Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: What's Up with John Stewart?

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Monday, October 24, 2011

What's Up with John Stewart?

Something strange is happening to Green Lantern's John Stewart, and I wish that I could put my finger on exactly what is happening. Colin Smith, over at toobusythinkingboutcomics.blogspot.com, has written a powerful essay, back on 10/ll/ll about John and his evolution from a passionate advocate of the downtrodden, to someone who is unwilling to "fight City Hall". I'm not sure that I agree with him completely, but there is no doubt that John has gone through a LOT of turmoil and change over the years. A lot.

Of course, you could say that about almost any comic book character. John began in Green Lantern, as an angry young man, concerned about oppression, bigotry, and bound and determined to fight The Man. He and Hal clashed a bit at first, but eventually got past their differences. John went on to marry Katma Tui, and had a pretty nice thing going as a Green Lantern, until it all fell apart on him. Katma was killed, John was framed for some stuff by Star Sapphire, Hal was being completely unsupportive, then some other stuff happened, and John ended up in charge of the Mosaic, where he basically became a Guardian for a while, then he lost Rose, lost Katma again, lost the use of his legs, became a Darkstar, lost his other girlfriend, and generally went to hell and back. Oh, and Hal went all Parallax on him along with everyone else.


But John Stewart is nothing if not resilient. He's also quietly competent, and smart, and knows how to get things done in a calm and efficient manner. Therefore he was tailor-made to join the Justice League, where he did very well. Heck, he even got along with Batman. Sort've.


But something...odd has been going on with John lately. Ever since the War of the Green Lanterns, something seems awry. Colin's complaint was that the OLD John never would have given up so easily in the first issue of Green Lantern Corps #l, where he was trying to convince some bureaucrats to spring for a better building, and when they baulked at spending the money, had what was basically a temper tantrum and then stormed off, declaring that you couldn't fight City Hall. And this does seem like a rather atypical kind of outburst for John.

I blame it on the Indigo ring. Ever since he put that thing on, he's been acting...weird. He flat out killed Mogo. He was fighting with his friends. He has been mean to the other Lanterns. He's been mean to Kyle. KYLE! Something just isn't right.

It has been heavily implied, that the Indigo tribe, weren't particularly nice people before they received the Indigo Ring of Compassion. It was the ring, that turned them compassionate, and all of that. So, it turns bad people good, put extremely simply. But...what if it works both ways? John was a good person BEFORE he put on the ring. In fact, you could make a strong case for his being one of the MOST compassionate people around. Did putting on the Indigo ring DO something to him?

I don't really know what to think, and this is all complete conjecture on my part. But still...John just isn't acting like his old self, and I wonder very much if Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi are setting us up for yet another little surprise. They are pretty notorious for seeding lots of tiny, seemingly insignificant clues in the issues leading up to things, and I do know that they are supposed to be doing the origin of the Indigo tribe fairly soon.

It could be interesting.


At 3:56 PM, Blogger Martin Gray said...

Interesting theory Sally - it'd be a nice change from plain old mischaracterisation. I'd love to see John portrayed consistently, he has so much untapped potential.

One day DC will collect Mosaic, I hope.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

John does have a lot of potential, and it seems as though many writers seem to have a hard time getting a handle on him. Is he the feisty crusading young architect? The world-weary Marine? Or as fabulous as he was in Mosaic?

I too wish that they would collect Mosaic. I do have it...but it would still be nice for OTHER people to have it.


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