Looking Forward by Looking Back in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 30

by Patrick Ehlers

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

Green Lantern is a mythological big bang, constantly expanding outward into space at an alarming rate. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps writer Robert Venditti usually participates in these kind of elliptical expansions that loop back around on information or concepts that readers are already familiar with and then venturing out further into the undefined depths of space. That’s how Hal’s relationship to the New Gods of New Genesis was fleshed out, that’s how Soranik Natu temporarily re-joined the corps before betraying them and defecting with her father’s evil army. But those are whirling galaxies of mythology, and in issue 30, Venditti and artist Patrick Zircher bring that same cyclonic energy planetside.  Continue reading

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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

Scary Space Science in Green Arrow 30

by Michael DeLaney 

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

My name is Michael and I learned the basics of satellites from Green Arrow 30. Along with the series’ social justice narrative, “Flash facts” like this are what makes Green Arrow such an impressive book.

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Dark Nights: Metal 1: Discussion

by Patrick Ehlers and Mark Mitchell 

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

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Patrick: Throughout Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s run on Batman, the creative team valued invention over archeology. The character of Batman has been around for so long that deconstruction of the character is practically in his DNA, and while Snyder and Capullo found ways to riff on Batman’s history, their stories were always new. New threats, new allies, new secret identity. With Metal, the latest DC event, Snyder and Capullo turn inward, to explore, refine, and recontextualize the mythology and iconography that is already part of their multiverse. There’s a premium on re-arranging existing pieces into an entirely new whole. Continue reading

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 24 Brings Wicked Irony

by Michael DeLaney

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

It’s not unusual to see a comic creator return to a character or story that they have covered in the past to revise or augment it. Having an artist return to a character or story in a resonating way, though, is more of a rarity. In my humble opinion, Ethan Van Sciver is at his best when he’s drawing Green Lantern comics. In Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 24, Van Sciver gets to revisit a powerful moment from one of his first GL stories, Green Lantern: Rebirth. Continue reading

Dark Days: The Casting: Discussion

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

Bruce. We need you to explain what’s going on here.

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Michael: Recently I watched the entirety of HBO’s “The Leftovers,” which I enjoyed immensely. One of the show’s theme songs is Iris DeMent’s “Let the Mystery Be,” which means exactly what it sounds like: don’t try to find the explanation in everything, just enjoy the ride that the unknown provides. Mainstream comic book readers don’t subscribe to this philosophy when it comes to the capes and tights crowd, myself included. Dark Days: The Casting is a dense issue that will likely have our kind baffled as to what we just read. Continue reading

Knowledge is the Key to Victory in the Flash 24

by Spencer Irwin

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

Knowledge is power. Yeah, it’s cliche, but that doesn’t make it any less true; it’s especially true throughout Joshua Williamson, Carmine Di Giandomenico, and Pop Mhan’s The Flash 24, where the power dynamics between each character are defined almost solely by how much they know. Not only does the Flash’s victory over Multiplex come, not from brute strength, but from using his CSI skills to learn about his opponent, but Reverse Flash’s utter domination of all who face him is largely powered by his knowledge of the time before the New 52. Continue reading

Dark Days: The Forge 1: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Mark Mitchell

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

Spencer: By some sort of weird cosmic coincidence, I’ve been re-reading Grant Morrison and Howard Porter’s late 90s JLA run this week. While that series is rightly remembered for its grand, heady ideas and breakneck-paced tales, what impressed me the most this time around was Morrison’s regard for the DC universe — every story was sprinkled with guest stars and allusions to past stories, well-known and deep cuts alike. Despite Rebirth’s best efforts, that sense of history is something I’ve been missing from DC the past few years, so I was pleasantly surprised when I opened Dark Days: The Forge — the prelude to Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV’s big summer event — and discovered that it’s practically an ode to DC’s past. Snyder and Tynion are clearly having a blast digging into DC’s sandbox, and it’s hard for that sense of enthusiasm and wonder not to rub off on the reader. Continue reading

The Flash 23

Today, Spencer and Mark are discussing The Flash 23, originally released May 31st, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Spencer: I’ve never liked Barry Allen’s “new” origin story. It’s always struck me as an attempt to make the character — a likable, yet bland presence in his Silver Age heyday — more palatable to modern audiences by loading him with unnecessary angst, angst which tends to consume and overwhelm both Barry and his title. I’d be curious to see if current Flash writer Joshua Williamson agrees with me on that front or not. Flash 23 does indeed find Barry becoming consumed by angst, but not only do Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico present a rather compelling reason for it (in the form of Eobard Thawne), they also present it as being a rather glaring flaw on Barry’s part. Continue reading

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 9

hal-jordan-green-lantern-corp-9Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 9, originally released November 23rd, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Spencer: One of the greatest appeals of the Green Lantern Corps is that there’s a limitless cast of characters to explore. The Green Lanterns are too numerous to count, and that’s not even getting into new recruits or the other Corps. Each of these Lanterns bring something different to the table, and the best writers are able to mine these characters for all they’re worth, figuring out how and when to best deploy their casts’ various abilities and relationships in order to best serve their story. In Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 9, Robert Venditti and Rafa Sandoval put on a clinic in this regard, not only taking full advantage of the mass of characters they’ve trapped together beneath Brainiac’s dome, but pulling out a few big surprise appearances from the franchise’s past as well. Continue reading