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."

1 comment:

  1. I of all people should have been able to get into "Emerald Dawn", but I never could. Lord knows it had all the right elements on (figurative) paper: action, exposition, expansion of lore, character arc, good art. What it lacked was a reason to give a shit.

    In ED, Hal is a callow selfish jerk who becomes a little less callow and selfish. Okay, fine. But there was no reason to get on his side in the first place. His dad died; so what? That's a random detail, not much of a motivation unless you actually flesh it out a little.

    In the movie that exists in my head, Hal meets Tom by interceding when some racist assholes are picking him in a bar. Hal is outnumbered and predictably gets his ass kicked, but that barely matters to him. Maybe that's a reason to get on Hal's side. Or when he's leaving the bar and he sees what looks like a plane crashing in the hills, he tells Tom to call 911, while he races off on his motorcycle with a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher. It is of course Abin Sur's ship so Hal's efforts do no actual good, but even so, it reinforces the idea that Hal wants to help people. Give the audience a reason to get on the protagonist's side.