Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: December 2006

Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!

Now with Guy Gardner's Seal of Approval!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Guy Gardner: Collateral Damage, Part II

Oh...my. While I may occasionally wax a bit sarcastic, or piss and moan because they've killed off some of my favorite characters, (oh Beetle and Booster!) for the most part, I LOVE comics. And as I have probably made apparent, I love Guy Gardner. Which is why I am so revolted by this second part to the Howard Chaykin opus, called Collateral Damage.

For one thing, it has no plot. The premise was SUPPOSED to be that Guy is brought in as an arbitrator for peace talks between Rann and Thannagar. Leave aside the facts that the people who are getting together have NO authority to do anything. Nor for that matter does Guy, he's been told to stay out of the whole Rann/Thannagar mess by the Guardians. So really there is no point to the original idea. Then they bring G'nort into it. This isn't really even G'nort, I have no idea who this repulsive little creep is. THEN they drag in a weird subplot with Tormocks and Vuldarians, which makes even less sense.

When the second chapter opens, Guy is standing in his wrecked (slightly) bar having a hissy fit. The dippy Rannian shows that she has no idea of anything that is going on, since she gets the Vuldarians and Tormocks mixed up. Then we jump to a couple of blue Tormocks (I think) doing the nasty. Then we jump back to Guy being interviewed by an obnoxious cop, for well...really no reason at all.

Then we jump to Guy getting yelled at by the Guardians. They are basically stupid, and he is basically really really rude. I also don't understand quite why they are even having an argument. They said he wasn't to interfere, and really, he HASN'T! All he's done is insult a single Thannagarian and a single Rannian(former GL), and get attacked by a bunch of Tormocks. Exactly how is that interfering with a war?

Now, boom, we are in some sleezy dive on an unknown planet, and he's talking to the stupid Rannian. I'm sorry, but she's REALLY dim. I don't quite know the purpose of this, as all she does is insult him, and all he says is that now it's "personal". Ooohhh! Cue scary music!

Next is a double page of space being filled with red tendrils of some sort of icky life form apparently created out of the "bad energy" created by the war. I kid you not.

Then, Guy is walking through some clapped-out space station with the Thannagarian Major, who at least seems to have a brain. They engage in what is supposed to be witty banter, and AGAIN Guy says that the Tormocks attacking his bar has made this "personal", and invites her to join in.

Wow, back to the evil blue Tormocks, who are busy killing Vuldarians.

Turn the page, and bam, back to Guy and Faux-G'nort floating in space where they insult each other a bit and then G'nort says that he may know where the Tormocks are, and they fly off.

Turn the page again, and we are back to Tormock/Vuldarian slaughter. Yawn.

Turn the page, and all of our "heroes" are on a ship heading towards the Tormocks...maybe. Guy is STILL whining about how wrecking his bar made this fight "personal", and fake G'nort is telling him that he's a monster for not caring that they destroyed his planet. Turn the page...wait, for the FIRST TIME in this entire book, they are still in the same scene! Zowee! Let's go fight some Tormocks! And apparently single handed and without even breaking a sweat, Guy punches a few blue bad guys and squishes one's head with his foot. Who knew that it could be that easy? I guess that all the other Vuldarians getting slaughtered were really pussies.

Now fake G'nort yells at him for not getting there in time to save the Vuldarians, but it turns out that it's ok, since there is a big urn just FULL of Vuldarian DNA. Exactly who put the DNA into this urn, or why is not explained. Nor do they seem to really do anything with it.

Suddenly, they are attacked by the red tendrils of EVIL SPACE GOO! "The neuroviral toxin has grafted onto the very tissue of space itself...creating what can only be called an anti-matter anti-body...which attacks the sentient nervous system...creating physical, emotional and mental havoc." I guess that's bad then.

Guy's ring pipes up declaring that they are all wussies and don't have the will power to withstand the neurosthenic assault. Actually about the only thing that I like in this is the fact that Guy's ring talks, and is a bit of a wise-ass too. Of course, Guy summons up the willpower needed to break free, and incidentally rescue all of his traveling companions. They of course all yell at him, and say that it is only because he's a raving egomaniac. The dingbat from Rann then starts moaning that the whole peace process has been a waste of time and that it is all Guy's fault.
At this point the Thannagarian Major has had enough and gives her a nice smek, which really is the only high point in the entire book.

Then Guy is back on Oa, getting reamed out by the Guardians...again. They are still mad that he "interfered" with the war, which he didn't really do, but at this point who cares? Then faux G'nort stands up for Guy and says that he saved the Vuldarian DNA. What is really interesting is that the Guardians don't seem to have a clue who G'nort even is! Odd that. So everybody now displays what jackasses they are en masse, Guy insults G'nort a bit more, G'nort insults Guy a bit more and flies off to his own planet. Whew!

Almost to the end of the tunnel. Guy is back making time with some severely underdressed young lady in "Warriors", and giving her a highly inaccurate account of the recent dealings, when who should show up, but the hawt Thannagarian Major, they leave together and presumably have an interesting evening.

The art was painful, and the dialogue even more so. Chaykin just jumps from scene to scene, each being two pages long for most of the book, first they are on earth, then on Oa, then somewhere else, and it is just so jumbled and convoluted. The entire Tormock/Vuldarian plot makes no sense at all, since it was all tied up in Beau Smith's book years ago. The whole peace talks plot made no sense either. As far as I can tell, this was a way for Guy to get his bar beat up a bit and hop in the sack with a hot alien babe, and that's about it.

Go back to reading Green Lantern Corps and forget that this ever happened.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

End of the Year Meme

Ok, I've read the one by Chris Syms, and the one by Kalinara, and have been suitably inspired, to add five things that you don't know about me.

l. The first time I was kissed by a boy was in first grade, on the playground at school. When the other kids razzed us about it, I slugged them with my lunchbox.

2. The second time I was kissed by a boy, I burst into hysterical nervous laughter, which probably explains why we broke up soon after.

3. Unlike Kalinara, earthworms don't bother me in the least. However, I once put my bare foot into a sneaker that was already harboring a huge live cockroach. The screams could be heard for miles.

4. As a kid, I loved to play with dolls...Barbies, GI Joes, Johnny West, anything. My sister sewed and we had the best dressed dolls around, complete with hoop skirts and bonnets. Also made dollhouses from boxes begged from the grocery store. Wrapping paper makes really nice wallpaper. This is probably why I still like my action figures so much.

5. Gravy is Nature's more perfect food.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Justice League Quarterly #6

Well, ordinarily I would be delighting you all with scans, but my scanner has decided to misbehave, so I am calling in my expert team of teenagers, including the college kid, home for the holidays. She's still in bed though, so it may take some time. Meanwhile...

Justice League Quarterly was always fun. 80 pages of stories, with room for somes solo tales as well as the usual mayhem. Number six, is one of my favorites, with a fabulous cover of the Elongated Man, the Flash and Fire fighting a giant toy soldier, with the title being: "DEATH in Toyland!" AAAAANNNNDD individual stories with Power Girl, Blue Beetle and The Global Guardians!! How could anybody resist?

Death in Toyland, also titled "Take my wife, Please" is by Mark Waid, and very nicely drawn by Eduardo Barreto. It is a rather sweet story of Ralph and Sue, and the annual attempt by Sue to stump Ralph on his birthday. First there is the classic disappearance of Sue from a locked room, and the strange appearance of a vintage "Land Baron" board game. The game pieces have mysteriously been replaced with an ice cube, Green Lantern ring, lightning bolt etc. So of course, Ralph calls in his buddies from the Justice League, with Flash, Fire, Guy Gardner, Ice and Rocket Red showing up, panting to be of help. Ralph is really getting into the spirit of things, and they all head off to the Toy Company headquarters. Guy flies them there, courtesy of his power ring, and incidentally displaying a really nice butt shot. *sigh*

Speaking of Guy,he has something of a bone to pick with the Toy company. It seems that when he was eight, he used one of their "General Glory Genuine Imitation Toy Parachutes" to jump off the garage with, and it didn't end well. He even offers to show Fire his scar. Heh heh.

The heroes are of course immediately attacked by giant Nutcracker-like soldiers, which is always loads of fun. Guy getting into the spirit of things blows one into smithereens. Ralph would have preferred to get some clues, so Dmitri just knocks one over, with Flash grabbing Ralph and Fire out of the way. Immediately, the shako pops off and out come miniature plastic soldiers...who then proceed to SHOOT FLASH IN THE ASS! A true Bhwahahahha moment indeed. Or as Wally refers to it: "Bratatatatata and a pellet in the butt!" They take care of the soldiers and proceed inside and have a confab with the curator, who is thrilled by their original game, and shines an ultraviolet light on it, so that it can be authenticated. However, instead, a ransom demand shows up on the game board, demanding ten million dollars...your money or your wife! Ralph is a bit stumped, since he doesn't have access to Sue's money

So off they all go to the promenade, and more of the places that are mentioned on the game board. It also gives the artist a chance to throw in some gratuitous...but frankly nice cheese and beefcake. Wally can't understand how Ralph can possibly be enjoying all of the chasing after clues...after all, his wife is missing. Ralph explains that it is all in good fun, and that Sue plans this sort of thing for his birthday all of the time. Wally points out that as a matter of fact, it ISN'T Ralph's birthday, and for the first time, Ralph starts to panic.

They are running along the beach, when what should appear but a giant "toy" boat and some blow-up swim toys. Also the "Land Baron" himself, who turns out to be Sue's nefarious cousin, Augustus Flaubert Dearbon! Truely a name to be reckoned with. He's a bit cranky since Sue inherited the family fortune instead of him, and now he wants it back. Of course they all attack, and of course they are all made fools of, with Guy getting doused by one of the swim toy dragons, Fire getting burned, and all of them getting gassed.

Ralph wakes up in a jail cell, with plexiglass panels beyond the bars, which he discovers as he clonks his head against it. He realizes that they are all imprisoned on the jail from the board game, and slips his hand through the plumbing in order to grab the cell key and free himself. He then frees everybody and they all agree that this has to be a part of the elaborate game they are playing, since any one of them could have gotten free with little or no effort. Off they go to the final spot on the game board, the Moneypenny Hotel...which incidentally is where they started from. A trolley goes by,and they all jump on it, apparently in keeping with the game still, and of course run into dear old Augustus, who is gloating at the trolley terminal. Mass mayhem ensues and there are a lot of explosions and destruction, with Ice of all people squirting a can of oil on a runaway trolley and causing it to derail.

Ralph bursts into the office and tries to grab Dearbon, who...disappears! Just like Sue! But Ralph after spouting a little Holmsian wisdom, reaches out and grabs him...and it turns out that Dearbon is none other than...J'onn J'ones! Conspicuous by his absence, J'onn has been impersonating Sue, the curator at the headquarters and Dearbon all along! But where then is Sue? Why she's actually right there, wearing a white wig and Ice's costume! Everyone is happy and there it ends.

Or does it? It turns out that the entire Justice League was in on the gag, Sue had spent weeks planning it, and trying to keep Guy from spilling the beans, and she's so proud of herself for having stumped Ralph for so long. Except...it turns out that he basically figured it out within minutes of her disappearing and just played along because he enjoyed it, and he didn't want to hurt her feelings. And that is one of the reasons that I miss Sue and Ralph. They were just so darned cute together.

The other stories consist of solo outings, with Ted Kord/Blue Beetle trying to lose weight, and not being able to do it until he makes a contest out of it, by trying to beat Power Girl. It is silly and fluffy, but a lot of fun, since of course Booster shows up as well.

Then there is a rather peculiar story about Power Girl, and how she discovers her software company is being run by her "cousin" Gina, and she's feeling left out and useless, and destroys a lot of property, and it turns out that "cousin" Gina is actually an other dimensional magical Imp named Ghy. What the heck?

And finally, there is a story about the Global Guardians with this kind of feral bird girl, and Bialyah and a bunch of other stuff. Again on the weird side. But the Justice League story is so much fun that you don't care.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Presents! I Got Presents!

Well, I hope that everybody had a lovely Christmas.

My very own sweet Baboo got me the new Kilowog figure, and as an added bonus, a Kyle Rayner. Now they can all play with my Guy Gardner with the bowl haircut. The Kilowog figure is fantastic! And...heavy!

Oh, and I got some other nice things too. But man, I loves me some Kilowog. I guess now I can start lusting after the Salakk figure.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Finally: A Christmas Post

Seriously, it's Christmas, and I HAVE to go with a Christmasy issue of Warriors. Besides...it's rather sweet.

It is Christmas Eve, and just about anybody who is anybody is at Warriors. Why look down in the corner! That HAS to be Beau Smith and his illustrious cohorts! Joey is hitting on Katana, Buck is hitting on Black Canary, Clark is kissing Lois, and John Constantine is spiking the eggnog.

Meanwhile, Guy is brooding upstairs. He's been through quite a bit lately and is feeling a little...lonely. Rita and Buck come up and tell him to get his keister downstairs, which he does eventually.

Then Martika, the fabulous femme fatale introduced previously, shows up, and is immediately snatched up by none other than Dementor, the perverse and really really skeevy main villain. Any other woman would be toast, but Martika can control men's minds, and calmly tells Dementor to go and sit on the bottom of the Hudson River and wait for her. Martika is undoubtedly a villainess, but I like her because she does things with so much STYLE! She makes her grand entrance and within seconds is busy snogging Guy...or as one of the guests points out...the Vuldarian lip-lock. Haw! Veronna is pretty peeved that Martika is moving in on her great Warrior King, although Guy certainly doesn't seem to mind in the least.

So...everyone is dancing and having a pretty good time. Bea (Fire) is having a PARTICULARLY good time, having downed a little too much eggnog. I love how some of the other women are being catty about it...especially Peej. Since she's standing their with half of her bosom hanging out, she really shouldn't be throwing stones, but what the heck. However, Guy and Martika are interrupted, and she has to leave, to go and pursue some more villainy, so Guy goes up to the roof, and stands in the snow feeling sorry for himself. Lo and behold, the Spectre shows upp! No, not Hal Jordan, the one before.

The Spectre has been requested to give Guy a little gift, courtesy of the Phantom Stranger, who had been asked to do this by none other than Buck and Rita, which is rather nice of them. Guy gets a chance finally to see his dead Dad, and square things with him. Guy's Dad actually apologizes and admits that he loves his son, and they both get a bit teary-eyed. *sniff* Guy's Dad has to go, but at least Guy finally got a little bit of closure, which is really all that he wanted. He even shakes the Spectre's hand and thanks him, which for Guy is pretty amazing. It is really a pretty darn nice moment for Guy, who certainly deserves it.

Guy returns to the party downstairs, feeling pretty good about himself for a change, and runs into none other than Lobo. I was all prepared for a huge bar fight at this point, but he just comes by to give Guy his Spaaaaaace cycle, which Guy won in a bet. ( who could wipe out the most Tormocks) For an extra Christmas present, Lobo gives Guy the skull of the Head Tormock, which for Lobo is practically like kissing him on the lips. No Fight, not even a spilled beer!

Then a blast of icy air, and Tora's Mother, Queen Olaf shows up! EVERYBODY is out on Christmas Eve this year! Guy does a little hand-kissing, which is always irrisistable, and shows Queen Olaf, the statue that he has of Ice in the bar. Considering she was pretty ticked off at the rest of the Justice League,she gets along quite well with Guy. She in turn, has a gift for him, a small magic ice sculpture of Tora and Guy. He's just flabbergasted, which is kind of fun.


But what is this? Guy and Bea in the same room, and not trying to kill each other? Frankly I've always had my suspicions about Bea and how much she hated Guy. She sure did seem to think about him a lot, and I suspect that it may have been a case of the lady protesting too much. But anyway...!


Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Potential Fountain of Youth for Comic Characters

I will admit it, Math was NOT my best subject. I was a History major for heaven's sake. My fantasy was to stand around wearing a corderoy blazer with leather patches on the elbows, and discussing the amazing fact that Geoffrey Chaucer was the brother-in-law of John of Gaunt. However, I did always like Science, especially Astronomy, Geology and of course, Paleontology. Watched Bill Nye the Science Guy with the kids, and was actually in the middle of the third episode of "Cosmos" while at the Hospital and GIVING BIRTH! I had a serious crush on Carl Sagan.

And it occurs to me, that in "Cosmos", it is stated that when you begin to approach the Speed of Light, strange things begin to happen, time-wise. Known as Time Dilation, as you approach the SoL, time slows down for you. If you left earth, and travelled at the Speed of Light, or even close to it, you would remain the same age, while everthing back on earth would have aged much faster. Or something.

So could DC and Marvel use this handy little conundrum to explain why characters don't age in relation to everyone else? It's great for the Green Lantern Corps of course, they are bopping around Spaaaaaace all of the time. All that high speed travel helps keep them young and peppy. Probably works for Superman too. I understand that there is a line of reasoning that the various Flashes age faster due to their enhanced metabolisms, but wouldn't the Time-Dilation theory work for them as well? Running at such super-speed would help slow their aging as well.

It could also work for just about any other character in the various universes. Spider-Man and Batman may not be cosmic heroes, but they do seem to get pulled into just about every inter-galactic brouhaha that seems to pop up, so maybe they get some benefit out of it.

Is this a workable theory, or are there any REAL science majors out there, who can blow a hole in this whole idea? I like it, mainly because that means that the Green Lanterns will be flaunting their taut, well-muscled buttocks throughout the universe for a very very long time.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What Goodies Await?

I have of course, a Christmas entry planned, but I need my resident teenaged computer whiz to do the pictures for me, and she's in school at the moment, and I'm bored. So you'll just have to wait another day or so...which makes it closer to Christmas anyway.

But another Wednesday is almost upon us, and there are actually some decent books coming out, which is always nice. I've barely gotten over the fervor of reading GLC #7, so I'm still riding that high.

52....number whatever, it is always there, and while some weeks may be more exciting than others, I still love it. And it you aren't reading "The Diary of Ralph Dibney" blog, you should...it is HYSTERICAL!

Birds of Prey...Ragnell and Kalinara got me interested in this book, and I should have picked it up a long time ago, it is excellent.

Checkmate...I like it because it has Alan Scott and Bea in it. Also Amanda Waller is awesome.

Fables...One of the best books ever. And consistently fabulous.

Ion...Didn't this just come out? This is great! How can anybody not like Kyle? And his amazing buttocks.

Lone Ranger #3...Finally! Sheesh! But still pretty good.

Punisher... I just like Garth Ennis, he's sick and twisted and a riot.

She Hulk...Always fun.

Sinister Six... I like Deadshot and Catman ok?

Ultimate Spider-man...I don't like the regular books, because they have gotten so incredibly convoluted, and I hate...HATE Civil War. But the Ultimate Spidey is fun and he's a teenager again, and there is angst and soap opera and amazing art, and it's consistant and comes out regularly.

New Avengers...I've been reading this, but getting more and more dissapointed with it. Anything with Civil War makes me cringe. And I used to be a pretty hardcore Marvel Zombie.

Ms. Marvel...Forget it. They took a character I was always rather fond of, and completely ruined her for me. She beat up a mother in front of her daughter, and felt good about it. Did I say how much Civil War sucks? I think that there are some more Civil War books coming out too, but who cares?

Gee, I started out with such enthusiasm, and then ended up all cranky. I think I'll go and read Warrior...that ALWAYS cheers me up.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Green Lantern Corps #7: a Review

Guy pictures
Now THIS is one hell of a book! First off, that is an AMAZING cover, by Mr. Gleason, and colored by the ineffable Moose Baumann. The use of white can sometimes be tricky, but they have certainly pulled it off here. The pristene snow contrasts so nicely with all the blood, the bug...worm thingie...critter is suitably awful, and I love how the snow is covering Guy's eyes...it's so creepy!

Moving right along, the art grabs you by the throat and never lets go. We start with a slow pan away from what a black spot on red, back and back to the forehead of a Dominator, complete with his very...large...teeth. They've found something, and it can be pretty nasty, so of course they are delighted.

Next, we go to a tiny spot of white on a green background, and do the same cinematic pull-back, and it is a snowflake on the Lantern emblem on Guy's jacket...again, remarkably effective.

Guy and a fairly new recruit named R'amey Holl have been sent by the Guardians to the ice planet of Corona Seven. R'amey is from the planet Papilliox, which is appropriate since she has these cool butterfly wings. Guy's coasting along on his back, arms behind his head, which I love because it is SUCH a Guy thing and babbling away...mainly to himself, since she is not paying any attention at all. They've been sent to find someone named Von Daggle and deliver a message. Guy starts to give
R'amey the old Gardner pep talk about how to be a REAL Lantern, when she grabs him and points out that although she may be fairly new to the Corps, on her planet she was a veteran cop, and therefore, no novice. She then flies off to where they spotted some smoke, leaving Guy floating and grinning to himself.
"Heh. I think my nipples just got hard."

Haw! I'm not sure exactly why, but this just cracks me up. Especially with the evil grin on his face.

Anyhoo, they fly down below the surface, and split up to look for Von Daggle, and within a minute or two, their quarry has already taken out R'amey. Von Daggle is a Durlan, with shape-shifting powers. He tells Guy that he's not interested in anything that the Guardians have to say. Guy stays fairly calm through this exchange, essentially saying that if Von Daggle has a beef with the Guardians, it's no skin off HIS nose, but that taking out the messenger (R'amey) is indeed a problem. He tells him that he has three seconds to back off, counting down from Three...Two...POW!...One. Double Haw!

Von Daggle shape-shifts into a monster, but Guy isn't intimidated, when suddenly he changes into what appears to be a virus or bacteria which Guy inhales...chokes...and keels over. Von Daggle then turns into the worm thingie from the cover and comes out Guy's ear. Eeeeuuuuwwwww!

Now we flash back to the Dominators and how they are going to be using Khunds as their guinea pigs in adapting their weapon. It's pretty gross, but well done.

Sooooo...back to Guy, who wakes up back out in the snow, tied up with R'amey next to him, half buried in a drift. No rings, and they are just about half-frozen to death. She's not used to the cold and is having a lot of trouble, so Guy decides it is tough love time and gives a remarkable and inspirational speech. Mainly that being a Lantern is tough and hard, and if she couldn't hack it, she should have stayed back on butterfly world. He even gives her a good smek...but unlike Hal and Arisia, there isn't anything sexual about it, he's trying to wake her up. Suddenly her wings flare out, and she manages to pick him up and fly the two of them back to the vent where it is warmer. The look on Guy's face is just priceless, he's grinning ear-to-ear and yelling "THAT'S what I'm talking' about!" and acknowledging that he couldn't have done it without her.

They make it into the vent, and unfortunately crash land. Guy decides that whoever said any landing you can walk away from is a good one deserves to be kicked in the ass. He leaves R'amey to recover and goes looking for Von Daggle, whom he whacks on the back of the head, although he gives him plenty of warning, because that's how he rolls. Heh.

Unfortunately, he REALLY just clocked poor R'amey, who had been dressed up to look like Von Daggle. Von Daggle had taken her place out in the snow with Guy, to see if he had what it takes. He and Guy do a little macho posturing and then he gives Guy their rings back so that Guy can see the message that the Guardians had sent.

Here's where it really starts to get good. The image of a female Guardian appears:
"Von Daggle. For years, you and your men secretely worked in the shadows
of the universe. You served Oa loyally without fear or hesitation, no
matter how dark the task. The Corps has been rebordn. Once more you
are called back into service. The Dominators have taken possession of
an ancient artifact. Their minds are too small to understand the true
nature of its power. They see only a weapon. In fact, it shall prove
to be the end of their world. Billions of lives will be lost. The
Dominators serve a valuable role in this universe. They must be saved,
even from themselves. I give you these two corpsmen, Guy Gardner of
Earth, and R'amey Holl of Papilliox to aid you. They are the first
recruits supplied to rebuild your division. Go to the Dominion home
world and take possession of the artifact. Von Daggle, much time has
passed. You may no longer be willing to shoulder your responsibilities,
to fulfill the OATH you once took. Of this, I can only say; help us
again, and we will help YOU. We know where SHE is. Failure is not and

Whoa! A little intimidation, a little blackmail, a little volunteering two totally unaware corpsmen...Guardians don't mess around! There's total silence after Guy and R'amey see the message, with a really beautiful shot of Guy, all dark shadowing and a remarkably grim expression on his face.

He and R'amey then go and find Von Daggle who has apparently decided to go along with the Guardians "request". Basically he really has no other choice. They have to go in under deep cover so they have to ditch the uniforms and rings, instead they can swallow these little green disks, which work like the rings, but from the
inside, with about 5 days worth of a charge. Poor Guy is still looking for some answers, and who can blame him. Von Daggle cuts him short, and says that they've just been inducted into the "coldest, hardest, MEANEST division of the Green Lantern Corps". They do the jobs too dirty for the rest of the Lanterns. In a clever twist, it is a repitition of the speech that Guy thought he was giving to R'amey when they were stuck in the blizzard.

Von Daggle welcomes them to the "Corpse", and there is the cliff-hanger. Gah!
I want more, and I want it now! Danger, adventure, skullduggery...this is a fabulous story. Mr. Champagne GETS Guy Gardner, and I love his portrayal. I can hardly wait to see how this all plays out.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Emerald Fallout: the Conclusion

At the end of issue 20, Hal as Parallax had just shown up in a humdinger of a cliffhanger. And to open issue #21, we have the following splash page:

Guy pictures

Hoohah! That's what I call getting a story off to a real bang. Hal/Parallax then proceeds to go down and manhandle poor Arisia for a while before he slaps Alan Scott around. He drags them off to join the rest of the JLA, and is busy justifying his actions to himself.

The amazing thing about this book, is that just about EVERY SINGLE PAGE is a magnificent splash page. Ordinarily this wouldn't be my favorite way to tell a story, but for this particular tale, it works, and works well.

As Hal is communing with himself, who but Guy should body-slam him from behind, because impaling somebody can sometimes not be enough. Guy is prettty pissed off by now, and makes his displeasure known to Hal/Parallax quite graphically. There is a charming bit of dialogue where Guy points out that Hal was always tring to be the Boy Scout, and doing right, and therefore was always in danger of going postal and ending up with ulcers. He then points out that, "Well, Hal ol' buddy...Guy Gardner ain't got no ulcers!"

For some reason, Hal is more upset by Guy's insults than by getting clocked. The scary thing is, that Hal is quite honestly convinced that what he is doing is completely justified, and everything would be ok, if people would just stop trying to stop him. He's really sorry that he has to kill them, but it is their own fault.

Guy of course isn't buying this, and calls him a murdering psycho, so Hal/Parallax loses his temper and ABSORBS the yellow ring that Guy stole from Sinestro's corpse way back when. Hal HAS to take his power, he wants Guy to warn everyone, and tell them that he doesn't want to harm anyone, as long as he gets his own way. Then he'll make everything right again. He then strips the armor off of Guy and sends him back to earth, where he ends up in yet another coma. Guy must hold the record in the DCU for the number of comas.

Short, sweet and very very nasty. Mitch Byrd's art is great, and Beau's writing is just right. You feel that Hal really is completely nuts, and yet I have a bit of sympathy for him, he really can't understand why everybody is mad at him. Yeah, he killed a few people, but they MADE him do it. Guy of course is just outraged. Being Guy, the fact that Hal/Parallax could rip him into tiny pieces with a thought doesn't even slow him down. If you are being a twit, Guy will tell you so.

Thank goodness for the yellow space bug.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Emerald Fallout

There seems to be a fair amount of "If Beau Smith were writing this, it would be good" feelings lately, so I thought that I would go back to the beginning as it were, and discuss Emerald Fallout, which took place in Guy Gardner:Warrior, numbers 18-21. Issues 18 and 19 were actually written by Chuck Dixon I believe, and were setup, Guy still has the yellow ring he stole from Sinestro, but it is going haywire, and isn't being reliable, so Guy goes to Beetle, and persuades him to lend him one of Booster's old armor prototypes. Seems to work ok, so Guy goes off to find Ice and see if they can still get along, when who should show up by Militia, Guy's whacky older brother. Guy also gets to find out why Mace/Militia is so mad at him, turns out that Mace is jealous that Guy got to be the hero. Sheesh! Guy is pretty much getting the crap kicked out of him, when KAFLOOOWY, the ring comes back on, and Mace gets his...with interest.

Then all of a sudden out the blue, Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern appears, and he's in a big honkin' hurry. And so, we come to issue #20, written by Beau Smith, and drawn by Mitch Byrd.

Wow! Captain Atom is being crushed, Martian Manhunter is on fire, and Wonder Woman is being pounded, while the Ray is being swallowed, and Guy, well Guy is thinking that things could probably have gone better. So, flashback time, and Guy and Alan are discussing what is going on with the destruction of Coast City and with Hal going nuts. Guy is actually a little confused, since he's actually been out in space getting cloned by the Draal, it was really his double who was in on all of this, and Alan has to spend some time getting Guy up to speed on what has been happening. Needless to say, Guy isn't happy about it. Then one of the Darkstars named Colos shows up, and all three of them start a "Quien es mas Macho" contest.
Heh heh. However, Guy believes that the answers lie on Oa, and Alan actually agrees with him. But Guy and Colos have a little more male posturing to display before Wonder Woman shows up, and miracle of miracles, she agrees with Guy about the need to go to Oa, and to follow Guy's lead, since he knows the most about Oa. They bring in the Ray (who's being something of a little smartass) and Arisia tries to come along for the ride too.

Guy is telling them all that it won't be any sort of picnic, and if they aren't completely committed, then to back out now. He's being his usual charming self of course, which doesn't go over well, but he does have a point. The others all agree to go with Guy, although most of them are pretty disgruntled about it. As they turn to leave, Guy is left standing there, and he calls out to Wonder Woman as she too is turning to leave, and starts to stammer out...that he's grateful to her for standing up for him. He doesn't actually get the words out, but she realizes what he's trying to say, and pats him on the shoulder, and tells him he's welcome and to call her Diana. I've always loved this little bit of characterization, Diana was really the only one of the "Big Three" to ever even try to understand Guy. She asked for his advice, she didn't hurl curt orders or threats at him, and she even stood up for him when he was right...something that Batman and Superman could never handle.

Well, they are just about ready to fly off to Oa, in a rather cool yellow ship construct created by Guy's ring, when Arisia shows up, locked, loaded and ready for BEAR! So she gets to go along. There is a final poignant moment, when Tora comes out, and wants to go along too. They seem to have worked out their differences, but I think the relationship is still a little fragile. He doesn't want her to go, because he doesn't want anything to happen to her, and he's not too sure that he's going to make it back in one piece anyway. I actually think that this is the last time that they see each other, the ship leaves, and Tora is standing there crying tears that turn to ice. Very nice.

So...they are almost to Oa, when they come across a bunch of bodies floating in space, and none other than a former Green Lantern known only as Probert, the Bad One. This name just makes me giggle, I don't know why. Considering all the macho posturing that Guy and Colos went through, Probert and Guy seem to hit it off right from the start. Probert lets them know, that the carnage is the result of Hal's going Parallax, and that things are about to really hit the fan. They land on Oa, and it is reduced to ash and rubble. Guy is wandering about a bit, and sees Kilowog's skull...from when Hal Jordan killed him. Guy had had a weird vision of what was going on a while back, but didn't know that it was real. There is a lovely shot by Mitch Byrd of Guy kneeling in the dust and holding Kilowog's skull. He's not quite in tears, but damned close to it. The others come up and everyone is pretty broken up, especially Arisia.

They don't have too much time to mourn however, because they are all attacked, and it isn't going well for anybody. Their attacker seems to know just how to defeat them too, which is ominous. The only ones not completely rendered useless are Arisia, Alan and Guy, when who should appear...but Parallax! Woo, cliffhanger!

To be continued...!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Review: Ion #8

Ok, it's time for a little bit of Kyle love. I have been posting way too much about Hal and Guy lately. First off, I rather liked the cover, a nice homage to John Carter of Mars vibe to it. And alien princesses are ALWAYS fun.

We open with a bunch of Monitors standing around discussing Kyle's fate. Geez, what's to discuss? How can anyone dislike KYLE? He's just the cutest little studmuffin around. That, and he just works so hard at being reponsible and good. He has returned to the planet Alytt, to clear up that little misunderstanding that Nero caused when he was busy blowing up the place, disguised as Ion.

Kyle meets up with the luscious Ariana, daughter of King Mallias, who rules the kingdom of Agaron, and is at war with the kingdom of Hiddai. Ariana is supposed to battle the Hidai champion in some sort of gladiatorial contest, and of course, Kyle jumps right up and volunteers to take over for her. Always a sucker for a pretty face. Of course there is this one little caveat...no use of Ion powers. Oops.

Of course the Hidei show up, and are properly hideous and alien-looking. The Viceroy (EEEEEVIL Viceroy) slobbers in proper evil fashion over Ariana, so OF COURSE
Kyle pipes up:
"Hey, BUG EYES, how 'bout you keep your hands...pincers, claws, whatever...to YOURSELF?"

Oh Kyle.

The eeeevil Viceroy is properly amused and scornful, and gives Kyle a good whack, just to get things going. Kyle wakes up in the middle of the Gladiatorial ring, holding his head and moaning about how he hasn't felt like this since he went on that cruise with Wally and Connor, and...! Oh, how I wanted him to finish that thought! He is then informed that it is a battle to the death, and any shenanigans from him and the princess gets it! Kyle isn't impressed and makes mock of the weird little guy with the giant axe, when it finally dawns on him, that the little guy ISN'T his opponent. Oops again.

Now I've got to admit that I was impressed. Kyle is a sweet boy, but fighting in an arena without using his powers is pretty tough, considering that he's not really much of a hand-to-hand brawler type. John has done some boxing, Guy did a whole lot of brawling as Warrior, and heck, Hal punches people all of the time, but Kyle is a bit more of a finesse type. Nevertheless, there is some nice soliloquizing:

"Not use my powers? Sure, that sounds like a great idea, now that you mention it. I'm TOTALLY down with that. I can't believe I didn't think of it before. While we're at it, let's find me a ten-foot tall freakin' monster to fight...and make sure he has a battle axe roughly the size of IDAHO! How do I get myself into this kind of stuff? Could it have something to do with the gorgeous half-naked alien princess? You know, THAT might be it." Heh heh.

With that as his motivation, lo and behold, young Kyle does pretty darn good! Defeats the giant alien and everything. Then he's told that the fight was to the death, but naturally Kyle refuses...I mean, he IS a hero after all. So the Viceroy gets all pissy and is ready to slice the princesses pretty head off, but of course Kyle takes care of THAT! He's not IN the actual arena any more, so he can pretty much do as he likes. With fairly bad grace the bad guys give in, and Kyle says...Peachy! No, really! I am in heaven.

Back to Ariana's daddy, who is delighted, and thanks Kyle and then tells him that Ariana would like to..."thank" him too. And boy howdy, does she. Kyle is properly bemused, as she IS gorgeous and naked, and all her parts look pretty compatible...I can only assume that based on his past track record, he's a bit reluctanct to give her the kiss of death. However, he manages to get past THAT, when who should show up at the most embarrassing moment...but the inimitable Mr. Gardner...smirking and asking if he's interrupting anything. Heh. A couple of lewd remarks later, and Guy belatedly realizes that he's there to give some bad news to Kyle, not ogle naked alien princesses.

It's Kyle's Mom. And it's not good.

There's also a final scene of the Guardians trying to extract some information from Nero, and they are being pretty hardcore about it. Is it me, or have the Guardians gotten a lot crankier in their latest incarnation? There's even a little subplot left dangling from Infinite Crises, which I am sure doesn't bode well.

All in all a fun book. I like Kyle's new uniform, but I can't help but think that a loin cloth would have been more appropriate...and fun. And oddly enough, there were hardly any butt shots. But still...a worthwhile read.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Too Charming for his own Good

Hal Jordan is an interesting character. He's a dashing, handsome and charming test pilot, a devil with the ladies, a hero and Green Lantern. He's been in the Justice League, and saved the world too many times to count. For somebody without a lot of formal education or a priviledged background, he's managed to do pretty well for himself. In fact, he's managed to attain a great deal of success without having to work very hard for it, and therein lies the problem.

Success has always come fairly easily for Hal, and therefore he doesn't appreciate it very much. The one thing that strikes me about Hal, is that he ALWAYS seems to want what he doesn't have. Once he attains his goal, he no longer values it, he wants the NEXT thing. He wants Carol Ferris desperately, but she's a bit on the skittish side, she IS his boss after all, and later becomes Star Sapphire, which is another whole kettle of fish, but after a LOT of angst, Hal decides that he'll put aside being a Green Lantern, so that HE CAN BE WITH THE WOMAN HE LOVES! And he does. Oh BOY does he.

Now, after literally tossing the ring back in the Guardians faces, Hal has gotten what he wants, which is Carol. Immediately, he starts to waffle. It just isn't as GOOD as he thought that it was going to be. Then the Guardians go and make John Stewart Hal's replacement, and he's just out of his mind with jealousy, EVEN THOUGH, he had told the Guardians and I quote:
"I have a RIGHT to live for myself...after so many years of living for everyone BUT myself! I've served you WELL, Guardians! On you behalf I've battled the vilest scum this universe has to offer...and I think I've earned my REST!"

"And what would you have us do with your power ring?"

"Frankly, I don't give a damn! There are thousands of inhabited worlds in my space sector...countless worthy beings...give this ring to one of them! I really don't care WHO you give it to...just so long as it isn't MINE anymore!"

Well! That's pretty emphatic. So WHY does he go into an absolute hissy fit when he realizes that John has been given the ring? I won't even go into the full-bore fit of hysteria he pulls when the Guardians wake up Guy Gardner and give HIM a ring. Hal almost swallows his tongue in outrage. See, when he WAS a Lantern, apparently he didn't value it the way that he should have. Now that he isn't one any longer, it has suddenly become the most important thing in the world to him again. Granted, Carol has become Star Sapphire again, but hey, they could probably have worked it out.

The thing with Hal is, this is not a one-time abberation, he does this ALL the time. Carol is married now, to somebody else, and he's suddently realized that he should never have let her go! Moosepoop, he only wants he again, because she's unavailable. Which makes me wonder if he is going to go after Arisia now that she is back, healthy and no longer jailbait.

So, how does he keep getting away with stuff like this? I can only assume that Hal Jordan has been blessed (or cursed) with a fatal charm, the ability to talk anybody into just about anything, treat his friends and family like dirt, and keep them coming back for more. When he decided to quit being a Lantern, he basically told all his GL buddies to go and screw themselves. Did they hold it against him? Well, Katma did for a little bit, but not for long. He burned his bridges pretty thoroughly with the Guardians, but in the end, they welcomed him back. He treats Guy like crap, and yet only has to say the word, and Guy will follow him to the end of the universe and back. Same thing with John. I don't know if Kyle has succumbed to Hal's siren song yet, but I imagine that it is only a matter of time. He went nuts, was possessed by Parallax, tried to destroy the universe, saved the universe, died, came back, and now he's right back in the League.

Granted he has his problems, but I imagine that as usual, somehow, Hal will come out of his latest tribulations, once again smelling like a rose. And I suppose that I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

"Judgment Day" or Hal Jordan is a whiner

So enough of the Guy Gardner lovefest, it is time to move onto Hal Jordan. I managed to pick up #175 of Green Lantern, Vol II, called "Judgment Day", by Len Wein and Dave Gibbons, and it is a hoot...although I don't think that is the reaction that the author was looking for.

We open, with Hal meandering through space, basically playing pool with some stray asteroids and moaning about his "exile" from earth, and how hard it is. He finally shows up on Oa, and everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY is showing him the love. Heck, Arisia practically strangles him, even Katma Tui is slobbering over him a bit. Salakk, bless his crankiness, is the only one not gushing, but hey, that's just Salakk being Salakk. It seems that Hal has been complaining about having to be in spaaaaaaace, and not on earth, and the Guardians have heard about it, so they call him into a big conference, so that he can present his case.

The Guardians don't quite understand why he's being such a baby about going back to earth. It is a whole sector after all, and presumably, earth isn't the only planet in it. However, Hal just starts moaning about how lonely he is, and how keeping him away from earth is cruel and unusual punishment...especially since he can't see the woman he LOVES!!! Oh the humanity.

Salakk makes a rather snide comment on how Hal is more interested in earth than in being a Green Lantern, so Hal stomps his little foot and basically says that Salakk is a cold-hearted bitch. Then he turns back to the Guardians and says that he needs his friends, and he's really a GOOD Green Lantern,and buddy, they owe him big.

So, sensibly, the Guardians ask if he wants to resign. Hal comes up with a very moving speech, as follows:
"Once I very well might have, Masters...but no longer! I am a GREEN LANTERN! It's what drives me...and I intend to remain one until I die! But I am...also a MAN...that's what defines me...and a man has NEEDS!" You see Hal has been in exile from earth for a whole year...without poontang! Dammit a man has needs! The Guardians say that they'll ponder his request, and Hal instead of keeping his big fat yap shut, immediately jumps up and starts sassing them, which really isn't the brightest thing for him to do. Instead of incinerating him on the spot however, the Guardians wuss out, and grant his petition to return to earth. Hal of course says, great, thanks, you won't be sorry. And all the other Lanterns...with the exception of Salakk...rejoice.

Hal slaps all his good buddies on the back, although by now Arisia has just figured out that this means that Hal is leaving. Hey, she IS just a kid at this point. Hal even chucks her under the chin and calls her "little sister". Eeeuuwww. He even calls her "perky". Gah! And flies off to earth. Woohoo!

Gosh, everything is just coming up roses for good ol' Hal, until he arrives at the airfield where Carol Ferris is waiting, swoops right in and...finds her kissing another man! AWK-ward!

"A...another guy? Well, what did I expect? I've been gone for a year! A lot of things can change in a year. Did I really think she'd wait for me forever?" ponders Hal. Then he gets cranky, and screams out "Yes, dammit! YES!" and takes off in the mother of all snits. ( Gee Hal, now you know how Guy felt when he saw you snogging Kari Limbo, about a minute and a half after you met her...to tell her that Guy was dead)

Mr. Pouty-pants flies around for a whileand spots a couple of police cars outside a shoe store, where some young punks have taken the customers hostage. I'm not quite sure how much money a tiny mainstreet shoe store would have, but these aren't the brightest thieves in the world. Hal flies down to show them what's for, and even starts calling them "punks". Wow! If Ollie were there, he'd probably be handing the cash register over to them, because they were obviously underpriviledged, but Hal just dares them to shoot him and the hostages...so of course they do, but Hal being Hal, just humiliates and beats the crap out of them. In a lovely visual, he has the lead punk in a ring-generated mouse trap, that looks as though it is crushing his chest. When the cops come in and thank him, he sobs that they shouldn't get used to him saving them...he may not be around much longer.

Although happy that he caught the bad guys, Hal flies off to Ferris and starts packing his bags...which were probably full of year-old laundry. And who should burst in, but the lovely Carol. Hal is in a snit still though and is acting all sniffy and hurt, which of course confuses the heck out of Ms. Ferris. She asks him what the problem is, and Hal says Oh, YOU know, just like a bratty 13 year old girl. He does finally bring up the whole kissing the other guy thing, and of course Carol has to laugh and laugh, because it was all just so innocent, so she and Hal make up and everything is just ducky.

So...Hal is gone for a whole year, but still expects Carol to be waiting for him, probably with slippers and a hot dinner waiting, and has a serious hissy fit, when things don't quite meet his expectations. He expects...and receives...complete love and devotion from all his buddies in the Corps. He expects the Guardians to roll over and give him what he wants...and they do. No WONDER he goes to pieces whenever things don't quite work out.