Mythological and Emotional Mystery in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 26

by Patrick Ehlers

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

John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner and Hal Jordan are interesting characters. They’re all men with tremendous baggage, and perhaps the decades of dragging around said baggage have trained them to just blurt out their feelings with the blunt force of a green-light mallet. All of them are reeling from Soranik Natu Sinestro’s heel turn, and the defection of the Yellow Corps, and maybe they’re all a touch too eager to yell about their feelings. That emotional transparency is at odds with the opaque plotting of issue 26. The inherent mystery in “what is Orion doing here again?” makes the reader double back on those seemingly clear emotional statements. 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.

Hal Jordan

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

It’s One Step Forward and Two Steps Back for Barry in The Flash 26

by Spencer Irwin

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

Guilt alone is not usually enough to help somebody change for the better. It’s an important first step, of course, but unless it leads to self-reflection, guilt can often do more harm than good. That’s certainly true for Barry Allen throughout Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter’s The Flash 26, where Barry’s overwhelming guilt leads him to make yet another stupid decision, despite the best of intentions. Continue reading

Who To Protect and Who to Serve in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 23

by Patrick Ehlers

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

“To Protect and to Serve.”

LAPD motto

The motto above (or some variation thereof) is so commonplace among police forces that it’s easy to forget that the saying originated from a contest the Los Angeles Police Department held in 1955. They were gathering submissions for slogans for the police academy, and Officer Joseph P. Dorobeck submitted the now-famous five-word phrase. By the end of 1963, the motto was officially adopted by the LAPD. Less than two years later, the Watts Riots pitted police against civilians, in a role that was neither serving nor protecting them. The Los Angeles Police have had a rough history with the people they’re meant to protect, often revealing the population they serve to be themselves. In this week’s Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, writer Robert Venditti reminds us that the Green Lanterns are just cops, with all the same failings as the LAPD. 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

The Limits of Teamwork in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 22

by Patrick Ehlers

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 22

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

“Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships.”

Michael Jordan

The rewards of teamwork are immeasurable. But it’s sort of amazing that any team can hold together for very long, right? A good team member is both strong and deferent to the team, qualities that would seem at odds with each other. Superheroes have a notoriously tough time working together — modern takes on both the Justice League and the Avengers barely have time to set up the relationships before knocking them down — but what about when the heroes and villains team up? In Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 22, writer Robert Venditti, artist Ethan Van Sciver and colorist Jason Wright put the teamwork between the Green and Yellow corps to test and discover how easily the cracks show. 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 21

Today, Mark and Spencer are discussing Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 21, originally released May 24th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Mark: One area where Robert Venditti has excelled in this team-up Green Lantern book is differentiating each of the four Earth-based Green Lanterns and incorporating their unique perspectives into the larger narrative. Like the never-ending debate between Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans over who was the best host of that show, Joel, Mike, and now even Jonah, everyone has their favorite Green Lantern, and you’ll be hard pressed to convince a John Stewart fan of Hal Jordan’s merits. So while the book’s title prominently features the most recognizable of the Green Lanterns, there’s a lot of fun to be had in Venditti’s team-up, each Lantern bringing their best to the game, adding more fuel to the ever-burning debate. Continue reading

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 18

Today, Michael and Patrick are discussing Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 18, originally released February 22nd, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Michael: I think that Robert Venditti’s joining of the Green Lantern Corps with the Sinestro Corps will be a defining moment in the writer’s run on both Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps – and the Green Lantern mythos in general. It takes the “unlikely alliance” angle between a hero and villain and heightens it to the level of two opposing armies joining forces for the first time in their history. With such a wealth of diverse characters from both sides, the Sinestro Corps/Green Lantern Corps union promises to bring plenty of interesting character shakeups. Continue reading