Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Green Lantern Corps: Grossest super-hero comic?

Ever have something staring you right in the face but you never really pay attention until someone else points it out? That recently happened to me when Rachelle at Living Between Wednesdays commented that Green Lantern Corps currently holds the title of "Grossest Superhero Comic."

Now, I don't usually visit comic book forums, so I have no idea if GLC being the "grossest comic" is a common claim among current readers. But Rachelle's comment struck something of a chord with me because I'd been kinda wondering why I'm much more fond of the main Green Lantern title than of Green Lantern Corps -- aside from my lifelong and completely irrational crush on Hal Jordan, that is. After reading Rachelle's comment, though, it FINALLY hit me -- "Yeah, I guess the Green Lantern Corps title IS kinda gross!"

(Yeah, I admit I DO have moments of general brainlessness. It must be why I like Hal so much. Anyway ...)

Mind you, I think I may have read grosser super-hero comics. In particular, some old Spectre and Deadman stories come to mind. However, I have to admit that I don't remember any Spectre comics presenting readers with an image of dead bodies and body parts raining down on a planet.

Here are a just a few visual treats that GLC has presented to readers, and these are actually quite TAME compared to other images that have appeared in the comic:

Even when presenting the readers with beefcake (as super-hero comics are traditionally wont to do), it's beefcake covered with blood and gore:

I'm not squeamish by any means, but I admit I think GLC may go over the top a little too often with the grossness factor. Of course, the main Green Lantern title has also had its disgusting moments -- images of attacks by the Shark, and of Hal and Kyle messily bursting out of Parallax come to mind. But Green Lantern doesn't present readers with a relentless barrage of disgusting images, like GLC does.

However, GLC, even more than Green Lantern, IS about an intergalactic police force dealing with various monsters and aliens. And, in popular culture, monsters and aliens ARE pretty much expected to be on the icky side more often than not.

But does GLC take it too far? I think for me, at least, it does, and that's what keeps GLC from being one of my favorite comics (it takes a rather distant back seat behind Green Lantern, Fables, Justice Society, Captain Britain, and others). However, the grossness factor is not enough to keep me from reading the comic completely. At least, not yet. I'm still WAY too interested in keeping track of what's going on in the Green Lantern universe to give it up.


Cleanser said...

Personally I've always found a bug-crawling-out-of-ear scene to be horrifying, ever since I first saw it in Star Trek II when the thing crawls out of Chekov's ear. Bug bursting out of eyeball is right up there, though.

There's a lot more skill involved in portraying horrifying scenes WITHOUT gore all over the place. I'd have more respect if they didn't go for the "easy" disgustingness.

Carnivac said...

Can't say I've ever noticed. I read it every month and not once have I ever thought it gross. The thing I do notice, is that Green Lantern comics in general are damn good.

googum said...

You've got a power ring, why are you covered in dirt in a torn-up uniform? Wouldn't it take, like, no seconds to will up a clean suit?

Baal said...

It's not just GLC but GL as well. Remember the first arc of GL and the graphic demises of the Manhunter's victims? The victim dripping out of the Shark's mouth. That's one of the things that made me eventually drop the title.

SallyP said...

Are you saying that having tons of dead creatures, including a whale RAIN down upon our heroes is a BAD thing?

Hmmmm...I guess you're right, it is a bit on the gory side. But Pat Gleason does it SO WELL! Besides where else can I see Kilowog drop an aircraft carrier on a bad guy, or Salaak incinerate a baby? Or have Guy coughing up yellow phlegm, or a rain of eyeballs, and so many other squishy explody things?

Part of it is the genre, I suppose. Green Lanterns aren't staking out candy stores or grafitti artists, they are involved in taking down the dregs of the universe for the most part. And you have to admit that the Sinestro Corps consists of people that are dedicated to being disgusting.

FoldedSoup said...

Let Johnny Ryan write it.

(The mind boggles.)

Tomfoolery said...


ear bugs!

*is incredibly, irredeemably infantile*

Sea_of_Green said...

Well, like I said, I think popular culture demands that monsters and aliens be mostly icky -- and the current Green Lantern stories certainly do a good job of living up to those expectactions.

I blame Ridley Scott.