Green Lanterns 40: Discussion

by Michael DeLaney and Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Michael: Tim Seeley’s Green Lanterns has the DC logo on the cover, but it feels like a very Marvel series, particularly The Amazing Spider-Man. In the heyday of the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko era, ASM had socially relevant messages, long-running narratives, and, of course, the down-on-his-luck protagonist. The modern Amazing Spider-Man tales try that same type of storytelling with an occasional social media flair — to varying success. With ties to prior issues and the constant personal problems of our heroes, and a superhero dating app, Green Lanterns 40 fits right in with that ASM mold. Continue reading

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Green Lanterns 37 is a Clumsy Parable

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

“I conducted my own investigation because no one listens to me. I got away with it because no one looks at me. Because, unless I have your reports, your coffee or your lunch, I’m invisible.”

Peggy Carter, Agent Carter

Patrick: Part of what I love about the short-lived Agent Carter television series is that, when it wants to, it can be thuddingly obvious about its themes and values. Peggy is a bad-ass super-spy often overlooked — or worse, taken advantage of — because she is a woman in the 1950s. The show loves putting these blatant statements of gender theory in Peggy’s mouth, but only once the show itself has actually demonstrated what she’s describing. It makes for an exhilarating story that embodies complicated values: having fun and having something to say at the same time. Green Lanterns 37 has an awful lot to say, but has not quite mastered how to have fun saying it. Continue reading

Relatable Moments Make For Great Fun in Green Lanterns 35

by Mark Mitchell

Green Lanterns 35

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

It’s great to see Tim Seeley having fun again in Green Lanterns 35 after spending so much time in the joy-deprived and muddled world of his Nightwing run, and introducing Bolphunga into the mix lets Seeley cut a little looser than he did in Green Lanterns 34.

Continue reading

Green Lanterns 34: Discussion

by Michael DeLaney and Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

slim-banner

Michael: Sam Humphries has passed the Green Lanterns torch but the flame still burns strong. Green Lanterns 34 marks Tim Seeley’s second issue with Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz and explores how hard it is to maintain a steady job while you’re on call to save the universe 24/7. More importantly, it highlights the ugly truth that no matter how heroic you are, if you’re brown in America you’re still seen as second-class citizens. Continue reading

Jessica and Simon Regroup in Green Lanterns 32

by Drew Baumgartner

Green Lanterns 32

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

When talking about serialized narratives, we’ll often talk about how certain installments “put the pieces in place” — that is, it was saddled with setting up the next installment (often to its own detriment). But superhero comics represent a peculiar type of serialized narrative, one where “putting the pieces in place” often means putting things back where they belong. However far afield you may take Bruce Wayne, he’s always going to return to Gotham, return to his allies, return to fighting crime as Batman. These kinds of periodic resets are partially a vestige of a time when superhero stories were much more episodic than today but they also offer a straightforward way to keep the characters going into perpetuity. Often, that kind of reset is reserved for the very end of an arc, giving us just enough of the hero’s old status quo to restore some sense of normalcy. Occasionally, though, we’ll get a story like Green Lanterns 32, which takes time to remind us who our heroes are when they’re not busy dealing with a crisis. Continue reading

Empathy Overpowered by Patriarchal Vengeance in Green Lanterns 31

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz travel ten billion years into the past are integrated into the foundational Green Lantern myth. They are “important” in every conceivable sense of the word. And while they achieve that import through battle and victory and all the usual superhero hullabaloo, it’s Jessica Cruz’ skills coping with overwhelming emotions and mental illness that earn them a place in the Green Lantern history books… or, it would if her empathy weren’t so easily overwritten by a history that refuses to change. Continue reading

Blowing Up the Page in Green Lanterns 30

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Halfway through Green Lantern 30, Simon Baz praises Jessica Cruz’ plan to fight Volthoom. His narration says “A power ring requires incredible concentration. Volthoom has no ideas what he’s doing. Keep him off balance. All hands on deck. Never let up.” Her plan, like so many Green Lantern plans, boils down to “everyone punch him at the same time.” The dramatic subversion is that the plan doesn’t appear to be working. Artist Carlo Barberi elevates the drama by blowing up the format, only reining in it once our heroes are back in control. Continue reading

Overcoming the Refusal of the Call in Green Lanterns 29

by Drew Baumgartner

Green Lanterns 29

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Superheroes are locked in a permanent state of adventure, so their stories never really end. For that reason, it might seem absurd to apply narrative structures like Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” to superhero narratives, as there is little hope of “return,” and notions of “known” and “unknown” start to break down once the hero has been around for a while. But I’ll be damned if the first few beats of any Superhero origin doesn’t more or less follow the first few beats of the Hero’s Journey — especially if the “hero” undergoing the journey happens to be a supporting character. Such is the case in Sam Humphries and Eduardo Pansica’s Green Lanterns 29, which finds all of the original Green Lanterns (OGLs) refusing the call to adventure before ultimately deciding that they have no choice. Continue reading

Jessica Earns the Ring in Green Lanterns 28

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Part Two of Sam Humphries and Eduardo Pansica’s “Out of Time” story arc is a rarity for superhero comic. Save an opening flashback, and a final page stinger, the entire issue is a single scene, taking place in one location over the course of a matter of minutes. That’s the closest thing you’re going to see to “real time” in a comic. There are no cuts around to more exotic settings or events, just the simple insistence on working out nine non-complementary personalities.  Continue reading

Crazy Twists Bring the Fun in Green Lanterns 27

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!

I’m a sucker for a big, sci-fi twist. I love the ending of Tim Burton’s misguided 2001 Planet of the Apes reboot with Mark Whalberg’s Leo Davidson crashing back to “Earth” in front of the Lincoln Memorial… which Burton then reveals to actually be Ape-raham Lincoln. It’s a twist that makes exactly zero sense when considered for even a passing moment, but it’s capital “F” Fun and that’s good enough for me. Continue reading