Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Green Lantern #5 (October 1990)

At least 5 Trademark symbols (both registered and unregistered) on this cover. Take that, Marvel!

Obviously when I wrote, "Take that, Marvel!", I didn't actually mean for Marvel to take anything from this cover full of registered and unregistered trademarks. I wouldn't want to see Marvel get in trouble for stealing the character of Hal Jordan and calling him — Oh, I don't know — Wal Jordan? I also shouldn't imply that Marvel stole anything from DC when Rob Liefeld created Deadpool. I should imply that Liefeld stole from DC. Maybe DC didn't put enough trademark symbols on Slade Wilson at the time. Or maybe Rob Liefeld had no idea what trademark symbols were. Or the definition of plagiarism. Or stealing. Or being an unimaginative asshat.

You might be thinking, "Why the fuck are you shitting all over Rob Liefeld out of absolutely nowhere, Tess?" And I'd say, "My name isn't Tess!" Then I might continue, understanding perfectly well what you were communicating and attempting to limit my facetious behavior, "Well, I was just looking at the cover of The New Mutants #98 and thinking, 'I love how Rob Liefeld knew he couldn't draw symmetrical faces very well so he always put people in shaded visors or gave them wonky laser eyes or weird bangs or, like the cover of The New Mutants #98, just covered up one half of one character's face with Deadpool's body and a mystery sword.'" My main regret about collecting comic books in the '90s was that I instantly hated all of the Image style artists and now own very few Rob Liefeld books. I would love to write blog posts about them!

This issue begins with Wal Jordan finally giving up on walking America's roads looking for holes and going back to doing what he'd been wanting to do the whole time but pretending he didn't: being Green Lantern. His pedestrian road trip (both meanings!) to find himself actually worked but not in the way he thought it would. He discovered that he was the person he didn't think he wanted to be all along. That's actually a very American breakthrough. We may act like a country full of individuals free to do what they please but few of us actually become those people. Mostly because we're sidetracked by things like earning enough money to pay for a loaf of bread or blaming our intolerable personalities on other people's personalities so that we can bully whomever we want and feel absolutely justified or wanting to kill another person so badly that we develop a completely psychotic personality revolving around the idea that guns liberate and half the country deserve a bullet to the chest. Also money. Loads and loads of people never develop a personality because they once read the poetic line "Things are in the saddle, and ride mankind" and thought, "I am horny for that."

Hal crashes into a forcefield around Oa and is knocked unconscious. It wasn't a yellow forcefield. It was just a forcefield made by a more powerful being: an insane Guardian of the Universe. Hal wakes up in the farmhouse of Rose.

Usually when I wake up around a woman, this is the look on her face.

I don't usually wake up with children staring at me so I don't know if they'd usually have the same dopey look of joy that Rose's kid has on his face after finding an unconscious Hal Jordan in his bed. Also, I don't mean to imply that all women are always angry. I meant to imply that most women that sleep with me wind up angry and disappointed. Get it? It wasn't misogynistic. It was self-deprecating!

Do you think Gerard Jones' script read, "Hal Jordan, knocked unconscious by the Mad Guardian's field of force around Oa, wakes up in a familiar farmhouse. A sexy young child stands over his bed, a look of complete and utter joy and satisfaction on his face"?

Being that Hal just woke up on a hick farm that was transplanted to another planet where other alien cities were similarly transported, his first experience (other than Rose's look of angry disappointment and Rose's dopey kid's look of pure joy) is hearing a bunch of rednecks trying to murder a couple of Xudarians.

This is a hate crime.

Hal stops the murder from taking place because he has loads of Xudarian friends and maybe because it's his job as a Green Lantern to protect all universal beings, even if they have heads like fish. Gross.

Being 1990, the rednecks believe a person with a dangerous weapon in a position of authority will actually protect the weird-ass fish heads, possibly using violence, rather than let them murder them in cold blood and then later explain it was in self-defense simply because they "felt threatened," so they stop trying to kill the Xudarians. Hal doesn't even have to pop one in the face to get his point across because in 1990, policing was still seen as an activity that kept order and protected the community. Here in 2024, policing is also an activity that keeps order and protects the community, but only a certain community and only an order that placates white supremacists. Oh, is that woke nonsense? Then maybe re-read your old comic books that you tout as not being full of woke nonsense and get back to me. Like this one I'm reading now where an authoritarian figure protects a minority from violent white men full of fear and loathing.

Rose calms down and stops blaming Hal Jordan for transplanting her farm to an alien planet after he refuses to explain the situation plainly but apparently grabs her shoulders in the right calming way that non-consensual touch always does for an angry woman. Sort of the late 20th century way of slapping a hysterical woman. Apparently by 1990, we still haven't taken women seriously enough to realize that communicating with words usually works better than putting your hands on them.

Why does Rose think offering the Xudarians ham or dumplings might be less offensive than offering them birdseed?! I would have started with worms.

Hal Jordan rushes off to find John Stewart. Instead, he finds yellow death at the hands of a Masters of the Universe figure.

Based on the names of the figures I'm familiar with, this Skeletor henchman would have been called Ejaculate.

See? Certain death as this thing's head cock bukkakes yellow fire directly into Hal's face.

Am I color blind or does the Green Lantern ring work against yellow that has the slightest hint of orange?

Okay, fine. Hal doesn't die. Somehow his ring decides to work against a yellow fireball. Instead of blaming the colorist, I'll just blame the lighting in my office. Remember that time everybody on the Internet saw that dress as either blue or gold? I saw it both ways the same day because it was blue and black at first. But then the light went out in my office and I walked to Safeway to get a new light. It was about the time they were changing the kinds of bulbs we could buy and when I changed the bulb, the light in my office was different enough that now the dress was white and gold. So maybe this creature is actually belching blue/black flames? What I'm trying to express is what the fuck is reality anyway?

Hal discovers the creature is protecting its young and then offers an explanation for why his ring can sort of block the fireballs.

So my first assessment was correct. But does this explanation mean that anything with any yellow in it at all, like, um, green? pierce his ring's forcefield?

I don't like how this line of questioning is quickly heading me toward Too Committed to Fandom Continuity Town so I'm just going to drop it. It was probably a mistake with the color separation and after the last few pages came back, the team had to add in this page where Hal explains how he's blocking yellow fire. It's always better to assume something was a mistake than to make it part of the story's internal consistency. Editors caving to explain mistakes is how Justice League Europe wound up with two Crimson Foxes who constantly had to explain why their costume was actually brown. "Oh, fans think they've got us over a barrel by pointing out that Crimson Fox sometimes has a thick French accent and sometimes doesn't? Well, we'll show them! There are two Crimson Foxes! One fluent and one super horny!"

Hal Jordan defeats the Bukkake Monster Family by penetrating the crust of Oa with his mighty weapon. This causes the surface to collapse, killing all of the baby Bukkake monsters. That was an assumption on my part because I love to make an ass out of everybody.

The Mad Guardian finds Hal and explains the situation to him. Every cock-headed monster and fish head on the planet will fight to protect The Mad Guardian because he's all that's keeping them alive in their new biome. He's making them all happy with mind control. That might sound bad but did you read the word "happy" in there? I wouldn't give a shit if somebody was mind controlling me to make me happy and joyous. More power to them! They'd be taking better care of my mental health than I am.

Hal tries to resist but fails. Not because he doesn't have the greatest willpower of everybody in the galaxy but because, in his heart, he really, really wants to fuck Rose. And the Mad Guardian's plan to make Hal happy is to let him fuck Rose. I guess secretly Rose wants to fuck Hal too or else how is the Mad Guardian making her happy?

Hal lives happily with Rose and her son Toby until one night while looking at the stars, the ring reveals the actual night sky to him and he remembers he's on Oa. Earlier in the series, Hal had to keep explaining to people how he doesn't look at the stars anymore. But that was when he was trying to forget the person he didn't know he actually wanted to be. Now he actually has forgotten that person so he also forgot that the doesn't look at the stars. But looking at the stars saves him so Gerard Jones was probably trying to say something profound here. Too bad I'm too stupid to understand what. Maybe it's just that Hal Jordan can't stop wanting to be Green Lantern and the stars always remind him of being Green Lantern which is why he didn't want to look at them when he didn't want to be Green Lantern. But now he forgot he was Green Lantern so he looked at the stars which reminded him he was Green Lantern. Anyway, he broke the mind control and realized the only way to get help for Oa was to contact the greatest Green Lantern in the universe: Guy Gardner!

I bet Guy's original line, before the Comics Code Authority had their say, was, "I never know where to stick my dick in them space dames."

Green Lantern #5 Rating: A+. Not every comic book starring Guy Gardner gets an "A+". He's no Lobo. But a comic book where Hal Jordan swallows his pride (after getting blasted in the face by Bukkake aliens) and admit that he needs Guy Gardner to save him? Big time A+! Fuck you, Hal Jordan! Every Green Lantern comic book should end with Hal getting his ass beat and needing to call Guy! Why didn't I ever try to get an editorial job with DC so that I could mandate the "Hal Must Always Call Guy for Help" continuity? Sure, I'd allow the occasional Elseworld book where Guy Gardner needed Hal's help. Just to show how silly that would be and how my editorial mandate that Hal must always ask for help was so obviously the correct version of the universe. Also G'nort would be higher on the heroic Green Lantern list than Hal. Obviously.

1 comment:

  1. A couple of years ago, I read the entire Avengers series starting from the 60s, and what blew me away was an issue from the 80s wherein Jim Shooter, who was so extremely conservative he had a mandate (which he personally ignored) against putting politics in Marvel comics because all his writers were leftists, uses an Avengers tribunal as a mouthpiece for a political screed. The staggering part was that said screed was a shot against unaccountable police forces that perfectly matches the current leftist stance.

    Like if it was even obvious to an almost parodic rightist who probably has bottles of Reagan juice in his wine cellar 40 years ago, how is it still a problem?

    Anyway, your reference to belief in police in 1990 reminded me of that xD💙