Monday, June 10, 2024

Green Lantern #4 (September 1990)

Another road travelled, another massive hole at the end of it.

I felt Gerard Jones' analogy of roads leading to holes was meant to convey everybody's path through life to the grave. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe it wasn't an analogy at all. Was Jones just being extremely literal because he knew Hal Jordan was about to discover the giant hole where an Earth city teleported to Oa once resided? Should I apologize to Gerard Jones for making fun of his stupid analogy that all roads lead to holes when it wasn't actually an analogy and just Hal's life experience of all roads actually leading to holes? That wasn't a serious question because why the fuck would I apologize to Gerard Jones? Gerard Jones should apologize to me for that stupid analogy!

Hal Jordan has decided he needs to find out who he is without the Green Lantern ring so he's walking America's backroads searching for the man the ring never actually let him become while wearing the ring and casually using the ring and refusing to leave the ring in a safety deposit box down at the local bank. You can tell he's not serious about "finding himself sans ring" because the first panel of this comic book has him charging the ring and by the third panel, he's using the ring's magic green light to make a razor to shave with. Maybe more forgiving and compassionate readers would let that slide but I'm the opposite of forgiving and compassionate! I'm, um, just a second...let me check out, I'm unforgiving and, um, uncompassionate! What the fuck, I probably could have come up with those opposites myself!

I can mostly forgive Hal using the ring to shave. I fucking hate shaving and only do it about once ever three to four weeks. And even then, I'm really just trimming the beard. What I can't forgive Hal for is his unrelentingly idiotic analogies and metaphors!

I lived my first 25 years in California and not once did I experience a day where I thought, "This morning feels like a woman caressing my forehead!" Maybe I'm just gay?

While Hal Jordan walks down roads toward holes singing "King of the Road" like the unimaginative jerk who loves to start barroom brawls he is, the mad Guardian does the same thing but perverts it. Based on Hal's interactions while on the road, he's lonely for normal human company. The Guardian is lonely for abnormal Guardian company. But instead of hitting the road searching for holes to feed his nostalgia for earlier days, the Mad Guardian is feeding his nostalgia by bringing all of the places he's ever visited to him and creating holes across the universe. Both men are fueled by nostalgia and road trips but only one of them has turned it into a destructive act.

Later, doesn't Hal Jordan mirror the Mad Guardian in a way? Has anybody (Geoff Johns specifically) ever discussed the ways in which being a servant to the green light makes you go mad with loneliness and nostalgia? Oh my God! Is Rod Serling a former Green Lantern? Was The Twilight Zone, with its incessant themes of space madness from loneliness and reality warping nostalgia, just a product of this side effect of using the Green Lantern ring?!

With great power comes the ability to turn your memories into fabulous little trinkets.

I was trying to figure out what city the Mad Guardian has kidnapped here but without any famous buildings as markers, I couldn't make a guess. But then he explains this city is from the Pacific Northwest so it's probably Portland. If you want an Everyman Cityscape, Portland is pretty good (if you leave out the bridges). If this were Seattle, they'd have that UFO spinning restaurant building where the fireworks shoot out of on the 4th. Oh, the Space Needle! I couldn't remember what it was called because I'm fifty fucking two years old and my brain is half-LSD.

Hal Jordan has been visiting places he once visited with Green Arrow. And according to the Mad Guardian, he also visited some of those places with them. So it looks like the first three issues were all about getting the reader familiar with characters that will soon be living on Oa and starring in Green Lantern: Mosaic. The first three issues of this series was a backdoor pilot for another comic book series by Gerard Jones. I'd feel scammed but those issues also starred Guy Gardner being a total dick to Hal Jordan. Maybe that's why I always loved Guy so much! Because I couldn't stand Hal and was living vicariously through Guy's childish antics!

Hal learns about the disappearance of Evergreen City, a place he used to live, but ignores the catastrophe because he's not Green Lantern anymore. Except in the morning when he needs to shave. I feel justified in my abhorrence of shaving if even Hal Jordan, who has decided he'd rather do all the physical labor of his life himself without the help of the ring, still insists on using the ring to shave. Shaving is the fucking worst.

This one panel has me rethinking my dislike of the "Image style." Please, give me some Liefeld art to look at over this shit!

According to the Internet, I'm not supposed to criticize other people's art without first showing that I'm a better artist. But I don't have time to prove that I can draw at least this well. Also I don't want to draw a picture of Hal Jordan fucking a ladder. Unless he's fucking the orange tree and the ladder is just an impromptu sex swing. The bald guy watching Hal fuck the orange tree is the guy who told Hal about the orange fucking job. His brain is also 50% LSD.

Later, I might feel bad about suggesting that Rob Liefeld's art was better than Pat Broderick and Bruce Patterson's art. But right now, looking at this panel, I can see why the "Image Style" really set people's minds on fire (I mean that in two ways: in the good sense in that it sparked a passion for a real movement in comic book art and in the bad sense where their brains were burnt to ashes because how else could they believe that all of those "Image" artists of the time were actually good?!).

Remember how many, many comic book fans moved on from debating that the "Image style" was good to debating that it was "dynamic"? That's because they thought you couldn't argue against that while you absolutely could argue (and win!) a debate about the terrible quality of the art. But a bunch of "Image style" artists were also lazy and their versions of "dynamic art" were people standing around stiffer than Barbie dolls. Plus Liefeld, as a time saver, would often forgo drawing all of a person's limbs on their body. If you reply, "Give me an example," I won't. Because why should I do all of the heavy lifting in this hypothetical argument with an Internet Denizen and Image Fan? Find all of the many, many examples yourself! I will offer a little help at least: one is definitely in Liefeld's Deathstroke run during The New 52.

The Justice League investigates the disappearance of Evergreen City even though it's a West Coast city. Who else can be relied upon to investigate if they don't do it? Green Arrow? Titans West? The Outsiders? Please.

While investigating, Guy's ring decides to look like John Stewart for a moment and cry out, "Eastward. Eastward. There won't be time. There won't be...". See? Even John Stewart thinks they shouldn't bother with the West Coast. Fucking East Coast comic book privilege!

Every 30 days, Hal's hippie friend is all, "Holy shit! HOLY SHIT! Crescent moon, man! Crescent moon! Rebirth, man! Isis, dude! Coincidence? Or cosmic synchronicity?!"

Maybe I'm a little bit envious of Hal's buddy Clay the Hippie. One of the most annoying and yet endearing attributes of hippies is their ability to be so openly earnest and emotional about the most fucking mundane bullshit. "Yeah, Clay. Great. I see it. The moon is like a small sliver. Wow. So fucking cool. Haven't seen that over 600 times in my life so far."

Man. Only about 600? And I'm so close to dead? I actually should be full of wonder every time I see it! What the fuck is wrong with me?!

Why do people constantly ask questions they already know the answer to? You charge the ring every day because shaving without a magic space ring sucks.

Earlier, Clay advised Hal Jordan to stop asking questions. Implied that the asking of questions was Hal's problem. This is how I know Clay's mind is half composed of LSD. Just let shit flow, man. Proactivity is for the anxious and paranoid! Reactivity is for the cosmically chill. Yeah, I agree with Clay. Because asking questions only results in answers and more questions. And not only do people not need more questions to ponder, they also don't need nearly as many answers as they think they do. Knowing shit doesn't equate to control. It just means you know about more things that you don't have control over. Let it go, man. Just let it all go.

Was Obi Wan Kenobi's mind 50% whatever cave fungus on Tatooine simulates LSD? You know Yoda was hopped up on some fucked up swamp berries.

That night, Hal has a dream about John Stewart. John warns Hal that somebody is stealing all of the peaches. Hal shouts and screams while dreaming so Clay wakes him up.

How Clay sees the world: is this guy on a good trip or a bad trip?

Clay exposes that he's been thinking way too much about Hal Jordan lately. He also helps Hal to see that running from his time as Green Lantern still means he's being controlled by Green Lantern. So maybe stop whining while still using the ring for mundane tasks and take fucking responsibility before DC's version of Uncle Ben gets mugged and murdered. Unless it's too late because all the towns Hal Jordan and Oliver Green visited during their road trip seem to be disappearing off the map. Hal heads to Hope Springs to see if it's still around because there's a woman there he still wants to fuck.

Hal arrives too late. His blue balls reminds him of the little blue Guardians and he knows who's behind this and where he needs to go. So he charges up his ring, says the stupid fucking oath, and heads off into space toward Rose's vagina.

Green Lantern #4 Rating: B. This comic book might have been better or worse than whatever ranking I just gave it but it's hard to tell because it took me three weeks to get through it. That was on me! Between travel and being distracted by every single Steam and Xbox game that went on sale in the last month, I haven't really been on the computer. Which means not being in my office. Which means completely forgetting that this comic book was still in the scanner. Also, I should probably just experience the comic book instead of snarking on it the entire time I'm reading it. Maybe I'd rediscover a love of comic books if I actually just sat down and read them! I'm afraid what I'll really find is that they're way too boring to read without the distraction of this blog as an intermediary. I should also wait until I begin reading another comic book series that I loved. I never really liked Hal Jordan and I didn't even remember I owned this series! That's how much of an impact it had on me. Hell, I remembered I read Peter David's Aquaman but not this. I suppose if Jones had chopped off Hal's hand and gave him long hair and a bad attitude, I'd have remembered it. Or if Lobo had been in it more.

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