Drew: We’ve talked a lot about the five year rule here at Retcon Punch, and while we certainly have our gripes with how it affects continuity, I think we all understand why they did it. Giving every character some past allows them to maintain certain aspects of their pre-relaunch history, but does so without committing to anything specific. This gives writers a great deal of flexibility, without shutting the door for any future writes. Having a mysterious past also allows writers to pull out unknown details to add emotional weight to the proceedings. Doing this runs the risk of coming off as clumsy or cheap, but in Justice League 13, Geoff Johns provides an excellent case study in how to pull it off. Continue reading
Drew: One of the things that keeps me coming back to this title is the diversity of its cast. They aren’t necessarily the most deeply drawn characters, but their personalities rub against each other in interesting ways. More importantly, those conflicts were set as the centerpiece of this title, a rarity in the largely mythology-driven Green Lantern group. After the fracturing of its core team, and a series of half-hearted crossovers, this title was in danger of losing that distinct voice, and becoming another cog in the Green Lantern machine (not that it’s a bad machine, but I think this title is strong enough to stand independently of whatever plotting is tying the rest of the GL universe together). I was heartened, then, to see the team back together in this issue, refocusing on their shared goals. Continue reading
Patrick: Last stands are interesting. Planet-wide last stands are fascinating. Basically any science fiction alien-invasion story comes down to Earth’s last heroes staging a nearly-impossible attack against the alien aggressors and winning. I mean, you can’t end your story with the world ending – that’s like the definition of a bad ending. But the Green Lantern universe is so rich with worlds that when one of them is in danger, there’s a genuine possibility that that world could end. So when the Reach set their sights on Odym, there was no guarantee of any specific outcome. Dramatically, anything is possible. Continue reading
Drew: Last month, Patrick and I expressed our apprehensions about folding this title into the greater Green Lantern mythology playing out in the other GL titles. Character dynamics and breezy fun have been the biggest strengths of this book, and the thought of getting bogged down in universe-spanning details could potentially obscure both of those. It’s a surprise, then, that writer Tony Bedard managed to turn those mythological details into telling character moments. In glimpsing how our characters interact with their own corps, we see how their world views may have shifted in the wake of their first team-up. That’s a very corny-sounding lesson, but Bedard manages not only to make those moments feel earned, but deliver them with the same kind of fun we’ve come to expect of this title. Continue reading
Patrick: After seven months of telling a fairly insulted story about a band of emotional misfits zooming across the galaxy, Green Lantern: New Guardians has to remind us that these characters don’t really work for the same team. They serve seven different masters, and most of that leadership is in various states of decay. So there are a thousand different motivating factors at play, and writer Tony Bedard handles what could be an incredibly complicated issue with aplomb.
Patrick: There are an awful lot of impossibly powerful creatures in the DC Universe. When you take the game out into the depths of space, that number rises exponentially. That’s when you start to encounter beings that refer to themselves as gods and angels. Thus the question is frequently posed: “How do you stop an unstoppable force?” Invariably, the answer is “together” – the combined strength of our heroes will save the day. But New Guardians 7 takes that “together” answer literally, making the group’s unity their ultimate weapon.
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians, originally released September 28th, 2011, October 26th, 2011, November 23rd, 2011, December 28th 2011, January 25th 2012, and February 22nd, 2012.
Drew: Creatively, the concept of the Green Lantern Corps is a tricky thing for DC to deal with. On the one hand, the density and vastness of literally an entire universe’s worth of mythology and intergalactic police stories is the perfect setting for the kinds of expansive, sprawling stories comics are so well-suited for. On the other hand, that same density and vastness makes the title incredibly impenetrable to newcomers, which lowers their crossover appeal. Characters like Batman and Spider-Man can make the pop-culture leap into movies and television precisely because their mythologies can be so easily summarized. The reasons comics fans like Green Lantern are the same reasons that make a film adaptation so impossible (or at least ill-advised). Continue reading