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

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

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 7

hal-jordan-green-lantern-corp-7

Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 7, originally released October 26th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Spencer: Have you ever gotten into an argument with a long-time friend? With that much history between you, it’s far too easy for whatever sparked that particular conflict to fall to the wayside as your argument instead becomes about every slight the two of you have ever inflicted upon each other. That’s exactly what happens in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 7. Hal and Sinestro’s grand battle for control of the universe is more of a grudge match between these former friends and rivals; the actual stakes matter less to Hal and Sinestro than themselves finally proving their methods and emotion of choice superior to the other’s. Continue reading

Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion 1

green lantern corps 1

Today, Mark and Patrick are discussing Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion 1, originally released January 13, 2016.

Mark: I have to admit, Green Lantern proper and the continuing adventures of Hal Jordan in the New 52/DC YOU, has not captivated me for a few years now. I was, then, incredibly excited when Green Lantern: Lost Army launched in the aftermath of Convergence. Cullen Bunn and Jesús Saíz’s series started as one of the strongest Green Lantern stories in years, and I was very excited to see where it went. Unfortunately my initial enthusiasm was not universal, and the story kind of lost the thread as it went on. So despite DC’s editorial promise to let all of their new books run for at least 12 issues, Lost Army was a victim of DC’s panic in the face of flagging sales. Cancelled after 6 issues, DC promised to wrap up the story started by Bunn in Lost Army with a 6 issue mini-series: Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion, with the departure of Bunn and Saíz, replaced by writer Tom Taylor and artist Ethan Van Sciver.

Edge of Skyrim

Well, “wrap up.” Because, while it may have been explained away as a continuation of Lost Army, Edge of Oblivion is a new #1, for all intents and purposes it begins a whole new story completely divorced from Bunn’s work before. For better or for worse, Taylor has taken the base core of Lost Army (Green Lantern Corps lost in space/time), and gone from there. No more pyramids, no more Mogo being a source for the entire ring spectrum, no more flashbacks to John Stewart’s life on Earth. Continue reading

Green Lantern: The Lost Army 5

green lantern lost army 5

Today, Michael and Patrick are discussing Green Lantern: The Lost Army 5, originally released October 21, 2015.

Michael: How do you value one life over another? Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few? Green Lantern: Lost Army 5 shows us the burdens of being the person in charge who has to make this tough decisions. It also does something that is equally difficult: making John Stewart interesting. Continue reading

Green Lantern 29

Alternating Currents: Green Lantern 29, Drew and SpencerToday, Drew and Spencer are discussing Green Lantern 29, originally released March 5th, 2014.

Drew: We often talk about “close readings” in our discussions, but the most rewarding works of art are interesting from far away, too. When zoomed out, you can appreciate the broader form and plotting, while when zoomed in, you can appreciate the moment-to-moment mechanics that make those larger parts work. Indeed, it’s this scalability that allows stories to remain interesting in spite of our familiarity with Joseph Campbell’s monomyth — at some scales, the non-essential details don’t matter at all, but at other scales, they’re the only thing that matters. Any halfway decent discussion of a work of art needs to focus on multiple scales, but certain works of art strongly suggest one scale over the other. More formulaic stories — an episode of Law & Order, for example — tend to offer more rewards for those looking at the details (and certain boredom for anyone looking at form). I’d argue that the controversy of LOST‘s finale stems largely from confusion over the suggested scale — is this a show about a weird island, or about the people who encounter it? — which may have changed from episode to episode. I’d argue that that ever-shifting scale is part of what made that show so great, but there’s no denying that abruptly changing gears can bring discomfort, even if it reaps the kinds of rewards we see in Green Lantern 29. Continue reading

Green Lantern / Red Lanterns 28

green lantern 28

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

Green Lantern 26

Alternating Currents: Green Lantern 26, Drew and Mikyzptlk

Today, Drew and Mikyzptlk are discussing Green Lantern 26, originally released December 4th, 2013.

Drew: Any 8th-grade social studies student can tell you that colonialism is a sticky subject. Many decry the loss of indigenous cultures, but how do you weigh that against the boon of western medicine? Are we morally obligated to preserve human culture at the cost of human life, or vice versa? That question only gets stickier when you take those other cultures into account — perhaps they value these things differently than their would-be colonizers. These are questions that have tormented philosophers for centuries — exactly the kind of thing Hal Jordan might blunder into unwittingly. Green Lantern 26 finds Hal struggling to impose his rule on Dekann and while he succeeds, his victory suggests a disturbing new status quo within the Green Lantern universe. Continue reading

Green Lantern 20

green lantern 20 wrath

Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Green Lantern 20, originally released May 22nd, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage. 

Patrick: Geoff Johns’ final issue of Green Lantern is framed with a narrative device I was first introduced to in the movie The Princess Bride: the old man reading the story to a young man. The flick is an adaptation of novel, and the novel proports to be a rediscovered classic, heavily annotated by the “editor,” William Goldman (who actually just wrote the whole thing). All three of these example serve to elevate the story itself – you don’t need to look to the real world to find a captive audience, there’s one right there in front of you. This issue takes the entirety of Johns’ run and gives it a reverent audience, promoting the nine years since Green Lantern: Rebirth to mythic stature. I’ve been following the entirety of that run, so I’m part of that audience, and I’m moved and affected in very real ways reading this issue. But the bright lights and decades-old mythology groan under the weight of so much self-congratulation. This is a victory lap – mileage will vary.

Continue reading

Cram Session: Avengers 1-10 – Origin Bombs

It can be hard to keep up with all the comics you love. But it’s damn near impossible to keep up with all the comics you’re interested in.

Retcon Punch got you covered.

Jonathan Hickman has been ramping up to some world-altering shit. We’ll be digging into Infinity with zeal, but it means catching up with both Avengers and New Avengers. We started our coverage of the bi-weekly Avengers with issue 11, and if you want to join us there – here’s a video recap to get you all situated.