Green Lantern Emerald Knights Review

The character of Green Lantern for the majority of his creation has been one of great ideas, but not necessarily great ongoing stories. With the exception of Dennis O’Neil & Neal Adams’ landmark run on the character in the 1970s, he has largely been ignored by writers until the turn of the millennium, when his character received a new lease on life.

The 1990s are arguably a nadir in the mediocrity of storytelling for this character. When DC finally took notice and did something about it, the fans did not necessarily approve of the end results. Perhaps it was too far in the other direction, but the creation of Kyle Rayner as a replacement to Hal Jordan, was something widely condemned by the fanbase. It turned particularly ugly for then writer Ron Marz, who was tasked with ushering in this new Green Lantern, take Hal Jordan off the table and try to replicate the successes of stories such as “The Death of Superman” and “Knightfall”. There was even a ridiculous online campaign to restore Hal Jordan as the ‘one, true Green Lantern of Sector 2814’ (um… Guy Gardner, John Stewart, or even Alan Scott) and the restoration of the Green Lantern Corps along with Ron Marz’s removal from the title. They would claim victory when Hal Jordan was brought back in the early 2000s, but this group of lunatic fans are best ignored and avoided.

Ron Marz was unfairly, and disproportionately to blame for this material. Darryl Bank was always praised for his artistic talent, and editorial never truly shouldered their fair share of the blame. The failure of the character’s traction should never be just on Marz alone.

Kyle Rayner is a fantastic concept, a great character, and we got a good number of solid stories featuring him, once he got his sea legs. The first couple years of Marz/Banks on Green Lantern are fairly forgettable, but the character seems to come into his own by about Green Lantern (Volume 3) 75. While fans were not necessarily supportive towards Kyle, the one thing they wanted by this point was a team-up with Hal Jordan. Not Hal Jordan as Parallax, that had already become stale; they wanted Kyle and Hal as Green Lantern.

Enter a quirky twist of time travel, where a Kyle Rayner travelling back from the 30th Century accidentally lands himself in the past, where a newly minted Green Lantern by the name of Hal Jordan is fighting Sinestro (who you will recall is dead in the present day). Through another twist where two wrongs end up making a temporary right, Hal travels back to the present with Kyle, where he learns the world he is fighting for in the past is not one he imagined.

For a short seven part story, this thing packs a lot of a lot of big moments into it. While perhaps not a multi-layered portrayal of either leads, it nonetheless gives us an opportunity to see how an original Justice League member would see the current day DCU; he has his own replacement, his best friends are dead, and he will soon learn about his own ultimate, sinister fate. Additional team-ups with the Justice League and Connor Hawke Green Arrow add to this story, while the seeds of mistrust between Batman and Hal Jordan are continued. It is a fun romp beautifully illustrated by Darryl Banks & Paul Pelletier, this story has a whimsical Silver-Age feel, while still being rooted firmly in the modern era. Hal’s actions are not without consequence, in any time period, and the mantle finally passes onto Kyle.

That said, this is just a fun Green Lantern tale, whether you root for Hal, Kyle or both.

Collects: Green Lantern (Vol. 3) 100-106 & Green Arrow (Vol. 2) 136

Earth-9 Podcast – Ep32 – Wonder Woman ’84 *SPOILERS*

Welcome to our first podcast of the new year! And the biggest thing in the DC Universe right now has to be Wonder Woman ’84 so join us as we discuss everything and we mean everything (spoilers) about the movie, then we talk about what DC stuff we’re looking forward to this year! (some slight audio issues with this one, Jim’s audio was taken from his webcam not microphone because sometimes computers go crazy!!)

            

Earth-9 Podcast – Ep30 – Wait, he doesn’t talk to fish??

Its just Jim and Mike this week talking comics, the give you their thoughts on the first Aquaman book in the New 52 ‘The Trench’, then Jim shares his thoughts on the Brian Michael Bendis run on Superman and Action Comics, Mike talks about the Greg Rucka Wonder Woman run and we find out whats next on our read list!!

            

The Flash by Grant Morrison & Mark Millar Review

If you asked most comic book readers from the 1990s who their favourite Flash was, the answer was likely Wally West, with older fans citing Barry as their favourite. If you asked most comic book readers about the Flash title during the 1990s, Mark Waid’s influence as writer is most likely to be mentioned.

That comes as no surprise, as he started on the book in mid-1992 and ended his run in mid-2000. He dominated that decade, but during that eight year period, many people forget there was a rather solid year where Flash was written by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar instead of Waid.

This run does not typically make top ten lists, and it is too bad, because there are some very memorable tales and concepts that Morrison and Millar tackled during this year, and really sort of broke the mould that the series had developed by this point.

Sure there is the usual stuff that you would expect in stories featuring Flash; (cosmic) races, Wally being in over his head, multiple speedsters and even a few hijinx along the way (as a cross-over with both Green Arrow and Green Lantern would entail). However, when have you seen a two major writers take over a character such as the Flash, and break both of his legs by the end of their first issue? That is the only spoiler that will be revealed, but that is indeed how their year long tenure begins.

The only thing that really harms this collection is the inconsistency in art. Paul Ryan’s style works great on a character such as Superman or saw Batman who have some very iconic and polished looks, but not so much as someone that is as visually kinetic as the Flash. Compared to many of the other artists that pencilled this title (Mike Wieringo, Carlos Pacheco, Salvador Larroca & Oscar Jimenez), Ryan’s work unfortunately comes across as very stiff. Newcomer (at the time) Pop Mhan brought back a lot of the visual creativity, but his time on the title was simply not long enough, with only three of his issues being collected in this package (out of a total half dozen or so issues).

This collection is still worth reading, but the reader should be forewarned; do not expect massive, big zany ideas type of stories from this collection; Morrison’s usual eccentricities seem tempered a bit with Millar on as co-writer, making it a rather traditional, yet still incredibly satisfying, read.

Note: neither the Green Arrow or Green Lantern issues collected are written by Morrison or Millar, but included for the sake of a story that ran through all three titles.

Collects: Flash (Vol 2.) 130-141, Green Arrow (Vol. 2) Green Lantern (Vol. 3) 96