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  1. That is fantastic! Just out of curiosity is that page adapted from the Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams Green Arrow/Green Lantern run from the 70’s?

    • I’ve read some of the trades awhile back, and I just couldn’t stomach them. Plus it’s a well known fact that Denny is a tried and true lefty.

  2. Yeah,

    Between Denny O’Neil and the GL editors, they about ruined Hal Jordan and GL in general for close to 40 years. Remember, O’Neil is also one of the “Brain Trust” behind Emerald Twilight and the stagnant 10 years of GL stories that followed that, too!

    One of the few good things I’ve liked from Johns’ writing (I dislike most of his writing because it’s overly self-indulgent in geekisms and violence for shock effect) is minimalizing a bunch of the O’Neil crap and getting back to what made Hal an intriguing character…

    Hal’s a man of action, not a guy who wallows in self-pity and questions everything he does… wondering if he’s doing right.

    He’s supposed to be more like Superman in that he instinctively knows right. The difference is that he’s still an ordinary man. He was chosen for great power because of his character and general decency, not because he’s from some powerful dynasty and the last son of a dead civilization.

    Unlike what some people think, Hal functions fine without the dumb ring. He’s got a nasty haymaker that knocked even Batman on his ass! (Bruce deserved it. He was acting like a total dick at the time…)

    Other than the Neal Adams artwork, I can’t recommend Hard Traveling Heroes.

    It’s so horribly preachy and completely misses the point about GL.

    It shouldn’t be a big surprise that the O’Neil/Adams run led to GL being cancelled. Sure, the comic was in sales decline before their collaboration but their “critically” acclaimed run led to the comic’s cancellation for 4-5 years.

    Then again, I’ve never really liked any of Denny O’Neil’s writing aside from his Batman comics in the 1970s… He’s unfortunately a case where politics and misunderstandings of characters can really suck the fun out of comics.

  3. Politics in comics is not a red zone, but it should be handled delicately and within a character’s character. Not delivered with the subtlety of a kick in the crotch.

  4. That’s the problem, Toren.

    Most comic book writers today just don’t understand that.

    Darwyn Cooke can write a decent story but annoy the hell out of you at the same time when he puts in a little liberal jab where it doesn’t belong.

    You can expect to be annoyed at Judd Winnick because A) he’s a hack and B) he’s part of the Kool-Aid drinking crowd. ‘Nuff said about him.

    In his prime, Stan Lee didn’t get overly political and kept that out of the comics. Of all the guys who have scripted Captain America, I’ve enjoyed his run on the characters’ Tales of Suspense (with Jack Kirby) comics the most. The last Cap writer I consistently liked was Mark Gruenwald. Most of the other guys just can’t leave the politics alone or temper it enough to work within the character. The character IMHO has been unreadable since Mark Waid’s run when they turned Cap into Batman-lite…

    There are writers that like to bug the readers, and there are others who just don’t get why some of us don’t like what they’re writing. They assume everybody is like them!

    It’s a delicate balance that has been lost for some time now…

  5. To me it’s all about character. I don’t think politics shouldn’t be in comics, however, it should not date the story so I think using real politicians is a mistake, I also think it’s bad that so many misinformed, ignorant as hell comics pros think they can throw in their political views and not catch hell for it.

    It’s also really wrong to make it seem that all the heroes vote Democrat or whatever. That’s just plain wrong. And stupid.

  6. I myself have always seen the majority of superheroes as Right wing or Conservative in viewpoint.
    They don’t trust the Governmnet or the Police. They always claim to be about the little man. Things like that.

    Green Arrow is about the most Liberal character I have read.

    Regarding the 10 years of bad GL comics, all I can say is this. no matter what the character was like when he was created, he would still change over time. He would and should retain some core values, but in reality, people change based on experience, age, and education. so some of these would have an affect on that characters overall personality. Hal may be brave, and set up to have a similar outlook as Superman, but Guilt over misdeeds would make anyone question both their motivation and their overall purpose.

    They wouldn’t just disregard their past and go on all business as usual.

    That would get boring. Quick.

    @James. nice 3rd panel bud.

  7. First observation is Hal must not have gotten any racial sensitivity classes from the military or the GL Corps. Obviously their world is like ours so why would he go off on a innocent, relevant question? The race issue is still a ignored issue when dealing with mainstream comics. 99.9% of heros are white characters who where created, drawn and written by white people. That panel was very dismissive. It didn’t answer anything. It didn’t try to attempt to create a believable scenerio on why there’s a lack of black or “minority” presence in their world. Hal came off like any other self righteous, apathetic prick from the U.S.

  8. And what exactly is he supposed to do for a specific race, exactly? There’s nothing self righteous in his answer. He’s saved the world, and that old guy is acting like he hasn’t done anything for him or “his people.”

    A white liberal wrote the original line. The question isn’t innocent, it’s asinine.

  9. First of all if you’re a comic reader you know that heros do more than just “save the world” as a whole. They live specific lives and those lives do not involve any sort of interaction with “minority” issues. If we are to believe their world is like ours, that would be on the top of the list for any humanitarian character such as Superman or the JL.

    What if the black man would have said, “Thats in your own self interest. What about those issues that aren’t? Is equality not that high on super heros list of priorities? You’re presence isn’t seem where I’m from. Etc etc”

    Yea a liberal may have written that bit I’m sure he was a white liberal who still doesn’t get it. Sorta like you right now.

  10. My previous question stands. What do you expect a superhero to do about it? And what do you mean by equality, exactly? Legally, people have equality in this country or the DC universe version. Are you talking about social justice? Because that’s leftist politics.

    FYI: Superhero comics, then especially, were for kids.

  11. First of all you can stop with all the left wing, right wing talk. I hate stupid labels that doesn’t serve any purpose for those who actually believe they fall into two categories. Politics can’t be defined by catchy slogans and or labels. Save that talk for a Rush Limbaugh blog.

    Back to my point. That panel is dated. If it where done today I’m sure the writer would have approached it differently. He would have made the hero more sensitive to an individual’s problem. He would made Hal seem more passionate, sensitive and aware of the race issue. Maybe Hal can’t fix the problem but he could have relayed it to the elder black man in more caring way.

  12. It’s my blog, but you’re right. There is no real left wing/right wing thing. I was merely asking if that was what you meant.

    I used this panel because I read this comic when it came out an the question always struck me as lame. You say he’s acting selfish, seriously, the guy puts his life on the line for other people almost every day. And you say he’s acting out of self interest?

    Then you say he should care about people’s feelings more? The guy risks his life every day to save others. And someone comes up and says what have you done for me lately.

    Yes, I think that old guy is a jerk.

  13. First time seeing this blog. Props to you for creating this discussion.

    I think my words are being lost in translation. Heroes have never been put in a position to have to answer sensitve subjects as such. As I previously stated, these characters where created for and by white people. I think we can all agree that race is probably the last subject writers wanted to touch. Instead of sweeping it under the rug while creating a non-ethnic world, let’s properly address issues like that in comics now. Black Lightning’s mini series posed a similar question to Superman and it was handled well. That pompous attitude Hal had only works when white people are reading it. As a blackman, I can say the majority of blacks who reads that would immediately call bullish on it.

  14. I understand, but my question is why?

    I wrote the dialog in the last panel. The way I see it, super heroes aren’t doing this for any race. The question implies something is owed. But I can tell you most whites don’t like that guilt trip. The simple reason is most whites in the US aren’t even descended from people who were here during slavery. They’re descended from immigrants after that. And even if they were (I am), they aren’t responsible for something that happened 150+ years ago. None of my ancestors owned slaves that I can discover. They were all poor farmers. In fact I have Sioux and Cherokee ancestors, also. It’s also wrong to make people feel they owe something because of some historical injustice where all the participants are long dead. And no individual can magically change society. It takes a lot of people over time to do that.

    Yeah, race is not the issue for comics. They’re supposed to be fun, not that you would know that anymore.

    Dennis O’Neal wrote the original story. It famously ends the scene with Green Lantern looking down ashamed and saying “I Can’t.” So this was what I think he should have said, just not angrily. I wrote it that way because that was the best Neal Adams pic I could find to insert in this sequence and he looks angry.

  15. I disagree that comics are supposed to just “fun”. They are also social commentary. Most characters where created from a writers perspective of how the real world is. I think you’re really minimizing the lessons that are taught through comics.

    Lol @ white guilt. I would much rather deal with “concept” of that than the burden of white supremacy on a whole race.

    It was fun. I’ll try to pick up on this discussion tommorrow. I have a Texas Rangers game that needs my attention.

    • Bradford wrote “Lol @ white guilt. I would much rather deal with “concept” of that than the burden of white supremacy on a whole race.”

      But boy what a choice you are suggesting: Either white people should feel guilty for something done hundreds of years ago, or they’re essentially supremacists?

      Those two extremes are equally illogical.

      Green Lantern saves the planet from all kinds of immediate high-level threats. He sacrifices of himself for everyone, for the greater good. The race or sex or religion of the people saved doesn’t enter into it. It’s not his job to make those distinctions; it’s…save EVERYONE.

      Kudos to Mr. Hudnall for drafting a more logical response from GL to the elderly gentleman. Y’know, race and ethnicity are subjects with which tact and sensitivity are important. But liberal guilt is an insiduous concept; we all WANT to appear sensitive and fair-minded. But it took me a long time to figure out that Hal was actually wrong to bow down to liberal guilt in that panel, feeling guilty for actually treating everyone as if they were equals.

      What a concept.

  16. Depends on your taste.

    (As fr comics being fun, I meant superheroes. Superheros are not really suited for decent social commentary because they trivialize it by their presence,)

  17. Seriously!? You all are still upset about a panel from 40 years ago!? Most of you probably aren’t even old enough to appreciate what was happening then to understand the context of this. Grow up a bit will you.

    And before anyone starts siding with John Byrne, you’d do well to remember he’s the moron that equated thought bubble – word-balloon to black person – N!gger.

  18. Look who’s being patronizing now. I was a teenager, and yes, I understood it and no, I am not mad at the panel. I just think it’s lame.

    What does John Byrne have to do with it?

  19. I was going to write a comment pointing out how pointless Metz’s comment was, but there really isn’t any point.

  20. Pingback: The Weekly Wrap-Up: One Bad Idea | BW Media Spotlight

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