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.
What will happen when the most powerful weapon in the universe goes up against the strongest one there is?! I'm not too sure myself but I do know it won't pretty and I know we are in for one heck of a show! As the frog said, "It ain't easy being green". Find out how it all goes down when the Green Goliath meets the Green Gladiator in the Super-Team Family crossover to end all crossovers... Green Lantern vs. The Hulk!!!
...Now that is a comic I want to read.
Unfortunately this little beauty has never seen the printed page and probably never will because the striking cover above is the brainchild of the very talented artist and comic fan, Ross Pearsall. Ross publishes a blog called Super-Team Family ...The Lost Issues where he takes that well-known collision of Photoshop and geek culture to a whole new level. To put it bluntly, the man has "mad skills".
Originally inspired by superhero team-ups in DC Comics' The Brave And The Bold and in Marvel Two-In-One, Ross's unbridled imagination brings together some of the greatest and most unlikely pairings in comic books and beyond, the likes of which you have never seen before. Literally. For, as the name suggests, these are The Lost Issues. The team-ups that could have been, or should have been, or in some cases definitely SHOULDN'T have been. Ross creates covers for stories that the fans want to see but for reasons, legal or otherwise, have never happened in the real world of comics publishing.
You're damn right I want to see Hal Jordan go up against The Hulk! And I've never wanted anything more than I want to know what happened when Guy 'my way or the highway' Gardner met Cliff 'I make this rocket look good' Secord. The cosmic battle between the Kree's Captain Mar-vell and the Green Lantern Corps is a story that could make a whole event in itself.
I've picked out some of my favourite Green Lantern covers from the Super-Team Family collection for this feature but you really owe it to yourself to take a look at the blog in it's entirety. Ross has been creating these mash-up covers since 2011 and has been publishing a new image every single day for the last two years! There are literally thousands of covers to peruse and there is something to catch the eye of fans of all types. Comic books, sci-fi and fantasy, cartoons, even TV and box-office films all get the magic Lost Issues treatment.
While the Super-Team Family covers are often hilarious (anyone up for Ch'p and Squirrel Girl?) and undoubtedly cool beyond measure (you know you want to see Silver Surfer vs. Darth Vader!), they are also something of an education in the history of comic book art. Wherever possible Ross has listed the names of the artists he has taken images from or worked in the style of. The blog's labelling function groups posts both by character and also, less obviously, by artist. So if your thing is Frank Miller and you always wanted to know what Robin looks like on a Daredevil cover your dreams are only a click away. Personally, I can thoroughly recommend an examination of the many wonderful homages to Neal Adams if you have 20 minutes or so to spare!
You can check out the whole collection at the Super-Team Family ...The Lost Issues blog, or follow Ross Pearsall on Twitter, @RossPearsall. If you are interested in hearing Ross talk about how the blog came about or where he gets his inspiration from to keep coming up with fresh superhero team-ups day after day you can listen to his live interview on the Blog Talk Radio programme, Clobberin' Time.
Mark Twain famously said, “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations."
Impossible or not, I think I am on fairly safe ground to conjecture that the majority of ideas are routinely revisited in the world of comics. Whether it is the retelling of an origin story, the resurrection of a formerly dead character, or the passing of said character's legacy on to the next generation, we all love to see elements from our favourite stories invoked in new material. As I understand it both DC Comics and Marvel intend to take this approach to the extreme in 2015, overtly referencing a whole of host previously published storyarcs as the basis of each of their latest company-wide events.
At the other end of the scale to this are the little tricks and eye-catching gimmicks that innocently resurface every so often as comic book writers attempt to tap into the timeless essence of their chosen muse. I stumbled across one such oddity not long ago while I was researching the earliest appearances of the Justice League of America.
Have a look at the delightful panel below from Justice League of America #3, vol.1 (1961) showing Hal Jordan think quickly to save the city from certain disaster. He creates giant humanoid constructs with his power ring to prevent damaged sky-scrapers from falling and crushing the population below.
We can all agree this is a fantastic bit of ring-slinging from Hal which must have been very exciting for fans to read back in the early sixties.
Jump forward then exactly 50 years into the future and take a gander at this next wonderful double page spread which graced the pages of Green Lantern: New Guardians #1 (2011).
Note the collapsing building and falling crane destined to annihilate the terrified city dwellers below. Note our green-clad hero swooping down from the sky to mount a daring rescue, and most importantly, note the big, green giants stretching their huge arms around the plummeting debris to halt its catastrophic descent.
It's the same concept in both panels! Yes, the 2011 version has been considerably fleshed out and updated to entertain a more demanding 21st century audience (3 years on and I am still struck by the beauty and energy of the artwork) but when you boil right down to it, it is the same idea appearing in both comic books.
I have no clue if the New Guardians creative team of Tony Bedard and Tyler Kirkham gave any thought to their historic Justice League predecessors, Gardner Fox and Mike Secowsky. I sincerely doubt it. But I like to think the idea first popped into heads of those silver-age creators back in 1961 and floated around in the ether for a good many years until it passed through Mark Twain's mental kaleidoscope to be turned and transformed into a new and very curious combination.
27 October 2004.Although I didn’t realise it at the time, this date heralded the biggest
world changing event in my life outside of my wedding day and the births of my
children. For it was on this day that DC
Comics released Green Lantern: Rebirth #1,
the first issue in a six issue story recounting Hal Jordan’s return to the role
of Green Lantern. My life and the long-suffering patience of my family can be
divided into two parts – ‘Before Rebirth’
and ‘After Rebirth’.Before Rebirth
I was a young twenty something with a wide range of hobbies and interests, one
of which happened to be reading comics.In fact, I enjoying reading standard text novels far more and I got a
lot of my superhero fix from reading novelizations of comic book stories such
as Death of Superman.If anyone asked, my favourite heroes where
Batman and Punisher “because those guys were dark and they didn’t need
superpowers to get the job done”.Then
Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver came along and nonchalantly tossed a phenomenon
right there in my lap.From that moment
forwards I have been an obsessive.Obsessed with comic books in general, and more importantly, obsessed
with all things Green Lantern.Check out
some of the other posts on this blog if you don’t believe me!
The funny thing is, Hal Jordan isn’t even my favourite
Green Lantern.He isn’t even my
favourite Green Lantern from Earth (that honour goes to John Stewart), or
indeed my second favourite (Kyle Rayner).But the book itself unleashed something within me that cannot be quelled
or sedated.I’m not going to try and
tell you the story contained with the pages of Green Lantern: Rebirth.I
know my fellow GL blogger Myron Rumsey of The Blog of Oa intends to publish a
celebratory post today as well.Myron is
a die-hard Hal fan and I admire his writing and his blog very much and expect
he has provided an exceptional recap of the book that I can piggyback on.So stop,go read his post and make sure you
come back here when you are finished.Ok
then… welcome back.
What I do want to tell you about is why Rebirth lit the touch paper within me
that quickly became an everlasting green flame.First I have to tackle the art.When
it comes to getting under the skin of Green Lantern, Ethan Van Sciver is untouchable.There are actually a few artists out there
who I probably like more, Ivan Reis being one of them.But Reis nor anybody else could have done
justice to this book like Van Sciver did.I can imagine Geoff Johns’ receiving his artist’s pages through the mail
and thinking “Wow, I kind of thought I knew what I was trying to say here but
Ethan just nailed it better than I had even imagined possible”. Let me home in on one specific concept to demonstrate
what I mean. With Hal back in the green
there are now four Green Lanterns from Earth.In another creative team’s hands they could all be said to wield the
same power – ring energy is ring energy, right?No.As Johns tells us, each
Lantern’s power is influenced and enhanced by his own personality.It is all very well to write this in a script
but Van Sciver went to town on the concept and brought it to life in a way that
I think has not been replicated since.John Stewart is an architect, a designer, he builds his constructs in
minute detail.Guy Gardner is a wild force
and his constructs burn and flare just as he does.Without even reading the narrative textboxes
we already know from the art alone how each GL thinks.What fuels them.How they look at the world.To capture that emotion in such a unique way
is, I think, one reason why Rebirth
should be considered some of the best art that comic books have to offer.
And if that weren’t enough there is always this…
So that’s the art.But, let’s face it, Green Lantern:
Rebirth would not exist at all if it were not for the brilliant and unusual
mind of Geoff Johns.My obsession is entirely
borne out this writer’s own obsession.He opened me up to a history that I had never really considered before.I started reading Green Lantern on and off
through the Kyle Rayner era.Kyle was my
guy, he was young and essentially cool but with a touch of the Peter Parkers
about him.I was well aware that he was
the latest in a long legacy but I didn’t really give it much thought.With Johns arrival on the book I could think
of nothing else.I know it has been said
elsewhere but it should not be underestimated the risk that Geoff Johns took
when he brought Hal back.He could have
gone down the traditional comic book route of retconning all that came before
out of existence.He didn’t.Johns took every bit of mythology from every
era of GL.Golden-Age, Silver-Age,
Bronze-Age, Modern-Age.He took them all
and threw them all into the mixing pot.He gave it a stir, blended the ingredients together a little, and poured
out the glorious creation that is Green
Lantern: Rebirth.And not only did
he manage to hold on to the essence of the last 60 odd years of the character’s
portrayal in comics and bring back the most famous iteration of said character
in a move that many thought was impossible; hindsight shows that he also sewed the seeds
for the next ten years of his unrivalled story-telling. Wonderful stories like The Sinestro Corps War and Blackest
Night have their origins right here in Rebirth.
I’ve written other blogs about how much I like to
scrutinise both the real and imagined history of Green Lantern.It appeals to the geek in me.Is there a hardcore comic book fan that doesn’t
spend hours deliberating over continuity and who begat who, killed who and
brought who and who back to life?It was
Johns that opened my eyes to the endless possibilities that Green Lantern mythos
contained for just this activity.Sure I’d
read quite a bit of Kyle’s run and had come across Hal and the rest here and
there, mostly via Justice League but I hadn’t sat down and blown my mind with a
billion years of continuity.And I hadn’t
respected how much ground Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps had covered,
even in the last twenty or thirty years, until Geoff Johns tied it all up in to
one neat little package for me.
So that’s the history bit.Green
Lantern: Rebirth has it in spades and I love it.But that’s not the main attraction.The real reason I hold Rebirth as one of the finest comic books ever written is the feeling it
gives me every time I read it.The
characters contained within these pages are the very definition of ‘superhero’.In the face of the untold adversity they
stand tall.In the shadow of evil they
burn brightly.In the space of these six
issues the Green Lanterns come together to combat two of the greatest enemies
they have ever had to contend with, namely Parallax and Sinestro.They show valour akin to knights of old.Strength worthy of ancient Greek titans.Ferocity reminiscent of Viking warriors. And an unswayable determination matched only
by mighty modern champion himself, Superman.In short, the heroes of GL:Rebirthare truly the stuff of legend.And let me assure you, as if there was any
doubt, the bad guys get well and truly beaten!
There are a dozens of scenes I could point to illustrate my
meaning more clearly.Hal Jordan
battling for his soul against Parallax and Spectre at the same time as both entities
fought to possess him will always stick out in my mind.Green Arrow donning a power ring and mustering
all of his will to construct a single arrow of green energy and drive it into
the chest of Sinestro is another.And if
my respect for Green Arrow was raised measurably through this act, my
respect for Green Lanterns and the effort it takes to use the ring every day
was raised a thousand fold.Guy Gardner
purging his Vuldarian DNA.John Stewart standing
up for his beliefs against a disapproving Justice League and taking down the
aforementioned Superman with a pinpoint accurate beam of energy.The list goes on and on.
As well as establishing the individual traits that make
each character remarkable, all of these vignettes share a common subtext which
can be boiled down to two words, ‘The Corps’.This was a concept that had been essentially missing from all the Green
Lantern titles I had read in recent years.I’d read team books like Justice League, or the more nurturing Teen
Titans.I’d followed team-ups and crossovers
were allies band together against a mutual foe.But I had never read a book that stirred within me a sense of unity like
I experienced reading Rebirth.This was something I wanted to be a part of
and to read more of.Geoff Johns
understood that Green Lanterns aren’t just a legacy of characters sharing the
same name.For all of their differences they
are bound as closely as any blood-tie.And
together they will face down anybody.His Lanterns don’t reel off their oath in secret, charging their rings in
some hidden broom cupboard.They roar it
proudly in the field of battle, standing side by side with their fellow
Corpsmen and revelling in the association. “Beware our power…”
Frankly, I’ll never look back.Hundreds of unwritten issues awaited me.Hours of trawling back-issue bins.Literally thousands of pounds of hardcovers, trade
papers backs, variant covers, T-Shirts, prints, cups, caps, figures, belt
buckles and DVDs featured in my newly discovered life. …And one crazy little blog
that I am pretty damn proud of!On 27
October 2004 a bright green light was switched on and it has been shining over
my universe ever since.
Oh, and that guy Batman I professed to love so much, the
dark shadow of superhero comics?Well…
The life of a superhero has never been an easy one. Forget travelling to a parallel universe to foil the nefarious plans of would-be planetary invaders. That sort of thing is all in a day's work.
No. The real struggle our comic book champions face on a daily basis is how to protect their secret identities from discovery. What do you tell your boss when you have been off fighting the good fight while you are supposed to be putting in a nine to five, Monday to Friday?
This week was a first in the life of this humble Green Lantern blogger. It was my absolute pleasure to be invited to appear as a guest reviewer on the venerable Lanterncast, the first and longest running GL podcast around.
And this one runs longer than most... For episode #200 the guys assemble a motley crew of listeners, as well as bringing the show's original hosts out of retirement to produce an amazing 4 hours of content all focused around our favourite Emerald Gladiator.
You can download the whole episode here absolutely free, you lucky little geek, you!
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank The Lanterncast presenters, Chad and Mark, for having me on the show. You guys rock!
And here's a little behind the scenes confession for all you Flodo's Page regulars; if you think I seem a little quiet at times it's only because I kept forgetting that I wasn't just listening to an episode of the podcast, and was actually recording live on the show!
Welcome back to another round of the legendary Super-Blog Team-Up. By now I'm sure you all know the drill but just in case we have any newbies jumping on, here's the low down. Every three months the marvellous Super-Bloggers come together to geek out over a shared theme, each blogger exploring the chosen subject in their own .,, inimitable style. This time around we are diving into the world of 'team-ups'. How did it take us so long to think of that one?! So here's what I've got for you. Green Lantern #87, volume 3. On the face of it this is the most boring comic that was ever written. 99.9% of the real action takes place between the panels. Yawn! I'm going to race through the plot at Flash speed to give you some idea of what I mean. Try to stay awake...
Page one opens with not one but two panels showing a steaming coffee mug and very little else. Jade is taking pictures of it. Some dude called Access appears out of nowhere looking for Green Lantern. Jade tells him GL is not around. She conjures up a baseball bat construct but doesn't hit anybody with it. Access isn't scared but disappears anyway. The scene shifts to the JLA watchtower on the moon. The JLA have just finished a meeting. Everybody goes home except Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. Manhunter teaches GL how to use the surveillance monitor. Scintillating stuff I think you'll agree. And by this time we are already 8 pages into a 22 page comic! Suddenly (not so suddenly) an alarm goes off and Kyle and J'onn fly out into space to investigate a gigantic vessel utilising a dastardly laser to cover southern California in plants. GL creates an unnecessarily seductive construct of a lady pirate who launches an old fashioned cannonball at the space ship. Not surprisingly it has no effect whatsoever. He spends two pages cutting his way into the ship and discovers the only crew member is dead. J'onn sneaks up on him. Oh, the tension! The Martian telepathically links to the ship and concludes that the rest of the crew has bonded with the ship's computer. He convinces the ship (off panel, mind you) to fly to the dead planet formerly known as Mogo and terraform there instead of southern Cali. Kyle and J'onn have a moment. Fly away. The end.
So why, I hear you ask, have I bothered to waste your time recounting this sorry tale, especially in the illustrious company of the Super-Blog Team-Up?! The thing is, as well as being the most boring comic on the planet, it is an absolute classic! And before I get completely drowned in a sea of 'WTFs' let me put things in context a little. GL #87 was written in 1997. Kyle Rayner had only been wearing the ring since issue #50 so at the time he was still very much the new guy on the block. I'm going to go through the story again but this time I'm going to put on my green tinted glasses and share with you what happens inside the mind of a comic book fan and Green Lantern obsessive reading the same book in 2014. To forewarn you, I may say "BOOM!" a lot. Opening page; Jade is camping out in Kyle Rayner's apartment. BOOM! - Kyle is still going out with Donna Troy but here he is hanging out with the girl we GL fans know is his future one true love. Reinforced by no less than Geoff Johns 20 odd years later in the run-up to Blackest Night.
Access appears. BOOM! - Access? Access? He's only the gatekeeper between the DC Universe and the Marvel Universe. The missing link in the biggest intercompany crossover of all time, DC vs Marvel (or Marvel vs DC as some would have it).
Access tells Jade her power isn't like Green Lantern's, much to the superheroine's protest. BOOM! - Jade. Daughter of Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern. Turns out Alan and Jade's power comes from the Starheart, the collected essence of all the magic in the universe. Some of the biggest stories in the DCU tie in to this little throwaway nugget. Kyle sits in on Justice League meeting. BOOM! - Following a brief stint in the Teen Titans GL had been inducted into the JLA a few months previously when the self-titled team comic went back to basics and called on the heavyweights of the DCU to represent. But this was the first time that Green Lantern readers got a chance to see their hero take his place on the A team. Did I say BOOM! already?
Wally West invites Kyle for dinner. BOOM! - The Brave and The Bold, people. It's a thing! Go look it up. Kyle stays behind to learn the ropes from J'onn J'onzz. Maybe not a BOOM! moment in itself but massive nevertheless. Martian Manhunter IS the Justice League of America. He's the glue that holds it together, showing up in nearly every iteration of the team since it was created in 1960. Learning from J'onn means our ring-slinger is learning from the very best, bar none! Ron Marz and guest penciler Tom Grindberg come together to create an exchange between the two heroes that has 1990s buddy-cop nostalgia written all over it.
The villain's spaceship is revealed. BOOM! - Any double page spread that draws a vehicle so big that it blocks out the earth and the moon in one go deserves a BOOM! In a sense it is the team-up up with J'onn that makes this such an action-lacking adventure. He is so powerful that dangers are effectivley evaded before they ever present themselves. Kyle is, by comparison, unsure of himself and generally immature. When I read his nervous inner monologue I remember how much I loved following the character's growth over the years. This was the first faltering footsteps of an exceptional journey. Did I mention the dude is a godlike White Lantern these days?
Even the shamefully stereotyped pirate construct had some value. Every ornately detailed construct Kyle produced in these adventures came with the subtext "No more boxing gloves". The limitless potential of the Green Lantern's power ring was being explored to the maximum. You give the most powerful weapon in the universe to an artist and you're going to get some mighty pretty pictures for your efforts.
Just before Green Lantern flies off to try and board the ship J'onn says something that might have little significance to your average reader but has barrels of meaning to Green Lantern fans. "The last time I trusted a Green Lantern an entire world died.". BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! - A Cosmic Odyssey. The story that took my favourite Green Lantern, John Stewart, and twisted him inside out. He kicked Martian Manhunter to the kerb and in his arrogance managed to blow up the planetoid Xanshi, wiping out its millions of inhabitants in the process. With that weight on his shoulders he spent everyday since making up for his mistake and molding his guilt with humility until it became his greatest strength. Nice reference! BOOM!
No matter how much of a geek I am I have to admit that the clumsy story jump from J'onn explaining the clear and present danger in one panel to Kyle congratulating him for a job well done in the next is pretty much unforgivable.
Except that I'm a Green Lantern geek and the next page pulls out to reveal... Mogo. (You know what's coming next) B-O-O-M!! The sentient Green Lantern planet was taken off the board when Hal Jordan destroyed the Corps in Emerald Twighlight. This was the first time in Kyle's run that we get an inkling that the big guy might return someday, a prophecy later fulfilled by Kyle himself when he wakens Mogo from his slumber in a future issue. All is forgiven.
As Green Lantern and the not so little green man fly off into the cosmos looking suitably heroic I suppose you are wondering what the takeaways are here. Well for me it is this: Takeaway 1: Given that J'onn J'onzz has the power to enter people's minds and stir up emotions and memories that have been long buried, it is only fitting that a team-up book containing the Martian Manhunter should do the same. Green Lantern #87 tugged on my heartstrings and resurrected memories of a great many story arcs that I thoroughly enjoyed. With the extensive history of the Green Lantern Corps and my long association with it, it is not always easy to remember all the twists and turns that took us to where we are today. If an occasional offering from the longbox forgoes traditional action sequences in favour of dropping a marker for future generations to reflect on, then who am I to argue?
Takeaway 2: The Martian Manhunter needs a catchphrase. What's the point of being able to solve any problem virtually as it happens if your fellow heroes don't even know you did it because you are the strong, silent type? All the best heroes have them. Some even have whole verses of poetry to make it clear to all and sundry they are taking names and kicking ass. "Beware our power" ringing bells for anyone? But the way I see it J'onzz needs something short and to the point. Something that says he has arrived. Something that says "BOOM!!!"
NOW YOU'VE READ MY LITTLE CONTRIBUTION TO THE SUPER-BLOG TEAM-UP, MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT THESE OTHER SPECTACULAR FEATURES FROM SOME OF THE GREATEST MINDS IN GEEKDOM (Posts go live throughout 24 September and beyond): Super-Hero Satellite: Superman and The Masters Of the Universe LongBox GraveYard: Thing / Thing
Back in 2012 you couldn't swing a Red Lantern cat in Comic Book Land without running into The Avengers. Marvel's highly anticipated team movie was released in April 2012 and a few months before, in January, creators Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti gave a tip of the hat to all the media hype in their DC Comics published title Justice League International #9.
When Guy Gardner needs to turn on the fire power in a battle against the mighty O.M.A.C. he takes a leaf out of Tony Stark's book and suits up in his very own Iron Man armour.
The look reminds me of that very special comic book from the nineties when the Marvels and their Distinguished Competition came together to create a limited series set in the the topsy-turvy mash-up world of the Amalgam Universe. In reality Amalgam had as many misses as hits with the likes of Bruce Wayne, Agent of Shield and Lobo the Duck drawing compliments and criticismfrom all sides,but for my money the coolest hero to come out of the whole project was Iron Lantern who, for obvious reasons, looks not too dissimilar to this latest construct from the ring-wielding JLI'r.
As if that weren't reference enough, when the iron suit isn't quite up to the task of taking down O.M.A.C., Guy ups the ante with a giant glowing green hammer that has more than a hint of Asgardian in its design!