qward and all of that... the different eras of GL in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, how they are so different yet build on one another. The changing characters, the changing dynamics of the Corps, the histories there, the bad blood... this or that. Super old adversaries from two decades ago coming back, and it making perfect sense. That's the kind of stuff I enjoy. And it's what Geoff Johns spent about 10 years and 20 megavents tearing down, either to suit his own personal taste or to better align with the "Green Lantern" movie he produced and oversaw yet pretends he had nothing to do with now.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:50 PM   #50
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Lots'a Stuff!
Fair points.

For one thing, I was extremely happy to learn that Kyle wasn't going to be killed off just so Hal could return, because I was afraid of that as I'm sure many were. But after that, yeah, I wasn't always thrilled with how he was handled. It felt like pandering; "We'll keep Kyle around for the fans who like him... but we won't give him anything too important to do."

And it did feel, to me, like everything up until Sinestro Corps War had been building to something, had been at the very least planned and mapped out. It felt tight, and then, as you said, the ending kind of wobbled and then they just started adding new ring colors to keep things interesting. I do like Blackest Night, but I agree things post-Sinestro Corps War in general weren't as tight as they had been previously.

I think we like a lot of the same things about Green Lantern, as to what you've described. I don't fully agree that Geoff fully tore it down, or at least altogether intended to. To some point, as he usually does, it seemed like he was trying to represent the past and use it to weave threads into new stories, but it definitely seems like he got too distracted by the Colors Wars to bother with the past mythology anymore, after a point. I mean, he did start off by updating or bringing back a bunch of "classic" GL characters, both hero and villain... but then all the new characters, new "ancient conspiracies that change everything you thought you knew", and whatnot kind of made things fuzzy.

But I'm with you on why the franchise appeals. Absolutely. Green Lantern is one of my all-time favorite things, ever. Guy Gardner, individually, but Green Lantern as a thing, in general, as well. Even Alan, with that swank purple cape and the "...And I will shed my light over dark evil" version of the Oath, and that spiffy puffy red shirt. Love Green Lantern.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:57 PM   #51
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Also, Yeesh... everything in that "Anti-Hal" letter Andrew posted was extremely harsh, but tough to argue. It reads like it was written shortly after GL: Rebirth, but it's still tough to argue with over a decade later, regardless. Again, I really like Green Lantern, I have a ton of books (nowhere near as many as Andrew, sadly! ), and I like a lot of Hal's stories. I was even pretty happy with Ryan Reynolds and his interpretation of Hal (although, as usual, Ryan kind of just plays himself). So I'm no "hater". I'll even totally defend Hal banging Arisia, if I'm properly motivated (it's a weak defense, but still... ). Green Lantern has always been one of my favorite books to read, no matter who the star was. And I'll even defend Geoff Johns's work, by saying that for better and worse, his run on the books had me buying Green Lantern more religiously than at any point since I was 11-12 years old, so obviously I was having fun with it or I wouldn't have stuck with it. I much prefer his JSA stuff, but I have liked much of his GL.

But Hal really has always been pretty vanilla. "Generic Super-Hero", as stated above, fits perfectly. His powers are great, but they've always been the meat of his stories while his personality only rarely factored into things. It's funny, because a while ago I was talking to someone about how Green Lantern was seriously misused on Super-Friends, arguably the least-interesting character of all, because at least Zan and Jayna had a f*cking space monkey. But then I realized, by definition everyone on that show had to be a cardboard cutout of themselves, and Hal already was kind of "stock"; watering him down at all didn't leave anyone much to work with.

I don't always agree with how Geoff has handled Hal, but I do appreciate that he's at least tried to flesh him out a little bit. It's not too similar to how he acted pre-Parallax and Rebirth, but a lot of super-heroes come back a little different when they rise from the dead, and it always seemed natural, to me. Like when Superman came back from the dead, he was a lot more carefree and cut loose a bit more than he had before he died, and he'd internally monologue about how coming back gave him a new perspective on everything. I kind of figure the same thing happened with Hal. I've noticed it happens more than some may think; very few characters just pick up right where they left off when they're resurrected. Even Guy Gardner mellowed out a bit after his own death and rebirth; he wasn't half as abrasive as he used to be, and they've kept that consistent years later. I think it's an interesting writer's tool, in that it gives one a perfect excuse to tweak things they don't like, or try and add some growth to a boring, stagnant, or directionless character. It's far too overdone nowadays, of course, but it provides rich opportunities for experimentation and exploration.
-----------------------

Speaking of Guy Gardner, I actually feel like his history and personality have been screwed with more unforgivably than Hal's in the last decade-plus. Some of it was great; Warrior served its purpose but was ultimately stupid, and I was glad to see it be thrown out after far, far too long. I had reservations about seeing Guy so easily become a Lantern again, as he had done so much in the intervening years to distance himself from his history and the Corps. But his simple dismissal of "Hey... I lied!" was easy enough to swallow. He'd dismissed chances to take the ring back before, so it was kinda weird... but he was Warrior at the time, and was seemingly fine that way. A quest for power at any cost has ALWAYS been consistent with Guy's character, so once he became aware his Vuldarian powers were gone, obviously he wasn't going to pass up the chance to have a Power Ring anymore under those circumstances. And elevating his "rank" in the Corps., and doing lots and lots of stories with him, and seemingly finally giving Guy his due... I was a huge fan of all that. That's part of why I like Geoff's run so much; he didn't do everything right, but after ten-plus years someone was taking my favorite character out of the box again, and making him super-important.

But other things made no sense, and I don't like them. For example, for reasons I can't understand, huge chunks of his history have been erased, ignored, or flat-out retconned. Important backstory. Family history. Historic events. And it happened slowly; little by little, over a period of years, Guy became a whole different character. First, it was shortly after Infinite Crisis, where Guy declares to Blue Beetle something to the effect of, "I ain't never killed nobody in my life", when that's patently false. Specifically, during his run as Warrior - which is, as far as I know, still canon, as it is still referenced on occasion - Guy killed lots of people. And aliens. And stuff. That was his thing, he was the hero who would "cross the line". He and Lobo had that whole contest on the Tormock's planet where they competed to see who could slaughter more of them. And I'm sure he's killed people since then in more recent stories. So that short, weird period in between for a few years, where they repeatedly pretended that Guy was some kind of "innocent" good guy and always had been... was very strange. I just ignore it, but it's there, it happened, and I don't think they ever explained it.

And then there's the fact that he has an entirely different family and life history. He's barely the same person at all, personality aside; everything that ever happened to him, and every single thing that influenced him to become the person who he is, is now completely different than it was, for reasons I don't understand. I hate when comics do this, because again, you can look, talk, and act the same, and have the same name, but if every single thing that has happened in your past is different, you're NOT the same person! Shatner's Capt. Kirk is clearly NOT the same person as Pine's Capt. Kirk, we can all agree on that, so you can see what I'm getting at here.

Guy Gardner's general history was established a long time ago and then given greater detail in the "Yesterday's Sins" arc of his own book, one of my favorite arcs of all time. Without getting too deep into it, it was far more interesting, tragic, and poignant than the rebooted New 52 version. Yesterday's Sins illustrates that Guy Gardner is simply the most tragic unsung hero in the entire DCU, and easily one of the most noble in spite of his self-righteousness; why anyone would hand-wave that kind of development away for some generic "I'm a cop, my whole family are cops, and now I'm a SPACE cop" nonsense is a mystery to me.

So yeah, clearly Geoff doesn't always know best.
-------------------------

To one of your earlier points, Andrew, Hal and Barry HAD often been established as very close friends long before Johns took over and made it firmly established. I'm not sure when it started, as I haven't read a ton of Silver Age GL or Flash, but I do have a lot of books from the 1980s, at least, where Hal was teamed up with Barry. In Mark Waid's run on Flash, for example, in the phenomenal "Return of Barry Allen" arc where Wally finally became the true Flash "once and for all", when "Barry" shows up out of nowhere, part of how he fools Wally and everyone is because Hal steps forward and says that he knew Barry Allen better than anyone, they were super-close friends, and this guy is definitely Barry Allen because Hal Jordan says so and he definitely wouldn't get that wrong (yet ANOTHER early sign that Hal wasn't quite right, or at least had questionable judgment long before he flipped to Parallax). Hal also teamed up with Wally quite often during his Flash run.

So GL and Flash being a team has been a long-established thing long before Geoff came around. Frankly, when I was a kid Green Arrow wasn't getting much of a "push", outside of that spiffy "Longbow Hunters" book, so I mostly saw Hal teaming up with Flash, and I thought they were the de facto "partners". I thought it was strange that Hal and Oliver were more frequent partners, because they seemed to have little in common, to me. I'm not aware of any degree to which Oliver has been de-emphasized as Hal's friend/partner in more recent years; simply commenting that pairing Hal up with Barry wasn't anything Geoff can take credit nor blame for.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:11 AM   #52
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For one thing, I was extremely happy to learn that Kyle wasn't going to be killed off just so Hal could return, because I was afraid of that as I'm sure many were.
There was 0 chance Geoff would make a martyr of Kyle. No, he was playing the long game... sideline Kyle enough years, enough fans will drop off/age out, the problem will take care of itself. Attrition.

Though Geoff did technically kill Kyle for about 5 minutes during Blackest Night.

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And it did feel, to me, like everything up until Sinestro Corps War had been building to something, had been at the very least planned and mapped out. It felt tight, and then, as you said, the ending kind of wobbled and then they just started adding new ring colors to keep things interesting. I do like Blackest Night, but I agree things post-Sinestro Corps War in general weren't as tight as they had been previously.
I'm glad that they made Blackest Night a company-wide event... and I loved seeing Nekron again. Beyond that... what a horrible execution of something literally every GL fan was super stoked about.

And then they even did Brightest Day (which was actually GOOD) and literally retconned it all away not even a year later with Flashpoint.

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I think we like a lot of the same things about Green Lantern, as to what you've described. I don't fully agree that Geoff fully tore it down, or at least altogether intended to.
Maybe not. But there is definitely a sense that "I know best" from him, and he's aligned GL to be strictly within a lens of what he thinks it should be, with stories only told the way he thinks they should be told.

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To some point, as he usually does, it seemed like he was trying to represent the past and use it to weave threads into new stories, but it definitely seems like he got too distracted by the Colors Wars to bother with the past mythology anymore, after a point.
Yep, he stopped cold turkey doing that kind of stuff about megavent #2 or #3. Then it stopped being, "What crafty thing will Geoff Johns do that carefully plays with continuity to give us something new built on something old?" (which I liked) and... sort of shifted into, "What is Geoff Johns going to completely cannibalize, either of his existing stories or of longstanding continuity today? Because he doesn't care anymore." Everything he was putting out after a while was exclusively, "Everything you've ever known about Green Lantern/the Guardians/the Maltusians... is WRONG!!!"

Even little things. Like foreshadowing a major Evil Star return, then losing interest in it and forgetting about it. Or foreshadowing the Black Entity inside Black Hand and doing zero with it. Or even completely forgetting about/losing interest in Cowgirl, Hal's girlfriend. These are all things HE wrote and created.

HACK!

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I mean, he did start off by updating or bringing back a bunch of "classic" GL characters, both hero and villain...
He did, but if you think back, it was always for a purpose, and then he would lose interest and discard them. Think, like, Arisia. He literally brought her back just to make some retcon where Hal never had sex with a 12 year-old girl (some business about "oh no, THAT? her planet orbits her sun way slower... she was 12 but that's like 200!")... and then she had absolutely 0 meaningful to do with any storyline since (barring her minor supporting cast status on the GLC book later on, not written by Geoff).

Also painfully obvious: Geoff systematically and entirely slaughtered any and all of Kyle's villains from the 90s. In short order, Major Force, Nero, Graven, all got wiped out. All the 90s Lanterns were picked off, too... violently, even. Laira getting cleaved in half sticks out in my head, and Nero being executed like a dog as well. Almost like he had an agenda...

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Old 06-15-2018, 12:34 AM   #53
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You gotta wonder to what degree his Hollywood dalliances have had to do with all of that. The guy's genuinely written some awesome stuff in his career - and I still think his overall career average is pretty high; keep in mind, I checked out in 2009 so anything since I'm only passingly aware of - but when someone who used to perform at a consistently high level starts to lose focus, it's extremely noticeable.

"Brightest Day" was it, for me. I had stuck through a lot, and was loving a lot of what was going on in DC; at one point I was buying about 2/3s of the entire line (I had a lot more expendable income back then). And I was loving a lot of Brightest Day's events and excited about the future. THEN I heard that DC was hitting the Panic Button because Final Crisis hadn't gotten over as planned and the fallout since then had them scrambling to refocus the company, and had settled on New 52 and the "Nuke Everything" strategy, which I said then and still maintain was a complete overreaction, totally unnecessary, and did far more harm than good.

So, that's when I dropped everything. I was enjoying the ride just fine, until I found out none of it was going to have a proper ending or matter in just a few weeks. Everything I'd been doing collecting the line for so many years felt like a waste of time. There were other factors; everything going up to $3 an issue (god, if only they'd stayed there...) sure didn't help, and I was going through a personal crisis that gutted my income so I was going to have to drop a ton of books anyway. But the fact that everything I was reading would be pointless in a couple months sealed the deal, for me. I pick up a random issue once in a while, now... really can't afford to collect the way I used to... but that whole period really sucked. I felt completely jerked around and really couldn't justify the expense anymore. I picked up a few New 52 books, didn't like 'em, and felt justified in my decision to take a long break.

Before that, though... man, I had a good run going. I'll be getting all my books out of storage, pretty soon; I'm actually excited to get a chance to re-organize and catalog my collection for the first time in like ten years.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:27 AM   #54
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You gotta wonder to what degree his Hollywood dalliances have had to do with all of that. The guy's genuinely written some awesome stuff in his career - and I still think his overall career average is pretty high; keep in mind, I checked out in 2009 so anything since I'm only passingly aware of - but when someone who used to perform at a consistently high level starts to lose focus, it's extremely noticeable
Personally I think once he became inserted into a position of power on a corporate level, even given full veto power over the GL movie as a producer... his mentality changed from, "I'm a big GL fan who is allowed to play in this sandbox" to "I'm Geoff Johns™, Top Dog Dot Com, and I get to change whatever I want now and make Green Lantern my own." And it showed.

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"Brightest Day" was it, for me. I had stuck through a lot, and was loving a lot of what was going on in DC; at one point I was buying about 2/3s of the entire line (I had a lot more expendable income back then). And I was loving a lot of Brightest Day's events and excited about the future. THEN I heard that DC was hitting the Panic Button because Final Crisis hadn't gotten over as planned and the fallout since then had them scrambling to refocus the company, and had settled on New 52 and the "Nuke Everything" strategy, which I said then and still maintain was a complete overreaction, totally unnecessary, and did far more harm than good.
You're a stronger man than me. Though Green Lantern as a property was fairly insulated from "Flashpoint" beyond side stuff... but pertinent stuff. Like, Brightest Day, Jade is resurrected... and then next week, Flashpoint... no more Jade. Her dad is gay on Earth-2 and she's never existed. Also Guy's bizarre new origin that nobody asked for.

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So, that's when I dropped everything. I was enjoying the ride just fine, until I found out none of it was going to have a proper ending or matter in just a few weeks.
Initially they were quite ambiguous about how much previous continuity would stand. They made it clear stuff like "Blackest Night" and even "The Death of Superman" stood, just happened... somewhat differently now. Then as time went on it seemed like... maybe they never happened.

There was even a comic with a flashback showing Kyle joining the Green Lantern Corps by Ganthet welcoming him to Oa and giving him a ring and introducing him to all the other Guardians. But I guess that was a mistake...

Quote:
Before that, though... man, I had a good run going. I'll be getting all my books out of storage, pretty soon; I'm actually excited to get a chance to re-organize and catalog my collection for the first time in like ten years.
My own collection is... vast. It's everything. Everything from the 40s to whenever "Godhead" came out. The wife has it pinned up on the top of the garage on a platform in the 36 mini boxes I put them in... so it's not really convenient to get to. Part of me is like, "Sell it! Screw it, if you want to read X issue, you can probably just access it online!" and the other part is like, "You had a lot of fun collecting all the GL comics for 2 years... you can have fun catching up with all the GL comics you've missed for the past 3 years again!" Which ordinarily wouldn't make me bite... but then I read the Grant Morrison news. Grant Morrison is basically down to be the new Geoff Johns for GL... or at least however much Geoff lets him, from afar. I don't know where you come down on Morrison, but as far as I'm concerned, that man is a f***ing master of storytelling and craft.

And it's interesting. "Green Lanterns" starring Geoff's two SJW Lanterns, Jessica and Baz, is being joined by Hal, whose "Hal Jordan & The GLC" title is being cancelled. Aaaand... that leaves everybody else. If Hal is being shuffled to that book, that means Grant's focus will be on Lanterns other than Hal, Jessica, or Baz.

As in, Kyle. Who he elevated in a huge way during his JLA run in the 90s. And even your boy, Guy.

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Old 06-15-2018, 02:08 AM   #55
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There was even a comic with a flashback showing Kyle joining the Green Lantern Corps by Ganthet welcoming him to Oa and giving him a ring and introducing him to all the other Guardians. But I guess that was a mistake...
Jesus. Horrible. Sloppy.

See, the little bit that I kept up on, I was aware that while most books were getting a full overhaul, they claimed that Batman and Green Lantern (the only consistently strong sellers at the time of the New 52 reboot, "coincidentally") would get to keep most of their established backstory. And that ended up not being true, at all. A lot of that had to do with the "Everybody's entire story is only 5 years old, now" nonsense, but regardless, almost everything that happened before Flashpoint was, as you said, only loosely the same, if at all. Like Guy Gardner. "Kinda sorta the same just totally different whatever nobody cares anyway" is NOT "still the same".

And yeah, all that stuff with Jade, and going to the trouble of bringing her back only to drop the entire angle. The New 52 sucked a batch of dicks. A batch or a box, whatever's bigger. All the dicks. One big 7-year long waste of everyone's goddamn time. And it's not like they can just go back and pick things up where they left off in 2010, and pretend nothing in between ever happened... although that still might be the best idea, if impractical. I know I'd take whatever was probably in the pipeline back then over pretty much whatever they've done since. All that "Justice League International" build-up, with "Justice League: Generation Lost"... and for WHAT?

I mean, I hear some recent stuff is pretty good, and I've picked up a few issues here and there that aren't bad. Action Comics #1000, for example, was pure perfection. So they can still hit home runs when they try. I'm just still really burned about that whole era and experience.

I'm in awe of that collection, and I know you keep busy but I'unno how you afford it all. Earliest thing I own is a Batman comic from the mid-1950s, I think, in awful shape. But it's real, and it's mine. I have a couple Superman books from the 60s, and a bunch more from the 70s, and then just about every Superman book from 1986 through 2010, minus a small handful. But nothing very early, rare, or valuable. Tons of stuff, though; mostly DC but some Marvel, mostly just a few scattered issues or mini-series, not much of a Marvel guy but certain things really grab my eye. I like the Squadron Supreme/Supreme Power stuff, for example. Or "Startling Stories: Banner". I'm looking forward to doing a full inventory in a few weeks, but at one point I had more than a dozen longboxes, about eight of them full of Superman stuff.

I could never sell anything I'd invested so much of my time and money into. At one point collecting was like a full-time hobby, and I'd hit the comic book store several times a week, accumulating a vast collection very quickly. In 2001, I had just over two boxes full of books; by 2008, I had around a dozen or more. Over a hundred bucks a week on books, easy. It all adds up. I couldn't do it all the same way now, but it was a fun and frantic period in my life that I look back on fondly, and I still like to get some back issues in the rare event I have spare cash. I'll probably start collecting more regularly again, even if just back issues of 80s and 90s stuff, once my collection is out of storage and I can put everything away properly.

Altogether, it's probably not even worth selling, though. It's just large; large enough to the point that the only way to unload it would be to sell it to a comic shop owner for a bulk rate, which would inevitably only pay me about 25 cents per issue. I paid cover price for a huge chunk of what I own, and rarely less than a buck for anything else; even if it's all technically "worthless", I couldn't justify taking any kind of loss, which would be necessary if I ever did try to liquidate it. Selling a large comic book collection is like selling a video game collection; if you absolutely need to make space in a hurry, sure, do it; otherwise, the loss isn't worth anything you'll get for it. May as well hang onto it and pass it on for future generations to potentially sell for a few pennies more.

Not that I'd ever even think about selling mine, anyway; just that I've occasionally looked into the logistics just to see if it would even be worth it, and it's not. If we ever ran out of room it'd actually be more practical to build makeshift furniture out of the longboxes and put decorative pillows over 'em.
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:49 AM   #56
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I don't know where you come down on Morrison, but as far as I'm concerned, that man is a f***ing master of storytelling and craft.
It's funny - I share the same repulsiveness with Morrison that you do with Johns. I'm truly envious of people who enjoy his work because they seem to eat it all up. I wish I could appreciate it but so much of what I've read of his work just feels... stale? Lifeless? Indulgent? Dare I say "boring"?

I get it - I'm in the minority. But it feels like the whole world is on crazy pills sometimes.

All Star Superman was a bit better on second read, but it's without a doubt my number one "most overrated book of all time." Animal Man was... eh. Had fun moments but I generally don't like characters/stories that acknowledge their just characters in a fictional universe. And injecting himself into the story was eye rolling and borderline masturbatory. Kill Your Boyfriend was trash. Arkham Asylum seemed like a great setup on paper but reads stale. I only read the first two volumes of Batman & Robin but it left me with a feeling that I was just slogging threw it and was never really invested. None of the new villains like Professor Pyg(if I'm remembering correctly) seemed at all interesting. Batman R.I.P was a nightmare and Final Crisis was just boring considering the scope of the thing.

And I maintain The Filth is the worst book I've ever bought - Ever.

(Yeah, these are not exactly in depth critiques but its almost 6am and I'm just writing to pass out, so...)

So yeah, sounds like I'm overly harsh but it's just been my personal experience. His style of storytelling (coupled with dull dialogue) is not to my taste. I do appreciate his work more on a intellectual level. He comes up with some fascinating ideas that's wonderful to disect in your head, but nothing he writes comes close to actually pulling any heart strings.

Just my opinion of course
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:33 AM   #57
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Man, reading Andrew and Leo critiquing and analyzing Green Lantern comics is the most fun I've had on the internet in a long time.

Thanks for the awesome read, Professors!
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:31 AM   #58
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What is your opinion about the silver age era GL? I know it contains the first Hal Jordan's adventures. There are very tempting omnibus on Amazon but I don't know if this is good on a storyline point of view, or only for a collection point of view.

I own the GL/GA run. Is this comparable or did GL improve with time?
I would recommend getting Showcase Presents Green Lantern volume one. It lays a lot of foundations and first appearances from Sinestro and other villains as well as Carol Ferris. It is so much cheaper than the omnibus. It is black and white print, but it never bothered me.

As far is it any good? Stories are silly and speed reads. Its more a novelty for what I mentioned above as far as seeing characters for the first time its great in that sense and its worth a read, but is mediocre overall.


https://m.barnesandnoble.com/p/showc...4aAlCzEALw_wcB


I am on the road atm, but I read for half an hour the responses. There is a lot of insight, some that I disagree with and some that I agree with. I will reply more in depth this evening.
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:46 AM   #59
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Man, reading Andrew and Leo critiquing and analyzing Green Lantern comics is the most fun I've had on the internet in a long time.

Thanks for the awesome read, Professors!
I do my best, buddy.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:22 AM   #60
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It makes me think... I just read the Third Army event yesterday, and there is one part, when Kyle is working to master all 7 colors, where we saw the first meeting between Kyle and Ganthet, and the first visit of Kyle on Oa (with the meeting of Sayd). Funny thing, it happened "2 years ago"...
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The New 52 tried to retroactively keep most of the Batman and Green Lantern continuities, while also compressing them into an impossible "five years since the origins" timeline.
I don't really have a problem with the "time compression." I mean, I can sit down and read GL Vol. 2, #1-224 (from the 60s all the way to the 80s) -- every single issue -- and logically reason that whole slews of issues only take place over the course of a single day, or a week. Yet years are passing in reality. I'm positive I could do the same with all of Kyle's run.

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And yeah, all that stuff with Jade, and going to the trouble of bringing her back only to drop the entire angle. The New 52 sucked a batch of dicks. A batch or a box, whatever's bigger. All the dicks. One big 7-year long waste of everyone's goddamn time. And it's not like they can just go back and pick things up where they left off in 2010, and pretend nothing in between ever happened... although that still might be the best idea, if impractical.
Can't they? Just make a big stupid event, whatever they want, even let the Hackman write it... then WHOOSH, return us to precisely the end of "Brightest Day" & "Generation Lost." They can even keep their SH**TY memories of the New 52 and all that.

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I know I'd take whatever was probably in the pipeline back then over pretty much whatever they've done since. All that "Justice League International" build-up, with "Justice League: Generation Lost"... and for WHAT?
Oh, I know! And I was really, really looking forward to the new JLI after JL: Generation Lost. Then it was bait-and-switched into the FAKE New 52 JLI book where Guy was pretending he'd never met Ice before, etc.. Horrible, awful, ghastly.

Part of me was thinking the resurrected Max Lord (after the end of Brightest Day) just made everyone think the New 52 was real with his powers, and there'd be a story where he's confronted and everything is set back to normal... seemed like a good backdoor, but it never happened. They double-downed instead. But hey, maybe Geoff will reveal Max Lord is the new Ozymandias or whatever in his latest Watchmen sh**fest. Alternately, I also wrote a big theory about Wally (the real Wally) coming out of the Speed Force, unaffected by the events of Flashpoint and trying to make everyone remember the real DCU... and this is exactly what they did!

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It's funny - I share the same repulsiveness with Morrison that you do with Johns. I'm truly envious of people who enjoy his work because they seem to eat it all up. I wish I could appreciate it but so much of what I've read of his work just feels... stale? Lifeless? Indulgent? Dare I say "boring"?
Meh! He puts a world-class scholarly level of thought, research and symmetry into every single thing he writes. If something is going over your head or seems boring/stale, it's probably because he's digging up something obscure from the 50s-80s and weaving it into the narrative that you either don't know about or have no interest in. He studies all of the great writers and is always honing his craft.

Geoff's take: "Lots of double-splash pages!! Explosions! BOOOOSH!!! Hal said something COOL!! Let's set up the NEXT story!!"

It's kind of funny, Geoff is like Superboy Prime come to life. Basically.

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