Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Green Lantern #1



I guess somebody challenged Grant Morrison to plumb the depths of the most shallow character in DC comics because we now have this title. Not that there's anything particularly wrong with being shallow! I don't want anybody thinking I'm just sitting around insulting myself at the same time I'm insulting Hal Jordan. At least Hal Jordan is shallow in a good way. He's shallow in that he's not complex. He has a simple moral code: do the right thing no matter how many people you have to punch in the face. He'll punch a whole damn planet if he has to.

It's also possible Dan DiDio just said to Grant Morrison, "How much would it cost us to get you to write the next Green Lantern book?" Then Grant shrugged, said a number that would probably blow my mind, and shook hands with DiDio while pretending he didn't see DiDio's boner.

The first ten pages of this issue are a confusing mess of hokey old cop serial dialogue and hard-to-follow panel transitions. The bottom line is that some anti-matter creature killed a Green Lantern while a space beaver, a robot, and a vegan spider alien escape from a Green Lantern paddy wagon (casual racism!) with a Venturan luck dial. I suppose all of this will come into play at some point, especially since the anti-matter creature seems to be merging with Hal Jordan on the cover.

Hal Jordan is currently moping down on Earth. He's probably on paid leave from the Green Lantern Corps for punching a Guardian in the neck. It only takes a few pages to discover Grant Morrison is on the same page as I am regarding Hal Jordan's character.


The panel before this has Hal saying, "You wanna fight? See, I like fighting. Aliens, humans...".

The crystal meth Green Lantern crashes the police transport on Earth after freeing the space beaver and his friends. Hal lets his horribly wounded coworker not to worry because Hal Jordan can get the job done in twenty minutes whereas other Green Lanterns, terrible at their job, almost die and crash on Earth attempting the same thing. I wonder if Hal knows you can be confident without being completely insulting at the same time? I guess it doesn't matter because being polite isn't going to save the universe.

After capturing the space beaver and letting it know that its luck dial is a fake (because the guy with the anti-matter creature, Commander Mu, has the real one!), Hal is accepted back into the Green Lantern Corps full time. And his first case is the Case of the Anti-Matter Killer! Apparently this guy Commander Mu is creating an Anti-Hal Jordan to defeat the Green Lantern Corps.

Rating: C+. Grant Morrison begins this series by saying, "Look, I know what y'all want from me. Big cosmic connections between modern ways of thinking and all the nostalgic history you nerds can't let go of! But first I'm going to write a bunch of terrible sounding dialogue that makes people think of old police radio dramas! Oh, sure, nobody reading this knows what those sound like so maybe this issue will completely miss the mark and people will think, 'Did Grant Morrison suffer a head injury?' But then I'll say, 'Did you read Batman Incorporated? Remember some of the fucked up weird shit in that? I tested your suspension of disbelief a lot more than asking you to believe space aliens speak like cops from the twenties!'" I wonder if Dan DiDio's boner shrunk three sizes the day he first read this script?

4 comments:

  1. Morrison's at his best when he's Doing A Thing: big ideas, meta concepts, or writing to lead to some big iconic moment. Maybe Grant's got something in the works.

    King Beauregard recommends that writing Hal ought to be like writing a Texas Ranger from an old Western. Not enough people watch Westerns these days, so let me point out that most Western heroes are reluctant to take the first shot; they talk and warn first, and give the other person every chance to do the right thing. It's only when they refuse to, and try to get their way by force, that there's a gunfight or a fist fight. These days, not enough superheroes understand talking and warning. Not enough police officers understand it for that matter.

    Bringing this to the real world, here's an interesting video by a different Beauregard but a pretty sharp one all the same:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmjB7TUroyE

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    1. Oh, and as to why there are Green Arrow fans:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbd90L3NU2Y

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    2. That guy didn't once shoot an arrow with a boxing glove on it.

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    3. One issue in comics that I feel like I harp on too much (in the sense that I feel I'm repeating myself over and over and not in the sense that it shouldn't be said five thousand times over and over and over again) is that too many super heroes resort to physical conflict too quickly. Especially Superman who should probably never punch anybody ever.

      The saddest part about watching Beau's video was that I could hear the shitty arguments people would instantly make in defense of cops killing people. These assholes have such a low bar for what actions should lead to death by cop. And yet, shouldn't that be a bar so high that it never takes place? Aren't these people lovers of the constitution?! And yet they think disrespecting a cop or not following a cop's orders or simply existing when a cop decides to shoot them is somehow lawful. Because a cop did it and they have stressful jobs, don't ya know?

      Now you got me all worked up, King Beauregard! I need Indian food!

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