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Wednesday, April 01, 2020 

Some disturbing and offensive panels from Gerard Jones' past works, including political ones

Can the twisted mentalities of writers and artists who turn out to be scummy felons find their way into their writings and artwork? That's an interesting question, and in this post, I'm going to present examples from the past works of one such writer, Gerard Jones, who was imprisoned 2 years ago for his crimes of uploading illegal child porn on the internet.

In the past 3 years, ever since Jones was first arrested by federal authorities for his offenses, I thought to do some research into his writings, having read some of them years before, if not all. I thought of doing this after spotting somebody in a forum post on CBR stating he/she wanted to check through back issues of his writings to see if any traces of his real personality found there way in there. I managed to find materials from several examples of books he'd written for DC and Marvel where indeed, not only did his condescending view of women and children seem to infiltrate, but there were also traces of his leftist politics present, and one could argue Jones was like an early example of what today's come to be known as social justice advocacy and "wokeness", though there's also strong suggestions of double-standards to be found on racial issues in at least a few of his stories, which is bound to be part of the SJW mentality too. I examined these items as best as possible, and if it's easier to judge the sum of parts combined in a whole, the research I did also helped me re-evaluate any stories he'd written that I'd read before, and today must conclude are largely worthless. Some of this stuff is just so grimy and insulting to the intellect. Let's take a look at the following panel from a short-story in the 36th issue of the Secret Origins anthology spotlighting mechanic Tom Kalmaku, for example, the first story he wrote built around Green Lantern:
Now as some might know, "pieface", Tom Kalmaku's nickname in Green Lantern, was later considered a racial insult for people of Asian descent, which led to its being phased out of use over time. On the surface, you'd think Jones was attacking political correctness, but judging from what his personality's really like, that's why you could understandably view this entirely different today, as an attempt by Jones not only as an excuse to downplay the negativity of racial slurs, but also to make Hal Jordan out to look stupid and ignorant. Suggesting Jones didn't really have much fandom for Green Lantern at all. Now, even more telling, here's some examples related to El Diablo, Jones' modern-times take on a western role first seen in 1970, starring Rafael Sandoval, a character of Latino background, and a city councilman in a town full of racial strife, in a series that ran 16 issues during 1989-91 (drawn mainly by the late Mike Parobeck). It was the last to carry a "New Format" sub-label, used for DC titles that could be marketed in direct sales, but was dropped from the covers by the end of the 80s. This was long before the Vertigo imprint published a disastrous book called Border Town by the now disgraced Eric Esquivel. We begin first with a related panel from Secret Origins #45:
And here's a panel from the premiere issue of El Diablo itself (which, if it matters, is unlikely to be reprinted any time soon, due to Jones' aforementioned offenses):
For a comic from its time, it's one of the most political I've seen, and the references to "Democrats and Republicans" were a lot more noticeable, since in most comics I've read from that era, while they could allude to "liberals and conservatives", they rarely spoke of Democrats and Republicans so candidly. And in the case of this book, so negatively about the latter. Now here's a panel from the 7th issue, which concludes the story about the hunt for a serial killer preying on children in the neighborhoods of the town:
It was first thought by the Latino community in this book that the criminal was a white man attacking their kids, but then it turns out it was a psychotic Latino instead committing the violent crimes. Back at the time, they probably wanted everybody to assume this was meant as a reminder that evil comes in all ethnicities, but today, this could be viewed quite differently due to Jones' crimes, as a slap in the face to the audience it was supposedly aimed at. It's noted in this history item that none of the creative team on this book was Hispanic, and if it hadn't been for Jones getting convicted on his crimes, a book like this would probably be dismissed today by the leftist crowd as "cultural appropriation". After Jones' arrest and conviction, however, it's bound to just be seen as the embarrassing botch it truly is. Now, here's 2 more panels from issues 11 and 15 to ponder:
Sometimes, I've seen examples of villains in books espousing appreciation for capitalism, as the arms and drug dealer in the 11th issue does, which seems to be a subtle insult to conservatives who uphold it. And look how, in the 15th, conservatives are made out to be the baddies who're hiring illegal immigrants to exploit for their plantations. In fact, since we're on the subject, here's also a panel from Marvel Comics Presents #70, in a story Jones wrote starring Shanna the She-Devil (illustrated by Paul Gulacy):
The guy seen here is some kind of small time hustler from NYC who goes to Africa looking to get paid sums he was owed by the main villain in the story, which runs between issues #68-77. This is the most noticeable political reference - or lash at Republicans - I've seen Jones write in a Marvel book, in a story that was decidedly underwhelming, and just not worthy of Shanna's legacy.

Now, I may as well take a moment to comment specially on what I think today of Jones' run on Green Lantern, on which note, both the 2 Emerald Dawn miniseries and the first 8 issues of Jones' run on the 3rd volume were reprinted as far back as 2003, and having read the former 2, I'm glad I never had any interest in buying those for my collection earlier, even before the news of Jones' arrest. The minis were very forced (Hal Jordan gets arrested for drunk driving, and doesn't even hire a lawyer for his trial, where he's sentenced to 3 months in the pen), and I noticed a peculiar inconsistency in how Katma Tui was shown in the first story as though she'd been a GLC member at that time, yet in the second, she was portrayed as a rebel against Sinestro's reign on Korugar, and wasn't a GL yet! The second Emerald Dawn was actually worse than the first, because it made Hal look laughably naive to Sinestro's acts with his own community, and both prefaced the confusing approach taken to secret identities in what was to come. Even if Hal, from a later standing, knew how to erase memories of people who'd seen his unmasked face, the slapdash way the "origins" set things up with him making a call back to Ferris Aircraft while in a restaurant where people took an amused look at the costume he was now wearing, given him by Abin Sur, almost entirely contradicted this, making you wonder how he was able to maintain his secret properly over the years, if this were to be thought canon. Besides, it didn't look like Hal was okay with erasing memories in the sloppy story, where some thieves who wind up in the same prison as he does actually figure out his secret! (Sinestro later erases any memories they have too.)

Now, here's a panel from the premiere issue of GL's 3rd volume to ponder. As far as I know, only a dozen issues from the 1990-93 years have been reprinted to date, and the first 8 are out-of-print along with the Dawn minis:
In the fourth quarter of this page, it contains, shall we say, hints of Jones' hypocrisy on the issue of child kidnappings and other such grisly issues, but even the stuff coming before that on the same page (the war in Lebanon, allusions to the Rodney King affair) runs the risk of minimizing those issues too; John Stewart has the power [ring], but does nothing about them, and if you don't think it's a good idea to have a superhero be involved in real life issues while they're still ongoing, this certainly didn't help. Having found all the relevant material for this opening arc, I emerged with a very bad aftertaste upon examining the first 8 issues in full. The sight of Appa Ali Apsa, the Guardian originally known as the "Old-Timer" when he first debuted in 1970, here reduced to a crazed cliche of a villain who apparently murders a character who'd appeared in Christopher Priest's disastrous run on GL as an Action Comics Weekly feature, was ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING. And even if that wasn't a problem, there was still another that sunk this book: there was no suspense. As a villain, Appa was throughly cardboard, posed no real challenge, and in the end, it wasn't even Hal, Guy Gardner or John who defeated and killed him, but the returning Guardians themselves. This story bore the stench of an insult to Denny O'Neil's work in the Bronze Age, where Appa faced a McCarthy-ish kangaroo court. We're also supposed to buy into the notion Appa, whose Guardian powers had been restored at the end of the 2nd volume, could transport so many heavy cities and populations to Oa, where the Guardians then decide to make them guinea pigs in Jones' left-liberal idea for co-existence. And wouldn't you know it, a number of whites in this story are made out to look racist and sexist (when the character Rose Hardin tries to tell them John's dedicated to helping them in issues 14-17, and knows it because she "spent the night with him", they take this to mean they thought she had sex with him, and condemn her as a slut). With certain exceptions made, I might add, if we're to take the following examples of Jones' politics into consideration. Coming up next are some panels from both El Diablo's 13th issue, GL volume 3's 16th, and the 9th issue of GL: Mosaic (1992-93), which continued the story Jones set up in the flagship series:
Notice what these panels have in common? They're emphasizing the Israel-delegitimizing propaganda of a "Palestinian Arab/Islamic state". Jones clearly isn't a fan of Golda Meir, who refuted it. Of all the propaganda of this sort that could appear in any comics over the past few decades, these are some of the earliest examples I could find. What's particularly disturbing about the GL examples is that, when I read all the text balloons, I couldn't find the word "Israel" anywhere inside, even as the Chanukah holiday was mentioned. The El Diablo series does feature a character named Israel in the latter half, an illegal immigrant who dies while trying to get across the US border from Mexico, but that's not the same as a country per se, yet something tells me Jones wrote the aforementioned storyline as a subtle insult to Israelis, who, as per the GL examples, the less informed could assume were the warmongers tearing things up simply because they're not mentioned, and Islam's not made out to be the problem here. At the same time, Jones does seem to insult Arabic Christians to boot by making the Ibrahim character out to "not know much" about Islam, because there are plenty of Christian adherents who've experienced the horrors the Religion of Peace has inflicted upon them in the middle east, be it murder, rape and destruction of their churches and other such places of worship to God. In fact, if you know where to look in Jones' writings, you will notice at least a few more stealthed insults to Christians abound. Also notice how, in the El Diablo pages, the punk antagonizing the restaurant cashier is made out to look like some kind of "jingoist", which seems odd, because the followers of punk subculture from those times - including, but not limited to - the hippies of the 60s, were hardly patriots, what with the way they assailed the war against the commies in Vietnam and other wars to come. (I also find it annoying how the punk's given a faux-southern dialect where he pronounces Iran as something like "eye-RAHN". Stupid.) That a lot of them were drug addicts and vandals is another way they proved unpatriotic, poor role models and a definite non-fit for patriotism.

Now, let's continue to check some more material from Jones' stories, such as this panel from the 3rd issue of GL: Mosaic, which contains a disturbing hint at his views on sexual issues:
If you think this looks like a sexual harassment/predation scene, it certainly does, doesn't it? It was bad enough when Katma Tui was slaughtered by Carol Ferris in Priest's catastrophous GL run in ACW #601, something that till this day has never been mended properly. And it got worse in the 1989 Cosmic Odyssey miniseries, where John Stewart foolishly led to the deaths of a whole space colony, which compounded the damage, as Jones later depicted John suffering forced trauma. I suspect that whole storyline was meant as moral equivalence to justify the prior ill-advised direction with John's slain wife from Korugar. Now, in the above panel (drawn by Cully Hamner, who illustrated at least half the Mosaic run), they add insult to injury by making John look like he's forcing himself on Rose Hardin, who later does have a brief affair with him, but if the bizarre scene above says something, it makes it hard to consider it plausible. Here's another panel from the first issue of GL Corps Quarterly, which was also fishy:
This story, where Jones brought back Arisia, who been mostly absent since 1989, seems to retcon the storyline from Steve Englehart's run towards the end of GL's second volume, where Arisia subconsciously caused her ring to affect her aging, so she grew to a more adult state in her desire to realize her teen girl's crush on Hal. But this story makes it look as though it was a more conscious, deliberate decision Arisia made, and that's why this story is embarrassing. Plus, the way it's drawn, it does look almost as though Jones is fetishizing an underaged girl. Did he get the idea from anime series like Minky Momo, which saw a few productions during 1982-94? Here's 2 more panels from GL: Mosaic with fishy stuff:
In the former panel, we see a character named Moses Rockwell (an allusion to Norman, I presume?) who's a Christian practitioner (and a clue what Jones really thinks of Christianity), who's advocating his ideas of white supremacy (IIRC, he tried to stir up a new take on the KKK in this story), and in the latter, they present a dream sequence of John's featuring allusions to black Muslims, including most noticeably one called "sister Islam". My, Jones sure exploited this spinoff title as a drainpipe for his political propaganda. It sure was a weird title alright, and today, some might wonder if he'd used it as a metaphor for his own insane mind. Here's also a few panels from the 1992 Martian Manhunter: American Secrets miniseries, illustrated by the late Eduardo Barretto, set in 1959, a few years after J'onn J'onzz debuted, and was supposedly a metaphor for communist infiltration into the USA, as the alien hero, disguised as a Denver police detective, discovers an alien takeover plot and goes on the lam with an Elvis Presley-like singer named Preston Perkins, and a young child actress named Patty Marie, whom I assume was meant to be a stand-in for Shirley Temple, and whose mother, according to her, tried to hand her over to the invaders. For example, let's take this page:
So, I guess more hypocritical insults regarding porn, huh? And a family they visit after fleeing Denver is made out to look racially insensitive, it would seem. The hypocritical implication appears to be that "conservative" families worry about porn but not so much about how to approach race relations. Later in the 2nd part, there's 2 pages featuring panels with sexual molestation of the girl by a "child pimp" called Skeeter (and yes, I think he too was a disguised alien). I obtained the panels, but it's so repulsive that I'm not going to post them here directly (I don't even know if it's appropriate here), but instead, link to them off-site on a picture host. Here's page 39 and here's page 40, so if you've got a strong stomach, view at your own risk. What I can say is that, viewed in the context of Jones' crimes, these are some of the most vomit-inducing obscenities ever to be seen in a comic starring corporate-owned characters next to the later Identity Crisis, especially the second panel, and it's hugely regrettable a talented artist like Barretto would ever agree to illustrate such a self-indulgent abomination. I suppose Jones thought he could get away with it because it's young boy-versus-young girl? I found this reader review on Good Reads, where somebody stupidly gives it a favorable opinion, but does admit the molestation scene is reprehensible:
Well, outside of one particular scene where a little girl is being sexually assaulted. When you consider that the writer of this story is currently in prison for child pornography possession, some of these panels begin to look a bit... indulgently creepy.
But isn't that why it'd be better not give the book positive takes it doesn't deserve? It should be noted that, shortly after, Patty runs out into the hallway where J'onn is conversing with another shady character, telling him the Skeeter scum is trying to make her say things she doesn't want to, and she doesn't seem traumatized or screaming in terror, nor does she say the creep was hurting her. Her distress was very mild, and the incident was basically forgotten. In other words, Jones belittled the subject into a repellent plot device, much like that later 2004 miniseries. Sick. The girl dies in the 3rd part, and if she was meant as an allusion to Shirley Temple, one can only wonder if that was Jones' idea of attacking her for being a Republican in later life. As for the miniseries being a supposed metaphor for commie interlopers, I've got a feeling the following from the 3rd part contradict that:
Well this sure is bewildering. No commies on earth, or in Cuba, for that matter? And Castro/Guevara are made out to look acceptable here? Gee, I'm beginning to wonder what the whole point was? As far as I know, this mini hasn't been reprinted since its initial publication nearly 3 decades ago, and based on the obscene sexual content giving some insight into Jones' mind, that's why it's unlikely to be for a long time more. Now, here's some panels from Jones' work on the Guy Gardner spinoff, starting with the 3-part Reborn miniseries from 1992, where Guy got hold of a yellow ring once belonging to Sinestro (whose body was kept in a glass coffin on Oa, along with the ring itself on his hand! Made no sense considering he'd long been disarmed after the Guardians imprisoned him in their Sciencells towards the end of the 2nd volume). In this panel, where he talks Lobo into aiding him in what was developed as a black comedy adventure:
It makes little difference that Guy tricked Lobo into helping him find and acquire the yellow ring; the whole notion he would imply support for genocidal assassination is repulsive, especially in light of how Guy was developed into a tongue-in-cheek take on a "jingoist" in the mid-80s. Here's some panels from the premiere issue of the 1992-96 ongoing solo book (drawn, much like the preceding mini, by Joe Staton), with political allusions to ponder:
"Criminal coddling liberals", he says? No doubt, their way of making right-wingers look like the only hypocrites on the block, and when Guy speaks of cleaning up sleaze in NYC, I guess that's Jones virtue-signaling as he kept putting in all those troubling subtleties. The references to Julia Roberts and Hilary Clinton aren't going to age well either, due to what the former advocated, and whom the latter associated with. But, it gets worse with the following scene from issue 5, co-written by Jones and Will Jacobs, where Guy is searching for Goldface, and goes to a ranch where he was hiding out to see if he can find a clue (it had been transformed from a brothel into a horse stable), and when he talks with the manager, the following comes up:
When I discovered this, my jaw fell off my face in disbelief. They were making a joke about child sex slavery?!? I wonder if Jones would try to claim it wasn't his idea, but rather, his co-writer Jacobs' idea, if that's what it took to worm his way out of the pariah status he's since achieved? This kind of stinker gives black comedy a bad name. But, would anybody have noticed if Jones hadn't been arrested earlier? If he hadn't been, chances are apologists would come about dismissing the offended. Now that he's been caught, however, only then do we start to realize this is worse than previously thought. There's also the following a few pages later at another brothel:
So Jones has Guy arguing prostitution involving consenting adults is bad. But in Jones' twisted mind, child porn is allowed, is that it? Hypocrisy at its worst. I'm sure Guy Gardner has potential as a solo star. Or at least, he used to. But Jones' work almost singlehandedly destroys that potential, and it's tragic he had to get his hands on using the character. He only wrote the first 8 issues before leaving (as far as I know, only 3 issues of the series have been reprinted, none of which he scripted), and the above, in light of his offenses, is exactly why his take on Guy hasn't aged well. I also found a few panels from Jones' 1992 Elongated Man miniseries with more stealth politics:
The dialect seems to be an early embrace of the European Union as formed starting then, along with their open borders policy that's led to only so much disaster since, what with illegal immigrants and jihadists infiltrating from north Africa. And Sonar's supposed to be a stand-in for a right-winger while the Dibnys are "liberal humanists", huh? I like slapstick adventures, but this was very weak, right down to a shoddy joke that sounded like an insult to Peugeot motors, mainly because my family once owned a Peugeot 505 that got pretty good mileage, and came with manual transmission that consumed less fuel than automatic. Now, let's turn to the Wonder Man series written by Jones from 1991-94, starring Simon Williams of the Avengers. Like his run on GL, this too had at least a few supporting characters who've since gone down the memory hole, including an actress named Ginger Beach and her teen brother Spider, and a divorced scriptwriter named Alex and her daughter Jamie. Here's some panels from issues 5-6 for starters:
Let's see, it sounds like, on the one hand, the villain in 5 is making subtle swipe at Reagan, while in 6, it's implied he supposedly has a problem with corporations. But it really reeks of a subtle swipe at capitalists, at least from what I could tell. There's also the following scenes from issues 10-12 to consider where Wonder Man is battling a villain from the Cambodia region called Angkor:
What bothered me about these was a hypocritical theme on violence that appeared in at least a few stories Jones wrote, along with how he implies the USA is the worst offender, as though no other could possibly be. And Wondy sympathizes with the scum who's visiting violence upon innocent people in a shopping mall and leading to deaths? Ugh. There's also this scene in the same issue involving the aforementioned Spider and the under-13 daughter of the scriptwriter, along with one more involving Angkor:
This seems like an awfully fishy Mary Sue scene, where the boy comes on to a 12 year old girl. And of course, there's more hypocrisy involving the commentary on violence taking place here. It doesn't get any better with the following from the 1st series annual, where Simon's doing a film shoot on an island, in part of a mini-crossover called "The System Bytes":
So Spider stowed away with the filming crew, in his attempt to be Wondy's sidekick (the idea of his talent agent named Neal Saroyan), and his idea of fun is to slap the actresses on their rears while wading through the water. Under a saner writer, that might not have been a serious concern, but in view of what Jones did, that's why this is troubling, suggesting again Spider was his Mary Sue creation. But if you think that's dismaying, wait'll you see the following panel, where Ginger is kidnapped by the computer system alluded to in the crossover title:
Yikes, did you catch that line? "It's groping me"?!? Good grief, this is beginning to sound like coded dialogue! If there was any Marvel book where Jones really snuck it in, this would have to be it. And look who's talking about perverts! Jones' Mary Sue, after what he did to those chicks several pages prior. It's interesting to note Kurt Busiek has a short-story published here, where Wondy talks about his top 10 adversaries, and Dan Slott had an early tale published in the 2nd annual starring the villain called Splice, and I'm wondering how they feel today about contributing to a series written by a guy who turned out to be a perv himself? The 1st annual also contains a backup story starring Alex and Jamie that's an anti-war metaphor at the time the Gulf War was still a topic:
I'm also wondering if the Hollywood agent Neal Saroyan was meant as an insult to the Armenian playwright and novelist William Saroyan, seeing how his input is basically negative. Now take a look at this scene from issue 18 of the series, where the co-stars get all sorts of silly powers, seemingly drained from Simon himself:
Needless to say, in the context of Jones' crimes, this looks like a very sickly scene too. The following from the same issue is pathetic:
More tiresome preaching on the negatives of violence from the same man who once defended marketing violence for children in video games. These peculiar double-standards aren't helping. On which note, look at the following scene from issue 24:
Assault by creatures who not only seem to be preparing to rape the woman, they're even filming it. This scene really stunk of creepy sensationalism. In the 26th issue, Jones even made sure to inject Islamic propaganda, as seen in the following, where the Hulk turns up as a guest star:
Will ya look at that, a subtle critique of the west's "prejudice" against an ideology, my my. And something mighty fishy about Simon referencing "Allah". The general in this story may have turned out to be a crook in cahoots with 2 other supercrooks, but the following issue demonstrates how the pro-Islam viewpoint isn't contradicted:
So the country's "elders" believe the Religion of Peace is unfairly maligned by the west? Uh-huh. Jones certainly made sure to stuff in as much fishy stuff as possible. Including this panel from the penultimate issue:
So Ginger loses custody of Spider, and he winds up with a shady pair of legal guardians who want to exploit him, and even warn they'll lie to the courts that not only his sister, but Wondy too, "abused" him. Which sounds like more unpleasant coded dialogue. As far as I know, this storyline was left unfinished, and Simon, IIRC, was put in limbo during the premiere of Force Works, the West Coast Avengers spinoff from 1994-96. As a fan of the Avengers, I gotta say this spinoff series starring one of Lee/Kirby's most notable creations really stunk bad. Only 4-5 issues of this have been reprinted to date, as they were part of the Operation Galactic Storm and Infinity War crossovers. And now, a panel from Justice League Europe #40, with a stealth insult to Christians:
So what Jones was saying her is that devout Greek Christians aren't educated people when it comes to ancient mythology? Gee, and here the Greek community's historians, Christian or otherwise, were so well organized and preserved much of their history's products, even better than Scandanavia did with theirs. My, what an odd scene Jones brewed up there, I'll say. And, here's some panels from Jones' run on the tail end of the 90s Justice League titles, where he put Power Girl through a bizarre pregnancy, vaguely similar to Carol Danvers being impregnated by her own abductor, Immortus, in the early 80s in the Avengers. From JL International #54 vol.2, and JL America #107-108:
Karen Starr was pregnant by an unknown father, and as revealed, Arion, who'd been retconned into her grandfather in the late 80s, engineered it all, in a story reveal that sounds like a bizarre incest plot. Not only did this lead nowhere but to tedious shock value, the "son" was phased out by the end, and as far as I know, hasn't been seen or mentioned since. The way the "son" makes his exit, what he tells PG, is honestly insulting, making it sound like she was just used as a tool. Mainly by Jones and the editors who allowed this. Next are 2 panels from the 4th and 8th Hulk 2099:
So here, I found more of Jones' hypocritical commentaries on violence, coming from a vile man who legitimized sexual violence against children. Now, last in line are 2 panels from Batman: Fortunate Son, one of the last comics he wrote for the majors, and even at a cursory glance, the premise of rock music being criticized by Batman in this sounded stupid:
I thought the story sounded dumb enough on its own, but Jones had to take it even farther, making it sound like Christians and conservatives have to shoulder some blame too. Man, who knew Jones could do all possible to jam in as many stealthed insults as possible?

So anyway, having researched these various items from the Jones portfolio, what can I say? There is little or no redeeming value in any of these stories, and quite a few items I don't ever want to read again. I think the only good thing he ever did was reversing the Star Sapphire effects on Carol Ferris in GL, exonerating her of Katma Tui's murder and later reviving Katma Tui (or did he? The Mosaic spinoff was so weird, it wouldn't surprise me if that wasn't the case, and during Emerald Twilight, she disintegrated), and even that wasn't really handled all that well. Some of the stories he wrote are just so disrespectful of prior continuity, I would not want to consider them canon, and indeed, they shouldn't be.

It should be noted a lot of his work for DC/Marvel is unavailable on their commercial digital sites, although Marvel inexplicably was going to reprint an issue of Jones' 2099 Hulk material, but withdrew it after Bleeding Cool made mention of Jones' felonies and incarceration. I honestly don't see why they thought it'd be a great idea to reprint such material; it was just so incomprehensible. While doing research, I also found this forum thread on CBR, where, responding to somebody who didn't care for Jones' GL and JLE material, someone said:
Right. His GL work in particular is some of the most boring GL stuff of all time, and he stayed on the book for a loooong time. He's part of the reason why a lot of people viewed Hal as such a boring and vanilla character for such a long time, even long after he stopped writing GL. He's the writer who decided to age Hal by giving him grey grandpa temples, as if that would make him more appealing to a younger generation of fans, especially during the edgy, eXtreme 90's. Coming after that, it's no wonder Kyle was such a popular character with young readers when he became the star of the book.
Now that's an interesting observation. Is it possible Jones has some blame to shoulder for encouraging a negative perception of Hal, while not taking responsibility for the bad writing job he did? I know there's long been a serious problem of spaceheads slamming fictional characters as if they were real, but not criticizing poor writers for the bad efforts they did on said fictional characters. Failure to take issue with Jones proper is doubtless why he was able to get away with his trash for so long, aided by early nepotism to boot.

As much as I now loath the writings of Jones, and feel it would be detrimental to consider them canonical, of course it's still a terrible shame it had to come to this, and the work of a few talented artists was wasted on these embarrassments (Gulacy, Parobeck, Staton, Pat Broderick, Jeff Johnson, M.D. Bright). I say that as somebody who's read a lot of the GL material up to 1988, and have such a huge appreciation for much of it. Even in the stories there that aren't the best, there's still much to hold your interest (heck, even the brief New Guardians spinoff was far more readable than what came after). And as a big Avengers fan, I am of course also a fan of Simon Williams by extension, and consider it a huge shame what could've made a great solo book also fell victim to Jones' awful elements. But that's why we have to recognize that real life humans aren't infallible, and can ruin good material given the chance. Again, I would not want to view Jones' stories as canon, and would recommend finding ways to either retcon them in ways so most books won't have to rely on their connections. In fact, somebody at CBR suggested:
Nope his stuff is never being seen again. However his stories were important pieces of history for certain characters and I would't be surprised if DC retconned all his stories or retold them in a way so people wouldn't have to read his stuff.

Disgusting honestly.
IMHO, jettisoning his work and retconning circumstances involving connecting elements in other books would be a good idea. They could even reprint some of those GLC Quarterly short-stories separately, so they won't be tainted by the framing sequences Jones wrote. And whether or not Jones writing should ever be reprinted, it shouldn't be in a way where he could collect residuals. If they ever are, I won't be buying them. I'm glad I never had interest in Emerald Dawn years before, and discovering what these stories were all really like has only compounded my decision. Jones was just an early example of what we now call social justice pandering, along with "wokeness" when it comes politics, and an early example of what went wrong with comicdom in the 90s.

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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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