So much great stuff on this page! John came up with some crazy designs for the wannabes and there’s a nice cameo or two in there. See if you can spot ‘em. One wannabe he didn’t design is The Usher, the guy out in front in the first panel. Anyone who owns SuperFogeys Vol. 1 will be already be familiar with him–and with the events depicted on this page!
This page crosses over into many stories and flashbacks we’ve seen before. Gold star to anyone who can link to the relevant strips and/or pages and tell us the proper context in which Jerry revealed Captain Spectacular’s secret identity!
GREEN LANTERN REVIEW
Last night I got a chance to see Green Lantern in 3D. It was a midnight showing. Everyone knows those are the best because the audience is made up of people who really WANT to be there. There’s sacrifice involved and people respect that. At least in Fresno they do. Not a single cell phone rang out during the entire screening.
I just wish the actual movie respected us as much.
Man…where do I even start? Green Lantern is one of those movies that assumes too much. It assumes you’ll understand the relationships between the characters even if they don’t show or tell you pertinent facts like…how the villain and the hero know each other. Or what the issues are that keep a couple apart. Or who that other guy is in the house where Hal’s brother lives. If that last sentence sounds confusing, good. I still don’t know why we even went to Hal’s brother’s house since not a one of the characters we meet there ever shows up a second time for the rest of the movie.
I think it’s impossible to watch Green Lantern and not come away feeling like it’s just missing…stuff. The first time I noticed it was right in the very beginning when Green Lantern Abin Sur flees his spaceship to go find someone to pass his ring onto. The next time we see him, he’s already crash landed on a beach and dying. Now, I can put two and two together. Obviously, the dude came to Earth and crashed. But something was off. The pacing of the idea was off. It was just missing that connective tissue that would root me into the two stories being told. I would have been nice to actually see the crash.
There are two movies going on here. One is a big movie about space cops who do nothing. The other is about this dude who gets a magical ring and tries to do nothing. The space cop movie goes first, explaining and filling us in on the Green Lantern mythology right from the get go. I had a huge problem with that. We spend a lot of time with the Green Lantern Corps (who do nothing) before we get to see Hal Jordan don that ring. We get invested in them and understand them and then we’re asked to take a trip with a guy who knows nothing about them and then watch him find junk out. Sort of. I mean, they don’t tell Hal much. And Hal pretty much stands there and accepts everything they say at face value, asking no questions whatsoever. I guess that’s good. I didn’t need to hear it again. But who, upon finding out aliens exist and joining their super cop army, doesn’t ask questions?
This was the movie’s biggest problem: Hal Jordan wasn’t in it. Not the character of Hal Jordan anyway. Hal Jordan is Maverick. Hal Jordan is a cocky, I-can-do-it-all, hotshot pilot who doesn’t like people telling him what to do. When Hal Jordan goes to the planet Oa for the first time, he challenges everyone he meets with his rebellious attitude and unconventional thinking. Right from the start. The movie gets there eventually, but it takes its sweet time. For most of the movie, he’s Peter Parker in Spider-Man 2, unsure if he can shoulder the responsibility given to him. How bored are you with that emotional beat? I know I am. And Hal Jordan is absolutely the last character you force those issues on.
You know what would have been cool? We should have been introduced to the Corps the same way Hal was. We should have seen Abin Sur for the first time when Hal rushes to him to try to help him out (a nice character moment the movie DID get right). They had the perfect “in” to introduce us to the world of Oa and the Guardians of the Universe and the Green Lantern Corps and instead they blew it. There’s no mystery, wonder or majesty to any of it.
The Corps…the Corps, headed by the immortal, wise Guardians of the Universe, comes off as the stupidest, most inept police keeping force ever assembled. Did you know you cannot actually fight fire with fire? It’s true. People say it all the time, “you have to fight fire with fire,” but I guarantee you that if you take a flame thrower to a forest fire, you will absolutely make things worse. I don’t want to get too spoilery, but, in this movie, the Guardians make the decision to do just that–they decide to fight fire with fire. That’s their wisdom in action. I must be stupid, because it makes no sense to me.
I’ll say this for the movie: they got the visuals right. From the suits to the way the Lantern powers work to the design of the Guardians and Oa, it’s all straight out of the comics and rendered with a great deal of care and detail. I enjoyed looking at the movie at the very least. Even the 3D was good, surprisingly.
I thought both Peter Sarsgaard (as gross baddie Hector Hammond) and Mark Strong (as Green Lantern Sinestro) both acquitted themselves quite well. There was a lot of meat to both of their performances. Ryan Reynolds would have made for a great Hal Jordan…if only he hadn’t been written with so much Peter Parker in him. The less said about Blake Lively’s Carol Ferris the better, though she was the MVP in one of the funniest, best scenes of the movie. You’ll know it when (if) you see it.
If this review feels disjointed, good. Now you know how I felt as I stumbled home at 3am last night.
COMMENTS ON WEDNESDAY
You’ll notice I didn’t really respond to any of the comments on Wednesday. Honestly, you guys were having such a great conversation that I felt like I would only get in the way. I find myself torn like that a lot. I hate it when artist and writers tells me what to think about their work and I didn’t want to get in the way of all the great ideas and theories you guys had.
MONDAY – 326 – “Air Valhalla” – It’s time to travel–Valhalla style!
WEDNESDAY – 327 – “The Buddy System” Gene has some rules to lay down. Swifty has some verbal smack to lay down.
FRIDAY – Jerry, pg. 11 – Tom speaks up and gives Jerry what for!