Friday, August 26, 2016

Green Lanterns #5

Can DC Comics please retire Atrocitus already?

The Review!
I'm not a fan of this comic book. It's all idea and no substance. The idea is to have two rookie Green Lanterns learn to overcome their flaws so they can save the world. Also they're quite different but they're also quite alike! And by learning to work together and lean on each other, they'll have the strength to be greater together than they ever could be alone! It would be nice though, being a comic book, if the pictures and words would work together. Maybe that's on purpose! The art and writing are like Jess and Si! They need to learn to integrate so that they can protect the world from unholy monsters like me! Now if I could just convince myself that that was the plan, maybe I could be happy about this series.

The Commentary!
Do comic book writers ever consider why they're bringing a specific villain into the series or are they just ticking the boxes on their run of a certain title? "I've got Aquaman so, of course, I'm going to need a Black Manta story. Just have him come int to try to kill Aquaman because, well, he hates him! Then maybe I'll do a Trouble is Brewing in Atlantis story about how people are disgruntled with a land dweller ruling them! I think I can drag that out about six issues because that's how long I'm supposed to make each story for corporate reasons that have nothing to do with the writing process. Then maybe I can bring back Ocean Master because his confidence will be up in the wake of the Atlantis trouble and because he hates Aquaman. After that, maybe there will be some conflict between the land and the sea because they mistrust each other. After that, I should probably do some environmental stuff because the king of the ocean needs to keep reminding people not to throw garbage in the ocean. Then if nobody is really paying attention because this is just another typical run of Aquaman, maybe I can sneak in my erotic story of forbidden love between Garth and a dolphin." That makes it feel like I'm picking on Dan Abnett when I'm really just picking on most writers in general. Aquaman is actually doing fine right now! But Green Lanterns? I don't know, man! I just don't know! Why are Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns the villains? Is it because we need to see Simon is angry at how he's been mistreated for being a Muslim American? Or how Jessica is angry because she never wanted to leave her apartment and now look: she's in space! Or did Sam Humphries just decide this was a good place to discuss how angry the entire world is?

I would like to point out that if you don't watch the news and you avoid Twitter and comment sections online, you would have no idea there was any anger in the world at all! Oh, you also probably shouldn't read my comic book reviews because I hate comic books so much! The only time I realize there are angry, impotent, frightened people in the world is when I destroy them in Call of Duty and they have to send me a message telling me how they don't approve of my style of play or my guessed at sexuality! I guess I'm not supposed to kill them over and over again? Or suck cocks?

If you're tired of reading comic books that make you do all the work, might I recommend Green Lanterns?

It does all the thinking for you!

Simon and Jess can even manage to talk to each other in their Narration Boxes while giving the readers a quick personality study. Simon is the tough car loving man-dude with a chip on his shoulder! Jessica is the anxious one who is also totally cute and into Pokémon but against Oxford commas! I'm not sure but I think Sam Humphries would have a difficult time tightening up their codified gender roles.

The Green Lanterns are trying to shut down Atrocitus's Hell Well but now Atrocitus is trying to shut them down. He's brought his crew of Red Lanterns to help out. Jessica, who mentioned how Simon has to face the prejudice of the world on a daily basis, proves that she's one of those assholes he has to deal with.

Yeesh! I'd hate to hear how she describes the rest of the Green Lantern Corps! She's not going to be welcome at the Annual Picnic on Mogo. Also, Zilius Zox should be dead. See Red Lanterns Annual #1.

Si and Jess decide that they should "just do it" which means punch things until they're all punched out. When that's the extent of the conflict, I feel like just taking a nap with the help of a bottle of aspirin and a bottle of sake. This is the level of comic book writing that is held as top notch? Why do people dream about working for one of the big two when this is the bullshit they think is entertaining? You know what the problem is! Well, I know but I swore I'd stop ranting about it because it's all I rant about. But I think I have a new take on it, so maybe I can rant a little bit in this paragraph! The problem is all of these first person Narration Boxes! Because now an big fist fight without any plans or twists or interesting aspects can be the big exciting action sequence because during the fist fight, the writer shoves in a bunch of Narration Boxes so that it seems like some thought is going into the battle. The protagonist can think, "My opponent is too strong to just go toe to toe with! So I've got to use my brains!" But the visual will simply be fists thrown back and forth. The fights have no personality anymore because all the work is going into the thoughts of the hero. And the thoughts don't need to have anything to do with the battle. As long as Jess says things like, "I've got to overcome my anxiety and learn to stand up as a Green Lantern!", readers are fooled into believing Jess is overcoming her anxiety! Why else would she say it if it isn't true?!

I'm probably getting ahead of myself. Just because Jess and Si's Narration Boxing moved straightaway to a double splash page action shot, it doesn't mean the fight won't be choreographed in an interesting way. It doesn't mean Jess or Si will think up a clever way to defeat the Red Lanterns. I don't know for sure that this fight will be no better than a couple of drunks beating each other down over a perceived slight.

During the battle, Dex-Starr is given the Rage Seed to plant at the bottom of the Hell Well.

It's the most adorable evil scheme I've ever seen!

I can easily turn around on this series if Sam would just write more scenes with Dex-Starr! I'm not that down on the book! I get what Sam is doing with the two halves of the whole character arc of Simon and Jessica. I just wish he would do it more how I want him to do it and less how he wants to do it! Am I supposed to be some kind of unbiased critic who can't mention the flaws simply because the flaws and what I don't like overlap?! Please! I'm just as human as the next person as long as the next person is often called an unemotional robot by the people who know her.

Oh! Guess what happens after the adorable Dex-Starr scene? Simon and Jess continue to throw punches while the Narration Boxes do all of the work! Although I'm not sure what kind of work they're trying to do. I think they're trying to do the same kind of work that the Grifter Narration Boxes were doing way back when.

You mean it's not in the top ten things people would associate with them? Because I'm pretty sure that's wrong!

If we were to do word association and you were to say "Red Lantern", I'd be all, "Anger! Rage! Vomit! Red! Lanterns!" But then if you said "Fourth of July," I would never in a million years answer with "Lemonade!" Is it a regional thing?

Jessica continues to spray green light at the Red Lanterns in images that mean nothing. How is the fight going? Is she winning? Losing? Who knows because, as I guessed earlier, the punching doesn't matter. It's all about her Narration Boxing. Instead of showing how she doubts herself and how she overcomes that in the fight, the reader is just told that she's feeling anxious and that she doubts her ability. But while she thinks that, she continues to blast Red Lanterns as well as any Green Lantern who can't make a gigantic green boxing glove (which is none of them, by the way).

Simon gets his page as well where he thinks about how he overcame nearly getting his brother-in-law killed which means he can overcome this brawl. But then he also has to take a moment to have some Emerald Sight which is possibly even worse than the incessant Narration Boxing. Now he gets to see a glimpse of the future which means nothing. He sees the Justice League being angry and Atrocitus saying, "Red Dawn is coming." Who the fuck cares?! Why is this a thing? Is this like the local news teasing a story to keep you interested? Is this Sam Humphries thinking, "I know my story isn't good enough to keep people reading. But if they only knew I planned to bring in the Justice League, there's no way they can drop the book, right?!"

No. I can mention a Green Lantern making a boxing glove because I'm expressing my disdain at how the battle isn't even on that low of a level. As the author, you cannot go there because it's lazy.

Jessica's anxiety and fear take over and she runs and hides and thinks over and over again, "I can't do this!" No, you can't. Give the ring to somebody else because at this point, it makes no sense that you were given one. There's only one rule and that's the ability to overcome great fear. You have the great fear so fucking overcome it already! I suppose I can give you one more issue to overcome it but if this becomes a regular part of the series, I will...well, I don't know. Roll my eyes more?

I just remembered! The last issue had Atrocitus telling Simon and Jess that he would let the one that kills the other one live. But there's been no acknowledgment of that ending at all! I guess I'm just supposed to assume that he was speaking figuratively or that that speech was code for his Red Lanterns to attack?

The issue ends with Jessica curled up into a fetal position because she's representing for the terminally anxious. And Simon Baz has just got his ass kicked because he's representing for those who constantly get their asses kicked. I wish this issue were one page longer so the Red Lanterns could have just finished them off and saved me $2.99 next month.

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget Skallox died in Red Lanterns but is back. So where is that cute female Czarian?

    I'd rather watch Dex-Starr vomit caustic blood hairballs all day than these two idiots fail. When a freaking cat is more competent than you, then you know you need to give up the ring.