3 Oct 2012

Wednesday New Comics Day - The new Green Lantern

The Green Lanters of Sector 2814
Planet Earth

Green Lanterns. The second incarnation of galactic peacekeepers as devised by the little bald blue folks called the Guardians of the Universe. In each of the 3600 sectors of space, two of these peacekeepers are assigned. Some of the sectors of space have larger populations and as such more then two ‘Lanterns’ are put up. In sector 2814, a very populated sector that also houses Earth has produced four Green Lanterns.

Hal Jordan – former fighter pilot turned test pilot, Guy Gardner – ex-Baltimore cop from a family of cops (no longer a social worker and special needs teacher since the 'new 52'), John Stewart – Architect who worked as a Marine Sniper to pay for his education, and Kyle Rayner – Comic/Graphic Artist.

So who’s the other guy with the fancy forearm tattoo?

Oh that’s the new guy Simon Baz.

Simon Baz in a Lebanese-American of the Muslim Faith. With a seemingly rough past, not made better with the anti-Islamic sentiment in a post 9/11 world. His introduction is odd as the ring, which sough out a user and picked him, was jointly produced by Sinestro and Hal Jorden. This is not the norm, a ring (current/newly created) seeks out a candidate but those rings are not created jointly.

You see the power rings chose people with high willpower and the ability to overcome fear. Suitability also has some sort of vague morality selection process but looking too deep into any comic macguffin always leads a thinker to remember; this is a fucking comic book.

Now I’ve not been reading the ‘new 52’ Green Lantern books, who like Batman, has many of them. One reason is that since the Return of Hal Jordan, Blackest Night and the new 52 story arcs, I’m a little lost with the who’s who and what's what. Now I still understand the basics and I keep up to date on some of the better story arcs. Yet I’ve found myself always veering towards other comics when it came to paying at the counter.

You see Green Lantern is one of my favourite DC characters. The idea of the Green Lantern Corps, the emotional spectrum devised by Geoff Johns and the slew of characters has always been awesome. Recognising that is easy, that’s like saying Batman is cool.

We all know Batman is cool, but do we all buy the comics?

Batman and Green Lantern were the two ‘titles’ and portions of the new 52 with some of the fewest changes to recent story arcs. I picked up Batman as the changes became apparent and finding out Scott Snyder was writing up a new villain, the Court of Owls, for the caped crime fighter.

Green Lantern has had some moments but not enough for me to go out and pick it up.

Does Simon Baz make me want to pick up some of the back issues and start reading the comics? Yes, but – and this is a big but – it seems like the gun totting 1990’s has come back.

You see Baz is always showing a gun on his person. I hope this changes because it’s bad idea. It’s such a bad idea it makes the whole character sounds like an edgy super hero with a culturally dividing heritage seem forced looking a bit cliché.

I’m glad DC is approaching cultural differences in a more endearing light but the gun sort of taints the attempt. It does such a good job at adjusting the effort, that readers like myself who’ve lived through the 90’s, feel like this character will not get the proper follow through and they will be used a simple fad to raise sales.

I like the idea of Simon Baz. I like what I’ve seen so far, but I dislike the gun. The Green Lantern ring is the most powerful weapon in the universe. Why the fuck would a 9mm Automatic Pistol be included in the package unless you want to get attention.

Getting attention with guns is for soldiers in a war zone or folks who make questionable life choices.

Keep the Character, lose the gun.