Sunday, March 17, 2013

Discuss: Green Lantern

And a Happy St. Patrick's Day to all.


Rip Jagger said...

While I'd read a few Green Lanterns by Broome and Kane before, my real introduction to the character came when O'Neil and Adams transformed him and partnered him with Green Arrow. Those justly famous issues defined the character for me.

Sadly since, I've never been all that interested. I followed him in the JLofA, even got his series during the Bronze Age pretty much until the Crisis caused me to drop off most all DC. But after the Adams run ended, I never caught the Lantern fever.

Fortunately his more recent fame, despite the tepid movie, has allowed me to see those early Broome and Kane episodes and I find them very attractive.

I will never be a big GL fan, because I find the Corps a fun, even cute concept, but it seems to fold in on itself quickly. But then since I don't read the new stuff, it would be unfair to criticize it too harshly. The reviews I read don't thrill me much to read it though.

Hal is my favorite GL though, followed quickly by Alan. I have always rather liked his wonky costume which truly seemed to come out of an attic trunk somewhere. There's no denying the sleek design by Gil Kane for the Silver Age version, arguably the best single pure design in comics.

Rip Off

Graham said...

Green Lantern was one of my favorites growing up....not so much because of the character (I found him kind of bland), but the concept....the fact that he had a ring that could do anything. I felt like I could do something with a power ring....I couldn't swing around town on a batline (we didn't have any thing over two stories where I lived anyway), and didn't have super strength, so as a kid, that was something that I could do something with.

I read some of the early Broome/Kane issue and liked those. I really liked the O'Neil/Adams issues, too, but in retrospect not so is still great, but stories are too preachy for me (even as a kid, I found GA's act sort of grating).

I picked back up with the O'Neil/Grell/Saviuk/Staton, etc issues and enjoyed the space opera concept of those, with the Corps and such.

I've missed most of the other stuff since the mid 80's and I think I'm glad I did.

david_b said...

On par with Kid Flash and Robin, GL's my favorite DC adult hero. One of the earliest title issues I've had was the 'Jesus' issue in GL/GA 89. Like most, LOVED the art, but notsomuch the preachy guilt trips that came along with. I didn't mind the banter with Ollie, it's just the stories were sanctimonious.

His costume's simply one of the best ever design ever done. Simple, cool, effectively conveying sleekness and power.

Artwise, I liked the Silver Age Kane material MUCH better than the 70s Grell; I followed his '70s sci-fi return for a half dozen issues, but the panel art all looked the same. I strongly preferred both his earlier backup stories in the pages of Flash and the great Dillin art in JLA. His '80s comic was good, but it didn't hold interest after a dozen issues.

Like most, still wish they made a Mego figure out of him back in the day..

I liked his early television animation entries, I followed his current Corps CGI series on DC Nation for a spell last year. I never saw the movie (heard TOO MANY bad reviews..), but I really liked the 'First Flight' DVD (the Duck Dodgers cartoon included was hilarious). I just bought one of those glossy sketchcards of his 'Superfriends' image.

I've always had a question about his character portrayal throughout the years. Always a bit bland ala the Infantino Flash genre; when you try to inject harsher tones, he comes off like a jerk.

Still, all in all, my favorite Lantern.

Matt Celis said...

GL and Flash (Hal and Barry versions) were my two favorite D.C. heroes as a kid. I don't have any interest in the revised GL: apparently someone decided he should be an arrogant, womanizing prick. They also "improved" his costume and did away with his weakness re: yellow. I lost a lot of interest when they decided he needed to be roaming space. I just don't care much when heroes are too "out there," I don't relate to it. I also dislike the GL Corps, it just makes GL non-unique and easily replaceable. but that's a problem i have with lots
of D.C. heroes, nobody can be unique, there bave to be 15 superspeed guys, 11 Bat-guys, 5 Kryptonians, etc.

The ring was great and the weakness re: yellow worked
fine for me. The "impurity" explanation was reasonable. I liked GL having to figure out alternatve solutions to brute power.

I enjoyed his friendship with Barry/Flash. Didn't appreciate the GL/GA thing as the premise required trashing 15 years of established Hal Jordan personality in order to make him an "Establishment" straw man for Green Arrow's ultraliberal/obnoxious and inconsistent political tirades. I just thought those comics were so one-sided and bogus as to be laughable. If only O'Neil had been thoughtful enough to present the other side of those issues, or even not have all business/businessmen be evil and all white hippies and minorities saintlike...anyway, ruined GL for me. Although it's
still better than the modern portrayal of Hal Jordan.

J.A. Morris said...

Not a fan, for the same reason I'm not a fan of Iron Man:Green Lantern="Guy With Weapon". He works okay in JLA stories, otherwise I don't have much use for any Green Lantern. The fact that so many different people have the ring makes him even less interesting to me.

Edo Bosnar said...

Never the biggest fan of GL, although I always liked him as a member of the JLA. As for his solo stories, I found the Silver Age stories I read in reprints rather bland, while I agree with the general assessment of the famous O'Neil/Adams period: gorgeous art, but stories that generally don't hold up well.
However, I did rather enjoy his solo series in the early '80s, from somewhere around issue #120 onward, and especially somewhere after #130, when Wolfman became the regular writer and Staton started inking his own art. I thought that period had a good mix of space opera (which really works well for GL) and more down-to-earth stories.

Anonymous said...

Who knew GL was Irish? :)

Seriously, though, GL has always been one of my favourite superhoeroes, not so much characterwise but he had probably one of the coolest superpowers in the entire comics universe. My earliest GL encounter was the Silver Age Hal Jordan version by Broome/Kane; even today I recall the story where he fought some yellow pterodactyls by creating a giant green hawk to lure them into a cave.

It was later that I discovered there was an even earlier version of GL, specifically the Alan Scott version. Scott's ring appeared to be magical in nature, in contrast to the sci-fi nature of Hal's.

As for the newest incarnations of the GL mythos, the Parallax storyline and all the new colours of power rings seem to be created by writers to add a new depth and dimension to the standard GL universe. The GL/Green Arrow series in the 70s by Denny O'Neil were good too, although the political stuff was way over my head when I read them.

- Mike 'hope they don't make a pink Lantern' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Redartz said...

Green Lantern was always my favorite DC hero, primarily because of his sharp costume design. Then there was his Power Ring, which inspired numerous backyard afternoons pretending with a (gumball machinedispensed )plastic jewel ring.

Hal remains the iconic GL, although I enjoyed the annoying Guy Gardner as portrayed in the latter 80's Justice League series. John Stewart is pretty cool, also. On the other hand, Kyle Raynor seems rather forgettable...

Matt Celis said...

I remember having a plastic power ring a comic
book shop was giving away free, I suppose to promote something GL-related but have no idea what. I was too old to play with it in the yard but still took one. No idea what happened to it.

mr. oyola said...

John Stewart = Best Green Lantern

Though, ironically, I also find the franchise diluted by the number of different Green Lanterns of Earth there have been.

It would have been fine if they replaced each other, but they always seem to end up co-existing.

Anonymous said...

"My" Green Lantern was the Silver Age version, drawn by Kane in his solo comic and by Mike Sekowsky in Justice League. I found the O'Neil and Adams run to be self-righteous and simplistic, and Green Arrow came across as a petulant jerk or a whiny crybaby. I liked Mike Grell's artwork, and the late 1970s issues were not bad.

Matt Celis said...

Is that the same John Stewart who wrote Daydream believer?

Garett said...

GL is one of my favorite characters, for his look and power. I think he needs a better supporting cast and better villains-- there's room for a writer out there to do something fantastic with the character.

The O'Neil issues were great in that they were groundbreaking for comics, but I'd like to see a straight interpretation of the character in a regular comic, done well. The Kane era, Grell, Staton--somehow they never lived up to the character himself, in my opinion. This more recent book by Ivan Reis and Geoff Johns was good:
But I tried reading more by that creative team and it lost me.

Not a fan of the GL Corps, seems silly and overkill to me. I like the original GL from the golden age, with his cool mystical powers. The weakness to yellow never bothered me--seems like an ok plot device. I liked when he teamed up with Doctor Fate in one of those JLA-JSA teamups--perhaps teaming him with a more mysterious character would bring out Hal Jordan's personality in a good way.

david_b said...

I mentioned the CGI/animated series featuring Hal and Kilowog..? Has anyone been watching it of late..? As a bunch of us reflected on a few days ago, it's just surreal to be able to pick-choose heroes on either TV or Movies these days, unlike 30-40yrs ago.

I stopped watching it a few months back, but I was pleasantly surprised how well written it was, blending lots of space/scifi with tender human moments, and it's always fun to see Kilowog as a Ben Grimm-type drill sergeant. Some morality lessons to it, but not too soap-operaish.

Animation-wise, it picked right up from 'First Flight', which I had on my iPod for months and stood up with multiple viewings. I'd put this up along side Batman:TAS as a definative representation of a DC hero. Hal and the Lantern Corps were served very well.

Matt Celis said...

I liked him on Super Friends. Challenge of the Super Friends is still a huge favorite of mine. Sinestro is a great arch-enemy.

Karen said...

I really liked the Green Lantern animated show that was on Cartoon Network -which, along with Young Justice, has unfortunately been cancelled. I thought the animation and design looked great, and the stories were top notch. I liked having it set in space -it seemed to offer lot of story possibilities. Kilowog, Razer, and Aya were all interesting characters. They managed to incorporate some of the newer ideas, like the multi-color ring wielders, without getting too over the top (no Blackest Night, Parallax, etc). It's a shame they are taking it off the air so soon.

William said...

Even though I always like his costume and his super power, I never got into Green Lantern as a kid - mainly because of the whole GL Corps concept. I've never liked superheroes who weren't unique. I mean why should I care about this particular Green Lantern, if there are thousands more exactly like him flying around? Seems kind of pointless to me. What if there were thousands of Supermen out there. It would make Clark Kent pretty unnecessary, don't you think?

That said, I do like a couple of versions of Green Lantern more than others. First is John Stewart in "Cosmic Odyssey". I loved that story and his part in it was my favorite thing about it. It was the first time that I ever read about a Green Lantern and thought "That was so cool!" It made me glad that they chose John to be the GL on the Animated Series.

Next is Guy Gardner, because of his membership in the Justice League International. His clashes with other members of the team was a big part of what made that book so awesome and fun.

Finally, I actually liked the Kyle Rayner years quite a lot. I never liked Hal Jordon (and still don't). And, as I said, I never card for the GL Corps either. So it didn't bother me when Hal went crazy and destroyed everything. In fact, I thought it was pretty OK. I read the Rayner GL book from the beginning and stayed with it right up until he decided he needed to rebuild the Corps. -Sigh-. That's when I jumped ship and never went back.

Hoosier X said...

There was a time in the early 1980s when Green Lantern was one of my favorites. I was 15 or 16 and I wasn't buying very many comics at that point because the Marvels I loved so much had gotten kind of repetitive.

But I started picking up Green Lantern (about #151) even though I had never read Green Lantern before. And so I was along for the ride through some great Joe Staton issues, some great Dave Gibbons issues, some bad Crisis-related material and I stayed on even into the "Arisia dresses like a tart and the rings makes her old enough for Hal" period and past that. (A little.)

(I was also getting Legion of Super-Heroes and the Batman comics at a time when I seldom bought any other DCs. (Well, I've always had a soft spot for Justice League Detroit.))

I don't know what I liked about Green Lantern in the early 1980s. It was so comic book-y, but in such a great way. And it had space opera, super-villains, drama (I think Carol Ferris is my favorite of the "classic super-hero's girlfriend" type.)and it wasn't too contrived because of the nature of the book.

But that was a long time ago. And I've never gotten into Green Lantern since.

(Bringing up Carol Ferris reminds me: The first time I saw Star Sapphire, it wasn't Carol Ferris. I read The Secret Society of Super-Villains when I didn't read any other DC comics, and they had a different Star Sapphire who, as far as I know, was never explained or anything. Anybody else remember that? Did they ever explain who she was and why she was masquerading as Star Sapphire? Of all the comic book stories that were never resolved, the one I would most like to see concluded in some manner is the Secret Society of Super-Villains storyline that was going on when the series was canceled.)

Bruce said...

I agree with the point that the GL Corps waters down the concept, but I dig those early 80s Alan Moore stories like "Mogo Doesn't Socialize."

Hoosier X said...

"Mogo Doesn't Socialize" is pretty awesome. I wonder if I still have it around here somewhere. I'll have to Google it to find out what issue it was in. Then I'll see if it's as great as I remember.

Hoosier X said...

Found it! Green Lantern #188.

I can't believe that story, "Mogo Doesn't Socialize," is almost 30 years old.

Written by Alan Moore. Art by Dave Gibbons. The framing sequence had Tomar Re and pre-sexpot Arisia.

The main story has Joe Staton art, John Stewart, Katmai Tui, Sonar is the villain and there are guest appearance by Green Arrow and the Black Canary. (I may just pull out the whole run from #151. I think it started to go downhill within a few months of #188.)

Rip Jagger said...

Just wanted to add before this thread is retired, that the ring premiums from a few years ago for the Green Lantern books was the cleverest I've seen in quite some time. I don't read the book, don't follow the stories much, but I wanted those rings. Nicely done DC.

Rip Off

William said...

One last thought. (In case anyone is still reading this thread), concerning "Mogo Doesn't Socialize" by Alan Moore. They actually adapted that story in a recent episode of the Green Lantern animated series on Cartoon Network. I thought that was pretty cool.

Which also reminds me that I forgot to mention the current GL series, which I do watch, but don't really love all that much. At least when compared with past DC animated shows.

david_b said...

Rip, Rip, Rip..

Thanks to those of us faithful (and WAY too much time on our hands...), the best threads here never end.

Matt Celis said...

"Sexpot Arisia"...?!

david_b said...

"Yeah, which issue was that...??"

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