Thursday, 26 March 2015

Are You a Guy's Guy?

The year was 1993.  The continuity was somewhere between The Death of Superman and Zero Hour.  Guy Gardner had been drummed out of the Green Lantern Corps and was dealing out his own brand of justice with a yellow ring he had stolen from the lifeless hand of Sinestro.  DC Comics were trying every trick in the book to grab the attention of their readers.  They even released a story with two titles!  The arc running through the eponymous Guy Gardner #11 - #14 was subtitled ‘Guy Gardner: Year One’ …and ‘Yesterday’s Sins’.  Our hero (anti-hero? deluded fool?) faces his worst nightmare as he is forced to relive his childhood.

As part of their marketing campaign for the book DC printed a short quiz based on Guy Gardner’s own history in the letters columns of related titles.  The catch was that none of the answers had been published yet and you had to read GG: Year One to learn the answers.

But that was then and this is now, so I thought it would be fun to test the knowledge of visitors here at Flodo’s Page and dare to ask the question, “Are you a Guy’s Guy?”  (Remember, this was waaayy before the New 52 and all that namby-pampy ‘cop with a heart of gold who had to make the tough calls in life and sacrifice his own future for that of his fellow man’ Guy Gardner.  This was ‘self-righteous jerk with a heart of jerk’ Guy Gardner).

The questions:

1.       Guy has a relative we’ve never met before [as of GG #11].  This is his…

   A.      cousin, Roy Harper.

   B.      brother.

   C.      sister.

   D.      None of the above.  Guy ain’t got no relative.  He was raised by wolves.

2.       When Guy was a kid he…

   A.      spent time with his dying grandfather.

   B.      collected GENERAL GLORY comics.

   C.      did his homework and ate his veggies.

   D.      fed Alka-SeltzerTM to his pigeons, and watched them blow up.

3.       The terrible secret of Guy’s past is that…

   A.      he was adopted.

   B.      someone in his family was a drug addict.

   C.      his parents were killed by a super-villain.

   D.      Hal Jordan was his idol.

4.       In GUY GARDNER: YEAR ONE, Guy teams up with…

   A.      all four new Supermen.

   B.      a group of new Green Lanterns.

   C.      the gardner guy.

   D.      Rex the Wonder Dog

5.       Guy will…

   A.      be replaced in the JLA by his really evil twin!

   B.      become leader of the JUSTICE LEAGUE TASK FORCE.

   C.      change his costume, adding a cape and a domino mask!

   D.      have a sex change, thanks to some nasty aliens, and be “Guy no more!"

So how do you think you did?  Some easy.  Some not so easy.  And at least one for true nerds only!  Check your answers below and tweet me or sound off in the comments section at the end of this post.

The answers:

1.       A. Guy’s mysterious relative turned out to be his ‘golden-boy’ brother, Mace.

2.     B. Guy collected General Glory comics - a fact that in later life led him to inadvertently restoring the long-lost powers of General Glory himself.

3.       B. Guy’s terrible secret is that his brother Mace, the apple of his father’s eye, is actually a no-good dope fiend!

4.       B. In Year One Guy teams up with a never before seen band of Green Lantern misfits led by the [now] legendary Lost Lantern, Graf Toren.

5.       A. The premise behind Guy being captured and made to take the unwelcome walk down the memory lane of his childhood is so that his enemies can download his memories into an evil clone.

And yes, once they found out, the JLA were just as horrified at the thought of two Guy Gardners lose in the world as you are!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Construct of the Week #33

Generated by: Hal Jordan

Construct: $100 bill

Appeared in: Green Lantern #31 (vol.2), 1964

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Ballad of Two Green Lanterns

In a city known as Gotham, on a world some call Earth Two

A hero leaps into the air to get a better view

Of a cascading meteor on a fiery assault.

He shoots a beam of energy to bring it to a halt.

Mysteriously the shooting star disappeared before his eyes

And left our hero open mouthed at a marvellous surprise.

The hero was Green Lantern, wood the Achilles of his ring.

Until that fiery meteor gave him power over everything.

Immediately he hatched a plan, hesitation he had none

As he cleaved vibratory barriers to the world some call Earth One.

He vowed to find his counterpart, the Green Lantern of this place

And tell him of the meteor that fell to Earth from space.

His friend deserved to hear the news, he was an amazing fellow

But he had a weakness too you see, it was the colour yellow.

Unfortunately when GL arrived all was not as he had thought

His ring had lost control of wood, his journey was for naught.

An answer was required, decided Earth Two’s Alan Scott,

And so his magic power ring revealed an evil plot.

An immortal was the cause of all, Krona was his name.

He had schemed to use Alan’s powers to further his own game.

Krona had been imprisoned for the evil he had done

And could not escape the meteor unless he travelled to Earth One.

He knew that Alan would go at once to try and help his friend

If he could fix his power ring and bring its weakness to an end.

Krona’s plan had worked, of course. He was once again the master,

He set about to plague the world with disaster after disaster.

Hal Jordan, Lantern of Earth One, leapt to action straight away

To stop the winds and floods and quakes as he tried to save the day.

His Earth Two pal was at his side to lend a helping hand,

For our two heroes were mighty brave, with Will at their command.

But this not the end of things, even as the dust began to settle

Krona had one more trick to play to test the Lantern’s mettle.

He unleashed stupendous mental strength and took over Alan’s body

(Perhaps he liked the hero’s garb, so colourful and gaudy!).

I’m sure this is the fight that fans would like to see,

Green Lantern and Green Lantern locked in adversity.

Hal Jordan was much less impressed, he had no wish to duel

His friend from another world; how could Krona be so cruel?

Even so he joined the fray, a duty to fulfil,

He’d beat the villain, free his chum and show the power of Will.

Alas it was not meant to be, Krona was far too clever.

He used his stolen Lantern powers to scupper Hal’s endeavour.

All the while Alan Scott had hid in Jordan’s ring,

He appeared now in the nick of time to take care of everything.

The two Green Lantern’s merged their thoughts, their brains became as one.

Convinced that joined together, they’d see the scoundrel’s scheme undone.

In the end the simple dupe of switching rings was all was needed.

With Krona beat, the world was saved, our heroes had succeeded!

In a city known as Gotham, on a world some call Earth Two

A hero leaps into the air to get a clearer view

Of a burning meteor on a path of mass destruction.

But it’s no match for his Lantern power, an energy ring construction.

I hope you enjoyed my little ballad inspired by the parallel world adventure originally told in Green Lantern #40, (vol. 2), 1965. For more fun and frolics from alternate realities and other worlds please click the links below and join the Super-Blog Team-Up as they introduce you to a myriad of mysterious lands and strange places the like of which you have never seen before!

Amazing Spider-Talk:
Chasing Amazing
The Case Against Spider-Man Reign
Superior Spider-Talk
The Case For Spider-Man Reign

A Tale Of Two Cities On The Edge Of Forever
Things Are a Little Different Around Here...

Firestorm on Infinite Earths -- Countdown Arena

The Ballad of Two Green Lanterns

The Many Worlds of Tesla Strong

Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes
X-Men #141 & 142: Days of Future Past
The Marvel Super Heroes Podcast (i.e. part of Rolled Spine Podcast)
Epic Comics’ Doctor Zero
Marvel & DC's Secret Crossover: Avengers #85–86 (1st Squadron Supreme)
Marvel Comics' Star Comics Line: “Licensed Reality and Parallel Properties”

Altered Reality: The Ultraverse Before and After Black September
The Ghost in the Machine: Robocop versus Terminator
5 Batmen, 1 Superman, ZERO HOUR

Thursday, 25 December 2014

A Traditional Season's Greeting

Christmas and the holiday season is a very traditional time of year when we remember times past and family spread far and wide.

With this in mind I was struck by the appropriateness of the cover for Green Lantern #18 (vol. 1), 1945.  You couldn't be any more traditional in the Green Lantern universe than Alan Scott and Doiby Dickens, the original Golden-Age GL and his trusty cab driving sidekick.  And while they may not be from Oa, these two are definitely part of the wider Green Lantern family and the inspiration for some of the finest superhero comics ever written.

So from myself and all our contributors here at Flodo's Page, have a Merry Christmas, a wonderful holiday and may 2015 bring the Brightest Day to you, your family and all of your loved ones.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Inebriated Ramblings From Sector 875 (Unedited)

First up, don’t give intoxicating liquids to a gaseous life form… it screws our pharmacology right up!
So here it is.  News flash.  While your world continues to turn, any Green Lantern obsessive will tell you the biggest change in comics since DC’s Flashpoint has just occurred.  March 2015 solicitations are out.  I don’t normally read the solicits but Twitter hooked me up and this is one that I couldn’t ignore….
I buy most of my books in digital these days but print still holds a special, respectful place in my life.  Amongst the few titles that I still collect from my LCS are of course the Lantern books.  The GLU.  Of which there are currently 5.
But come March Green Lantern Corps, Red Lanterns and Green Lantern: New Guardians are all being hailed as final issues.  Gutted to say the least!
I love Green Lantern and Sinestro.  Robert Venditti and Cullen Bunn are both veritable geniuses.  But I ain’t about to enjoy my favourite comic book franchise being compressed by 60%.
In the last year Justin Jordan and Charles Soule have both been legends on GL:NG and RLs.  9 issues out of 10 they have taken the outer extremities of the Lantern universe to new heights and uncharted territories.  Told stories that have never been told before without spitting on the mythos that spawned them.
But for me the biggest loss is Green Lantern Corps.  Van Jensen has been irrepressible on this book.  He is obviously very close to Venditti, the writer on the main Green Lantern title, and the books tie in heavily together and are best read as a cohesive unit.  But they are not the same book.  Van Jensen has done his research.  He knows his main character, John Stewart.  He knows his own created characters, the new Green Lantern recruits.  And he knows the history of the GLC and pulls out character after character that we haven’t seen or heard of in a very long time. He writes action, politic, romance and intrigue with equal clarity. 
At the heart of his writing, whether consciously or not, he swears Corps up and down.
In short folks, DC Comics are going to have to think of something very clever to do to replace this book.  I will not accept that this is just going to be a gap in my life.
'Convergence' is coming.  Another apocalyptical event from publishers that will “change comics forever”.  And I am not being cynical when add the inverted commas because, to be fair, it might.  I just bemoan a little because I hate my favourite books being cancelled.
I have been touting on the interwebs that they might replace the book with something from the past, like an original Golden-Age Alan Scott book.  They might also bring out the long anticipated anthology book that deals with stories from all of the coloured Corps in the style of the much loved Green Lantern Corps Quarterly.  In my heart of hearts I think it is all a publicity stunt and at the very least Green Lantern Corps will return in some form or other.
The GL franchise was never going to sustain 5 books forever.  And I get that.  But it would be a travesty if we had to view everything through the eyes of the main players, Hal and Sinestro, from now on at the expense of the rich story-telling that can be derived from the rest of the expansive Lantern universe.
So cheers to the writers and artists who may (or may not) be leaving our GL family before long.  You will be missed and remembered.  Cheers to all the Fanterns because we know we care.  And I am going to go out on a limb and say cheers to DC Comics too, because I'm superbly confident they are not going to sell us short when it comes to Green Lantern (hint, hint...)  

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Construct of the Week #32

Construct: Punch bag and gloves

Generated by: Hal Jordan

Appeared in: Green Lantern #159 (vol.2), 1982

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

It Ain't Easy Being On The Green Team

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.