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Tuesday, October 21, 2008 

What's gone wrong with Green Lantern

I found a discussion on Comic Boards that may explain why the return of Hal Jordan has been spoiled in more ways than one:
What's worse was that a series of retcons followed that I found unnecessary. For example the GL Corps was no longer said to have been founded as an agency for policing wrongdoing in the universe. The Central Power Battery was now said to be merely a prison to hold Parallax and the GLs' purpose is to send willpower into it to keep him there, instead of drawing power from it to police the universe, which now seemed like an afterthought.
Hmm. If that's so, I don't see what the whole point is. That almost sounds like an insult to the GL Corp's whole purpose. Or, an insult to the superhero genre!
The 24 hour recharge rule was replaced with a percentage countdown as GLs draw power from their batteries, and the yellow weakness is no longer absolute but now something that can be overcome just by trying hard. I don't like these changes because what I liked about GLs in the old days were that they didn't have to be tough so much as smart. The rings had inherent weaknesses which the GL had to overcome with intelligence. Now the rings' weaknesses can be overcome just by toughing your way through it. It goes towards my disappointment in the big Sodam Yat/Superboy-Prime battle toward the end of the Sinestro Corps War. Here's two guys with all the GL/Sinestro power set, who also have full Daxamite/Kryptonian powers, and also have Ion/Anti-Monitor armor. Imagine all the possibilities! What happens is pretty much just two guys punching each other for an issue. That seems to be mostly what the GLs do these days. They don't make many constructs or apply much intelligence to their ring function, they just punch things and shoot things.
Reducing the weakness to yellow in the rings, or discarding it altogether, is something I don't like either. But if they don't make many energy constructs (which could include boxing gloves, swashbuckling swords and mallets), that too is a way to take the fun out of the whole concept. Those energy constructs are what made GL such a wonderful comic book years before, and now they're downplaying one of the leading elements that made it work so well?
Also retconned out was Sinestro's death back in the '80s. Now I'm glad Sinestro has returned to the living, I just don't know why they couldn't have resurrected him like they did Hal. Instead they told us he was never dead, just imprisoned in the Central Power Battery which invalidates the whole story where the GL Corps executed him, and the whole reason the CPB imploded as a result, and also invalidates all the stories that followed with Sinestro's ghost and his corpse in the GL Crypt where Guy Gardner acquired the yellow ring in the '90s. It seems like one little thread got pulled but it unravels the whole tapestry. Johns could have maintained that Sinestro had been dead all this time, and just said that since Sinestro had corrupted Hal through the CPB he used Hal's Spectre powers to bring himself back to life. Just because Johns references old stories doesn't mean he's respecting continuity if everything he references originally happened differently than the way he says it did.
I think I'm going to have to agree. Johns' respect for continuity is questionable at best, and it's gotten worse over the years he's worked for DC.

Clearly then, I haven't missed much in all the time Hal's come back, as Johns did not do a good job.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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