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.
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!
When is a Lantern not a Lantern? When she’s the inspiration behind a global social
resistance movement, of course.
This article is a bit of a first for Flodo’s Page.It will be
the only time in over two years of blogging that I will have featured a DC
Comics character that has never appeared in any Green Lantern title.Ever. Let me go back to the beginning.The
Movement slipped under my radar when it was released.It was marketed along with Green Team, a book that I was
disappointed to discover had nothing to do with either Green Lantern or Green
Arrow.With that my interest in either
title was tossed to the wayside.It was
only with the growing critical acclaim on Twitter (particularly from one Mr.
@Fotocub) and with the intoxicating enthusiasm of the Raging Bullets podcast that I started to wonder if I had missed out
on something.Curiosity led me to flip
through an issue about half way through the run.My attention was immediately taken by a
masked character who seemed to glow a certain shade of green at one moment and
an oddly familiar yellow the next.Was
this some kind of White Lantern?
I had just been introduced to the remarkable Virtue. Virtue is the leader of The Movement, known to the public
as Channel M.At the group’s core is a
small band of metapowered young people who come together to protect and be a
voice for the disenfranchised.In
creating the character Gail Simone has managed to develop the most original
spin on the Emotional Spectrum since Geoff Johns wrote Blackest Night. And I
realise that is no small claim on my part.
The girl’s superpower is described as “riding
emotions”.Twelve issues is shamefully
short for a title as high in calibre as The
Movement and not nearly enough to give Virtue’s origins and abilities the
attention they deserve.As a result there
is much that is still unclear.What we
do know is that her gift is handed down through the woman in her family from
one generation to the next.She can
detect emotions in others and harness them.Her body is transformed into an essence powered by the people she
reads.In her spirit form Virtue can
fly and we’ve witnessed her trail waves of emotion like a bloodhound on the
scent.She has changed her size, growing
huge on fuel of red fury.
She can also take control of the feelings she
encounters.She was able to siphon the
fear of being buried alive from her friend Vengence Moth and transfer it into a
would be attacker, leaving the villain paralysed by terror.
The girl, known as Holly to her friends, does not have to rely soley on her special abilities either. She is very apt at administering a swift running shoe to the jaw too when the occassion demands it, and leads her team from the front in a conflict. Mind you, you can't solve every problem with a superpowered light show or a round of fisticuffs. Virtue shows true leadership quality in her understanding of what can be achieved through dialogue. Her favourite venue for peace negotiations is the milk and doughnut store!
I get the impression that Simone is very fond of her
creation.The character is
representative of a number of minority or maligned sections of society but she
is not written as a token gesture to any of them.She
stands up proudly for those who will not or cannot stand up for
themselves.In issue #12 Simone takes
time out from having to wrap up a story that could have happily gone on for
many more months to share some of Virtue’s history with us.The character’s motivations are integral to
the whole premise of this book and it is only fitting that we get to learn some
of what shaped her into becoming a heroine for the folks who live on the wrong
side of the tracks.In her own young life
she overcame traumas that no child should have to face and betrayals that no child
could understand.Much of this was a dubious
consequence of her “gift”.
But against all this, it is also her gift that allowed
her to move on.It empowered her to help
those around her.Emotions are laid bare
to Virtue and because of this she can see the smallest spark of love or hope in
anybody, even in the worst that humanity has to offer.While the likes of Superman profess to
believe there is good in everyone, Virtue can actually see it.With this ability as a constant presence in
her life how could she not make a stand for the people who are looked down on
by society for who they are or the circumstances they have come from?This, dare I say, is the true virtue of the
character, not the fact that she can shoot beams of concentrated energy from
The image at the top of this post of Virtue unleashing
Green willpower on a hapless Sinestro is a little deceptive.In her private moments she dreams of The
Movement being accepted by the superhero community and standing shoulder to
shoulder in battle alongside the Justice League.They would quite literally come out of the
shadows and into the light.Her team
protect "The Tweens", an area of the city that has been abandoned by
the police and it's monied population.The series ends on a high note when a detective she befriended observes
that they will never change enough to fit in with the "justice
people"."Oh, I know...”
Virtue replies, "but sooner or later, Captain, THEY are going to have to
change to fit in with US."
And I for one hope they do.It would be a travesty if we do not get to
see more from The Movement in the DC Universe.I want to read another volume of the self-named title and I also want to
see the characters popping up in other books.I am already writing Virtue’s first meeting with Earth’s Green Lanterns
in my head.Each would take to her a
little differently and none of them would walk away from the meeting looking at
the world exactly as they had before. In the unlikely event that somebody from DC
happens to read this blog I cannot make myself any clearer - Virtue’s debut appearance
in a Green Lantern comic has got to
happen.The sooner the better too.
The Movement Vol. 1 is available on Comixology and at your local comic book store.
The year is 1968. The popular comic book Green Lantern is about to hit its landmark 60th issue. The creative team of Gardner Fox, Gil Kane and Sid Greene lock themselves in a room together to brainstorm ideas. Clouds of grey smoke fill the air.
GF:So what have ya got, guys?
GK:60 issues.It’s going to be a big one.
SG:A big one for sure.
GF:We gotta have a big villain.
SG:Someone that can give Green Lantern a run for his money.
GK:Yes.So how do we do that?
GF:Let’s give the other guy a lantern too.
GK:No. That’s too close to our guy.What we need is a lantern but… ya know… not a lantern.
GF:And… and… let’s put it on a stick!
SG:A stick?Why’s he gotta put it on a stick?
GF:You know.‘Cos he needs a stick.
GF:Because, you know, because he’s BLIND!
GK:Hold on.He’s a super-villain but he’s blind?
GF:Well yeah.Why not?He’s got a magic lantern.
GF:Maybe he can only see when he’s got the lamp turned on.
GK:So what else does this lamp do then?
GF:Anything.Green Lantern can do anything with his powers.So this guy can do even more than anything.
GK:Works for me.
GF:So how do you think he got his powers then?Him and this lamp?
GK:How about a nuclear explosion?No-one is ever going to expect that.
SG:Yes.He’s a mad scientist and his experiment went wrong and it blew up in his face.
GF:Oh, that’s good.That must be how he went blind too.
SG:And he had a giant machine that could turn anything in to anything and he was making gold and diamonds and stuff, and the whole thing just blew up.
GK:So why didn’t the lantern blow up in the explosion?
SG:Oh yeah.Didn’t think of that.Maybe the lantern… lamp… didn’t get its powers until after the explosion.
GF:Maybe he was still doing his experiments but he couldn’t see and he spilled a load of chemicals all over himself and made a special kind of light only he could see in.
GK:So he spilled them on the lamp too..?
GK:I don’t know.Maybe.
GF:So maybe he didn’t spill them on the lamp.Maybe he PAINTED the chemicals on the lamp after.
GF:So he gets his lamp on a stick and now he can see in the magic light and he can turn anything into anything…
GK:He can turn anything into anything?Wasn’t that the giant machine that blew up?
GF:Yeah but now he’s got something small that can do it too.Like a crystal.
SG:Can’t go wrong with a crystal.
GF:And he puts the crystal on the stick-lamp and he can turn anything into anything.
GK:Ok.Well, our guys a super-villain so he’s going to need a costume.
SG:Let’s put him in an old colonial uniform.With a three corner hat. GF: A three corner hat? SG: I like three corner hats.
GF:But the guys a scientist. Maybe the most brilliant futuristic mind in the world.Why does he go and get himself a three corner hat?
GK:Maybe he sees it in a picture.
GF:Sure.He sees it in a picture and gets himself a three corner hat.
SG:And a mask.
GF:Well, sure.He’s gotta have a mask.
GK:I bet this guy gets up to all kinds of stuff.Bad stuff.
SG:All kinds of villainies
GF:All kinds of villainous villainies.
SG:Like robbing banks.
GK:Sounds like one rough hombre.
Just then Julius Schwartz puts his head around the door.
JS:Ay! How’s my guys?
JS:How’s that Green Lantern?Ya got something good for the 60th?It’s gonna be big.
SG:It’s gonna be big.
GF:We’re working on it now.We’ve got a super-villain.He’s a colonial criminal.
GK:With a lamp on a stick.
JS:Guys.Guys.We’ve got to try something a little different here.Ya know.Mark the occasion.
GF:We will.We are.Erm.. we’re going to do one that looks at the little guy.You know.The ordinary folk who get caught in the cross-fire.
GF:All the super-beams.
JS:Doesn’t Green Lantern have beams?
GF:Yeah, but those are green beams.This guy has RED beams.
Julius Schwartz leaves, closing the door behind him.
GK:So.Are we going to do all that stuff?The little guy stuff?
GF:It’ll be fine.We’ll stick it in the first caption where Julie will see it and then we’ll catch it all up on the last page.He’ll never know the difference.
SG:But we’re going to have a big fight, right?
GF:Of course.It’s Green Lantern.We’ve gotta have a big fight.
GK:The biggest.And maybe because this guy has a lamp Green Lantern can toss another lamp at him too, a big one. And say something funny.
GF:Something like… ya know, “So be my guest… and have a taste of a modern kind of lamp!”Something like that.
SG:That should do it.
GK:And the bad guy,he takes this big green lamp and turns it into a big red buzz saw and tosses it right back at ‘Lantern.
GF:And then Green Lantern makes a huge, huge lamp, but this time it’s really a lampshade, and it’s got like a dozen of himself on it and the lamp guy can’t tell which ones the real Green Lantern.
GK:That could work.
SG:So if this guy can do anything…
GF:More than anything!
SG:More than anything.Why doesn’t he just smash the ring?The power ring?
GF:Maybe Green Lantern turned it invisible.
GK:But wouldn’t our guy see that he had no ring on and was still flying around.He might guess the ring was invisible.
GF:Maybe ‘Lantern made a fake ring.
GK:A fake ring?
GF: Sure.He made the ring invisible and then he switched hands and made a fake ring for lamp guy to smash.
SG:Guys, guys.Hold up.We’ve got a problem.
SG:We haven’t done the yellow thing.
GK:Oh yeah.We haven’t done the yellow thing.
GF:Oh, that’s easy.I’ve always got a yellow thing.Get this.The guy… lamp guy.He loves gold, right?So he turns Green Lantern into yellow gold.
SG:I like it.So how does he get out of that one then?
GK:Maybe he’s not really gold.Just inside the gold.Like, encased in gold.
GF:Yeah.And he shrinks down to the size of a molecule and escapes.
SG:A molecule?That’s small.
GK:We’re going to need a name.Ya gotta have a villain name before ya can go about robbing and committing villainous villainies.
GF:Sure.What about Lamp Guy?No.Lamp Man?
GK:I got it, I got it.The guy in the picture he sees, the one he copies. He can be this old three corner hat wearing lamplighter that goes around in a mask lighting old lamps. Guy calls himself Lamplighter. Well, what d’ya think?
SG:Works for me.
GK:So how does Green Lantern beat this guy anyway?How does he beat this guy who can see in a magic light and turn anything into anything?
SG:How does he beat this guy?
GF:Hmm… Wait.I know how he beats him!
GF:Sure.Green Lantern, he can take his stick right off him and he can punch him in the face!
GK:Punch him in the face!
SG:Ha!Punch him in the face!
GF:Punch him in the face..!
Picture the scene.
The year is 1992. The popular comic book Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #3is about to go to print. The creative team of Jeff Bailey, Marty Golia, Joe James, Barbra Kaalberg, Albert DeGuzman and Anthony Tollin lock themselves in a room together to brainstorm ideas. Clouds of blue smoke fill the air.
JB:Dudes… come on.Wake up.We gotta do this.Jones and Stern and Friedman and all those guys have already handed their pages in.Boss says they're ready to go to print.
MG:Alright, alright. JJ: Man. MG: What have we got then?
JB:We got nothing.Except G’nort.
JB:Dooley sez if we want to go effin’ around all day we can eff around with G’nort.
AT:Hah… you said, “eff around with G’nort”.Heheh…
JJ:It’s going to have to be somebody lame to get beaten by G’nort.
JB:Dooley sez he wants tons of bad guys, this being a quarterly and all.
JJ:Going to have to be tons of LAME bad guys to get beaten by G’nort!
BK:We can do this.Put that roach down for a minute and get the character book.
MG:Yeah, the character book.
JB:Ok, who’ve we got?
MG:Erh… Mr Fisherman.
BK:That is lame.
MG:Terrible Trio?Three guys with animal heads?
ADG:What’s he do then?
JB:Yellow?Stick him down.
MG:Baron Tyrano.Makes replicas of himself.
BK:That doesn’t sound too bad.Not very lame.
MG:His replicas wear a monocle?
JB:Right.We need one more, then that’s it.
ADG:If we give all these names and stuff to Gerry Jones and break out the stash he’ll probably even write it for us.
MG:Lemme see.One more… one more.Oh yeah.There’s this one guy with a lamp on a stick and a three corner hat?
* The super-villain named Lamplighter was created in 1968 by the legendary team of Gardner Fox and Gil Kane, along with the very talented inker Sid Greene.Despite displaying momentous power and battling Green Lantern Hal Jordan to a standstill in Green Lantern #60,the character was not seen again in comics until a compilation of short tales collected under the banner of Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #3 was published in 1992.What may have befallen the ambitious Lamplighter in the intervening years is not recorded and the loss to storytelling is sadly ours.
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