Thursday, May 1, 2008

DC's Millennium: Guardian Strip Tease!

I'm taking a slight detour from Kyle Rayner: Cosmic Janitor week in order to address an issue that's come up in blogger conversation. Over at Green Lantern Butts Forever, Sally recently asked if it was worth it to pick up DC Comics' old crossover series, Millennium, for a look-see.

For those unfamiliar with Millennium, it was a big DC comic book event of the late 1980s, spread across darned near every title in DC's publication lineup of the time. The basic story involved the Guardians of the Universe, founders of the Green Lantern Corps. When the Guardians took off for another universe to go make whoopee with the Zamarons, one Guardian and one Zamaron went to Earth to select ten Earthlings to be founders of a new race of Guardians. Included in the lineup was Hal Jordan's ol' buddy, Tom Kalmaku.

In the opinion of this reader (and mind you, it's ONLY MY opinion), the series suffered by becoming too diluted by being cross-referenced throughout too many titles. The series became far too complicated, and it ultimately led nowhere. I suspect DC intended the series to jump-start their New Guardians title, but it never really got off the ground. There were some interesting bits involving the Manhunters and a few other characters, but the series has become all but forgotten except among readers of the time.

ONE crossover issue, however, has remained in my memory despite my best efforts to suppress it. It's a somewhat uncomfortable and unintentionally humorous segment involving Superman and Hal Jordan. For Sally's benefit, and for anyone else interested in this scene from Millennium, I will attempt to describe it here.

The scene occurs in Superman #14 (1987), written and illustrated by John Byrne. It begins with Hal Jordan and Superman flying through interdimensional space to find the Guardians. It seems that the Highmaster, leader of the Manhunters, has set off to destroy the Guardians, and Hal and Superman are attempting to head him off and stop him.

The first portion of the story is devoted almost exclusively to Hal and Supes chatting while flying along. The topic? Quantum theory. No joke. It's no problem to imagine Superman having this conversation with John Stewart, but ... with Hal Jordan? Now, I can buy Hal talking about the latest in aircraft technology, or about the latest Playboy centerfold, but NOT quantum theory.

Not that they spend the whole trip dwelling on quantum theory. Superman at least has a chance to think about what they're planning to do:

You said it, Supes.

Finally, Hal and Supes find the Guardians' "Honeymoon Hotel," as Hal calls it:

The two heroes enter the "hotel" and find that it contains a huge garden. After Superman stops Hal from exercising a tremendous lapse in judgement (Hal gets hungry and Superman has to stop him from eating a poisonous plant. No, I'm not kidding), the two of them get blasted off their feet and completely separated from each other, courtesy of the Highmaster.

After battling against the Highmaster for a bit, Hal goes wandering off, determined to find the Guardians:

Um ... NO, Hal. Guess again.

That's right, Hal. Keep thinking -- you're getting warmer!

Uh-HUH, keep going ...! What's one big reason, near and dear to your heart, why people remove their clothing?

You're RED HOT, Hal. Geez loweez, how can a guy who loves sex as much as Hal Jordan does be this clueless about what's obviously going on? Plus, isn't this the same guy who was talking about quantum theory just ten pages ago?

Anyway, Hal FINALLY does something somewhat intelligent, and sends out a mental YOO-HOO to the Guardians.


AHHH! Naked Guardians AND naked Zamarons! And ... what the HECK are they doing? Interesting ... er ... positioning. Not sure what it's supposed to accomplish.

But -- ah-HA -- the Highmaster now sees the Guardians and immediately tries to blast the heck out of 'em!

Naked bodies flying everywhere!

Yeah, that's right, Hal -- it was ALL a trick, and you fell for it. And ... Hal is helpless all of a sudden? So, now we learn Hal Jordan's REAL weakness -- It's not the color yellow after all. Nope, it's having a naked babe sprawled across him. But does that REALLY surprise anybody?

Not to fear, though. Superman shows up, and between him and Hal they manage to blow up the Highmaster and save the still-very-naked Guardians and Zamarons.

Their task completed, Hal and Superman fly off and leave the Guardians and Zamarons alone. Now just try to imagine the conversation between Hal and Superman during the flight home!


SallyP said...

Poor Superman. Trying to keep a rein on Hal Jordan must be similar to babysitting a toddler. Quantum theory my ass! Or actually, I suppose that I CAN see Superman discussing Quantum Theory, and Hal just going "um hum" a lot, while he's fantasizing about Carol.

On the other hand, I think that I do have a little bit of sympathy for Hal as he's wandering around looking at discarded bits of clothing. It would be like picturing your Grandparents having sex or something. Eeyuwww!

I imagine that the Zamarons and the Guardians could hardly WAIT for Hal and Superman to leave.

FoldedSoup said...

That's like the time my kid brother busted up the after-prom party.

Ah, memories!

Speaking of - I completely forgot about this, even though I owned it way back when. Thanks for the reminder!

Now, pass the mind bleach, please. Thanks!

Sea_of_Green said...

Sorry about that, Soup!

LOL! I guess Hal really is like a toddler at times. :-) Just reinforces the fact that he's reckless to a fault.