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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 14

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at the first Alan Moore moment on this list – it’s courtesy of one of his awesome Green Lantern stories.

Enjoy!

In Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #2, Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill produced an eerily effective look at the career of Hal Jordan’s predecessor as Green Lantern – Abin Sur. Moore came up with a chilling explanation for a seemingly odd aspect of Abin Sur’s death – why, as a Green Lantern who could travel the world just on ring power, was Abin Sur flying in a spaceship when he crash landed on Earth?

Moore explains it with a visit by Sur to Ysmault, a prison planet for an ancient race of demons, the Empire of Tears.

Abin Sur asks the demons three questions, and after the first one turned out well enough (the whereabouts of a ship that crash landed on the planet), Sur was pushed to ask another question, and it was here that the demons “got” him (click on all of these pages to enlarge).

Abin Sur asks about any current danger he might be in, and the demons tell him that he would die from his ring running out of power.

While Sur claims not to believe them, we see almost instantly that he does take them seriously, and right there, they “win” – it’s just a matter of time.

Finally, it leads to the cool comic book moment of the day, where we see how the answer, years later, led to Abin Sur’s death, just as the demons planned all along.

Pretty damn awesome.

28 Comments

Man, Kevin O’Neill draws some of the best aliens. I recently read some of his Nemesis run from 2000AD, and his aliens in that are awesome.

Man, Kevin O’Neill draws some of the best aliens. I recently read some of his Nemesis run from 2000AD, and his aliens in that are awesome.

In fact, I believe this story got O’Neill banned by the Comic Code.

Alan Moore wrote only three Green Lantern stories. I fully expect at least one more of them to show up on this list and there’s an outside chance the third will show up.

F-Sharp Bell?

Definitely the moment where the bounty hunter realizes who (or rather what) Mogo is. Still my favorite Green Lantern moment ever.

eh, predestination has been done better.

As I scrolled down and saw the title, I thought “This has to be the Kevin O’Neill story”…

Never read it, unfortunately, but seen it commented on so many times, that I REALLY, REALLY want to read it from cover to cover…

Is it reprinted in an affordable format anywhere?

It’s collected in THE DC UNIVERSE STORIES OF ALAN MOORE, along with everything else he did for DC (apart from Swamp Thing and Watchmen, natch).

Man, I think both the F-Sharp Bell and “Mogo Doesn’t Socialize” are among the most awesome comics moments I’ve ever read, and I’m not really a fan of Green Lantern. I’d never heard of this story before, though.

So, if I may ask, what does the demon say is the greatest catastrophe endangering the Corps? With 20+ years of hindsight, it seems the demon would name the Parallax monster, or just Hal himself. Although obviously Moore wouldn’t have known that, but how cool would it be to tell Abin Sur that his successor will be both the greatest Green Lantern ever, and the greatest threat to the Corps?

Stephane Savoie

January 15, 2009 at 6:14 am

I believe it was in DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore

The demon describes the greatest catastrophe as one in which all the enemies of the GLC rise up and shatter them, killing their great champion, the daxamite Sodom Yat. Geoff Johns is loosely ripping it off for his upcoming “Blackest Night” arc.

I’m a huge fan of everything Mogo does, starting with the reveal of who Mogo is. if I ever had to get a tattoo, it’d be of Mogo.

Johns isn’t ripping off this story. He’s fulfilling the prophecy. Big difference.

I’m getting *very* tired of the uses Johns is putting the Moore stories to (starting with the incredible overuse of Mogo)– but it’s understandable. Moore’s GL stories are just about perfect comic-bookery.

I think I also spotted a couple of the demons from this story in Rage of the Red Lanterns… but I could be wrong, as I’ve never had a proper copy of this to read…
(though judging from the number of excerpts I’ve seen posted and reproduced in interviews, etc., I probably have disjointedly read the entire issue, but in the wrong order!!)

I was spoiled on Mogo – I didn’t read that story until years after I knew who Mogo was. At the time though I bet it was an awesome story and really, how can a green lantern who is a PLANET not be cool?

This was a good story tho a cool moment? I guess. Those are some gruesome aliens tho, eh?

This is definitely an awesome story.

“Johns isn’t ripping off this story. He’s fulfilling the prophecy. Big difference.”

Yeah, he’d have to have actually understood the story to rip it off. He’s more “Highlander 2″-ing it.

I’m pretty sure only the other two GL stories are collected in the Alan Moore book. I don’t have it next to me, but I know that I’ve read it a few times, but have never actually read this story. I’m pretty sure I would have if it were included.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

January 15, 2009 at 5:30 pm

I’m pretty sure only the other two GL stories are collected in the Alan Moore book. I don’t have it next to me, but I know that I’ve read it a few times, but have never actually read this story. I’m pretty sure I would have if it were included.

It’s in the book.

Every DCU story he wrote is in the book.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

January 15, 2009 at 5:32 pm

eh, predestination has been done better.

In a twelve page self contained story within the frame work of silver age continuity, explaining a ‘mistake’ and yet still being entertaining?

There is a lot of anti-Johns snark on this blog, hhich is too bad, as he’s not a bad writer, and CSBG is usually low on snark in general.

Not everything Geoff Johns does is my cup of tea (I stopped reading JSA more than a year ago, but I was really enjoying his Action stuff until it became just one of a three-comics-per-month package deal a short while back). I have to say, at present, both of the monthly Green Lantern books are what I look most forward to reading (comics-wise) — and yes, that includes Morrison’s Batman, which has been spotty at best. (I am enjoying Final Crisis though.)

In fact, I’d say I’ve been very happy with these titles ever since the Sinestro Corps break-out, which is almost two years back. I know, Johns only writes the main title and not GLCorps, but he’s clearly driving the whole thing — and part of the fun is seeing how he’s taking these little seeds from old GL tales from the past several decades, letting them flower into this crazy space opera. (What he’s done with Moore’s Ysmault stuff is probably the best example. His character arc for Laira is another good one.)

And yes, I recently read all three of Moore’s GL tales in that jam-packed trade. (It even includes “The Killing Joke.” Best bang for your superhero-comic buck I can think of.) The Mogo and the F-sharp tales are also tremendous. (Like others, I had to try to imagine reading it without knowing who Mogo was. It was still great.)

There is a lot of anti-Johns snark on this blog, hhich is too bad, as he’s not a bad writer, and CSBG is usually low on snark in general.

I didn’t mention Johns in my piece at all.

Barely anyone here ever mentions Johns (although Hatcher recently did, but he was doing it in a similar way to you, complaining about comments about Johns from years ago).

If there was any anti-Johns snark on the blog, it was years ago (I would argue that there was not, as that suggests Johns was being singled out, and I think the blog was just snarkier period years ago), so it seems weird to still complain about it when it is not there.

A quick search of the last four months pulled up one extremely slight sarcastic comment by Burgas a few months ago in his big Flippin’ Through Previews post and an actual snarky comment by Curran in early September in a post where he snarks on about a dozen other comic creators, as well – including Mike Baron, of all people.

Now if you want to complain about what the people who comment to the posts say, well, go right ahead. ;)

Alan Moore once again demonstrating his mastery of retcons.

I was expecting Mogo, but this is definitely a good choice. I got the Alan Moore DC book and his GL back-up stories are all a lot of fun.

Kev O’Neill drawing normal everyday comics that come out in the shops is a marvellous thing.

There is a new GL collection that is out, I forget the title, but Geoff Johns either picked the stories or just wrote the intros for them. This story and Mogo doesn’t Socialize are in there, and possibly the other Alan Moore story. The intro to this story discusses how Johns is bringing the prophecy into play in his GL stuff. Sounds interesting. And really, who else but Alan Moore could drop awesomeness into a backup story and have it MATTER to continuity 20+ years later?

Please pardon the imprecision in my phrasing, Brian. I didn’t mean that the bloggers themselves here at CSBG are uniformly anti-Johns. I was offering an impression I’ve formed, during the three-ish years I’ve been coming here, based on the comments left by others.

It seems to me that many people take it as gospel that Geoff Johns writes bad comics, just as others take it as gospel that Grant Morrison only writes great ones. In my estimation, both beliefs are mistaken. Now, if I had to choose between a Johns comic and a Morrison one, I’d pick Morrison every time. But really, Johns is doing great work these days, especially in “Green Lantern,” and it seems to me that he’s getting better all the time. My only serious reservation about his writing is his penchant for going for the bloody shock-effect — although sometimes it works really well. (One time when it didn’t seem like a mere shock-effect/cannon-fodder moment was during “52” — one of the big twists of the series, involving Osiris, which set Black Adam back on his path to savagery. Some people were horrified by that, but I thought it was a great cliffhanger moment, and made complete sense within the context of the story.)

johns is not a bad writer, he’s one of the worst.

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