Posts Tagged ‘Green Lantern’

Ty Templeton explains Green Lantern

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Green Lantern in Four Panels

Green Lantern Review: More thoughts

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

I didn’t really say anything about Hector Hammond.  Frankly, I feel he was totally wasted.  The film’s attempt to make him some sort of avatar…nothing less than the Silver Surfer to Parallax’s big-ugly-planet-sized-cloud-that-we’ll-call-Galactus…really doesn’t work.  Hector could have been a villain for the entire movie; as it is, we have this whole Daddy didn’t love me subplot that doesn’t work.

This is a weakness.  Hector Hammond is a good villain in the comic books, but his immobility is a hindrance in the more action-packed medium of movies, so we’re never treated to is fully immobile form.

I completely forgot to mention something that really bugged me about the film: Hal’s baffling entrance as Green Lantern.  He suddenly bursts through the wall while Hector is attacking security guards.  WHY? Near as I can figure, his ring simply detected the trouble and told him to go there.  Now, that’s a new ability for the power ring.  Actually, two new abilities:  the power ring can detect trouble, and it can cover vast holes in the plot!

So, Hal’s will-sense was tingling, and he bursts through the wall… wait, why would he bust open a wall?  Without knowing what he’s smashing into, he could hurt someone or make the trouble worse.  It’s a bizarre scene.


“Green Lantern” movie review

Friday, June 17th, 2011

I am, perhaps, not the person to write this review.  I may be the world’s biggest Elongated Man fan, but of the big guys at DC Comics I was a Green Lantern fan going all the way back to his first appearances on Super Friends.  Hal Jordan was my hero.  He had determination and strong character and he wasn’t afraid of anything. He was also manly, macho and handsome, without peer in his chosen dangerous profession.  Oh, and he’s smart and inventive, because the ring is only as good as the brain of the person wielding it.

Of course, they didn’t make a movie about that guy.

No, we can’t have someone who is professional and capable.  We all hate guys like that, apparently, which is why the last several decades has seen the degradation of all of our heroes into screw-ups and man-children.  In the comics, suddenly Hal became a drunk driver and  a wash-out always on the cusp of losing his job.  Then Geoff Johns took over on Green Lantern, and Hal becomes a womanizer to boot.

Thus we meet the movie version of Hal Jordan waking up from a one-night stand with some blonde, realizing he overslept on the day of a very important test, and endangering the lives of other people as he speeds down the highway trying to wrap a birthday present with newspaper.  I should mention: the gift isn’t even needed until later that evening, so the wrapping on the fly is only for the purpose of showing us how much of a screw-up he is.  Aside from his flying skills, he is regarded by even his friends as a loser.  He participates in the flying mission, which is intended to show off the abilities of two new fighter jets, and instead he makes the new products look like failures because he thinks a demo for the buyer is the right time to show off…and in the end, he costs the company millions of dollars in destroyed inventory and lost jobs.  (That Carol later salvages the situation is beside the point.)

This is all to show the guy growing into a better person in his origin story, a la Iron Man.  That it is such a well-trod tale that the whole thing becomes a paint-by-numbers plotline isn’t even my main complaint.  As it stands, I actually found the movie’s plot to be better than average.  There are twists and surprises that defy expectations, and that’s good.

No, my problem is that I hate Hal Jordan because I expect better from a 25-year-old Air Force veteran.  When your company has a major contract that is depending on you, you get to bed early, sober and alone.

I just can’t believe the power ring would choose this guy out of 5 billion people, millions of whom have the self-discipline and courage to make for great Green Lanterns right out of the gate.  I don’t believe the ring is going to go looking for the diamond in the rough who could be fantastic with a lot of training and personal growth.  What’s more, this whole “first I’m a jerk and then I grow” story is just so tired!  Why couldn’t we have a story where the character growth is about something else?

This really is my only major complaint about the movie. Thus, if you like watching undisciplined screw-ups learning life lessons that are arriving far later in life than they should, your mileage may vary.

Is the CGI a bit of a strain, being so unnecessarily glitzy and at times muddy and video-gamey?  Yeah, but it’s offset by enough cool and some moments of sheer brilliance.  Geoffrey Rush’s voice (as Tomer-Re) makes the buttload of exposition easy on the ears.

The actress playing Carol Ferris is especially good, bringing some depth and strength to a role that could have been flat and two-dimensional.  I’m not sure I buy her as a pilot, as she doesn’t look like she has the muscle to be jockeying a plane.  But from an acting POV, she stands out.  Let me put it this way:  I can entirely buy her as a young executive who can pull off a military contract way more than I can believe Maggie Gyllenhall and Katie Holmes as district attorneys, or Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane.

The Green Lantern Corps…well, it’s… not only is it “video-gamey”, but the shots of the various Corps members go by so quickly. It feels like an episode of the Simpsons, where signs flash by rapidly and you need to freeze-frame them later.  In other words, all there is is the promise that at some later date I may get a kick out of seeing some of my favorites who went by in a half-second, but for right now…I spotted Stel, Olapet, Xax of Xaos (or Bzzd) and I think the F-Sharp Bell.

I could complain about little stuff, like how each sector of space is said to contain several galaxies, whereas I think one galaxy divided up would still be an overwhelming amount of space to be patrolled by only 3600 Green Lanterns… but I’m honestly trying to not be a nitpicky fanboy.  My complaints about GL are from a point of film criticism.  My fanboy side was sated when I not only saw a non-Green Lantern character from the DC Universe but we even got to see her origin tale right out of the comic books!  That was awesome.

You know…I like Geoff Johns, but I’m a little aggravated at how much of the Green Lantern in this movie is his Green Lantern.  The “Highball” call sign, Hal’s one-night stands, Parallax as a fear entity, the yellow ring of fear with the meaningless logo, Hal and Carol being friends from childhood… and worst of all, that “will” thing.

I’m getting off on a rant, one that’s long overdue on Geoff Johns’ version of GL, but… will is NOT AN EMOTION!  You can have a strong will about spreading fear, for example.  I always interpreted that whole “willpower” thing with Green Lantern as the explanation of how the green energy is employed.  In other words, you use your willpower to make the energy take shape, and your willpower/determination dictates how strong the construct is.  That’s all.  It’s not that the green energy IS will in liquid form. All the other colored lanterns also employ their energy to do things via their mental effort, a/k/a their will.

It’s like saying that a cowboy fights the bad guys with the power of forefinger.

Final verdict: The Green Lantern movie is a solid B.

Review: “Green Lantern: Emerald Knights”

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Is Emerald Knights an amazing movie that I will watch many, many times?  No.

First off, I always remind myself that this is an amazing age that I live in, where more and more of the comic book characters I loved as a kid are being turned into movies and TV shows and cartoons than I ever thought would happen.  Seeing the Green Lantern Corps brought to life on the big screen is amazing.  A decade ago, I watched the first season of “Justice League” and gave an audible gasp when a handful of Green Lanterns went into action against the Manhunters.  And that was just for five GLs.  Now, when I see those trailers for the new GL movie and the corps is gathered by the hundreds, with dozens onscreen in each shot… I’m torn between the urge to cry for the fulfilled dreams of the little boy inside me and the urge to say aloud how lousy the fakey, video-game level CGI looks.

With all my heart, I want to say that this DVD is the greatest thing ever.  I mean, it’s an animated adaptation of “Tales of the Green Lantern Corps”!  AND it has two of Alan Moore’s greatest stories, “Mogo Doesn’t Socialize” and “Tygers”.

If you’re wondering why Alan Moore doesn’t let his name appear on adaptations of his work anymore, I think the two stories on here would be exhibits A and B. “Tygers” is one of the all-time creepy stories because of Qull of the Five Inversions and the other bizarre, warped, twisted inhabitants of the prison planet.  The story works because of the mind game that is being played on the Green Lantern, and the payoff at the end in Abin Sur’s realization that the monsters were telling the truth.  So for the animated version, Qull and the other members of the Empire of Tears don’t appear at all, the story is told by the Geoff Johns creation Atrocitus, all of the nuances and great turns of phrase are gone, and the prediction is entirely different.  It doesn’t work.

I didn’t think you could screw up the story of Mogo, but they found a way.

The other stories actually work better for the movie, though I found the martial arts one rather boring.  The central tale is actually the best thing, better than the excuse for telling flashback stories.

One other thing.  It bugs me that this movie doesn’t even gibe with “First Flight”, because Sinestro is shown in the Corps in this one.

I hate to say anything more…because I want this DVD to be a hit and I want DC to keep making more.  Many more.  Just… do them better.  Perhaps it needs to be pointed out that dramatic stories work if you adapt them as drama, not action.

My Father’s Day Gifts to Myself

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Amazon package arrived today.  Guess what’s inside?

  1. The animated Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 1-3, which is now packaged together for $17 instead of sold individually for $15 each.  (I don’t know why they won’t do season sets anymore.  Obviously, they want to shake us down for more cash per individual disk, but I’m not buying them because of that.  If Legion, or Brave and the Bold, were sold in a complete set, I’d have bought it!)
  2. Green Lantern, Emerald Knights.  Sweet!  Expect a review shortly.
  3. Rifftrax: Shorts-a-poppin.  Should be good as always, especially when it has a young Dick York in one of these movies.
  4. Andy Barker, P.I. – Poor Andy Richter cannot catch a break.  This series is funny, but just too odd to make it on Network TV.
  5. Opus, 25 Years of His Sunday Best – I have all of the Bloom County and Outland books, but I never got to read the “Opus” series, plus the strips are reprinted larger and digitally recolored, so this is worth it.

Thanks so much, honey…for letting me buy these for myself!

New Green Lantern video game arrives in a week!

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Great Guardians!!! Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters arrives in stores on June 7th!

Inspired by the upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures’ superhero feature film Green Lantern, Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters soars onto game consoles this summer, extending the theatrical experience of one of DC Entertainment’s most popular superheroes.  Players will use the most powerful weapon in the universe, the Green Lantern Power Ring, to build an array of weapons from green energy to defeat the Manhunters – an evil android race bent on destroying the Green Lantern Corps.

Packed with intergalactic missions, alien androids and out-of-this-world combat, Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is an action-adventure videogame that delivers the Green Lantern experience right into the hands of gamers.

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters soars onto game consoles on June 7th for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS. Playing as gifted pilot Hal Jordan, the first human Green Lantern, gamers will create an arsenal of ring constructs and take flight in outer space and beyond to restore intergalactic order.  The game also features enhanced graphics, 3D Capabilities, Co-op gameplay, and features Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan!

This Facebook link also connects you to the 360 Energy Viewer where you can view exciting screenshots as if you were rotating around a motionless Keanu Reeves.

Oh…and I will have a game review for the Wii soon after the release.  Watch this space!

Which do you think are the most significant Super-Heroes and are the number of the most important only seven?

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Adherents has had a website dedicated to exploring the respective religions of various fictional characters for some time now and whenever I wander over there (which is very rarely) I find it fascinating.

One of their side pages is The Significant Seven: History’s Most Important Superheroes.

It is, for the most part, an excerpt from a book by Mike Benton that I never read entitled The Comic Book in America: An Illustrated History. So when I dispute adherents’ conclusions, I dispute Mike Benton’s ideas, but considering that at the end the site wants us to contact them if we find what needs correcting, I suppose we should contact them for the one thing I find factually incorrect in Mister Bention’s assertions. The rest is historical speculation, opinion, or genuinely correct.

I notice he limits himself to only comic book super-heroes, of course, as Batman and Superman have slightly limited originality if you count their pulp fiction fore-bearers. There is also only characters that are currently owned by DC Comics and Marvel Comics. Although then the characters were genuinely significant Plastic Man and Captain Marvel were owned by Quality and Fawcett Comics respectively.
The Significant Seven are as follows:

Wonder Woman
Captain America
Captain Marvel
Plastic Man

My questions are not whether these characters are significant for they surely are and certain I can dispute just how much more significant they are than most other characters. Yet I wonder if they really are only seven significant super-heroes in the fashion that the author intended.

Superman is Superman, that which other costumed characters follow. Wonder Woman is the Woman, and regardless of the creator’s intent she is now the female super-archetype in comics for better or for worse (usually for worse). Batman is the peak human being; his presence is the indicator that one need not be superhuman to fight evil. So we have Super-Man, Super-Woman and Man-Man.

What they’re missing is Green Lantern.

For my point any Green lantern will do, from the original to the modern to the one that was simply in print the longest consistently.

Batman is a normal human being with no special powers beyond what a man can gain or obtain with extra-normal amounts of time and ambition. Leaving aside the factor of talent there are professional athletes that could be real life comparisons. Superman’s core attributes when it comes to sheer ability and power are beyond us mere mortals obviously but then comes Green Lantern. He is a mere mortal, a normal human like us, that wields the power of gods through an artifact, a mcguffin. Green Lantern is a man and not a god (although that really could be arguable). Superman would have to be someone else entirely to not be Super; Green Lantern just needs to remove the ring, not recharge the ring, or in the contemporary comics discharge the weapon completely. He possesses abilities but they do not come from him; they are not internalized. His identity like Batman is of a man but his abilities as a super-hero are separate because of his powered artifact, and those capabilities are closer to Superman than a mere mortal.

Green Lantern is the midpoint of Superman and Batman. That is precisely why he is Significant.

I also think the article should have the first hero that only has one power but I cannot say for sure who that is.

Geoff Johns revisits some old favorites

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Over at Dixonverse, they’re discussing a topic I’ve been thinking about for a while:  Geoff Johns seeming to go overboard with the material from a number of Alan Moore stories.  While I like much of what has been happening…indeed, Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps are the ONLY DC Comic books I still buy… this does bug me somewhat.

Mogo, and the F-Sharp Bell, and Qull of the Five Inversions: they’re from short stories.  Moore managed to tell very intriguing stories in far less than 22 pages (let alone multi-issue story arcs taking half a year)  and they were one-off throwaway bits not intended to be the launching point for epic sagas.  “Tales of the Green Lantern Corps” was an uneven back-up series that would occasionally produce a gem such as “Quarzz Terranh Knows Joy” (or whatever it was called) and sometimes introduce a Corps member interesting enough to revisit later (such as Ch’p, Stel and the Green Man).  The point was to take the Green Lantern mythos and do something you couldn’t just do with Hal Jordan, such as ending with the GL’s death (or a credible possibility of death on the last page, which isn’t the case with Hal) or showing an alien approach to using the ring.

“Mogo Doesn’t Socialize” is a wonderful story that loses most of its ending’s power if you’re going to use Mogo again and again in other comics.  It’s like having Rosebud the Sled, Verbal Kint and Tyler Durden as a recurring superteam in the DCU.

The bounty hunter from that same story showed up in GL Corps.  Know what bugged me?  I guess I always thought that story was ancient history, not a current event.  The Book of Oa contains tales of things that happened to Green Lanterns throughout history… and we’re talking an organization with 3600 members that has been active for a BILLION years!

Qull of the Five Inversions?  I was pretty sure he was just a liar.  After all, not long after that story was published, the entire GL Corps was destroyed after their execution of Sinestro caused the Great Battery to lose power.  (Remember, how only Hal, John, Guy, G’nort and a few others had rings, and it was a while before the Corps was restored?)  Then in 1994, Hal Jordan causes the deaths of all the Guardians…so Qull’s prediction of drums with blue skin couldn’t be true.  The whole point of the story is that Qull manages to produce fear in Abin Sur, and he dies because of the starship he is flying in instead of using his ring.

By the by, Johns’ interpretation of that story is very literal: there are aliens called the Inversions, and there are five of them.  Huh.  I always thought that was just Qull’s name, that there were five things “inverted” about him.  If there are only five creatures on that whole cordoned off planet, that’s way less scary.

As has been pointed out about the Black Mercy, it’s taking one cool story element (a McGuffin excuse for telling some cool imaginary stories) and running it into the ground.  The Black Mercy shouldn’t be packaged with the Mongul action figure as though it’s his primary weapon.  It was a plot device, pure and simple, and next time Mongul appears he will resort to something else.

All of these little elements that Alan Moore rattled off as throwaways… Ranx the Sentient City, the Children of the White Lobe, Sodam Yat, etc. … they were cute references to a mythology we haven’t heard yet.  That was neat-o.  Spending several years setting all of them up as canon seems like it’s missing the point.

If I wrote a story where Batman encounters Rip Hunter and Rip says, “Last time I met you was fighting alongside your daughter during the Atlantis/Paradise Island/Gorilla City war… oh wait, that hasn’t happened yet!”, do I need to worry that some kid who loves that issue will, fifteen years down the line, spend three years building up to a Atlantis/Paradise Island/Gorilla City War mega-event as a glorious in-joke where that disposable humorous line comes true?

Look, Blackest Night seems like a great storyline and I’m looking forward to reading it.  And I like Johns a lot, really!  But Johns should be a writer who tells his own stories instead of “What happened to those characters at the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths?”or “Let’s start integrating as much Kingdom Come future into the DCU as possible!” or “What if Blackest Night really did happen?”  He should be creating the characters and telling the stories that cause future fanboy-cum-writers to want to revisit HIS work.  And hopefully, they’ll have editors that tell them to just do their own damn stories.

Green Lantern: First Flight trailer

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

I’m stoked. Are you stoked?

Kryb’s babies

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Just got some Priority Mailers from Scott Beatty filled with tons of comics! I haven’t read new comics since last October.

First priority: Catching up on Green Lantern Corps!  I finished reading Peter Tomasi and Pat Gleason’s story arc where the GLC goes after the awful Kryb, who kills Green Lantern parents and then stuffs their babies in her skeletal crib on her back.

Here’s the bizarre thing: these babies are TOTALLY forgotten about!  All this time, I’ve been wanting to see the moment that a Green Lantern cracks open her ribcage and releases all those babies.  But this never happenes.  There’s even a moment where Kryb opens her ribs wide to use them as a weapon, and it doesn’t appear that the babies are in there anymore.

Also, the GLs blast her full force, never worrying about the babies.

Is there something I just don’t understand about this?

Green Lantern: Best Fan-Made trailer ever?

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Best Fan-Made trailer ever? You be the judge.

I wish it were real. Even as I recognize most of the footage and music used in it, I still got goosebumps as if I was watching a real trailer in a theater. Just…astounding!