Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Green Lantern / Red Lanterns 28, originally released February 5, 2014.
Inigo: I do not think you will accept my help, because I’m only waiting around to kill you. Wesley: That does put a damper on our relationship. Inigo: But, I promise I will not kill you until you reach the top. Wesley: That’s very comforting, but I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait. Inigo: Is there any way you’ll trust me? Wesley: Nothing comes to mind. Inigo: I swear on the soul of my father: you will reach the top alive. Wesley: Throw me the rope.
-The Princess Bride
Patrick: Trust is a tricky intangible quality — often you don’t know it until you see it. There’s no magic switch you can throw to make someone trust you, and — more tragically — no switch you can throw to trust yourself. It’s both hard-won and easily lost. Robert Venditti and Charles Soule use the newly minted Red Lantern Supergirl to explore how issues of trust are slowly eroding the Greens, the Red and both of their leaders. Turns out all the Rage, Will and Hope in the universe don’t mean shit without Trust. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Mikyzptlk are discussing Red Lanterns 26, originally released December 31st, 2013.
Drew: I’m a pretty logical person, which means I tend to be suspicious of emotional reactions — especially in high-stakes situations. That is, until I learned about an array of studies that suggests that our “gut” — our emotional responses to options laid before us — may be more reliable than conscious, logic-based decisions. Turns out, our emotions might be useful, after all. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the various Lantern Corps, which draw their powers from their own emotions. I’ve always thought it was strange that those characters were defined by one emotion — is Hal Jordan even allowed to feel love, rage, or compassion? — which goes double for the Red Lanterns. How can you constantly be feeling rage? With Red Lanterns 26, Charles Soule sets out to examine exactly what happens when you take the rage out of a Red Lantern. Continue reading →
Drew: You know that feeling when you finish a good book and you just want it to keep going? The story is done, but you just like the characters and the world they live in so much that you just want to keep spending time with them. I get that A LOT. I tend to be more character-focused when it comes to narratives, so it makes sense that, in my head, every narrative becomes a hangout story — one where the lack of plot makes the only draw the likableness of the characters. Red Lantern 16 has the appropriate lack of plot to make a proper hangout story, but lacks the key component of even a single likable character. The result is a palpable waste of time, as unpleasant as sifting through a bucket full of flaming blood rage-puke. Continue reading →
Drew: Let’s be frank: Red Lanterns is not on my pull. I’m willing to tolerate a lot of the goofiness inherent in the Green Lantern universe, but blood-vomiting rage-monsters just doesn’t sound like fun. As I read through this issue, I couldn’t help but compare the Red Lantern Corps to the Hulk. It’s an easy comparison to make: both are powered by anger, and (until recently), both lose control when super pissed. The danger with that basic formula is that it turns both the Hulk and the RLC into forces of nature — horrible natural disasters that I can’t even fathom rooting for. For the Hulk, writers have often mitigated this by allowing Hulk to retain some of Bruce Banner’s heart; he still won’t hurt the ones he loves. More important, Bruce actively avoids Hulking-out; he knows it’s dangerous for everyone around him and he does everything in his power to prevent it from happening. Peter Milligan has a different solution, giving the Red Lanterns renewed sentience via some kind of blood baptism, but eliminating their heart from the equation altogether. The effect is that they charge into situations — like the one depicted in Red Lanterns 13 — knowing full well that they’ll probably just kill everything. It’s hard to empathize with that.
Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing New Guardians 12, originally released August 22nd, 2012.
Shelby: DC Comics has been having a lot of events lately: the entire relaunch, the Night of Owls, Rot World, and now the Third Army, as well as Zero Month. How far out are these sorts of things planned? How much time are the creative teams given to figure out how to tell the story they want to tell while working around and with DC’s event calendar? I’ve been enjoying Tony Bedard’s work on New Guardians quite a bit, but this latest issues feels a bit rushed towards the end, and I can’t help but wonder if he had to hustle to finish his story in time for the Big Events coming up in the Green Lantern universe.
Today, Drew and Peter are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians 11, originally released July 25th, 2012.
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 →
Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians 10, originally released June 27th, 2012.
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 →
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians 9, originally released May 23rd, 2012.
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 →
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians 8, originally released April 25th, 2012.
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. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians 7, originally released March 28, 2012.
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. Continue reading →