Tag Archives: Guy Gardner

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Green Lantern Has Found its Guy Gardner

Guy Gardner

The upcoming Green Lantern HBO Max series will bring the Green Lantern Corps to televisions and its first cast member has been announced.

Finn Wittrock has been cast as Guy Garder. The polarizing character is very much the “80s male” and described as the “embodiment of 1980s hyper-patriotism” in the announcement.

The character has generally been the hyper macho hot-head character though he has his heroic moments. Gardner was Abin Sur’s second choice for the ring.

The Green Lantern Corps television series has promised to cover a wide group of Lanterns including Alan Scott, Simon Baz, Jessica Cruz, Kilowog, and more. There will be comic favorites and never-before-seen heroes.

The story spans decades beginning on Earth in 1941 with secretly gay FBI agent Alan Scott. The series makes a stop in 1984 with Guy Gardner and half-alien Bree Harta. The series is one of numerous projects expanding on the DC Cinematic Universe and bringing it to television. They’re part of DC and Warner Bros.‘s plans to deliver its multiverse to movies and television.

Green Lantern Gets a Greenlight at HBO Max

Green Lantern Corps

It’s a bright night for Green Lantern as HBO Max has given the series an order Variety is reporting. That’s not surprising. The big news is who the show will be focused on as the cast of characters and those that wear the Green Lantern ring is varied and large.

The show will feature numerous Lanterns including Guy Gardner, Jessica Cruz, Simon Baz, and Alan Scott — Earth’s first Green Lantern, and many more. That’s a diverse cast as it features a white man, woman, Muslim man, and Gay man as the focus. The series will also feature other Lanterns like Kilowag and introduce new Lanterns to the Corps.

The series will feature 10 one-hour episodes. It will be co-written and executive produced by Seth Grahame-Smith and Marc Guggenheim, with Grahame-Smith serving as showrunner.

HBO Max is going heavy on DC properties. It not only has inherited the shows from the “defunct” DC Universe app but also has series spinning out of The Batman and The Suicide Squad in the works. Coming from DC Universe is Doom Patrol, Harley Quinn, and Titans. There’s also Strange Adventures and Justice League Dark somewhere in development.

Review: Justice League 3001 #3

jl3001-003There is some controversy brewing with this title.  It acts as little more than a rehash of Keith Giffen’s heyday on the Justice League in the 1980s and 1990s, but it is said as well that the treatment of the re-imagined male heroes now in female bodies (the Flash and Guy Gardner, though particularly Guy) is offensive to the transgendered community.  While this may be the case, such an approach to this title is perhaps a little off the mark in terms of its overall theme, that is to say, that the presentation of characters is not only offensive to transgendered women, but probably to most people overall.

Conversely thus far the story has followed a pretty decent concept as the heroes of the JL 3001 world have had to deal with a strange Starro infested world.  They come to grips with that here as the heroes have to deal with the fallout of their intervention to the Starro planet and it is not what it seems (and in fact probably could have been a pretty engaging story under different circumstances.)  Instead the story once again focuses too much on the multitude of problems associated with this series.  For some reason, Giffen just cannot stay away from Booster and Beetle, and they make a return appearance here alongside Fire and Ice.  To some degree one can see this as the evolution of the old Justice League series, just 25 years down the line after a fairly progressive evolution of comics left it behind.  The problem with this series, especially in respect to the transgendered question is that it is offensive, but not only to transgendered.  The presentation of the female Flash character is sterotypical of what men think of teenage girls, without a thought in their heads beyond having a slumber party.  The males of the series, and particularly Superman, are so devoid of real emotion either that they are also caricatures of themselves, especially as Superman is made into a womanizer.

The underlying concept behind this series is inherently fun, as it gives the creative team a wider scope in which to tell their stories, but it proves that Giffen, while successful in some ways, is also a bit of a one-hit wonder with his collection of Super Buddies.  The story here is even serviceable or better, but it ends up being derailed with too much comic relief, which in turn is based too much on gender stereotypes.  There will undoubtedly be fans of the older Giffen works that look to this one with some fondness, but as modern stories in the medium go, this one is off the mark.

Story: Keith Giffen Art: J.M. DeMatteis
Story: 6.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

The Strangest Members of the Justice League

snapperThe Justice League of America is best defined by its core of main characters.  As opposed to other major superhero teams like the X-Men, Avengers, or Teen Titans, the core seven members of the team are considered as almost sacrosanct.  Without Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter, the League is considered to not be at full power (though Manhunter has been somewhat replaced on this list by Cyborg.)  That being the case, the membership of the League has mostly remained constant over its publication history, but as with every team there are always the odd ones that find their way in.

Snapper Carr – The modern reader of comics might not recognize it immediately at a glance, but the history of comics is the history of trends.  Characters that might seem to represent some diversity in the modern day such as Power Man/Luke Cage or Shang Chi were in fact added to comics as they helped to capitalize respectively on the popularity of blaxpoitation and kung fu films.  One character long before them was Snapper Carr.  Although he existed as a sidekick more than actual superhero, he was nonetheless a vital member on some missions, (such as the first involving Starro).  The character was inspired by the Beatnik generation which was somewhat popular at the time, and for those that might look for a related Marvel character, they would be wasting their time, because the trend of beatnik characters came and went long before Marvel got established.

daleDale Gunn – After the X-Men took over the medium of comics in the 1970s it was determined that the Teen Titans became DC’s best hope to fight against this success.  After the youth oriented book performed well it was decided to give the Justice League a makeover as well, and what resulted was what has become known as Justice League Detroit, a weaker version of the team, but one focused more towards the street.  Out were Batman and Wonder Woman, in were street level characters like Gypsy and Vibe, the latter of which was enough of an attempt to cash in on the breakdancing genre that was actually popular for a while, for those that remember their Electric Boogaloo.  The stranger character though was Dale Gunn, introduced as a ladies-man character that was the custodian/tech expert for the new team, who wore a superpowered suit of armor in his first appearance, but then just faded into the background.  Zatanna and Vixen both fell in love with him almost from the get go, but his impact was never really noticed after a few issues.

maxMaxwell Lord – Whereas the X-Men had Dazzler and the Outsiders had Looker, the Justice League never really managed to capitalize on the big hair and big money 1980s, or at least they wouldn’t have except for the influence of Maxwell Lord.  The character was essentially a Gordon Gecko rip-off, and one whose moral code was also somewhat skewed.  He served as the bank roll for the team, but had delusions of heroism at times, and eventually went bad when he almost had every superhero killed during Infinite Crisis.

Blue Beetle – The Justice League of the post-Legends DC Universe was one very different from what came before.  Legends was kind of an attempt to do the final clean-up on what had happened during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and it resulted in a new Justice League.  Whereas a lot of titles were getting darker at the time, or at least geared more to a mature audience, this team went the opposite route, becoming goofy.  Another trend at the time was that the Justice League becoming a dumping ground for characters who couldn’t hold their own series.  Thus the League assimilated Booster Gold, Blue Beetle and Captain Atom among others, but it really became the Blue Beetle and Booster Gold show, with their not-so-serious antics proving to be the fodder for most issues as opposed to real threats.  The character had been serious before, but never really recovered before being killed off.

drfateZan and Jayna – The so-called Wonder Twins didn’t come from the Justice League exactly, but instead came from the children’s show spin-off, the Super Friends.  It might have seemed likely that the characters might have just retired into obscurity as many others did, but they were actually revived for a time in the 1990s.  As a bit of a running joke before hand they never really caught on, and were used for only a few issues.

Dr. Fate/Guy Gardner – These two are not exactly the strangest characters exactly, except in how they were used.  Once again another influence of the post Legends Justice League, the writer Keith Giffen was a big enough fan of gender swapping some of his characters.  Not as in the usual sense of making a separate character like Supergirl or Batgirl, but in simply finding a way to switch genders.  It was done first with Doctor Fate and recently with Guy Gardner.

Ambush Bug/Super-Chief  – After Infinite Crisis the creators promised to give exposure to pretty much every character that had ever shown up in the pages of DC Comics.  This meant that some strange and obscure characters had to be brought in.  In this case it was a Firestorm led Justice League that contained among its members the Ambush Bug and Super-Chief.  They showed up for a couple of panels and then were never seen of again.

poisonivyPoison Ivy, Lex Luthor and Captain Cold – It turned some heads in the pages of the Waid led JLA when the rotating cast of team members included what was kind of Catwoman for one issue.  People wondered how it was that a thief was allowed membership to the team, even when she didn’t really join.  This was later rendered somewhat moot in the era of rooting for the bad guys in comics.  In the modern day, many series focus on villains, and Lex Luthor, Captain Cold and poison Ivy have worked alongside the Justice League, the latter in the most recent issue of Justice League United.  As villains become the new cool characters, it is not surprising to see some join the ranks of the superheroes.

To read the list of the strangest members of the League is partially a way to read the trends which have defined the medium of comics since the team’s inception.  There have been characters that have been stunts, or put in place to take advantage of what was happening in popular culture.  The team usually goes back to the main seven, but it is interesting to note that they are not always there, and sometimes some odd choices are made.

52 Reviews, Part 3

So, for the fun of it, I’m going to be collecting all 52 DC #1 issues. And I’m going to review them all. Keep in mind, though, that I’m generally a Marvel fan and, while I’m working may way through DC’s recent big events, I’m only up through the middle of Countdown and I haven’t read any of DC’s non-event comics in a long time, so I’m coming at these stories with a bit of a disadvantage in terms of chronology and character knowledge. Since DC is certainly trying to attract new readers, though, this makes me come at them with a perspective similar to their hypothetical new fans…

Batman #1 (DC) – Maybe DC should just stick to stories about Batman or written by Scott Snyder. They seem to do well with those. I’ve liked all of the Batman issues of DCnU and this one is no exception. Greg Capullo does a great job on the pencils on this one. This story gives us a great intro to many of Batman’s enemies, reaches out to Batman’s wider universe of allies, gives a great nod to his past and leaves us with a great mystery at the end. This is a very good comic.

Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9.5

Birds of Prey #1 (DC) – Unlike some of the other creative teams this week, Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz at least try to balance the “hotness” of their female characters with a good story and clothing that is functional. Sure, they’re still models and there is still some titillation, but the costumes are legit for superheroines and the women are well-written characters in a well-written story.

Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

Blue Beetle #1 (DC) – So far, this is DC’s best attempt at diversity. There have been a number of other minority characters in the new comics, but they all seem to be colorblind attempts at diversity, with the black characters not being stereotypical, but also not being distinguishable from white characters beyond the visual elements. In this issue, Jaime Reyes is written as a real human being and his Hispanic heritage is not ignored and he doesn’t descend into a characature, either (although a few of the other characters come dangerously close). There is also a great Spanglish joke that was my favorite moment of the week.

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Captain Atom #1 (DC) – The art is a bit too loose for my tastes and I’m not sure that I like this particular take on Captain Atom, but J.T. Krul does commit to a particular vision of the character and does a good job of being consistent and creating a coherent narrative and personality for Captain Atom and his supporting cast. Definitely worth a continued look.

Story: 7.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 7

Catwoman #1 (DC) – The art by Guillem March is bad enough to sink it (near-Liefeldian body proportion problems mixed with Macfarlane-esque contortions). Tht title of the story is “most of the costumes stay on,” which has to be ironic, since in the three pages before we learn that title, we see five separate panels showing Selina’s bra-covered breasts. The rest of the issue has naked hookers and a throwaway woman who is beaten and killed for no particular reason. The story seems like a man’s revenge fantasy of what a woman would do to a man who had brutalized and killed another woman. Sort of like his heart’s in the right place, but he doesn’t quite understand women. And the concept is undercut by the wall-to-wall TNA and the uncomfortable Batman sex scene. One positive note: through 39 DCnU issues, Catwoman’s contact Lola is the first female character I’m aware of who isn’t skinny. She’s still in skin-tight clothing and is somewhat sexualized, but it’s something

Story: 1 Art: 4 Overall: 2.5

DC Universe Presents #1 (DC) – Another issue where there is a coherent vision for the character and an attempt at creating a style and tone for the series that, while I may not love it, I can appreciate the quality of what is being done. This issue has some interesting things in it, including a possibly unintentional homage to the movie Fallen, with Denzel Washington, that works well.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Green Lantern Corps #1 (DC) – This issue isn’t perfect, but it’s still very entertaining. The Guy Gardner-John Stewart team-up works well. Artist Fernando Pasarin’s strength appears to be the big, epic shots. In a GL story, there are a lot of those and most of them in this issue are breathtaking. Definitely a series to keep reading. So when I said above that DC is really getting it right on Batman, I’d add the Lantern stuff to that, since I think all of the Lantern issues have been well done, too.

Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5

Legion of Super-Heroes #1 (DC) – Not surprisingly for a Legion comic, there are too many characters here to really grab on to any of them. It’s not a bad issue, it’s just not something that is really interesting. Good, but not great.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

Nightwing #1 (DC) – It’s a little confusing at times and the art isn’t my favorite, but it’s very good, if necessarily derivative of Batman comics.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 (DC) – This comic is very sexist. It’s all about objectifying Starfire, her having sex with random people in the perfect male fantasy, and spying on her and posting pics of her in a bikini on the Internet without her knowledge. I think Jason Todd and some kind of plot are in there too.

Story: 1 Art: 7 Overall: 4

Supergirl #1 (DC) – The issue is all action and the action is pretty good. The art isn’t great and I keep getting the feeling that if she turned the wrong way, Supergirl would accidentally be bottomless, that’s how skimpy the bottom of her costume is. Also, it seems like DC is relying too much on the “reveal” of a major character guest appearing in another issue, despite it not really being a surprise most of the time. This is at least the fourth or fifth time that Superman or Batman has shown up on the last page of a comic starring someone else. This one does have a lot of potential, though, so I’ll be back.

Story: 7.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 7

Wonder Woman #1 (DC) – I’ve never cared for Wonder Woman since I’m not a huge mythology fan and I was prepared to really dislike this comic. I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. While this issue has some of the same wardrobe problems and male fantasy takes on what women should be like that other issues this week have, they are minor here compared to other issues and this one is superior because of a very good story. The comic is almost cinematic in its tone and Diana is clearly established as a strong female character, something we can’t say for Catwoman or Starfire.

Story: 9 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.25