Patrick: Geoff Johns’ final issue of Green Lantern is framed with a narrative device I was first introduced to in the movie The Princess Bride: the old man reading the story to a young man. The flick is an adaptation of novel, and the novel proports to be a rediscovered classic, heavily annotated by the “editor,” William Goldman (who actually just wrote the whole thing). All three of these example serve to elevate the story itself – you don’t need to look to the real world to find a captive audience, there’s one right there in front of you. This issue takes the entirety of Johns’ run and gives it a reverent audience, promoting the nine years since Green Lantern: Rebirth to mythic stature. I’ve been following the entirety of that run, so I’m part of that audience, and I’m moved and affected in very real ways reading this issue. But the bright lights and decades-old mythology groan under the weight of so much self-congratulation. This is a victory lap – mileage will vary.
Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians 20, originally released May 22nd, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.
Spencer: My first experience with a major creative team shake-up was back in 2007 when Geoff Johns ended his run on Teen Titans. It was the first book I had ever followed monthly, and I walked around for weeks with an empty feeling in my stomach after I heard the news. Nowadays it feels like creative teams change almost daily, and I’ve developed a thick skin out of necessity, but every once in a while a change will hit me like it’s 2007 all over again. Tony Bedard’s departure from Green Lantern: New Guardians is one of those changes, and this final issue epilogue is such an effective goodbye that I feel completely justified about how much I hate to see it end.
Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing Green Lantern Corps 20, originally released May 8th, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.
Patrick: It might be pure, dumb circumstance that this issue of Green Lantern Corps came out a full two weeks before this epic run of Green Lantern stories comes to a close. The cover of this issue brashly proclaims that the story within is an “epilogue.” And it is – in the strictest sense, everything that happens in this issue takes place immediately after the crossover has been resolved. Peter Tomasi and Fernando Pasarin’s preemptive coda challenges the very idea that a Green Lantern story could end and explores a deeper truth about what we want, what we need and what we expect from serialized storytelling. Continue reading →
Spencer: Tragedy and loss are inevitable parts of life. We can’t escape it, but we can deal with it, and how we do so tends to reveal our true priorities and who we really are deep inside. Continuing Green Lantern: New Guardian’s habit of turning crossover issues into journeys through its characters’ psyches, writer Tony Bedard uses not one, but two tragedies—the destruction of the planet Korugar and the “death” of Hal Jordan—to shine a light deep inside Sinestro, Carol Ferris, and Kyle Rayner.
Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing Green Lantern 19, originally released April 10th, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.
Patrick: It’s hard not to see Volthoom as an author surrogate. This is a creature who feasts off the emotional turmoil of the Green Lantern characters and can alter their pasts with a snap of his glowing, iridescent fingers. So why is he the bad guy? Comic book fans are very quick to turn on creative or editorial teams when it seems like the choices they’re making threatens what the fans hold dear. Scott Lobdell mentions that Tim Drake was never Robin? “Oh fuck that guy.” Dan DiDio says the Crises never happened? “Well, he’s an idiot anyway.” Fans harbor such ire for creative missteps that it (unfortunately) makes sense to make the character who re-writes history the bad guy. But what about the writers we love – where are they represented? There are writers that live and die with these characters, why should they be solely represented by a universe-stomping big-bad? Green Lantern Corps 19 provides the antidote for just that.
Mikyzptlk: Last year, Geoff Johns gave us The Villain’s Journey in Justice League 9, 10, 11 and 12. While that story was mostly bemoaned here on Retcon Punch, Johns has been delivering a much, much better version of “the villain’s journey” since his Green Lantern run first began nearly a decade ago. Almost as much as Green Lantern has been the story of Hal Jordan, it has been the story of Sinestro. Just as we’ve seen Hal’s resurrection and journey of becoming the “greatest” Green Lantern, we’ve seen Sinestro’s resurrection and journey of becoming the greatest Green Lantern antagonist. However, Johns has also shown us that Sinestro, while a fantastic villain, is much more complex than just that. To Sinestro, his aptly sinister actions were always intended for the greater good of the universe, and while those actions were twisted, he eventually found himself wearing a green ring once more. Even with that ring, we’ve still gotten a mixed-bag from Sinestro. Issue 19 of Green Lantern dives deeper into Sinestro’s motivations, and attempts to explain why he’s capable of being the title’s greatest antagonist and ally all at the same time. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and guest Pivitor are discussing New Guardians 18, originally released March 20th, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.
Shelby: Be true to yourself. It’s the sort of lesson a pre-teen protagonist would learn at the end of an after school special about peer pressure or cliques or something like that. Disney Channel-sentimentality aside, the idea of recognizing who you are at your core is an important one to me. It took me about 28 years, but I think I’m finally figuring myself out, finally learning what really motivates me to be the person I am. Is this core me something that I’ve always had inside me, or has the life I’ve lived shaped it? If my life had taken a number of very different turns, would I be a completely different person, or would this core me be the same? Continue reading →
Shelby: To think about all the various paths one’s life can take boggles the mind. What if I hadn’t moved to Chicago 5 years ago? Picked a different major in college? Gone to a different college all together? Focused on sports instead of the arts in high school? Told Nathaniel I thought he was super cute in first grade? And those are just a handful of big choices (except maybe that last one); if every choice I make has the potential to create a completely new life path, I can’t begin to comprehend the sheer number of lives I could have lived. Going down any of these infinite paths, would I still retain that core “me-ness” that identifies who I am? It’s a fascinating question that was raised with Wrath of the First Lantern last month, and that is rehashed again here. Continue reading →
Today, Mikyzptlk and Patrick are discussing Green Lantern 18, originally released March 6th, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.
Mikyzptlk: One of my favorite movies of all time is The Shawshank Redeption where Andy Dufresne is convicted of murders he did not commit. He spends twenty years in prison suffering one horrible thing after another until he decides he’s had enough. He no longer wants to suffer but knows that the only way to escape said suffering is to endure even more of it. He ends up crawling through the sewage pipe to escape, but on the other side finds freedom and a new life. I couldn’t help but think about Andy while reading the conclusion to Green Lantern 18 as Hal finds himself in similar situation. While Hal may not have to crawl through a river of shit to escape, his path to freedom may be even worse.
Shelby: There are times it’s important we don’t let our emotions get the best of us. Emotions are beautiful, terrible, irrational things that can lead us to commit wonderful, stupid acts. While acting on our emotions alone can be totally awesome, sometimes we gotta let cooler heads prevail, and let reason dictate our next move. The Guardians, evil little bastards though they may be, were half right; sometimes dispassionate logic is the correct choice. Volthoom, of course, takes the opposite approach; he is powered by emotion, the more he can make everyone feel the better off he’ll be. So, on a scale from Guardian to Volthoom, where does our favorite master of the emotional spectrum fit?