Friday, November 30, 2007

Unfortunate hand placement

Is this one reason why Barry (the Flash) Allen spent a lot of time with Green Lantern?

Barry is getting a real, er, charge out of Hal, isn't he? Those bad, bad boys. They ought to be ashamed of themselves. The Guardians probably don't approve of using battery energy for that sort of thing.

Here's a sign Barry probably spent too much time around Hal. For anyone who thinks Barry never experienced a Hal Jordan-like moment of head-bashing clumsiness:

Hal's just a bad influence on everyone.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Flash's other, little-known super power

Apparently, in addition to having super speed, Barry (the Flash) Allen had a super power that no other Flash has exhibited. Check this out:

Yes, it seems that Barry Allen -- without the aid of any devices or equipment -- could talk underwater. He could really talk up a storm, in fact. Take into consideration this underwater battle with the Maugites (fancy name for Fish People):

Blah, blah, blah, blah ...

Monologue, monologue, monologue ...

Yak, yak, yak, yak ...

Now, GET THIS: After Barry finishes beating up the fish people, he climbs out of the water and THINKS to himself how nice it is to be able to breathe again:

Wow. Underwater, Barry Allen could talk while holding his breath. Not even Aquaman can do that. Barry must've really wowed 'em at Justice League parties by drinking glasses of water while talking at the same time. I am in awe.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Barry Allen's gorilla complex

In those old Silver Age stories, just what is it with Barry Allen and gorillas? Sure, Gorilla Grodd is an arch-enemy of Barry's, but just mention gorillas around Barry and he practically loses his head over it. Case in point:

Great Scott, Barry! Do you think it could be a ... a ... gorilla?!

He's gonna be really disappointed if it turns out to be just a chimpanzee.

Love the hat, by the way.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Barry, what's wrong with your head?"

Hal Jordan, otherwise known as Green Lantern officer 2814.1, has been around since the Silver Age era of comic books. Everyone loves Hal Jordan:

Well, okay ... Everyone loves picking on Hal Jordan. Admit it.

In Silver Age stories, one of Hal’s best friends is Barry Allen, the Flash. In addition to being very fast, Barry is smart and talented:

He also cooks a mean souffle, folks. Honest.

Usually, Barry and Hal together are an effective and efficient super-hero team. Usually:

Friends though they are, Hal and Barry are very different characters. However, they do have one very strange thing in common:

Both are regularly subjected to convenient plot devices (which have long since become running gags) tailored for each of them by writers wanting to give bad guys a chance to stop ‘em fairly easily without having to rely ONLY on excuses like, “Oh, the power ring doesn’t work on anything YELLOW,” and other such Kryptonite-like absurdities.

Whew. Okay. For example...

In order for Hal Jordan to use his super-power (his power ring), he has to be able to concentrate. Now, how do you wreck a super-hero’s concentration? Why, you whack him in the head, of course:

There. That’s easy. No need for the bad guys to look around for anything yellow in order to take Green Lantern out of commission. It makes the writer’s job a whole lot easier, and it lets the (often suspiciously gleeful) artist find creative ways to whack an arrogant super-hero in the head.

What if you aren’t in a good position to whack Hal Jordan in the head? No problem, because writers have found a way around it: You can just wait for Hal to run into something. Don’t worry –- you won't have to wait long. Sure, his ring might glow, but Hal himself isn’t too bright sometimes:

(Ever get the feeling that Hal Jordan must be related to George of the Jungle? “Hey, HAL! Watch out for that--! Oh, never mind ...”)

Now, let’s look at Barry Allen. Taking out the Flash is a bit trickier than taking out Green Lantern, but there’s a common plot device for doing so. Consider this: How do you stop a super-speed runner? Simple -- just prevent him from running. The real question is, what’s the best way to do that? There are many ways to stop the Flash from running, but writers have come up with two particularly popular approaches:

Approach #1: Find a way to get the Flash to gain a ridiculous amount of weight. It doesn’t matter how you do it. You can either fatten him up ...

... or you can go with more efficient (and potentially less messy) methods, like this one:

Or this one:

Now, here's popular Approach #2 to stopping the Flash from running, and it's a very weird approach indeed: Make his head huge. We can all blame Hal Jordan for establishing this trend, because he did it first:

Um, couldn't you have just tied Barry's feet together or something, Hal? Been hanging around with Hector Hammond a little too much? Oh, well. Once Hal started the giant-headed-Barry trend, EVERYONE wanted to try it:

It's even happened to Wally West once or twice:

Poor Barry. Poor Wally. Poor Flashes. Why, oh why, oh WHY did you have to start this abominable trend, Hal? Were ya just jealous that Barry never got hit in the head? Huh? Were ya? Huh?

Oh, never mind ...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hey, watch where you're puttin' that finger!

I've been picking on Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan for quite some time now. It's time for something new. This week, let's pick on the Silver Age version of the Flash -- good ol' Barry Allen!

Wow, the Flash can be beaten with one finger. Takes most guys at least a whole hand to do that.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

And now for a little artwork: Brett Breeding

Brett Breeding is perhaps best known for his work on Superman -- particularly his inks for The Death of Superman. However, posted here are NOT drawings of Superman but a figure study of Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan by Mr. Breeding. I like having these drawings for a rather odd reason. As a lifelong Green Lantern fan, I've always partly blamed the downfall of Hal Jordan on the death and resurrection of Superman. Hal Jordan has been back as a Green Lantern for quite some time now, and Mr. Breeding did the following drawings just last year (2006). I get a bit of a kick out of having drawings of the resurrected Hal Jordan by one of the artists who worked on the death of Superman. It just strikes me as being a little ironic.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Brace yourself for immediate disintegration!"

In the DC Comics universe, for the better part of a year now, the entire Green Lantern Corps and most of the super-heroes of Earth have been embroiled in a war with the Sinestro Corps. Included in this war, of course, have been several DC villains, including Sinestro, Cyborg Superman, Superbrat -- um, I mean -- Superman(boy) Prime, and that DC Crisis-Event-Bad-Guy-Beyond-All-Bad-Guys, the dreaded Anti-Monitor. The Anti-Monitor is once again hell-bent on destroying the DC Multiverse, and he's gotta blow up the Earth to do it. Yup, he wants to blow up the Earth a whole lot.

Now, is it just me, or based on his obsession to blow up the Earth, doesn't the Anti-Monitor bear a certain close resemblance to another Warner Brothers/DC Comics-property character?

Naaaaah ...

Being a sexy super-hero ain't easy, PART 2

Poor Hal Jordan. Not only are super-villains like Evil Star and Hector Hammond completely in love with him, common thugs and gangsters seem to lust after him, too:

Pucker up, Green Lantern!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Green Lanterns don't always see the obvious

Either Hal Jordan needs glasses, or he needs to pay more attention during his next trip through the reptile house at the zoo:

Uhhh ... Well, gosh, I might be wrong, Hal, but that looks an awful lot like a giant iguana. A giant purple iguana.

Okay, in all fairness to Hal, he IS supposed to be fearless. So, to him, maybe a giant purple iguana that's thinking about biting his head off doesn't qualify as a "fantastic danger." Still--! Maybe fearless really is just another word for stupid. Or maybe he figures that a giant purple iguana isn't much of a threat compared to other giant purple monsters he's faced.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This looks like a job for Superman!

(With a huge WINK to the inspirational Sally P.)

This is Oliver Queen, also known as the super-hero Green Arrow:

Oliver Queen really loves chili, and he loves to eat chili with his friends:

Yes, Oliver Queen loves chili, but he doesn't just eat it. He has been known to use it as a weapon:

He's also been known to use it in, er, courtship rituals:

Oliver Queen even likes making his own chili. However, his friends and acquaintances don't seem to like his chili very much. Dinah Lance doesn't like his chili:

Guy Gardner doesn't like his chili:

Even Ollie's best friend, Hal Jordan, doesn't like his chili:

The problem is, Oliver Queen's chili is too strong for most people to eat. However, Ollie keeps insisting that it's good chili, even though most people can't eat it, let alone taste it. In fairness to Ollie, though, just because a chili is very strong, it doesn't mean it's bad chili. But, how can we know for certain that Oliver Queen's chili really is good chili? How do we know Ollie isn't just deliberately feeding bad chili to other characters in the DC Universe because he gets some sort of sick, sadistic pleasure out of it? (Of course, that also brings into question the intelligence of the other characters, but that's another issue altogether.)

Here's one way to know: SUPERMAN needs to eat the chili. The fact that Oliver Queen's chili is very strong chili wouldn't matter to Superman. Superman has been known to eat chunks of LEAD, for crying out loud. Superman might actually be able to taste the chili and give his opinion on whether or not it's good chili. Of course, there are a couple of potential problems with having Superman critique Oliver Queen's chili:

1. Superman may have lousy taste in chili, in which case no one would be able to trust his opinion, anyway.

2. Even if he thought Ollie's chili was bad, Superman may not say so because Superman is generally a nice guy and probably wouldn't want to hurt Ollie's feelings.

Still, Superman seems up to the challenge:

Hooray for Superman!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Let's pick on Green Arrow for a change

When it comes to joking about Green Arrow and his, er, shafts, I got nothin' on Adam Barnett over at Comics Make No Sense. I bow to Mr. Barnett's superior sense of the absurd. But I couldn't resist posting the following panel:

Poor Oliver (Green Arrow) Queen. It appears that Replikon is completely unfazed by his shaft. Not only that, Dinah (Black Canary) Lance seems rather amazed by Replikon's attitude (leading one to believe that Ollie's shaft must faze her quite a bit).

Even worse for dear Ollie's ego, he has competition. The person speaking from off-panel -- the one saying, "Let ME have a shot at him, kids--!" -- is none other than Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan. It seems that where shafts and fazing bad guys are concerned, Hal just can't resist trying to one-up Ollie.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Questionable side effects of villainous devices

Green Lantern Hal Jordan is in trouble yet again:
Y'know, Hal ... I might be wrong about this, but as I understand it, those types of, er, adult-oriented devices generally have adjustable power settings. If you can't figure out how to adjust the power to a more comfortable level, read the instructions. They're probably printed on the box.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Who says Green Lanterns don't fight dirty?

One of the most well-known rules in boxing is to never hit a guy below the belt. Hitting a guy below the belt is just ... well ... it's just not a very nice way to fight. Now, most Green Lanterns don't subscribe to the rules of boxing. But, darn it, maybe they should. Not only do they hit below the belt, they use their power rings below the belt:

Yes, that's Galius-Zed using a power-ringed vise to crush the most celebrated portion of Hal Jordan's anatomy -- well, the most celebrated portion to Hal, anyway. Maybe Galius-Zed is just ignorant of Earthman anatomy.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Being a sexy, charismatic super-hero ain't easy

Super-villains almost always have interesting motives for making things difficult for super-heroes. Some villains want power, some want riches, and some just want to engage in destruction and mayhem. Then there are those who seem to treat the entire hero-versus-villain scenario like their own personal MatchMaker service:

Gosh, and here I thought Evil Star HATED Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan. Maybe Evil Star has a fetish for Parallax-induced streaks of white hair.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Is fearless just another word for stupid?

Green Lantern Hal Jordan is said to be fearless. Perhaps that's why he doesn't see the obvious, easy solution to the following problem:

OR, you COULD just move out of the way, Hal. Geez, no wonder he's suffered so many head injuries.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Guardians of the Universe ARE good for something

They’re blue, they’re vertically challenged, they’re among the most ancient and powerful beings in the universe, and they like to wear red (even though they’re in charge of an organization that’s, well, green). They’re the Guardians of the Universe, and they’re the head honchos of the Green Lantern Corps. Though a few have been known to show genuine concern and even fondness for the Green Lanterns from time to time, the Guardians are essentially dispassionate beings that instill feelings of disgruntlement in various Corps members. Sometimes those feelings of disgruntlement manifest themselves in, er, interesting ways:

Apparently, Guardians make great personal shields. Still, one has to ask, just what is Hal “Fearless” Jordan doing using someone else as a personal shield? Maybe this was just an early clue that making Hal Jordan angry is a BAD idea. Ya shoulda been taking notes, Guardians.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

And now for a little artwork: Ivan Reis

Many comic book readers are discovering what devoted Green Lantern readers have known for a while now, which is that Ivan Reis is one of the best artists Green Lantern has ever had, if not one of the best comic book artists around. Granted, over the decades, Green Lantern has been illustrated by some of the best artists period. But occasionally, as in the case of Mr. Reis, an artist comes along whose work takes one’s breath away. With the Sinestro Corps War, especially, Ivan Reis is gaining a reputation for being among the best of the best. And one mustn’t forget the contributions of inker Oclair Albert and colorist Moose Bauman. Reis, Albert, and Bauman are a formidable artistic team, and together their work glows with grace, beauty, and good-old-fashioned super-hero excitement.

I wish I had a better image to post of the following drawing, from Green Lantern #11 (2006). Unfortunately, because I have only a small scanner, and the original drawing is 17 inches high by 21 inches wide, I had to resort to photography with a low-quality digital camera. As result, this image really doesn’t do the original justice. In particular, the flash’s glare off of Oclair Albert’s inks is quite noticeable:

More Ivan Reis art will be posted at a later date, but this is a start. Here is a scan of the finished, printed two-page spread:

This particular post is dedicated to the divine Ms. Sally P. Her blog, Green Lantern Butts Forever!, is not only a humorous tribute to the physiques of various members of the Green Lantern Corps, it’s also filled with insightful and entertaining reviews of comics in general. Highly recommended!