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Thursday, July 21, 2011 

The outline originally intended for GL: Rebirth

Every once in a while, I can find something eyebrow raising from the people who populate the Dixonverse forum, and in this thread, I learned a little something about Geoff Johns' original idea of how to deal with the premise as seen in Green Lantern: Rebirth, and described in the introduction for one of the editions:
Anyway, while I had read Rebirth before, I never read the outline by John's in the trade. It was interesting to me for two reasons.

1. The way to "fix" Hal being dead was to come up with a really convoluted story to make all of the continuity wonks happy, and then never ever reference anything about Hal going nuts or doing anything questionable again, ever. I'm not over-emphasizing this, it says several places that DC should never reference what happened to Hal again after this story and have every one pat him on the back constantly and tell him how awesome a hero he is.

I'm not sure how I feel about this, except to say that I think this approach is being writ large for Flashpoint and the DCnU.

2. I have been accused of being a Batman fan boy in the past because of my stance on this particular issue, but in the original story, I was not thrilled with the scene that I thought kind of killed the effect of the famous "one punch" scene from Justice League between Bruce and Guy, that scene being the pointless scene where Bruce had to play jobber to Hal and have Guy be the one saying "one punch." I'll comp to it, I like Bruce much better than Hal, but I still thought the scene was a little flat regardless of who I might have favored.

Imagine my surprise when I read in the original outline Parallax was suppose to make Bruce his . . . well . . . Bruce was suppose to job to Parallax and pick up a gun and shoot Robin, and later bow and scrape before Hal for ever having anything bad to say about Hal.

I'm really glad that isn't the version that saw print.
It doesn't really make much difference; the approach since then has either been very jarringly violent, or overly self-referential nostalgia, or both. And besides:
It's worth noting that Hal's previous actions were NOT ignored forever after Rebirth, whatever Johns' intention with the outline. Many GLs didn't and still don't trust him, notably most of the Lost Lanterns, and he even tended to give them a wide berth due to his nagging guilt.

Of course, they're mostly dead now....
I'm not surprised one bit they didn't follow through on the idea of ceasing all mention of Zero Hour's most awful traits, and wouldn't expect them to even now. Although this does make me think of how Zero Hour definitely should be expunged from DC continuity altogether, and if needed, replaced with something simpler that even does away with Parallax. There could be a retcon storyline telling about how the GL Corps were shunted away into suspended animation in another dimension, Hal included, and only some time later were rescued and returned to pick up the pieces of their lives.

But they don't ever think of those things, do they?

Johns' original proposal to have Batman fall under the influence of Parallax and attack Robin or even Nightwing brings to mind that he may have signaled some dislike for the Masked Manhunter several years ago (in The Flash, either 210 or 211, he wrote in a flashback scene where young Dick Grayson takes Wally West to tour the Batcave, and the latter tells that the Flash has a negative opinion of Batman, before discovering the Masked Manhunter has crept up behind him and given him a look of disapproval. This had the effect of making it seem as though Batman was a jerk long before he was really depicted that way in the 1990s). How odd that Johns may not think highly of Batman, yet has no problem injecting so much disturbing mayhem that might be more at home in Batman's world into the books that once had more optimistic viewpoints.

One more poster replied to previous message saying:
Yeah, that was an other interesting aspect of the whole thing. From the way the proposal read, they were going to trap Parallax back in the central power battery and never refer to the entity again either, but it does seem that they drifted from the original plan of "Rebirth is over, Hal is back, let's not talk about it."
I won't be surprised if Johns is to blame for that mess too. He has been dominating a lot of the GL franchise these past 7 years.

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Yeah...that sounds like something Johns would do. That is what we call taking a short cut. Everyone likes Batman, so if Hal owns him that means he is the new top dog. If John's really wanted to shake things up he should have started in his own backyard and got rid of the other Lanterns.

I know it isn't a popular idea, but we should only have one earthing at a time when it comes to being a Green Lantern. Letting all the earth lanterns stick around just smacks of trying to please everyone and it waters down the character and splits the fanbase.

I have to admit, a Batman fan hating the fact that Batman had to job for another character makes me smile. The ENTIRE DCU has been jobbing for Batman NON-STOP for about TWENTY YEARS! Now he knows how Superman fans feel when Batman talks down to him and wins every fight.

Batman fans are even worse than Wolverine fans when it comes to their belief that it is their favorite characters god given right to win every fight. :)

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