Wednesday, September 03, 2008

"Yeah, that'd probably be my Green Lantern oath, too."

Got the DC Universe Classics Green Lantern a couple weeks ago, but hadn't had time to take any pictures with him, since I had some bright idea for the lighting that took a bit to set up. (The Oldest had these little colored finger-lights that he got from some school fundraiser for selling candy or something, and of course the green one came in handy.) Great figure, right up there with the DCUC Aquaman.

We already talked about Alan, and I think we've mentioned Jade before, but the Kyle figure is starting to look a little dated. The costume hasn't aged that badly, but Kyle's hair just doesn't seem right. Kilowog, of course, is perfect.

More than ever, though, I wish I had good John Stewart (non-Justice League cartoon figures, of course) and Guy Gardner figures...especially since, I don't think I like Hal as much as I used to. Keep in mind, Hal was the Green Lantern I grew up with, from Challenge of the Super Friends to his own book to Green Lantern cancellation, to a hit-and-miss serial in Action Comics Weekly, to a couple of specials where he didn't necessarily come across as heroic, and this is all before Kyle.

Kyle was perfect for Grant Morrison's run on JLA, and while I didn't necessarily agree with Hal's heel turn as Parallax, his redemption in Final Night wouldn't have been a bad spot for him to end. The Spectre days...from what I've read, "misfire" seems like the nice way to put it. Pawning all of Hal's crimes (or retroactively erasing them, like Kilowog's death) onto the evil yellow entity still seems a little cheap to me, but all right.

And now we've got Hal back, but we still have Kyle, the former rookie who's more than earned his spot; and Alan, the elder statesman; and John, the tragic thinker; and Guy...ah, Guy, who used to be a comic relief tough guy cartoon, but now seems a lot more fleshed out than Hal. All of the others, including several of the alien GL's, sometimes seem to be more realized characters than Hal, since he's often used as either the consummate professional superhero, or a skirt-chasing rule-breaking flyboy.

The problem was underlined for me, in, of all places, Booster Gold #1,000,000. For those of you not reading the book, maybe you should, but Booster used to be a shill, a fake: he wanted to be a super hero for the fame, money, and women. Now he's grown up a bit, but is tasked with protecting the time stream, but there's a catch: Booster has to maintain his bad reputation, allow his friends, and the world, to think he's a joke, in order to protect himself from time-travelling attack.

A disgruntled Booster ends up in Vegas fighting the Royal Flush Gang--the super-villain team he first fought in Justice League #4 to gain membership--and isn't having a lot of trouble, when Green Lantern and Green Arrow show up to bail him out. They just happened to be in town, to catch a fight; which just struck me as something really old; and perhaps unintentionally, they come down on Booster a bit like the establishment. Like characters from the sixties. Booster--friggin' Booster Gold has moved forward. Why haven't GL and GA?

Oh, but now Green Lantern has purple lanterns. Yeah, that makes up for any lack of character growth. Sinestro's yellow ringbearers, that's cool; but I don't know if I can care about blue lanterns or zombie lanterns or whatever. Unless they get to the ultraviolet lanterns, who are all absurdly tanned.

A longer Green Lantern-centered strip is in the works, pending some prop and background work. We'll see what I think of him then...

I did do an alternate take for this one, and it's over at my flickr page.


SallyP said...

The uplighting effect you did is really neat. And thank you, for doing a Green Lantern picture! Woohoo!

I'm fond of Hal, but really, he's probably grown the least of all of the earth-based Lanterns...with Guy having the most character development. But then I'm biased, Guy is my favorite GL.

Sea_of_Green said...


I understand why Hal isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. To me, Hal is the type of character that falls into the James Bond/Captain Kirk/Errol Flynn camp -- the whole notion of the hero who “men want to be, and women want to be with.” In other words, the type of guy who tends to ride into town, beat the bad guys, sleep with the girl (thought not letting anyone get too “close” to him), and then go on his merry way. He doesn’t have the most admirable character traits in the world, but he’s heroic to a fault and fiercely devoted to his cause (think James Bond and his “for queen and country” attitude). I think in Jungian terms, that type of heroic character is classified as the “Stranger.”

Even during the Silver Age, though some people like to claim that ALL of the heroes were the same except for their powers and costumes, Hal (especially in his own title) was ALWAYS reckless, arrogant, and an outrageous flirt -- a trait that the other heroes definitely did NOT have. He’s also, always been fiercely devoted to the Green Lantern Corps, no matter how badly he’s been treated by them over the years. Sure, some writers had a hard time pinning down Hal’s character, but writer Geoff Johns has taken those “Stranger” traits that Hal has always had and made them more prominent -- and made Hal a much stronger and more clearly-defined “Stranger” character. You either like that type of character or you don’t. Nothing wrong with that. :-)

Sea_of_Green said...

Oh, and did I mention that the typical Stranger character also tends to be hopelessly shallow? ;-)

The Fortress Keeper said...

Actually, Sea Of Green, that's a great summation of Hal's character.

Another reason, I suspect, for the lack of character growth is that B-listers like Booster and Guy - *ducks as hordes of Guy fans throw shoes* - are generally allowed more character development than the tent-pole characters like Hal Jordan, Batman and Superman, who have much stricter oversight from corporate overlords due to merchandising, etc.

It's why Iron Fist is currently a more interesting character than Spidey.

Sea_of_Green said...

Agreed -- Supporting characters almost ALWAYS have more interesting personalities -- and much more fun character traits -- than the main characters.

Think of the movie Casablanca. Rick (Humphry Bogart's character) is NOT the most interesting character in the movie -- neither is Ingrid Bergman nor Paul Henreid. Nope, that honor belongs to Claude Rains' character, Captain Renault. Renault is a hoot and a half -- and a hell of a lot more interesting than Bogart's character. But he's not the star.

Pete said...

There was a John Stewart released as part of the Alex Ross Justice line, if you don't mind the 'fro.

I really think Hal has been set up as the 'GL Archetype'--that is, he has more substance as a GL than as a person.

Personally, the artist in me is a huge fan of Kyle, and man I wish I had a figure of him.

I really think Kilowog should star in his own book for a while too. Not an ongoing, but at least a miniseries or something.

SallyP said...

Gosh, I'd love to have a miniseries with Kilowog. And Sea, you've summed Hal up in the proverbial nutshell.