Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: Wherein I Uphold the Honor of Beau Smith

Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!

Now with Guy Gardner's Seal of Approval!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wherein I Uphold the Honor of Beau Smith

My scanner is busted, so I have a tendancy to lurk over at Scans Daily, and poach pictures for my photobucket. It is also a good place to find out the plots of books that I have no intention of actually buying or reading, but wish to stay "au courant" as they say. And while it can occasionally be mildly amusing, it also has a tendancy to be pretty strident.

This morning, there were a couple of articles concerning Arisia and the Green Lanterns, which of course, I considered to be right up my alley. The author then proceeded to give pictures and tell the tale of Arisia's knock-down, drag-out battle and subsequent death struggle with Major Force, from the pages of "Warrior".

Now, I'll say right now, flat out, that I adored Warrior. It was Kalinara who put me onto it's charms, and I will admit that occasionally the art was just GAWDAWFUL, and the stories occasionally verged on bizzarre. Nevertheless, I loved it, because, full of the '90's excess that it was, it was still fun, inventive, action-packed, and had a truly fabulous cast of supporting characters. It also went a long way towards turning Guy Gardner from a brain-damaged buffoon into a real and interesting character. Nevertheless, I can understand that Warrior wouldn't necessarily be everyone's cup of tea.

However, I wasn't prepared for the wholesale rage that I encountered, when I got to the comments. People were expressing outrage, the desire to beat Mr. Smith up, the horror of his portrayal of Arisia, screams about the art, and the "fridging" of yet another female character. Only towards the end, did anybody actually take the time to stop frothing off at the mouth and actually pay attention to the context of the story.

Because, it's a very good story.

You all are probably familiar with Major Force. He was a bad guy, a particularly nasty bad guy, and he's the one who shoved poor Alex into the fridge back in Green Lantern to bum out poor Kyle. He ended up being a particular enemy of Guy's when Beau Smith used him to some effect over in Warriors. Major Force tried to off Guy's own mother at one point, who happened to be out of town, so he fridged her unfortunate neighbor instead. Oh,and he shoved her cat into the freezer. Which, I'm sorry to say, made me chuckle.

So it is definitely in character for Major Force to come looking for Guy, and wind up fighting and killing Arisia at Warriors. He was looking to put a serious amount of hurt on Guy, and he didn't care WHO he hurt. Arisia, at the time, was living on Earth, and working for Guy, because like the rest of the former Green Lanterns, she didn't have her ring or her powers. Hal had gone all Parallax at that point, and besides, he'd dumped the poor kid. I always thought it was rather sweet of Guy to take her in, and despite their explosive beginnings, they became good friends.

What all the commentators seemed to miss, was that Arisia was fighting a practically unkillable monster, and she was doing it WITHOUT ANY POWERS! And although she was overwhelmed in the end, she gave one HECK of a good fight! She didn't stand there and cry or faint or run away, she fought back, and she fought with everything she had. She didn't go quietly, like Katma Tui or Big Barda, on the floors of their kitchens. She FOUGHT BACK! She didn't squeal like Tigra, she fought back!

Furthermore, Mr. Smith always said that he had planned to bring Arisia back at some point, setting up the possiblity when in earlier issues he had her recovering quite easily from some very serious injuries. Unfortunately, this was towards the end of the book,and he simply ran out of time, as Warriors was cancelled shortly afterwards.

Besides, as Kalinara has previously pointed out, Beau Smith writes great women. And he adds women to his books in a lot of ways, that other writers don't even think about. He doesn't make a big fuss about it, they are just there, in the background, doing their jobs...just like the male characters. We had Rita from the Monster Hunters, we had Veronna from the jungles of Nabba, we had Zinda, Lady Blackhawk, whom Guy saved in Zero Hour, we had Arisia, we had Fire...all hanging out at Warriors. We had a depowered but kickass Wonder Woman. We had Guy turned into a woman for heaven's sake.

Green Lanterns

There was a lot of complaining about Arisia's outfit, but goshdarn it, I actually like it. It's a little out there of course...this WAS the '90's after all, but what the heck. She actually has curves, and an actual torso, that can even hold organs,and some muscle tone in her arms and legs.

And now she's back and I am happy about it. Plus Guy went and made Major Force very very sorry.

And I suppose that I've learned a lesson from al of this as well. I should actually break down and read the book, not just a few selected scans, before I open my big fat mouth and start yapping about things. I've heard a rumor that Beau Smith is going to be writing a Green Lantern Annual this year, and I am simply delighted.


At 10:11 AM, Blogger Sea_of_Green said...

Sounds like maybe the complainers didn't really know the history of any of the main characters. Arisia is NOT a wimp in any way, shape, or form, and Beau Smith certainly never depicted her that way. Sure, she had her moments (mostly early in her history) of mooning over Hal, but she was NOT -- and never has been -- someone to mess with.

And Major Force was a "major force," all right, causing misery for Earth-bound former Lanterns and the people they cared about for YEARs and years. When Guy finally took him down (hooray!), it was after a PROLONGED period of readers screaming, "SOMEBODY NEEDS TO NAIL THIS CREEP DAMMIT!!!" That kind of reader attitude is the sign of a GOOD bad guy. ;-)

It was so sad, too, when Hal showed up at Arisia's funeral. Either Parallax made him show up in order to torment him, or Hal showed up IN SPITE of Parallax to pay his respects. Either way, sad. :-(

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Sea_of_Green said...

>>causing misery for Earth-bound former Lanterns<<

--oops, and then-CURRENT Lanterns. I know, I know -- How DARE I leave out Kyle?!?! ;-)

At 10:38 AM, Blogger The one letter wonder said...

You make some good points. I'm not much of a fan of Warrior mainly 'cuz it's too 90stastic for my taste (not a big fan of Jim Lee on X-Men either,lol).But, I've really liked some of the other stuff I've read of Mr. Smith's and I agree he is good at writing women.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger MetFanMac said...

"She actually has curves, and an actual torso, that can even hold organs,and some muscle tone in her arms and legs."

This is something I have no problem with. The female characters in Girl Genius are a prime example of such art.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Major Force was a sleezebag, and I was glad...GLAD when Guy blew him up. Arisia would have done it herself, but she was a little sleepy at the time.

The funeral was rather touching. I've always liked that Guy allowed Hal/Parallax to stay, when every instinct was telling him to fight. Something for which you can't blame him, all things considered.

And we've STILL not had our Arisia/Guy reunion on Oa. Duskdog wrote a very nice version of it, and I suppose I'll have to be satisfied with that.

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Duskdog said...

I love Warrior, too -- the writing, anyway. The art was terribly off-putting but very typical 90's. Beau Smith sure knows how to make me laugh, and I love how naturally Guy evolved into his current personality under his writing. And though I wasn't happy with Arisia's death, there's no way I would ever compare it to Katma's disgraceful offing.

We haven't even really had an Arisia/anybody reunion... unless you count her briefly kissing Hal. Almost one-hundred percent of her interaction post-revival has been with Sodam Yat, whom she didn't even know before! Arisia/Kilowog please -- at least some acknowledgment of it! (Though the revelation that 'Wog had a wife and kids and yet still loved Arisia from the moment he met her does give that whole thing an interesting little twist.)

Arisia fascinates me more and more all the time. I don't care how fast her planet revolves around its sun -- she was still obviously the physical and emotional equivalent of a 14-or-so-year-old when she first appeared, and yet she could wield that GL ring competently. And having a father who was also a GL must really add some emotional weight to the job. No wonder Kilowog fell for her. Even if she was prone to having whiny-fits back in the day.

At 1:32 AM, Blogger Will Staples said...

Eh, scans_daily can be kind of... reactionary. It's common practice there to bash first, ask questions later. (Thankfully we have bluefall to inject a little sanity... when she isn't posting freakin' essays about Wonder Woman.)

I love the place, really I do, but it has its flaws.

At 1:46 AM, Blogger Will Staples said...

And y'know, I like that costume too. Except for the heels. They just look painful.

At 2:11 AM, Blogger James Ashelford said...

There needs to be more Arisia. She has such a history but gets naff all to do and naff all interaction with her friends who buried and mourned her.

And what is it with high heels? I've never met a single woman who found them comfortable and those were just normal women. In the arena of mortal combat you'd think there was enough pain without high damned heels.

At 7:04 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Will, there certainly are some perfectly charming people over on Scans Daily. There are also some real idiots, but that's true of every forum or blog, I suppose.

Duskdog, I forgot about Kilowog and Arisia having a reunion too. They have rather shunted her off with Sodam Yat, who while a perfectly nice GL, is a little dull to me. Of course, I am not particularly happy with what happened to Boodikka or Green Man either.

blah blah blah.

At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey SallyP, I'm not a Guy Gardner fan but I heard Lady Blackhawk shows up in Warrior. Zinda's one of my favorite characters, she's so fun and just shrugs things off and I'd love to see her and Guy get into a booze-off. Does she get a lot of screentime and do you know what issues she's in? Thanks if you do, no probs if you don't :D!

At 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, now that I've thought about it, I don't think it's Arisia's specific death that caused the uprage. It's the fact that she joins a group made of Green Lanterns who aren't dudes and Green Lantern supporting characters who aren't dudes (Katma Tui, Donna Troy, Jade, Alexandra DeWitt, Laira, and Rose Canton off the top of my head) to die so that GL's can have some traumaz. Then there's the ending that sort of laughs at her, and the fact that even before she died they still had to get in a sezzy buttshot.

But that doesn't make all the threats towards Beau Smith any less ridiculous. Dude, he's writing fictional characters. They aren't real. The fact that he killed off a neat character and didn't bring her back like he planned doesn't mean you should make jokes about causing bodily harm towards him. It's creepy and it's those kind of "jokes" that make me feel kind of embarassed to be such a huge comic book geek (that and trying to explain why Cassandra Cain's backstory. "She's a ninja assassin who was raised from birth to kill people but shied away because she could see the horror going through their body and decided to become a hero and never kill again STOP LAUGHING IT'S BETTER THEN IT SOUNDS")

And holy shit Arisia looks awesome with that gun! You're right, she did get a really frigging awesome death scene. It's just the credits that make fun of her kinda suck.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Scotty, I love Zinda too. She ends up being rescued by Guy back in Zero Hour. Later, when he's having the Grand Opening of Warriors bar, in she walks, having just popped out of the time stream into her future, and our present day. Needless to say, she's a bit startled, but handles things with considerable aplomb.

Guy is gentlemanly enough to offer her a place to live, and she moves right in with Veronna, Arisia, Buck, Rita, Desmond and Joey. She ends up being the pilot of Buck's various planes and helicopters and stuff, and flies them all around. She is particularly amusing in the issue where Guy is turned into a woman.

I'm not quite sure of the numbers of Warrior, off the top of my head, but from the opening to the end, so in the later 20's through 44 would be my guess.

Ted Grant, aka Wildcat also used to come over to Warriors and hang out a lot, he and Zinda used to swap war stories. Gosh, I miss that book.


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