Saturday, May 11, 2024

Green Lantern #2 (July 1990)

Guy Gardner battling the 1990 version of Times Square's street Elmo.

An entire generation of people have grown up knowing only a Times Square post-Disney's purchase of the New Amsterdam theater and Guiliani's forced make-over of an area of town that wasn't just sex shops and porno theaters. It was also middle class bars, lunch counters, video arcades, and small businesses like luggage stores, photo developing labs, and places to jerk off in the dark. The last porn shop, Peep-o-rama, closed in 2002. Where do young people go now to masturbate in the filth of previous public masturbators?! Do they only jerk off at home while watching Pornhub on their phones?! How are they going to become inured to the haunting suspicion that they've sat in some stranger's cum and have been walking around all day with a disgusting slimy patch on the back of their Burberry trench coat?! Is that something young people no longer have to worry about?! Did Pee Wee Herman ruin jerking off in a public porn theater for everybody?!

I wonder if Pee Wee got caught because the secret word of the day was "rod" and he kept screaming while jerking off during the movie?

Anyway, enough about jerking off in dark places, let's read this comic book and find out what the demon Guy Gardner is battling on the cover is a metaphor for! Is it sexually transmitted diseases? Is it virulent homophobia? Is it low level testosterone-related erectile dysfunction?! It's probably just boring old jerking off in a dark public place. Or drugs. Every negative thing was a metaphor for drugs in the '80s. And, yes, 1990 is still part of the '80s. The '90s don't really start until Nirvana begins getting airplay on mainstream hard rock radio stations' weird AM off-shoots that let them test out music that they were afraid might get them called gay slurs by metal heads. Being called gay slurs by metal heads was peak '80s!

I just noticed Broderick added the video game arcade amid all the filth and sleaze of Times Square. I suppose the fact that Times Square wasn't just sex shops and porno theaters that made adults so angry about it. Imagine knowing your teenager kept going to Times Square with a bunch of quarters to play Dragon's Lair and realizing those quarters could also open up a world of naked women pressing their fannies up against bullet proof windows?

The sea is just the biggest hole of them all!

I'm glad Hal is sticking to his all roads lead to a gigantic hole analogy! At one time in my life, I probably would have admired a person who stuck to their guns no matter how stupid their guns were or how disgusting the sticky stuff causing them to stick was. But I've seen the hole at the end of that MAGA road now and it just makes me sad. Hal, you're making me sad right now. Please begin a new analogy where the road is the sea and the hole is an overly frosted cupcake.

Hal continues to travel America looking for work like a car load of Okies named Joad except without all the baggage of the older generations who have to die on the road as a metaphor for generational change. I guess Gerard Jones didn't want people mistaking Hal Jordan for a hippie bum the way people mistook me for a hippie bum when I was traveling the roads of America in my VW Bus. So Jones made sure that Hal was always looking to get some hard work in while traveling. In my eyes, this is another point against Hal Jordan's character! Relax, man!

Oh, maybe he is relaxing. When you approach sailors on a dock looking like the driest landlubber in the history of the world and asking for "work," it means you just want to suck some cock, right?

This issue is called "Pursuit of Happiness!" so, yeah, Hal just wants to fuck. And look at the expressions on those guys! They can't believe Hal's being so up front about it! Also those floats look like titties. Is that why my mind turned this whole interaction sexual? Or is it that I turn every interaction in a comic book into something sexual? Probably the former!

You're not going to make me view this situation any better by adding "and some...other things" to the end of your resume, Hal.

The two fishermen hire Hal to come along with them for some reason. Because they make so much money in their little boat and it's such hard work that they need some inexperienced sex maniac's help? It doesn't make sense. They've definitely just hired Hal to be their onboard rent boy.

While Hal Jordan looks to do hard work constantly to show his upstanding American character, Guy Gardner just wants to drink beer, fuck women, and beat the shit out of anybody he can justify beating the shit out of. He's what America turns into when it isn't consumed by hard work. He's what the Puritans feared! Fucking idleness makes you a vulgar monster! And Guy Gardner is the vulgarest. He's supposed to be protecting America as a member of the Justice League of America but he's really only into satisfying his own prurient needs. So he gets drunk while creating light construct fuck buddies and hating on Hal Jordan for being so upstanding and hard working and righteous. But he gets bored of fake green women and heads to Times Square to see some real titties. But even then, he's just all talk because he goes to a porno store to buy a pornographic film! After that, he decides to get a tattoo of a bald eagle waving a flag in one claw and gutting a Communist with the other while it chugs on beer flowing out of big old titties.

No, my mistake. Guy wants his tattoo to slightly more homoerotic than the one I described.

The tattoo artist turns out to be an old Green Lantern villain, The Tattooed Man. He also loved to sit around drinking beers and creating fake women to fuck. But he's changed his ways and he's trying to make himself into a better person by projecting the tattoo of his mother into his life rather than the tattoo of the fuckable vixen on his other arm. But Guy Gardner doesn't like the idea of a villain who has changed his ways. Has The Tattooed Man done any work toward redemption for his past life? Guy and I have no idea. That's a personal journey that really only applies to Gerard Jones and his family. I mean The Tattooed Man and his family. Guy simply sees The Tattooed Man's past as a justification to beat the shit out of him. Guy is like the drunk jerk at the bar who bumps into everybody so that he can feel justified in beating the shit out of anybody who calls him out on being a jerk.

It's almost like Gerard Jones is commenting on something entirely different here!

I wonder how many times somebody close to Gerard Jones discovered his predilection for children and he explained to them that all that was in his past and they should let him move on and then it didn't remain in his past at all? It would sound something like The Tattooed Man here, no? "Don't judge me by my past actions! Judge me by my redemptive future actions while I, hopefully, better hide my despicable actions from here on out!" Maybe I'm being unkind and not generous? Gerard did the time our justice system decided he should do. Maybe I should let a man forget his past! But then I'm not paid to do his public relations for him. It's not like I've decided to harass him personally! I just go on my website that nobody reads, write my thoughts, and go my own way. Hopefully he doesn't have an asshole friend like Cullen Bunn had who constantly sent him links to my Aquaman reviews!

Gerard Jones might be sort of prophetic because I, being Guy Gardner in this situation, probably was about to say something untoward about his mother!

I don't know if I could come up with something disgusting about The Tattooed Man's mother that doesn't sound any grosser than "Don't soil my mother!"

Guy irritates The Tattooed Man so much that The Tattooed Man forgets that he just wants to be left alone and pursues Guy Gardner across the New York City skies, flown by a gigantic bird tattoo. The way Guy acts, I have to wonder if the Guardians don't have some means to revoke a person's membership in the Corps. They probably did at one time but they've all abdicated their responsibilities to the universe and don't seem to give a shit if a bunch of rogue intergalactic cops harass regular people.

Back on Hal's road, he continues not being able to convince me that he's doing regular physical labor that isn't at all sex stuff.

I know the art seems to suggest he's actually working as a crabber but the words tell an entirely different story. Why should I believe pictures over words?! What am I? Some kind of cretin that doesn't understand the juxtaposition of one scene told with narration over a different scene shown with pictures?!

One of Hal's crewmates (out of two) is a Deadhead working odd jobs on the road as he follows The Grateful Dead around. He's as into analogies about living on the road as Hal Jordan is. But this guy suspects all roads lead to cages. That's more apt than all roads lead to holes! But I guess in five years, this guy's going to find himself in a cage or a hole because what's he supposed to do when Jerry Garcia dies?

I'm sorry to say I never made it inside a Grateful Dead show. Once, at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, I went to the parking lot outside the concert to score LSD. That's about as close as I ever got. It's also the only time I ever purchased drugs from a stranger! It was a bit awkward being that I just saw what looked like a drug transaction going down and I walked right up and said, "You've got acid?" And the guy seemed really hesitant to admit to what he was doing but I just steamrolled right over any fears or anxieties he had dealing with this strange young man by basically shoving my money at him excitedly.

Later that day, Hal has dinner with his new Deadhead buddy, Clay, after Clay sees him buying chicken and yells in his face, "Meat is murder!" Crabbing is also murder but Clay doesn't mind for some reason. Maybe because the crabs don't die until later, well out of his sight. Or maybe Clay releases the crabs at the end of the day? Also, Clay helps Hal eat his chicken because Clay's take is that meat is murder is okay as long as you take responsibility for your own moral failings. See, I guess if you know something you're doing is wrong, it's not as wrong as if you didn't know it? No wait. Surely the opposite of that is true! Anyway, Hal doesn't have a lot of time to debate Clay on his weird moral superiority because Guy Gardner has just lured The Tattooed Man into the nearby bay.

Guy Gardner really is a dick, isn't he?

Hal thinks Guy Gardner is a dick too.

John Stewart arrives on Oa looking to be forgiven for his part in allowing an entire planet of aliens to die. Most of the Guardians somehow scored with a bunch of hot, tall alien women so they left Oa some time ago. But one old Guardian decided to stay. The body John found last issue was the body of an alien named Priest. He had come to keep the Guardian company but the Guardian wound up killing him when he wanted to leave. Apparently the Guardian has space madness and now he's decided to imprison John as well.

The Guardian wants to perform something called a "mind union" with John Stewart. I guess that's what people from Malthus do for a good time. Bunch of lonely, needy geniuses. Why didn't this guy get a Zamaron bride? If it's because he's gay, you'd think there would have been more than just him. Maybe he just has a really unpleasant personality. I mean really, really unpleasant. All Guardians have a normal level unpleasant personality.

Hal's secret is exposed because Clay, unlike every other person in the entire DC Universe, recognized Hal Jordan in his Green Lantern mask. Once the townsfolk realize he's a super hero, they don't want any part of him and the trouble he'll bring. Which is exactly right because the chicken shop just got blasted by a cannonball due to Hal Jordan. Sure, it wasn't Hal's fault, exactly. But he was there and Guy Gardner wanted to fuck with him so, well, that's reason enough for me for people wanting him out of town. But then I've never needed much convincing that super heroes cause more trouble than they're worth. Remember, I grew up reading Wolfman's The New Titans. I never understood in that book why Councilwoman Alderman was painted as a bad guy! She was the only person in that comic book thinking clearly!

Green Lantern #2: Rating: B+. The Tattooed Man never pulled a dragon/demon tattoo off of his arm so I'm going to continue to believe the monster on the cover was a metaphor for some other trouble in Times Square. Probably drugs! I bet after Guy drank some porn and watched some beer, he smoked some crack. That's why he was acting so crazy! Maybe the Justice League needs to work him a bit harder. Guy Gardner with idle hands is just a huge fucking asshole.

Hal's beginning to suspect that going on the road to find himself might not be what he's meant to be doing since he's now found two places he fit in and loved but wound up being mistrusted and kicked out. Of course, both times it's because Guy Gardner won't leave him the fuck alone. Hal realizes Guy's at fault and he's looking to bust Guy's ass if he interferes again. But I also think Hal's going to give up on finding himself too early because of Guy's incessant need to annoy the fuck out of him. It looks like Hal's off to California next month to pick fruit. Just like my ancestors!

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