Friday, April 11, 2014

Green Lantern #30

I almost answered this question but then I realized this cover may not even accurately portray the story inside. So why the fuck am I wasting my time answering its bullshit questions?

This issue is all about the cover although not about ending the cosmic war. It's a one on one death match between Hal Jordan and the leader of a Khund Squadron on a neutral space port. The Lanterns traveled here to take possession of a Khund Warship so they can study the Khund's technology. The Khund have come to drink and fuck whores. The whores are there to tell me I'm a disrespectful pig for referring to them as whores as they are legitimate, unionized space sex workers and they deserve to be respected. Since the Port is neutral territory, the Lanterns and the Khund must resist battling or lose this space port and the Ebben Trading Company as allies. I think this might have been an episode of Star Trek.

Robert Venditti was probably a young boy staying up late playing interactive fiction games on his Commodore 64 while watching old reruns of Star Trek in the background. He probably half-watched and half-listened to the show night after night until a nagging doubt about what the Federation was up to began to creep into the back of his brain. Sure, there was the Prime Directive and the Federation couldn't fuck with any planet's growth. That was the biggest law a starship captain had to obey. And yet, how many times did Kirk disobey it? Technically, maybe just once or twice. But didn't it seem he was always sort of skirting the issue and ignoring the intent of the Prime Directive by getting around its wording? I don't know what the wording was or how often Kirk threw the Prime Directive in the trash. I'm not a Trekkie! I'm just a guy fantasizing about a young boy named Robert Venditti!

Anyway, Little Robbie probably began to think, "Who the fuck does James Tiberius Kirk think he is? What makes his laws so special? Why are his customs the bar by which all other race's customs are measured? Some day, I'm going to expose that jerk for the fraud he is!" A few years later, Little Robbie realized he had been watching reruns of a show long since cancelled and that he wasn't going to get a job writing for the show so that he can write an episode where Kirk learns his lesson. But Little Robbie also read comic books. And one day after having read dozens of issues of Green Lantern, he thought, "Who the fuck do the Green Lanterns think they are? What makes their laws so special? Why are their customs the bar by which all other race's customs are measured? Some day, I'm going to expose those jerks for the frauds they are!"

And look! He got his chance!

Well said, New Leader of the Khunds! Also, well said, Little Robbie Venditti!

What brought this on was the way Hal saw the Khunds deal with their mortally wounded defeated leader. They finished him off and took his possessions, leaving the corpse for the janitor to chop up and flush down the toilet. Unless the Port's cook gets to it first. Anyway, Hal just held a ceremony for Kyle Rayner which honored Kyle by erecting a monument and giving a eulogy that was a metaphorical hand job. Kyle would have been touched. Metaphorically! When Hal saw the Khund treat their fallen comrade in a way that Hal felt was disrespectful, he flew off the handle. "What did Khu die for?" he asked. "What is any of this for?" He means the Durlans war! And thus the Khund gave him that answer above.

Hal has been learning things lately so it'll be interesting to see if he learns from this experience. He already realizes the Guardians were interfering, manipulative bastards and should never have been in charge of a universal police force. But how can anybody really be in charge of an entire universe? Until the Green Lanterns familiarize themselves with every culture's traditions, and every sector's laws, and stop trying to force their own cultural beliefs, ethics, and mores on other people, they should shut the whole Corps down.

I find it fitting that the Khund points out how Hal is sitting in judgment over them. This is just how the Khund deal with death. Khu, the leader who was killed, knew that and knew his place. He fought for Khund values and Khund laws and for the Khund to be free of the Green Lanterns' ethical philosophy. What makes theirs any more correct? The Khunds are fighting this war alongside the Durlans for freedom.

Oh, sure. They probably want to enslave some sectors of the galaxy and get rich off the other planet's resources as well! But that's only so the Green Lanterns have an actual moral leg to stand on when they defeat them in the upcoming cosmic war!

Before the battle, Hal and Khu have a moment sharing a drink at the bar.

His outlook doesn't suck, Hal! It's just different from yours. Yours sucks!

Neither of these men actually talk about the cause of the war. They verbally spar around the circumstances. They gain a general respect for each other. If Hal could have just dropped his need to win or his feelings of being on the defensive, attacked by the Khunds and the Durlans, it's possible he could have negotiated a peace treaty right here. Hal knows the Lanterns have a bad reputation. He knows why and he knows they deserve it. But he also knows that the Lanterns are under attack and must defend themselves or be slaughtered. So his bristles are up and he forgets that the Lanterns are possibly destroying the universe with their rings and that their leaders just recently tried to assimilate every creature in the universe. He really should be discussing that shit right now.

Hal has good intentions. He wants the Corps to be a force for good. He needed Don Draper sitting at this table with him so Draper could have pointed out that Hal needs to change the conversation. The Lanterns need to stop being a police force that enforces their own laws. They can't be seen as cosmic bullies anymore. What they need to become is a group of emergency volunteers that answer calls for help. They have to only help places in need that desire their help. Of course, the Green Lanterns can still judge if they want to provide their service or not. It's not like they would have had to have flown in to help Hitler take Poland because he called for their help. But they can't just go about butting in to other race's problems.

Anyway, The Green Lanterns have to be very careful with the way they defeat the Durlans in this upcoming battle. They need the universe to see they're not fascists. I mean, I think they are. They totally are and always have been! But with Hal leading, I think that can change. As long as nobody calls him a weakling or a coward or a buttmuncher.

Meanwhile, Mogo is still full of treacherous treachery.

Green Lantern #30 Rating: +1 Ranking. I like how the Khund come off a bit sympathetic here when Hal pisses all over their treatment of death simply because it's different from his. Hopefully the Corps gets knocked down a few pegs because of this crisis and don't just wind up back at their normal status quo or better. Let them eat shit for a bit and realize their entire system is tainted by the their history. Some serious changes are needed, Hal!

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