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Tuesday, January 23, 2018 

Tim Seeley carries on Geoff Johns's "progressive" vision of Green Lantern

In an interview with Newsarama, writer Tim Seeley's just told them how he's carrying on with what Geoff Johns set up over 5 years ago with the introduction of a Muslim to the Green Lanterns:
When writer Tim Seeley got the gig on Green Lanterns, he not only wanted to make sure it was character-focused and showed the challenges of becoming superheroes, but he also wanted it to be the "more progressive" Green Lantern book.

As Seeley put it, "there's a reason that it's a man and a woman, that it's a Muslim guy and a Latina."
If it were just a Latina - or a character of a specific racial background - that'd be perfectly okay, though the way she was introduced decided isn't. But emphasizing somebody who goes by a horrific belief system and whitewashing all its components, that's where it warrants serious disapproval. If he wanted to cast a character simply of Arabic/Lebanese descent, that alone would've been fine. When the emphasis becomes religion sans any distinctions whether it's a good or bad one, rather than race/nationality, that's when you know something's wrong.
In Seeley's first Green Lanterns storyline, which kicked off in October, the writer not only portrayed the lead heroes struggling to find jobs on Earth, but Seeley also attacked the issue of xenophobia during the pair's mission on another planet.
Oh, and we can only guess what political angle he's going by. That's exactly why nobody should overlook the harm Seeley's contributing to the medium with his exploitation of the GL franchise. On which note, let's continue to the interview itself and see what he's saying:
Newsarama: Tim, now that you're a few issues into your run and finishing the first storyline, what were some of the things you wanted to establish about Jessica about Simon as you started on Green Lanterns?

Tim Seeley: The thing I took from the book before I started — and I'm not sure everyone did — but what I thought Geoff [Johns, who co-created both characters] set up and from what [former Green Lanterns writer] Sam [Humphries] was doing with it was that this is the Green Lantern book that's about the people that have the job and not really about the Corps or the history.

I think Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps should be about things that involve the larger institution and things that involve the Guardians and all that mythology that comes with it.

But Green Lanterns should be the book about people who are average, everyday people who have to deal with this job.
Hmm, does that include average, everyday aliens from different planets? Because if the marginalization of Martian Manhunter in recent years says anything, DC decided some time ago otherworldly aliens cannot serve as star hosts of a title, let alone co-stars of a team title, compounding the impression they lack confidence in their ability to sell by story merit.
Nrama: So is that how you distinguish it from the other Green Lantern book?

Seeley: Yeah, if the other book is sort of, you know, Star Trek meets police stuff, then this one is going to be like a Spider-Man story. You know? It's going to be the young hero dealing with power and responsibility and what that entails.

And it also, I think, has to be the more progressive Green Lantern book. I think that's what Geoff originally wanted. There's a reason that it's a man and a woman, that it's a Muslim guy and a Latina. All those things, I think, are what makes this book unique and makes it different from the other Green Lantern title.
And from what I found about Johns' take on GL nearly 5 years ago, it's clear he did intend to shove politics into GL far worse than anything Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams ever did. Even if their run in the early 70s was overrated, at least they didn't go out of their way to whitewash bad religions and propagandize in the favor of bad ideologies. However, if Johns was leveling criticism at the O'Neil/Adams run in GL: Rebirth during 2005, he only proved himself hypocritical with this new age leftist propaganda he obviously didn't see contradicting what he put in GL: Rebirth earlier.
Nrama: Is that the reason behind some of the themes you're exploring — like this storyline's plot about two life forms sharing a planet, and the next storyline, which has a sort of human trafficking-type story?

Seeley: Yeah, I really wanted to dive into that stuff. I wanted it to be more rooted on real-life issues.

But I wanted it to be very character-based and about the things that Simon and Jess would deal with that we could all relate to, but that are also specific to the kind of people they are — that Simon is a Muslim guy in America in 2017 and that Jessica is a Hispanic woman in America in 2017 — but also be about them specifically. They are people with interesting, unique personalities. Simon's kind of impulsive and brash and that's what makes him who he is. And Jess is very cautious and very sympathetic to people.

All those things had to be tied into a unique approach to the book, which is what I hope I pulled off.
The only thing he's pulling off is propaganda intended to serve the SJW narrative that America is "islamophobic" and inherently "racist" to anybody considered immigrants. I wouldn't be surprised if the story about human trafficking is also depicted very dishonestly; I seriously doubt it's a metaphor for Planned Parenthood.

Real life issues are fine so long as you know how to be honest and open about the details involved, and Seeley's not doing that, from what I can tell. I will say DC's being very cunning, however, to keep things shrouded in metaphors, because that way, they're able to foist bad propaganda upon the audience even more easily than Marvel did with books like The Truth: Red, White and Black back in 2003.

And again, one has to wonder why two humans are the prime focus of a spinoff title in a sci-fi franchise and not otherworldly aliens. A few of the comentors weren't impressed with Seeley's progressive preaching either, and one said:
TELL A GOOD STORY and stop worrying about agendas, since Seeley has taken over the title has gone down, it's boring
I sometimes feel at this point like GL collapsed after 1988 and never recovered. And why, all this time, hasn't DC thought of righting a wrong like the slaying of Katma Tui, by bringing her back to the land of living? There's a lot of past errors like that which DC had over a decade to prove they're willing to mend, and their progressive agendas have evidently gotten in the way. In a manner of speaking, you could argue they've got a low opinion of otherworldly aliens and humans.

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Interesting about-face on Seeley over the racial character issue. I think it was on CBR, last year, but Seeley admitted why he declined in writing a then-upcoming/since-scrapped Blade revival series for Marvel. He essentially went "Check my privilege," or as a white male, he didn't feel it was right or proper for him to write Blade or his successor, who was a black woman. (I forget if it was Blade's daughter, or not.) Despite his history of writing horror comics, via Hack/Slash, the white guilt was too strong in him. And still is, judging from his Current Year comments, but expressed differently. I've no doubt we'll see our share of white male villains in Seeley's GL stint, or he'll pull what Jurgens did on Superman, not long ago.

Seeley's early work wasn't politically hacky -- or maybe I missed it as I haven't read everything about his work -- so I'm a little surprised about his going full-on progressive, here. Then again, he's working for the big boys now, so he has to get along with them politically. Goodie.

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