Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #6 (May 1990)

Never realized before now that Guy Gardner just wears an old pair of Kilowog's boots.

I don't know what the fucking Green Lantern Corps are doing on this cover. I guess it's one of their shit tactical maneuvers. This one is called Vitruvian-1490. I don't know how it works. Poorly, probably, after seeing how effective Red-27 was last issue.

Last issue ended with Hal's "act before thinking" method of approaching problems saved the Guardians from Legion. But then his "act before thinking" method of approaching problems doomed Oa to be overrun by a massive silver space ooze. In this issue, his "act before thinking" method of approaching problems will probably save everybody from the massive silver space ooze and he'll be celebrated by the rest of the Corps for introducing a whole new tactic to their military repertoire. The Guardians were always too logical to believe that acting before thinking was ever a smart play and the rest of the Corps are aliens and only humans could ever pull off the act before thinking move. Haven't you ever seen Star Trek? That was Kirk's whole deal and the reason Spock loved him. In a rational and thoughtful way, of course.

Somehow, Green Lantern rings are less effective against massive silver space oozes than the color yellow. How come that flaw is never mentioned?

You may have looked at my cover scan and thought, "Couldn't you have taken the time to straighten out the comic book before scanning it?" Well let me tell you something. This has to be the wonkiest fucking comic book I own. Look at how skewed the panel on the first page has been printed:

As you can see, the line between inside front cover and first page is straight. The gap between that line and the panel is twice as large at the top of the panel.

This is the bottom of the panel from the same scan that shows the dividing line between cover and first page is actually straight.

Okay, that's enough about my Mystery Spot architectural-style comic book. I just don't want to be blamed for all the wonky panel scans from here on out!

In a moment that probably isn't an allusion to rape, Tomar-re mentions how the massive silver space ooze has penetrated Oa itself. That's why they're having such a difficult time with it. Because it's draining the power of the Guardians (which they get from Oa, I guess? Is that canon?). I don't remember how this issue ends but I'm guessing obliterating the entire planet? Once you have this much ooze for this long, a planet never really rights itself. That's a parody line from my favorite Robert Frost poem! That's a sentence to point out that I've read at least one Robert Frost poem! I've also read that one where conservatives love to pull the line "Fences make good neighbors," showing their complete ignorance in one fell swoop and letting me know their opinions can be completely disregarded. Because actually, stupid conservative, something there is that doesn't love a wall. Probably a liberal.

Oa is literally fucked.

The Guardians decide to retreat and leave Oa to, you know, whatever the fuck is happening to it. At least it's not Mogo. That would be traumatic. But Hal Jordan refuses to retreat. The Guardians act shocked because they just don't understand the human drive to sink more cost into a losing proposition. Luckily, Hal Jordan is the king of actually defeating the sunk cost fallacy. The Guardians point out that the rings may be the most powerful weapon in the universe but they only use a fraction of the actual power of the Green Lantern Battery on Oa. That gives Hal Jordan an idea!

Does every one of Gerard Jones' plot points involve penetration?

Hal Jordan becomes more powerful than any creature has ever been before in the history of DC Comics in the month of May 1990. He creates a vortex that propels the massive silver space ooze into orbit around Oa. Everybody else has fled the planet so they're just hanging around watching the rookie save the day. The Guardians, having never experienced a moment in their entire long lives where somebody acted without thinking because why would anybody ever do that, go down to the surface to speak with Hal Jordan alone. They send the rest of the Corps to take the massive silver space ooze back to its home prison. I mean home planet.

The Guardians, not comfortable with idiots, send Hal Jordan to patrol Sector 2814. That was Abin Sur's sector which contains Earth which is why Jordan was found in that Sector. But I don't think Earth being in Sector 2814 was part of the Guardians' decision to send Hal there. Apparently Sector 2814 is far away from Oa. I don't know how that works because Oa is in Sector 0 and I thought all Sectors somehow touched Oa at a point and spread out from there. But also, I don't know anything about the Green Lantern Corps so I probably just made that up when I was twelve and have believed it for the last 40 years.

Back on Earth, Hal Jordan turns himself in for drunk driving and spends some time in prison. After that, he is rehired by Carol Ferris to test flight simulators and eventually become a test pilot again. But this time while sober and not feeling sorry for himself. Although in some ways, he hasn't learned anything. Because he nearly dies in the exact stubborn way his father died so many years ago. But he lands the plane instead of dying in a crash. Although the plane blows up seconds after he lands it. Somehow he survives without the ring (which he jettisoned so he could prove to himself and his dead father that he's a better pilot than his father (I mean, I can't think of any other reason why he wanted to re-enact his father's crash). Maybe the ring shielded him from a distance. Whatever the case, I guess he's the best pilot at Ferris Air now? Or was that moment just to show Carol crying so we know she actually luffs him?

Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #6 Rating: B-. I don't like how the ending had to mirror the beginning. I suppose Gerard Jones thought it was a cool artsy trick. Maybe I'm missing something but it doesn't feel like it was needed to show Hal has grown and matured. It just makes him look as stubborn and stupid as ever. I guess it shows that he's conquered his fear and has a right to wield the Green Lantern ring? But he already showed that when he flew into the battery on Oa, no? Whatever. I guess it's a nice mirror bookend to the series. But I still would have liked it if he'd ejected to show he'd grown. Maybe it's supposed to be ambiguous! Some readers might think, "Oh, he ejected just before the plane hit the ground! He has matured and he did the right thing instead of the careless thing!" But others might think, "Oh! He rode the plane all the way to the ground even though he saw his father die exactly like this! He's totally the man without fear who isn't Daredevil! Awesome!" And some readers (me) thought, "Carol wants to schedule some cockpit simulator time if you know what I mean because I used the word cock."

Monday, April 22, 2024

Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #5 (April 1990)

Not a single Green Lantern thought, "I can use the ring to pick up the battery and drop it on the massive yellow space pussycat's dumb head!"

It's amazing how easily the smallest yellow thing can defeat a Green Lantern. Don't they train to battle yellow things? Shouldn't that be their most intense training? Why was Kilowog teaching Hal Jordan to grab knives or run across poles or fly around planets? According to this cover, most of his lessons should have been about not trying to beat the shit out of a yellow foe directly. How many Green Lanterns has Legion defeated here? It's not like he has yellow lasers so every single one of these idiots went toe-to-toe with him. Maybe a majority of Green Lanterns are color blind? I guess they couldn't bring the building down around his ears because, according to last issue's depiction of Oa, every building was bright yellow. Or as bright as the color separation process on newsprint in 1990 allowed (which wasn't very bright at all). If I were a Green Lantern in this situation, I would have simply grabbed Brik with my power ring and thrown her into Legion's face, exploding his head. Then I would have not fucked the 13 year old Arisia. But then, I don't think like Hal Jordan, I guess.

"Hey guys! Let's fly as close to this yellow monstrosity as possible!"

The Green Lanterns execute tactical offensive strategy "Red-27." I think it's named that because they're angry and seemingly want to die young in a blaze of glory like a young rock star. I mean, if you can count choking on your own vomit in a Paris bathtub as a "blaze of glory." Surprisingly, I don't know what surprisingly means because this sentence was supposed to finish "one of the Green Lanterns dies immediately." As I pointed out, I would have gone with tactical offensive strategy "Drop-a-Huge-Rock-on-Sinestro-2000." If you can't guess why that move is called that, how are you even reading this?

This drama is supposed to make the reader believe Legion is the toughest opponent the Green Lanterns have ever faced. But I think Tweety Bird landing on Oa would have garnered the same reaction.

Tomar-re basically is Tweety Bird. "I taught I taw a massive yellow space puttytat. I did! I did taw a massive yellow space puttytat!" Also, is that Sinestro in that panel? Was he not a terrible narcissistic jerk yet? I mean, he's probably all of those things. But was he not a villain yet?

The Green Lanterns encase Legion in a sphere of "Oamite," the bedrock of the planet Oa. It's nearly unbreakable when placed under pressure! So, of course, Legion breaks out of it in the space of three panels.

I don't want to be accused of "yucking somebody's yum" but maybe find a synonym for the phrase "final solution."

On second thought, I absolutely want to yuck somebody's yum: the people who use the phrase "yuck somebody's yum." It's stupid. The dumbest thing I've ever heard. Especially when people use it against somebody who isn't actually doing that. Like if I shit all over the work of Cullen Bunn in a blog post on my little blog space on the Internet, I'm not yucking the yum of everybody who loves Cullen Bunn and happens to stumble across my blog. I would be yucking somebody's yum if they professed love of Cullen Bunn's mediocre DC stories and I commented on their declaration saying, "Cullen Bunn's Aquaman stories were little more than recycled John Carpenter of Mars scripts he probably hadn't sold and they were terrible." People are allowed to have their own opinions without being accused of yucking yums. The yum yucking takes place when you intrude on somebody else's celebration of a thing. More to the point, a person who comments on my blog to tell me I'm a jerk for hating on Cullen Bunn's Lobo and I shouldn't yuck the yum of people who love it is actually yucking my yum of enjoying hating on it! So get the fuck out of here, jerko!

That entire aside about people using "yucking somebody's yum" incorrectly wasn't really an aside but a response to me using the term incorrectly in the caption. I'm not as distracted as you might have thought!

Squagga didn't actually know what he was supposed to do because he's dead one panel later.

The Green Lanterns protect the Guardians by leading Legion directly to where they're hiding underground. It's a weird plan that doesn't make any sense unless you realize that the Green Lanterns actually hate the Guardians.

The Guardians are currently "meditating" meaning they're stashed away in little Matrix cylinders. Before Legion can turn the cylinders into jars of Guardian jam, cables snake out of the Guardian's meditation chamber to immobilize them. The Guardians begin waking up, calmly saying things like, "What is this creature?" and "Who is this new Green Lantern?" and "We have seven heartbeats until we're all dead." Hal Jordan is all, "I'll take care of this!" One of the Guardians is all, "You will think about this situation first to find the optimal solution even though we said that thing about only having seven heartbeats left to live. Better dead than being a dumb jerk who acts without reason!" And the dumb jerk is all, "What? Tell me later! I'm going to final solution this guy for you!"

Hal Jordan hauls Legion to the surface where he gets the brilliant idea to toss him in mud. Now he's brown and not yellow! And I won't be a whiny little shit and point out that any large force that strikes Legion at this point will simply crush the mud out to the sides and eventually the green light will touch yellow before the force can be adequately transferred to Legion. Although maybe the Oamite mud hardens far faster than Earth mud, leaving a small layer of dried mud between the green light and the yellow armor. Who am I to make up the comic book rules?!

Modern readers are probably completely baffled by Green Lantern's light construct here.

Look, I'm 52 years old and I was kind of baffled by this for a moment. Mostly because I thought the panel with the shoe didn't have a lot of connection to the panel with the bat. But then I took a moment to look at the art which, frankly, I'm pretty shit at doing while reading comic books, and realized it's a rudimentary kid's tee ball device, probably from the '50s. According to Amazon, these kinds of tee ball set-ups are still being manufactured! It's total shit. How are you supposed to practice batting when you have to get out of position to step on the stupid device and then get your foot back in position to take a swing at the ball?! Do I just not know how baseball works? Couldn't they make this into an app?

I'm not the only one who doesn't understand how baseball works.

Most people think the Green Lantern ring's only flaw is that it cannot affect anything yellow. But it has an even bigger flaw that I totally forgot about.

Oh god. It's a Internet debate nerd who doesn't actually understand the synergy between rationality and emotion.

It's weird that all the other color rings are based on emotions but the Green Lantern ring is based on willpower, rationality, and order, none of which are emotions. Although that's just a problem with the retconning of the whole Lantern system in later years. Nobody cared about the Green Lantern ring being anti-emotion when none of the other emotionally powered rings existed. Whatever the case, Hal's ring is being an annoying jerk. Interestingly enough, I've blocked people on Twitter for far less than what the ring says in that panel. I just don't have time for Internet debaters that have no other joy in their lives than winning arguments against strangers. And by "winning arguments," I mean "spouting dumb shit, constantly changing the goal posts on their original point of contention, and acting like a huge victim when they were the one to begin drudging up the shitty mud."

Legion, finally on their backfoot and about to be killed by Hal, finally decides violence isn't the answer. Diplomacy is what is needed now that they've lost the upper hand! Killing others is fine but when you're about to be killed? Accuse the other person of not being reasonable! Legion is all, "Would you kill us just because we killed a bunch of your buddies in our need for revenge against the Guardians who committed genocide against us first?" Their entire species wound up dying once they were imprisoned on their planet because migration was built into their DNA. They cleverly leave out the part about how their "migration" also included genociding the races of any planets they migrated to.

I love this page. Legion is all, "You're right. Bad attempt at saving my life." But Hal, not wanting to be a complete tool for little blue people he doesn't even know, shows mercy.

Once Hal frees Legion from its massive yellow space pussycat armor, it becomes a massive silver space ooze. The ooze grows and grows and grows, encasing and, presumably killing, numerous Green Lanterns. Is the lesson that showing mercy is bad and soldiers should always follow terrible orders because their leaders know best? I'm not sure I approve of those things. Maybe I'm just being cynical! Although it is hard not to think, "Hal should have just killed Legion." I mean that's hard for other people. I would never want a hero to kill a villain, especially with a villain with such a tragic back story! I'm sure Hal will find a way to give the last members of Legion's race a nice place to live.

Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #5 Rating: A. I don't approve of a lot of the ways the Green Lanterns and the Guardians do things. The whole system has been around for millennia and they don't have a proper method of defeating a yellow-encased enemy attacking the planet? And the Guardians, with the massive amount of power they wield, can think of no other means to protect the universe against a race that commits genocide (perhaps through no fault of their own other than their own intrinsic nature which they can't change) other than committing genocide against that race? Didn't somebody in a previous issue point out that genocide was frowned upon by the Green Lantern Corps? Not that I expect the Guardians to be anything more than hypocrites after all the stories I've read about them. But I did like how Hal acted without thinking because immediate action was called for (which is the whole point of Hal, really). The whole "Legion becomes a massive silver space ooze consuming the entirety of Oa" conclusion to this issue just seemed tacked on because DC wanted this to be a six issue miniseries. Obviously one more issue is needed to allow Hal and the Guardians to interact but did they need one more huge conflict? Legion could have been shoved in a cell at the end of this and Issue Six could have been a wildly informative 22-page talking heads issue! My favorite kind of comic book!

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #4 (March 1990)

The Green Lantern Corps allows hazing.

At the end of the last issue, Hal Jordan stuck a remote control bomb up the massive yellow space kitten's butt and he and the kitten died as one. Although based on this cover, Hal didn't die. And based on the cover of Issue #5, neither did the massive yellow space kitten. So while it was a dramatic ending to the issue, it didn't have any lasting consequences. Except maybe getting rid of the evidence that an alien visited Earth while also giving everyone in a sixty mile radius slow growing cancer. But that's the way Hal Jordan does things! Tall on action, short on thinking through the lasting consequences of his actions.

This series was drawn by M.D. Brigth who passed away between the time I wrote the review for Issue #3 and this review. Keith Giffen also died while I was writing my reviews of Justice League America and Justice League Europe. My reviews might have some kind of Ringu-like curse associated with them. Crossing my fingers that when I begin the reviews for the regular Green Lantern series from the 90s that the curse continues doing its work. I'm not at all happy that the curse brought down Keith Giffen and M.D. Bright, if that's your terrible interpretation of the previous factual statements about a paranormal phenomenon I've noticed. But I guess we'll just have to see what emotion I wind up feeling if the curse strikes down child sex pest Gerard Jones.

Oh, I should also acknowledge that Keith Giffen did the plotting of this series and Gerard Jones did the scripting. Romeo Tanghal, who is currently 76, did the inking. Maybe I shouldn't even have mentioned Romeo's name. I'm so sorry for bringing you into this, Romeo!

People who use their brains more regularly than Hal Jordan would then ask, "Did the massive yellow space pussycat also survive?"

Oh wait. He does ask that question.

I guess I was wrong about Hal arrogantly jumping to the conclusion that only he could have survived.

Nope. I was right the first time. Never mind.

I don't want to hear any of you Hal Jordan stans defending his arrogance by pointing out Hal's ignorance of this whole ring technology thing. We go by the evidence presented to us in the comic book on this blog and, as you can see, the theory I've come up with based on the evidence of reading Hal Jordan comic books played out precisely as I thought it would. I didn't know what Hal's reaction would be after reading the first page where he's surprised he's alive. Yes, that's big points to Hal being heroic. He was planning on sacrificing his own life to save people from the massive yellow space pussycat. But my theory has nothing to do with whether or not Hal's heroic! My theory, plainly stated, is that Hal acts before he thinks and also that he never thinks. Based on the evidence I've gathered over four decades of reading comic books, I could probably promote this theory to a law by now!

Somehow, the massive yellow space pussycat winds up on the moon. It's all, "I've come to the moon where we can fight without any property damage or death to innocent humans! No Green Lantern could resist fighting me here!" So it's not that smart either. It and Green Lantern just fought to the death in a place without property or any innocent humans. Why did it leave? What happened when it was blown up in the nuclear blast? Why would it suddenly go to the moon and think Green Lantern would follow it, especially if its reason for thinking Hal would follow it was because of the new battlefield which was exactly like the previous battlefield? I know the actual reason is that Giffen and Jones needed to give Hal a free moment so he could head to Oa, enabling the massive yellow space pussycat to follow him there. Maybe the main problem is that I shouldn't be trying to understand the reasons behind a massive yellow space pussycat's actions. Why do normal cats knock shit off tables? If an alien were reading a comic book whose plot relied on a cat knocking something off of a table, the alien might be all, "Why the fuck would it even do that? What's the point? It had no motivation to do that and yet the plot relied on the cat doing that? So stupid!" But a human reading that story would be all, "Oh, yes! Of course the cat would do that!" So maybe any massive yellow space pussycats reading this would see the massive yellow space pussycat flee to the moon and think, "Oh ho! Good one! Exactly what I would have done in this situation!"

I guess "Legion" means the same thing in massive yellow space pussycat as it means in English.

Hal flies past the moon because he told the ring he wants to meet other Green Lanterns. So now he's off to Oa! I'm going to assume the ring uses some kind of wormhole technology or else Hal is going to arrive as a mummy. Hal flies through one meteor storm and winds up on Oa so I'm going to assume the ring uses natural wormholes to navigate the universe. Why else would it take Hal through a meteor storm if it could just open a wormhole on its own? Also, don't yell at me for using the term "meteor storm" incorrectly. I'm using Hal's own words and I've already established that he's a dolt.

Upon landing on Oa, Hal meets his first Green Lantern that isn't about to die (I mean "immediately" about to die).

Even if Tomar-re identifies every Green Lantern via their ring's signature, you'd think he'd at least remember that Abin Sur was bald. And red.

Here I go making assumptions about how aliens act based on human behavior! Maybe Tomar-re only sees things in a vague blur. And he's colorblind. And also, being blind, his other senses weren't heightened as a species so he couldn't smell or hear a difference between Abin Sur and Hal. I'm probably being ableist thinking Tomar-re should have realized Hal wasn't Abin Sur immediately! I'm so ashamed.

Are those slug creatures in the first panel the native race of Oa? Are they sentient? Do they taste delicious?

It turns out this isn't Oa which is more evidence for the reader theory that I don't pay attention and make a lot of shit up and jump to more conclusions than the characters I complain about when they assume something stupid. Good thing I can make myself feel better with the theory that the people who read my blog are smarter than to come up with a shit theory about me.

Hal has landed on a planet in Tomar-re's sector. The ring was simply asked to take Hal to meet another Green Lantern and not to meet all the other Green Lanterns. Luckily Hal doesn't begin his conversation with Tomar-re by saying, "You look like a punk rock chicken-elf." But then, with all my criticisms of Hal, he's definitely a better person than I am. Because, yes, I would have led with "You look like a punk rock chicken-elf."

Tomar-re immediately recruits Hal to help him deal with some ambulatory carnivorous grass elsewhere on the planet. Hal does what Hal does best by reacting using Jordan's Law: always act without thinking or asking questions or knowing anything at all about the situation what-so-ever.

"Wait! They're the sentient race of this planet!"

Luckily for Hal, he didn't just commit mass murder against an alien race. Tomar-re was yelling "Wait!" because every time you kill one of these voracious meat eating plants, two spring up in its place. That's a better mistake for Hal's first time working with another Green Lantern even if it's less dramatic. Imagine if Hal had actually committed genocide on his first official Green Lantern job?! Then he'd either have to convince Tomar-re to carry that deep, dark secret around with him or murder Tomar-re as well. Obviously the first option would be better and fraught with more drama for the reader. Every time you'd see a panel with Tomar-re and Hal interacting, you'd be thinking about their dark connection.

I'll admit that, having grown up in California myself, I actually thought Hal's solution was going to be to make a huge bong and smoke the poor aliens to death.

Tomar-re learning early about Jordan's Law.

Tomar-re receives a signal from his ring about an emergency on Oa involving Legion. He opens a warp to travel there so that answers one question. But it just causes another one: Hal didn't warp to Tomar-re's Sector so how far or fast can a Green Lantern travel without needing to warp?

Hmm. Yellow buildings. Shows how much the Guardians trust their soldiers.

Salaak greets the new arrivals with news that Legion has now killed four Green Lanterns and he's off rampaging some more. I thought Legion followed Hal but I guess he smelled a trap and decided to go murder a Green Lantern in a different sector.

To learn about Legion, the Green Lanterns consult The Book of Oa. It tells them an old tale of a race of expansionist and aggressive creatures whom the Green Lanterns sealed on their planet by erecting a shield around it. But that's all the book has to say and Hal is all, "But those aliens didn't look anything like Legion!" And Tomar-re just responds that the Book tells them what they need to know. But none of them even consider what the Book just told them. I mean, obviously, the hive creatures of the planet Tchk-Tchk realized they could easily leave their planet in a yellow suit spaceship. And apparently their engineers loved humanoid cats which seems weird being that they're an ant-like species. Also, the Book didn't show scale in the story so I'm assuming the massive yellow space pussycat is chock full of little alien ant guys.

Tomar-re sets Hal up with an apartment because Hal's going to be trained on Oa for a few weeks. Nobody gives another thought to Legion or the Book's message to them. They just go back about their daily lives. Hal meets Kilowog who calls him a poozer several times before, after a week, Legion attacks Oa. I guess Legion finally found a Green Lantern weak enough to spill the beans about where Oa was located. Or it just took Legion that long to follow Hal's path through space. It's not like a race of alien ants could possibly develop the same kind of warp technology as the Green Lantern rings!

Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #4 Rating: B+. I'm starting to believe that the way I view Hal Jordan all these years has been due to the way he was portrayed by Gerard Jones (and Priest for one issue!) in this series. But that's not my fault. I was too young to read about Hal in the '70s. Most of my Hal Jordan knowledge was from the Superfriends cartoon! And I didn't get into reading comic books until Crisis on Infinite Earths so most of my knowledge of DC's characters come from the post-Crisis versions of them. It's a good thing I like this version of Hal Jordan. I think his flaws are always played well. How can you really fault Hal when he's doing the heroic thing even if he's fucking up a bunch of other shit because he hasn't thought his actions through or taken time to learn about the situation he's wading into fists first? There's something noble about that. Also, he's shown he's willing to die to save other people, especially if he thinks he's at fault for the harm caused. Or maybe he was just willing to die at the end of the last issue because he was feeling suicidal after being responsible for the death of his best friend? No, no. Hal's more heroic than suicidal. Or do those two things simply go hand in hand?