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365 Reasons to Love Comics #83

Green Lantern Week concludes here! There are a metric ton of awesome GLs left to discuss, and I had the difficult decision of narrowing it down to one. Like all cool GLs, it’s a weird and crazy idea. Possibly the weirdest.


83. Rot Lop Fan

Rot Lop Fan 3.JPG

The GLC has a ton of interesting characters with fantastic designs. I love Tomar-Re, Salakk, Katma Tui, Medphyll the tree guy, Raker the lost GL of Apokolips, Galius Zed the giant head, Larvox the… weird thing, and all the rest. The Green Lantern Corps is a wonderful idea and home to hundreds of bizarre concepts. For that, I am eternally grateful for its creation.

Today’s featured GL is Rot Lop Fan, who, as far as I know, appeared in but one story, written by Alan Moore and drawn by Bill Willingham. He’s a Green Lantern, but one that exists in a starless cosmos, and so his people have no concept of light. Katma Tui attempts to recruit him but finds “Green” and “Lantern” impossible to translate. Thinking creatively, she asks Rot Lop Fan to imagine a bell– and inducts him into the F-Sharp Bell Corps. Rot Lop Fan uses sound like Green Lanterns use light– it’s all energy, after all, and Rot Lop Fan turns sound waves into solid constructs. In that way, he’s a Green Lantern who has never heard of the Green Lanterns.

His oath is pretty funny. Instead of the usual:
“In brightest day, in blackest night,
no evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might
beware my power: Green Lantern’s light!”

Rot Lop Fan says:
Rot Lop Fan 1.JPG

See, this is why Alan Moore is brilliant and we are but peons.

However, this cool dude has only appeared in a scant few group shots since. C’mon, writers! It’s a great concept! Let Rot Lop Fan appear again in some kind of substantial role! It could lead to amazing and humorous consequences. Good ideas can live on their own, sure, but ideas like this one should not be left at the side of the road to fend for themselves. Let Rot Lop Fan ring his bell again.

Rot Lop Fan 2.JPG

You can read the original story at Scans Daily, and may have done so already (it’s in the same post as the Mogo story I referred you to earlier). I’d link you to the detailed history, but the story is pretty much it.

As we’ve seen this week, “Green Lantern” is a storytelling engine with endless possibilities, and can constantly revamp itself and introduce new and decidedly diverse ideas to the mythos without skipping a beat. That alone is a Reason to Love Comics. Oh yeah.

That’s it for this theme week. Sorry to those who expected Alan Scott, or John Stewart, or Kyle Rayner, or Hal bloody Jordan, or Abin Sur, or Arisia, or whoever. I’d rather have Rot Lop.


I wonder if with some of these concepts, the uniqueness of them isn’t intimidating to other writers who feel they can’t do it justice. This may have been what happened with some of Morrison’s X-MEN ideas- just “no WAY can I follow that.”

Would a little Rot Lop Fan be called a Rot Lopster?

No Driq!!!

I demand a recount…
How many dead GL’s are there?
He’s not resurrected, he’s not a ghost, spirit, or other such manifestation, he’s just plain dead.

Now that’s a concept!

I also liked Flodo Span, who basically created a physical form for himself using the ring.

Funny story…I already had RLF’s issue when I bought the Alan Moore DCU collection at CCI in 2003. While reading it, I noticed that Bill Willingham drew the story. So the next day, I brought the book to Willingham, and I got [a href=”http://new.photos.yahoo.com/lantern75/album/576460762331846035/photo/294928803465772844/58″]this sketch[/a] from him. Notice it’s done in blue ink…I don’t think he was expecting to sketch that much.

I did hear that Rot was one of a bunch of ex-GLs rescued by Guy Gardener in an issue of Warrior, though I’m not 100 percent certain about that.

Goddamnit, an entire Green Lantern week and no Puffball Collective? Who’s a brother gotta smack to get some justice around here?

Ah Rot Lop Fan. If he could have seen Parallax, I bet he could have kicked his lily-white ass.

And you know, the lack of exposure may actually be a good thing. Would you really want to see him in the modern DCU? I mean, they handle all their other characters so well (Supergirl, the Marvel Family, etc.)

Wow. Thank you Bill Reed, for having a Green Lantern week! It has been the most enjoyable read of all the themed “arcs” so far.

If I should complain about something, it would be that gender representation has been rather poor. There are many awsome women in the GL Corps as well! Therfore I think you should have a second Green Lantern week, with only female Green Lanterns :D


March 25, 2007 at 12:09 am

Didn’t Hal Jordan sleep with a GL girl who looked like an adult but was actually a kid or some such?
(the girl in the Mogo story I think).

That would be Arisia, but it is rather the other way around; it has been established that her people mature mentally way faster than physically.

Hey Bill, what have you got against Hal Jordan?

Geez (rolling the eyes with a big sigh and another roll of the eyes followed by a gagging noise and pointing at the mouth with the finger and another roll of the eyes) … it’s like Bill Reed Richards is purposely trying to find everything that used to make comics “fun” and “entertaining” when he had a child-brain and cannot live in the modern realities of faced today.

Green Ring has potential but gets ruined. For example why do the aliens all speak american? It does not make sense in the real world. Germany people speak Germany not English! So why would an alien talk in something other than extraterroristol?

Anyway, it is all a fantasy but its. So, if you want to “escape” from “reality” then go find a superscience ring–oh wait, that is not possible! Guess you are stuck.

You have passion Bill Richards but it is in service to going backwards down an up escalator when you could be going upwards on a moving elevator to the top! The Distinguishing Competiton (AKA DC) is coming close with reality concpets like World War III, but every time a “blogger” mentions something from the past it threatens this movement forward (aka progression).

Zoombaboom Babies!

Dwight R. Vlahos

Dwight, if you think crap like “WWIII” is realistic, then you’re defining it wrong. If they actually wanted to try for realism, they’d have to completely rethink the way society would work, because superheroes would change everything. In an attempt to make it as close to our world as possible, they sacrifice imagination. I love big and crazy ideas, and comics are the perfect place for them.

Also, the rings can translate to any language. I mean, duh.

You’re very weird, Dwight, and occasionally hilarious, but if you’re going to come here all the time just to spout poorly thought out and badly worded vitriol, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.

I do not know if Wrold War III will be real or not (it is not come out yet!) but when it does we’ll check it out.

And me and culpa that is a good point–I did not realize the science-fiction concept writers thought it through that far. Of COURSE it all gets translated. That makes perfect brain-sense.

I GUESS imagination and fun COULD be considered important to comics and big ideas and that kind of thing, but I am not convinced it is so.

I am just worried as a consumer that the direction the comics are going will change due to things you and people like you write with your mind-thoughts. There was a time when anyone could read a comic, even a kid, but that was a dark dark dark time for comics. I am also majorly worried about kids and “fun” people showing up at my comicbook shop. Hello, if children start showing up how am I going to buy “Liberality for All” issues in peace and consider the important social commentary in there?

Anyway I am a peaceful person and if there is upsetness than THAT is not good, so I will attempt to keep it in check for you. Perhaps one of your columns will convince that “these” fun things you point out could be entertaining instead of realism like in Deathlok or Liberality. I will keep my mind-brain open!

zoombaboom babies!

dwight r. vlahos

Hahahahahahahahah! Liberality for All.

Okay, now I’m convinced you’re some kind of fictionsuit like the on-air persona of Stephen Colbert.

*SIGH* it is THAT kind of unableness to deal with reality that will, not CAN as in maybe but WILL as in DEFINITELY cause the superfuture of Liberality to come to pass tomorrow. Way to ruin the future Bill Richards! You’re probably a demoncrat, too.

I will say that ficitonsuit sounds like some kind of liberal code word for birthday suit (aka being in the naked!) and I can assure you that I am wearing underwear and a t-shirt AND socks right now, thank you very much.

zoombaboom babies!

Dwight R. Vlahos

“it has been established that her people mature mentally way faster than physically.”

Ah, the classic rationalization for any teenage girl sleeping with an older man. No, honey, you’re not more mature than all your classmates. You’re just more developed.

You make it sound like something being swept under the rug, but it is actually quite the opposite. Green Lantern V2 #206 was largely devoted to address the matter of whether it would be appropriate for the two of them to get involved, for instance.

Of course, the treatment of the GLC by DC since has been fairly insane, so I guess the gloves are off.

A couple of links:


I’m sure that if there comes a “drunk drivin’, craddle-robbin'” week, Hal will be a shoo-in. And yeah…still a bit bitter Kyle Rayner didn’t make the cut.

Really, get one of the Alan Moore DCU tpbs when you can. In addition to Mogo and Rot Lop Fan, there’s a creepy tale showcasing Abin Sur and the future of the GLs, including Sodam Yat, the strongest GL of all. In fact, I think the Empire of Tears or the sentient city is getting featured in Green Lantern Corps.

Really, get one of the Alan Moore DCU tpbs when you can

When DC can put out an edition that actually retains the opening narration from “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow” I will.

What is changed? I’ve only read the trade version.

What is changed? I’ve only read the trade version.

It just drops the opening narration for, well, no reason that I can think of, really.


March 26, 2007 at 1:47 am

“It just drops the opening narration for, well, no reason that I can think of, really.”

Even in the current one with the Brian Bolland cover?

My copy has the whole ‘It’s an imaginary story, but aren’t they all’ bit in it.

As a bonus it has text pieces by his collaborators on the the books collected saying what it was like to work with him/why he was doing the job.

My fave is Klaus Janson talking about having dinner with Moore and Frank Miller. He talks about the the two of them having a game of out doing each other but what they would/could do to certain comic characters.

I’m pretty sure the current one leaves out the text in question, too, but I haven’t read it since it came out, so I could be wrong.

Anyone have a copy of the original and the trade handy – for comparison’s sake?

Bill, why are you tying?

Germany people speak Germany

That makes perfect brain-sense

This guy is hilarious, I still wonder if he’s for real or if an act. Either way “in my POV (as proffesional writers write professionally like Dwight writes write in professional terms) it is commentisms like these that are hard to being taken with the same amount of seriousment as awesome Deathlok”.


March 26, 2007 at 5:05 am

“You can read the original story at Scans Daily, and may have done so already (it’s in the same post as the Mogo story I referred you to earlier). I’d link you to the detailed history, but the story is pretty much it.”

Is Scans Daily legal?

Is Scans Daily legal?

Not really, I don’t think. Unauthorized reproduction of material copyrighted by another counts as piracy, doesn’t it?

I think that it’s been treated in an unofficial “We’ll look the other way” manner by the companies.

孫 悟空

April 20, 2007 at 5:32 pm

You all goys speak only shit!!

孫 悟空

April 20, 2007 at 5:33 pm

You guys speak only shit… I said it and I reaffirm it

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