Welcome to Flodo's Page, a footnote in the great Book of Oa inspired by a little ring wielding gas bubble with the willpower to take down a space sector.
Comic book blogs from @GL875 as diverse as the Green Lantern Corps themselves.
Well, that was a hell of a week in comics!On a personal note Flodo’s Page celebrated its first birthday… Yaay!I started the blog a year ago to share my love of the Green Lantern mythos.It stuns me on a regular basis when I think about the scale of the universe that has been created over the years by the likes of Broome and Kane, Jones, Staton, Adams, O’Neil, Moore and so many other great writers and artists.Storytellers who revelled in tales of a man with a magic ring and a bright green lantern.The adventures of the Green Lantern Corps were spun by the some of the biggest names in comic book history.They were woven together, shaped and reshaped.They passed across generations of creators, reimagined in the hands of Marz, Banks and their ilk before finally settling like a muse of legend in the mind of Geoff Johns.And if you think that sounds a bit whimsical, think again.The continuity, long though it is, is only the tip of the ice-berg in my appreciation of Green Lantern.The vastness of this fictional universe is itself almost unique in comics.The account of the DCU begins with “Billions years ago the Guardians of the Universe…”, or words to that effect.Moreover, Green Lantern is not just one individual hero, it is a Corps comprising of thousands of heroes covering every sector of the known universe.The potential for new stories is virtually limitless.This is recognised in the imagery and language associated the comic book.As I coined myself a moment ago, we were often presented with a ‘Tale’ from the annals of the Corps.The idea if realised on panel through the Book of Oa, a giant tome recording every memorable moment of the GLC. Over the last year on Flodo’s Page I’ve applauded the inspiration that has been given over to Green Lantern by professionals and fans alike.And judging from the feedback I’ve had on the blog I’m not alone in my admiration.
So that was the birthday moment.But suffice to say it isn’t anywhere near the biggest Green Lantern happening in comic books last week.The week had started pretty miserably for me.I was stung more than I’d care to admit by the news that James Robinson will shortly be replaced on the DC published Earth 2.This is a wonderful book where Robinson has had free reign to rewrite the pasts of many golden age legacy characters including the original Green Lantern himself, Alan Scott.It was much reported when Robinson took the brave step of presenting Alan as gay.The world he created, while not quite on the scale of the GLC, is huge and requires an incredible ability to produce long-form storytelling.Readers have been jubilantly buoyed along by promises in interviews and press articles of the huge things still to come under Robinson’s careful guidance.Weirdly the news was more disappointing than the announcement a few weeks earlier that Johns, Tomasi and all of the other creative teams were calling it a day on the Green Lantern titles.Geoff Johns has written almost a decade of GL stories.He has had ample opportunity to make his mark on that world and he has blessed us with some truly unforgettable stories.As I tweeted to a fellow enthusiast the other day, “He deserves a break!”By comparison Robinson was only getting started on Earth 2.
So that wasn’t good.There was also downheartedness among a section of fandom around the final issue of Firestorm which was published last Wednesday.I feel sympathy for these hard-core match heads.It’s never good to have your favourite title cancelled.
But none of this was enough to quash the excitement that I had for ‘New Comic Book Day’.As you all know fine rightly or you wouldn’t even be reading this blog.The day saw the publication of three lantern titles including the epic conclusion to the crossover event ‘Wrath of the First Lantern’.As if this wasn’t enough, Green Lantern #20 was an oversized action packed issue featuring Geoff Johns as writer for the very last time.All the way from Green Lantern: Rebirth in 2004 until now Johns has expertly crafted the title at every turn and I was in no doubt that his departing gift to the mythos was going to be unmissable.Johns has taken the universe to unbelievable heights with the likes of the Sinestro Corps War and the subsequent war of light.The DCU wide event Blackest Night, with Green Lantern front and centre, is honestly the most enjoyable episode I have read in comics.The seven hardcover collections sit on my bedside and are dipped into constantly.
A funny thing happened in the run-up to the release of GL#20.The book was delayed for 2 weeks, presumably because it took so long to make it completely awesome.In the meantime Green Lantern Corps was printed and distributed on its scheduled release date.The book was bannered as the Epilogue to the ‘Wrath of the First Lantern’ but it ended up coming out the week before the Conclusion to the same event.And inevitably it was chock full of spoilers for the main title.This was an epic FAIL on the part of DC Comics and I feel particularly sorry for Peter J. Tomasi who has worked alongside Johns since the beginning of his run, first as an editor and then as a writer.This was to be his swansong and due to some calamitous oversight on the part of DC editorial the wind was somewhat stolen from his sails. Thank the Guardians for Twitter, that is all I can say.I didn’t notice the word Epilogue on the cover at all but before I opened the book somebody tweeted out a warning for Fanterns to tread carefully.So I dutifully put the issue on my shelf and began to count the days (14 of them) until Green Lantern #20 was finally released.It wasn’t easy, I can tell you.An unread GL book is anathema to. I was sorely tempted more than a few times.In hindsight I am mightily glad that I waited.
So on to the main event.It could be said that this was the moment that the last 10 years of Geoff Johns’ career had been building up to.It was certainly his last chance to put words in the mouths of the whole slew of characters he created (for now!).Rather than review Green Lantern #20 at this juncture I’m going to tell you what it was like to read it instead.For this is more than a comic book to be read. It is a thing to be experienced.Holding the book in my hands, with its cardboard wraparound cover and glued spine I was hard pressed to begrudge DC the unusually high price tag.Colours bounced in front of eyes.Alex Sinclair was clearly on a mission to use every tint on his palate.
Page 1 grabbed me by the gut straight away.As I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion, I find reciting the Green Lantern oath to be one of the most stirring rituals in comics.Geoff was pulling out the big guns from the get go.And then, immediately, I was confused.Who is saying the oath? I didn’t recognise any of the Lantern’s in front of me.And more importantly – what happened from the cliff hanger from the last issue?I had a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach that I’d missed something, despite having followed every moment in the GL library for a very long time now.And that includes more copies of Red Lanterns than I honestly care to remember.
Luckily my cruel despair was momentary.These were Lanterns of the future and they were about to tell a story.Page 1, if you’ll permit me the risk of redundancy, was a page-turner.Page 2… BOOM! A full page spread of the Book of Oa.They really know how to play to the nerd in me.The book was looking a little more battered than I’d seen before, “like it had been through the wars” I said to myself with a knowing smile.The following pages gave us a brief account of the Hal Jordan’s history as it was told by Johns picking out all the major beats but focusing particularly on a recap of the last few months.For some reason I was overly pleased to spot one panel referencing an very early issue on the run where Hal charges his ring in mid-air on the capitated head of a Manhunter android.I also cynically noted that the recent Third Army event did not rate so much as a mention.
After that the pages started to roll by as I was sucked into a veritable who’s who of GL supporting cast (Go Gnort!) joining forces to defeat the powerful First Lantern.Part of me wanted to stop and savour each panel in detail.I wanted to ask questions, to test the continuity.To name each character and catalogue each reference but I couldn’t.I was being dragged through story at an insatiable pace.
There are quite a few splash panels making full luxury of the increased page count.Hal gets his fair share obviously, one of which is a double page spread of him returning from the Dead Zone as the leader of a Black Lantern horde.But there is another character who steals a page or two. In fact, where the first half of this book really makes its mark is in its depiction of Thal Sinestro.It’s pretty obvious, even to a brand new reader, that Geoff Johns loves writing Sinestro.In that instant what many conceive to be the single worse choice made by any writer on a Green Lantern title becomes its greatest victory.The yellow Lantern finally fulfils his ultimate wish in bonding with the fear entity, Parallax.Even as I’m reading I pay silent tribute to the character that Johns has championed over the course of his long tenure.It’s no accident that Sinestro has been borne from the dubious status of arch-villain to become one of the best loved anti-heroes in DC Comics today.It’s great to see Sinestro as Parallax .Unlike all of our favourite GLs from Earth, most infamously Hal Jordan himself, the entity does not possess his latest host. Sinestro is able to control the power of Parallax while retaining his own persona.This reminded me of Ion in the Green Lantern lore.Both Kyle and Sodam Yat absorbed the will entity without being enthralled by it.This perfectly captures the notion of characters being in tune with one element of the emotional spectrum.I would suppose that there are only a few people that can safely bond with each of the emotional entities.
Interspersed throughout the issue are pages of tributes and testimonials thanking Geoff Johns for his long service.The great and good of comic books and its associated media grace these pages.Each one is picked out in a different colour and carries a Lantern representing that colour, a bright purple sheet with Indigo-1 in the corner for example.The words appearing there are heartfelt and often poetic.Dazzling nuggets celebrating one legendary writer’s journey. Well… I’ve got to be honest with you.After the first one I skipped them all.In fact, I didn’t actually pause to take in any of them until my third read-through.The story is that good.Nothing was getting between me and the end of this book.
If I can take a segue on that topic for a moment, I have to commend the editorial team on their arrangement of Green Lantern #20.The only advertisements in the issue are for other Lantern titles, pointedly the all new creative teams appearing on the shelves next month and the much talkedabout offering from Keith Giffen and Scott Kolins who will launch their interpretation of Larfleeze from the pages of the Threshold anthology into his very own solo book.The first ad doesn’t appear until almost the end of the story.In this sense the book is spoiler free.None of the forthcoming plotlines are thrown in to break the spell that Johns and Doug Manhke have cast over us in the first 50 or so pages.Of course, I’ve long known that there are changes just around the corner.How could there not be?But while I was submerged in that narrative for the first time my thoughts were not wondering at some distant future.I could barely contain my excitement over what would appear on the very next panel.
At my core I felt for the first time in years that I was reading a comic book of the same quality as I hold Blackest Night to be.I’d never turned away from Green Lantern in the intervening years but neither was I fool enough to consider that all of the writing had been equal quality.It was exactly this thought that was going through my mind when Nekron popped up in all his splendid scythe wielding glory.“No, Geoff… you haven’t!”He only bloody well did, ladies and gentlemen. “Mind officially blown.”
I’m not even going to try and talk about the art in any great detail.I may be in danger of repeating myself here but, for me, panel after panel, image after image, reference after reference was jaw dropping.In fact, I tweeted as much to Geoff Johns.I said “… @GeoffJohns That was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor! #GreenLantern” And Geoff tweeted me back in a private DM, “ :) ”. Now this might not seem like very much to the rest of the world but let me tell you as Green Lantern uber-geek, to know that I made Geoff Johns laugh (even digitally) on ‘Geoff Johns Day’ was a special moment for me.He was very quiet on his public feed that afternoon but I like to think he was logged in and following some of the many reactions that were bubbling across social networks that ‘New Comic Book Day’.I’m never going to wash this Twitter account again…
That the First Lantern would be defeated was inevitable, of course, and he was dispatched in rip-roaring fashion.What I finally understood in its full complexity was the psychological battle that was being played out in this arc.Up until now I had looked at the First Lantern’s mind games as a literary device to underpin the action.All of a sudden it hit me like the proverbial 10 ton truck.The underlying goal of ‘Wrath…’ was to heal Hal Jordan’s one remaining scar, the childhood trauma of his father’s death.I wasn’t quite moved to tears when the GL comforted his younger self but I was hugely taken aback by the powerful impact the scene had on me.
And after all that the Green Lanterns won the day.“As if there was any doubt, folks…”
One thing I was glad to have resolved, although I am undecided of my genuine reaction towards, is the demise of the Guardians of the Universe - or their well-deserved comeuppance you might say.The Guardians were executed by Sinestro.It doesn’t come as much surprise.They had basically become irredeemable over the last year or two and if anybody was going to finally off them it would be Sinestro.Appearing last August for the first time, the Templar Guardians were the heralds of their brethren’s doom, for they were the obvious morally stout replacement for the corrupted immortals.Even so, it was nice to have any lingering doubts dispelled.
And with that all is right with the world once more.The narrative jumps back to the future Lanterns and that is the end of the story… except it isn’t.And by the same token it wasn’t for me that day.Geoff and his many artistic cohorts had banded together to keep the story going.He refused to let go the reins and we kept on riding together.
If everything up to this point had been Blackest Night, what came next was different, something special.Something befitting the end of an era.In my time as a comic book fan I can only think of one suitable comparison, ‘Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?’In brief for those who don’t know, ‘Whatever happened…’ was a two issue story from Alan Moore giving a kiss good-bye to the Silver Age of Comics before John Byrnes issued in a new era for Superman in 1986.These last few pages have that same feel.Geoff Johns allows us to travel with him into the twilight of our heroes lives to find out what became of them.I didn’t know how I felt about this.If this is how the story ends what freedom do other writers have to take the ‘Tales of the Green Lantern Corps’ in their own direction?My concerns were fairly short-lived, however, because the story itself was a thing of beauty.Each of our Earth Lanterns got his own happy ending.This is how I resolved it in my mind.Like the Superman adventure I just mentioned, I see this as an ending that might happen, and could happen.That doesn’t mean it will happen in our continuity but it is the ending each of these ‘hard traveling’ heroes deserve.And it is the ending Geoff Johns deserves too.
There was one last thing to share with you on the book (besides Johns’ own letter to the fans that I completely missed first time around).I was just getting to the very last page of the issue.The keeper of the Book of Oa was sharing his ‘Jerry’s final thought' with his young audience, “Hal Jordan, The Greatest of all the Green Lanterns.The inspiration he left behind continues to burn bright.”And then I turned the page and disaster struck.The leaves were coming out of my book.The binding glue that I had been so proud of half an hour earlier was tormenting me with its shoddiness.A collectable heirloom was destroyed before for want of a metal staple.I looked again.I felt the edge of the page.I ran my nail along it gently.It was then I realised the paper was hinged on the wrong side and it sprung open at my touch.And with that moment my own journey was complete.I had opened Ethan Van Sciver’s glorious 4 page gatefold crammed with just about every coloured Lantern ever to grace the pages of a comic.I didn’t need the words in the lantern shaped logo in the corner to tell me this really was “The End”.And what a fabulous way to go.
Actually, it wasn’t the end.There was another three books I still had to read that day; Green Lantern Corps #20, Green Lantern: New Guardians # 20 and Red Lanterns #20.Each one dealt with the fallout from their namesake title in its own way.I had to laugh when I reached the final page of each book and was confronted with a similar lantern shaped logo to the one that I described above but this time the words that appeared read “Never The End”.
For all I said earlier, Peter J.Tomasi does manage to say a fond farewell to John Stewart and his favoured charge, Guy Gardner. By the end of the issue I think Guy is a character that most fans could forgive for his infamous smug demeanour.I read GLC #20 and then, quite by chance, I took a decision that made my day complete.I decided to read Red Lanterns next and leave New Guardians until last.RL #20 was ok.Peter Milligan has tidied up his run nicely and left it in a position to tell the sort of stories that I, personally, always wanted from the book but rarely got.Going forward I’d like to see less introspection from this title and more rage-fuelled cosmic punishment squad.
But it was New Guardians that was really the final piece in the jigsaw of my comic book week.This issue tells the story of Kyle through the eye’s of Ganthet and Sayd. …Spoiler Alert!Ganthet and Sayd are both alive.Sinestro let them live because they loved each other.What an old softy he is really.Here I nearly did shed a tear.Tony Beddard shows us why Kyle is the most powerful Lantern of all.How he can harness all of the emotions in the spectrum and use them, even fear, for the good of everybody.Kyle is the lantern that I began my own Green Lantern journey with in earnest.It was through his story that I came to know Ganthet, his father figure.I found myself thinking that Geoff Johns could have written both of them out of existence 10 years earlier with the quick flurry of a penstroke.It is a fitting tribute to the writer’s legacy that Kyle was allowed to remain and to flourish after Hal Jordan was reinstated as the lead role in main GL title.Where Green Lantern #20 is John’s final gift to us, I thought in those closing panels that Green Lantern: New Guardians #20 is our thanks to him for taking a geeky little story about a man with a magic ring and a bright green lantern and turning it into the stuff of legend.
The great thing about being a Green Lantern fan is the scope available to the writers and artists who create these amazing stories. With 3600 sectors in the known universe and 7200 Lanterns patrolling they are not short of material to work with. We have been lucky enough to read tales of fantastical adventures on a grand scale as well as personal vignettes hope or tragedy or struggle but, most importantly, of will. And yet for all this variety and diversity there are some things that we rely on to remain constant. First among these, I think, is the Green Lantern oath.
From the golden age of the 1940's, through of the silver age when the cast of Green Lantern was expanded to take on a mighty Corps, and into modern times, we find our heroes reaching out to charge their depleted power rings on glowing green lanterns as they recite the "solemn oath".
It does not matter how many comics I read over the years. As soon as the immortal words "In brightest day, in blackest night" appear on the page I get a tingle down my spine and a pounding in my chest. From writer to writer, artist to artist, style to style the inclusion of the oath in a story means only one thing... it is time to get it on! And woe betide anyone who stands in the way. "Beware my power, Green Lantern's light." Nasties, monsters, bad guys and disasters will all meet with the same indomitable courage and force of will when a GL joins the fray.
No matter if recital of the oath is a stolen moment in the midst of battle, a secret ritual in a locked dressing room, or a war cry chanted by hundreds of Green Lanterns all with their fists pressed against the central power battery on Oa, we have had the signal that there will be no turning back, no quarter given until the job is done. This is how legends are created.
following review was largely written a week or two after the original publication
date of Green Lantern Corps Annual #1.It was a time of innocent excitement; it was before news of the GL
creative team departures was widely known.In some respects this is a last chance to remember what Fantern life was
like before ‘The End’).
like to take a moment if I may to cast your thoughts back to August 2012 when
DC Comics released the Geoff Johns penned Green
Lantern Annual #1.The oversized
publication did much to maintain Johns’ reputation as the quintessential
mythmaker of the Green Lantern universe.It was in that issue all those months ago that the Guardians of the
Universe finally revealed themselves as the malevolent force we the readers had
long known them to be.Here too were the
first rumblings of the Third Army that promised to sweep ferociously across the
DCU.In those early moments we were
hypnotically entranced as they assimilated their human victims.The kind of horror you can’t look away from
even though your mind is screaming at you to run.We were also introduced to another breed of
Maltusan, cousins to the Guardians, who showed potential for great things.And, more than all of this, we encountered
the First Lantern trapped in his multi-coloured prison of emotional
energy.Johns’ teased his appearance to deftly
to bait us in a way that only the very best writers can – and he and his fellow
GL creators have continued to tease us ever since.
the meantime we’ve been introduced to a new Green Lantern in the form of Simon
Baz and over in Green Lanterns: New
Guardians Kyle has completed his quest to become a White Lantern.While both of these developments are hugely
interesting in themselves little has happened in the intervening months to match
the excitement and invention of that GL
Annual.The story of the Third Army
crept along in an underwhelming fashion despite its colossal opening salvo.
With all this in mind I am delighted to be able to report to you here that the GLC Annual concludes the crossover event
in fine style.Perhaps it is only right
and proper that annuals give a little bit more bang for your buck than their
monthly counterparts.And not just in
page count either.In this issue Johns’
former editor and writing partner Peter J. Tomasi proves he is just as capable
of producing an oversized Green Lantern book that is a compelling page turner
from cover to cover.By comparison it
almost wasn’t worth making us wait so many months for the story to get to this
art in the book is not handled by the usual Green
Lantern Corps team.This is likely a
result of time constraints in production but I like to think that it might
partially because the annual is a bit different from the monthly title.Tomasi has to tie together plots that occur
in the four Lantern tiles contributing to the ‘Rise of The Third Army’
crossover and in a weird way the pencils of ChrisCross lend themselves very
well to this task.He manages to take a
little of the tone from each book and melt it down into a very successful
sequence that pays a passing tribute to all of them.It is only a small point but the colouring
from Wil Quintana is a little overstated for my taste.It sounds an odd thing to say but when you
have seen as much green in a comic book as I have you become something of a
connoisseur and the green in the opening page for example is just a little too…
is a comic that reads well as a standalone issue even though it is the final
act of a 19 book crossover event.The
sheer numbers of characters featured in the book would be considered staggering
anywhere else but this is Green Lantern where over the last nine years the
projection of epic has been honed to perfection. An intense battle with the future of the
universe as the stake escalates in a rolling crescendo of action.
with a murmur, ChrisCross’ rendition of Kilowog trudging through the foundry
tunnels beneath Oa is priceless.This is
one ugly poozer.The likeness of the
veteran lantern from Bolovax Vik is more than a little
reminiscent of Joe Staton’s original artwork for the character way back in
Green Lantern Corps #201 (v.2).
Not long after a
powerless Guy Garnder rocks up to Oa in an armored flight suit created from the
construct of his Lantern buddy, B’dg.Thinking about this and previous appearances going back to Emerald Warriors and beyond I wouldn’t
be at all surprised to hear that Guy is Tomasi’s favorite Lantern.That is one double-hard GL we are dealing
Fresh from the
pages of Green Lantern, Baz and B’dg
don’t take long to get themselves in the worst kind of trouble.They get sucked into the Book of Black
through the gaping mouth of the First Lantern.On the face of it this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but it captured
my imagination no end.It’s the first
portent we get signaling the level of control the First Lantern, Volthoom,
could potentially wield over our heroes.
More layers are added to the narrative when Kilowog’s squad of rebel GLs
is revealed to include the likes of regular fan favorites Soranik Natu and Vath
Sarn, who have not been seen in these pages since the DC’s New 52 was launched.Outside of these couple of panels the
characters don’t really do anything of note.Their appearance is simply a crowd pleaser and in that respect it
giving the fans exactly what they want, the largest and most powerful Green
Lantern in the history of the Corps is returned to us when Mogo reforms his
planetary mass and successfully blasts a platoon of deadly Thirdites out of
existence.Soon lanterns of every colour
have joined led by White Lantern Kyle.Atrocitus’s reprogrammed Manhunters as shown in Red Lanterns arrive to fight shoulder to shoulder with the warriors
of the emotional spectrum.My
personal favourite moment in the book is a scene where Guy Gardner appears to
attack the evil Guardians single-handed while still depowered and
vulnerable.Cut between panels are
glimpses of Kilowog quoting the Green Lantern oath.His ferocity grows with each line delivered.It becomes clear that Guy’s efforts are only
a distraction as a super-charged ‘Wog forms giant hand constructs to tear the
planets crust in two and free the hundreds of Lanterns from massive Guardian death
trap in the process.
defeat at the hands of their former servants is imminent the Matusans syphon more
and more energy from their mysterious prisoner, the First Lantern.The tide of the battle turns quickly and now
it is the Guardians who look to be unstoppable.As it transpires this last audacious move was their undoing.They drew enough power to weaken the First Lantern’s
cage. Suddenly he breaks free and promises that everything the Guardians
created “will be no more.At the same
time art panel after art panel fades to white as if the very comic itself has
been bleached away.Thus, without a
seconds respite, begins the “Wrath of the First Lantern” and the next
rollercoaster crossover event is set in motion.
is one thing after another for our Green Lanterns and, as a fan, I feel we are
right there along with them. DC Comics
and creators Johns, Tomasi et al. have no intention of taking their foot of the
pedal on this one.What other superhero
comic who handle that sort of intensity and just keep on going?At least over in the Batman, the caped crusader gets a few hours off at the end of each
mission to share a cup of tea with Alfred.Our war-hardened GLs have no such luxury…
Lantern has joined forces with many heroes over the years in his battle against
evil-doers but the team-up that is best loved by most fans is Green Lantern and
The Flash.From the long running
partnership of Hal Jordan and Barry Allen to the rivalry turned friendship between
Kyle Rayner and Wally West there are few stories that can hold a torch in the heroic
stakes to the adventures of the Emerald Crusader and The Fastest Man Alive.
favourite tale dates back to the Silver Age, 1966 to be precise, when the Green
Guardian meets long-time foe Major Disaster for the first time.The whole rip-roaring saga takes place in the
pages of Green Lantern #43, volume 2.
Cleaning up after a series of seemingly natural disasters should have
been easy work for our superheroes but right in the middle of their mission both
Hal and Barry suddenly lose control of their powers.
storms and earthquakes, of course, are far from ordinary occurrences.Common criminal Paul Booker had learned the
secret identities of both GL and The Flash and began to plot their downfall as
the pinnacle of his nefarious career.To
this end he hired a group of scientists to create a machine that controlled the
weather and could stir up geological catastrophes on his command.
to this, in their very own freaky Friday moment, the boffins were able to swap
the two heroes powers from one to the other. Thus far Major Disaster’s plan was working
perfectly.Not realising they had control
of their friend’s abilities, Hal and Barry assume they are now completely
powerless.What the Major had not
counted on was the heroic spirit possessed by both men.
than pack up and go home our champions resolve to come together to tackle their
deadly adversaries.Relying on fighting
spirit and the “Justice League tactics” of working as a team they make swift
work of Disaster’s cohorts.
Later, as Hal tries to recharge on his hidden power battery, the true extent of their peculiar position becomes obvious to them.
Instead of replenishing the Lantern’s ring as expected, the green energies
power up the Scarlett Speedster standing next to him.
Hal has also become lighting fast.Within
moments of making the realisation the two superheroes are back in action.
Major Disaster continues to wreak havoc on a crime spree across Coast City and
Central City with his dastardly machine providing cover.Green Lantern and The Flash follow in his
wake rescuing the embattled citizens of both metropolises.The fact that they are in control of powers
that are unfamiliar to them gives them no pause in their pursuit of the rogue
weather-master.Hal zips and zooms
around landslides and ice-storms while Barry deftly forms emerald constructs to
hold back floods and stem the spread of forest fires.
they do eventually work out how to transfer their powers back again it is ironic
that they don’t get the chance to bring their opponent to justice.Feeling the heat of the incredible duo on his
tail Booker becomes the architect of his own doom.In his haste he forgets to don the insulated
gloves that protect him from his sinister machine.The contact causes an explosion that destroys
the device and takes the unwitting villain along with it.In the end it is his lifeless corpse that the
superheroes discover in the rubble.
This jaw-dropping image leaves little doubt that the most controversial
member of the Green Lantern Corps is every inch a hero, from the tips of his
spiky red hair to the toes of his shiny green boots.
The artwork is one of many DC Comics inspired creations from
the graphic designer known as ColourOnly85. This uber-talented artist has set himself the extremely
bold challenge of producing an illustration of every character appearing in the
DC universe before 14 June 2013 – the date that the much anticipated Superman
movie, Man of Steel sees general
Impossible I hear you say.And yes, maybe so.But let me
tell you, ColourOnly85 is making a damned good go of it!
I was lucky enough to be able to catch up with the man himself
to find out a bit more about the Man of
Steel project and the inspiration behind this daunting undertaking.
FP: Thank you for
taking time out of your busy art schedule to share a few words with 'Flodo's
Page'. This is a massive project you
have set for yourself - to illustrate all of the DC characters before the Man of Steel movie comes out in June. What inspired you to create this challenge?
giving me time to share a little bit about ColourOnly85, very grateful.
Well it all happened a bit randomly. I got caught up doing a lot of graphic design
work and realised I hadn't given much time to just design and create for the
fun of it. At the same time I was
getting really excited about the new Man of Steel movie, so I thought it would
be fun to do a Superman piece in aid of it. It was whilst doing the Superman illustration
I thought 'why not do some other DC Characters, ' and after that the thought of
doing more artwork dedicated to Man of Steel popped into my head. So I
decided to turn what I was doing into a challenge to try and draw all the
characters before the movie is released.
FP: Last I checked
you had released character #115 which is an amazing accomplishment but there
have been a lot of characters in the DCU over the last 60 years or so! How many more illustrations have you got left
CO85:Thanks so much!
I'm now on #120 and in the grand scheme
of things I know I've got a LOT of catching up to do. But I've definitely got it in me to do all the
characters (although unfortunately it looks like the bulk will likely come
after the deadline). But I like to stay
optimistic, so I'm still going to try and work towards June 14th anyway.
FP: You obviously
love comics and movies. Which do you enjoy more? Is there a comic book or film that holds a
special importance for you?
CO85:That's a tough
one, but I would have to say movies. I
love getting lost in comics and LOVE seeing the talent in the artwork that's
created in them. But there isn't much I
enjoy more than going to the cinema or kicking back at home and getting lost in
a good film, I love the escape of it. With
today's visual effects at such a high level as well, it just makes me love
films even more!
In terms of a favourite film, I can't honestly say I have
one. Sci-Fi and fantasy films are definitely
my favourite genre but I couldn't point out a single film as my favourite. I know that's an 'easy way out answer' but
it's true …haha.
FP: Your work is
awesome and, as your Twitter name suggests, your creations are in colour only. No lines. What inspired you to follow this style?
CO85:In terms of the
style, I really wanted to do something different, especially in terms of
presenting comic book characters. I
think at the moment, the traditional clean graphic style is what we are very
used to seeing and which is incredible. But
I really wanted to come from a totally different angle. So I took some time to just try a few ideas
out and I finally developed the idea of geometric shapes and minimalism without
lines to define the object and the ColourOnly85 style was born from that.
FP: It seems like you
produce your illustrations really quickly. You sometimes post 3 or 4 works at a time on
Twitter. How long does it normally take
to create a piece? What do you use for
reference? For example, do you look for lots of images of Kyle Rayner and then
pick one you like to base a new illustration on?
piece takes about 2 to 3 hours on average and what I try to do is work on 3 or
more at one time. Jumping between
different characters helps me keep the ideas fresh in my head and makes the
experience a lot of fun. Getting the
free time to design is the hard part. Sometimes there are weeks where I will produce
lots and weeks where there may only be 1 or 2 designs. It can be really really tricky.
In terms of the actual designs, I will either use a popular
or particularly striking image for reference. That way I can deliver something fans are familiar
with but in a new way. Or I will use a
pose that I think reflects the character well. I took a lot of time to build a massive
library of action poses which I use for reference and which are a massive help
FP: Of the DC
illustrations you have created so far which is your personal favourite and why?
Is there a character that you haven't
illustrated yet that you are really excited about producing?
CO85:Hmm... At the moment the Batman image is my
favourite. It was the image that really
convinced me that the style of illustration I was doing could work. I also just had a blast doing it, so there are
a lot of good memories I have associated to that piece.
In terms of a character I'm looking forward to doing, I'd
say Kilowog. I really like his character
and Green Lanterns are my favourite DC Characters so I can't wait to do him.
FP: I have to ask -
apart from DC is there one character, be it comics, movies or the real world
even, that you would like to give the ColourOnly85 treatment to?
question, so tricky though. There's so
much to choose from! I'm a MASSIVE Avatar: The Last Airbender fan (and also
the new Legend of Korra TV show). But Toph in particular is my absolute favourite
so I would say I would like to do a ColourOnly85 version of her the most.
FP: Finally, I don't
want to take up too much of you time but I'm sure your fans want to know, is
there anywhere they can buy your work, either originals or reprints?
CO85:I have an Etsy
shop but only have two characters available at the moment. I've decided I'm going to slow down on selling
the prints until summer to help me deal with the workload.There is just so much I'm working on at the
moment. Plus my main concern is getting
the artwork out there for the fans to see. I am in discussion with some individuals where
I'm trying to get the prints out more effectively, so watch this space and I'll
keep you posted as to how things come along.
FP: Thanks again for
taking the time to do the blog. I wish
you the very best of luck with your Man
of Steel challenge and I will certainly be looking out for more of your
fantastic creations in the future. I
hope we can expect a few more Green Lanterns in the line-up! Kilowog maybe?
CO85:It's been my
pleasure and an honour. Thank you so
much for your support and taking the time to do the interview. And again a
massive thank you to everyone who has been supporting me so far, the feedback
and encouragement and way everyone has been spreading the word about the
artwork has blown me away!
Haha… Kilowog is definitely
one of the greats, I'll make sure I add him to the list and see if I can
deliver something special just for you.
You can follow ColourOnly85’s progress on his Tumblr page or
catch up with him on Twitter @ColourOnly85
and check out your favourite DC Comics heroes as you have never seen them