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A Year of Cool Comics – Day 209

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at the acclaimed Alan Moore/Kevin O’Neill short story, “Tygers,” from Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #2…

Enjoy!

The 1986 Annual of the Tales of the Green Lantern Corps is a good book not even COUNTING this story. Editor Andy Helfer did quite a nice job of collecting top talent to do good stories of the various histories of the Green Lantern Corps.

In any event, the most famous story is “Tygers,” by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill. I have written in Comic Book Legends Revealed about how O’Neill’s art caused this comic to be released without Comics Code approval, simply because it was seen as just too dark and disgusting to ever get approval. Crazy, huh?

The story involves Abin Sur going to the Empire of Tears, a world where a group of demons have been imprisoned. A spaceship crashed there, and Sur must try to save the surviving passenger.

Once there, the trapped demons interact with Sur, and Sur makes the fatal mistake of not realizing that often the most powerful weapon a demon has is its words…

Seek out the DC Universe Stories of Alan Moore to see just HOW the demons screwed Abin Sur over!

Great work by two great creators.

23 Comments

John Trumbull

July 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I like that you ended on a cliffhanger, Brian. :)

that one was cool.
those freaky dwarfs were a nice touch.

This was a great story. Shame Geoff Johns had to take all the ideas in it and make them utterly boring twenty years later.

How many things did Johns actually take out of this story? I’m honestly curious. I know Sodom Yat, but what else? Re-reading the story, I don’t know if perhaps the whole “Johns took a bunch of ideas from this story” meme was a bit overblown.

GlenJBenedict

July 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Brian: Ranx the Sentient City, blink-bombs, and the Children of the White Lobe were all in the Sinestro Corps War, which seems to echo the “all of the Guardian’s enemies ally against the Green Lanterns.”. Atrocitus is a member of the Five Inversions (and I believe he kills Qull, the main demon in this story in his first appearance). Pretty much the only thing that hasn’t shown up so far is the child that Abin Sur rescues (as far as I know).

It was totally overblown. It wasn’t so much ideas, more like he took a few of the cryptic one liners from the demons (the prophesies) and shaped his “Blackest Night” from it.

Moore basically went “I’m sorry, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time” on Johns.

Kevin O’Neill is so good at drawing grotesque demons and monsters! I wish he’d still draw the sort of surreal stuff he did in Nemesis the Warlock and in this story. Does he even do other comics besides LoEG these days?

It’s worth noting that while Blackest Night does have some elements of continuity porn, so does this short story. (The reason Moore wrote this story was to answer a question that bugged him about Hal’s origin.)

And to be fair, I think both this short story and Sinestro Corps War/Blackest Night are good.

@GlenJBenedict

That might even be used soon, as speculation is that Indigo-1 is that child that was rescued.

Johns did what lots of good comics writers (Moore included) do: Take the stories of yesteryear and spin them into new tales for today. (Note: I’m not saying that Johns = Moore. I’m just saying, he’s doing his job as the current keeper of a complex mythology.)

isn’t it amazing how much profound effect alan moore had on the green lantern mythos with only writing three short stories? and really, he did the same thing with superman, batman, and the demon. he only featured those characters in a small handful of stories, yet forever left his stamp on them. how many other writers are capable of this?

Yeah, I mean, if Moore, like, had “there will be a fight between ring-bearers of all the different colors!” or something along those lines, then yeah, that would be something. But this, outside of Sodom Yat, just seems like Johns worked in Moore’s past lines into Johns’ own story. Just little nods to Moore more than actually using Moore’s ideas to form Sinestro Corps War.

How many writers? Good ones. Like a dozen off the top of my head.

And, uh, he a profound impact on Johns, not the Lanterns.

I just reread Johns’s Green Lantern: Secret Origin, which leaned heavily on this story at the beginning and end. And I had the same thought, actually, that it was a great story when Moore told it, but Johns made it feel pretty pedestrian.

mckracken-

i challenge you to name ONE other writer that has had a profound influence on three major comic franchises while only writing those characters in 5 or less comics. len wein had a major effect on the x-men/wolverine in just a few issues before abandoning them, but that effect was that he created the characters, rather than in the way that he wrote the characters. batman, superman, and green lantern have literally had hundreds of writers, and in the case of batman, perhaps thousands. moore wrote the character in exactly four comics, yet he left his mark.

and if moore has had a major effect on johns, and johns will most likely (deservedly or undeservedly, it doesn’t matter) go down as the greatest green lantern writer ever, then doesn’t that mean that moore had a major effect on green lantern?

funkygreenjerusalem

July 30, 2010 at 1:46 am

It’s worth noting that while Blackest Night does have some elements of continuity porn, so does this short story. (The reason Moore wrote this story was to answer a question that bugged him about Hal’s origin.)

Yeah, I thought it was an odd reaction to Johns, considering Moore’s superhero stories did a lot of this.

I think the uproar was partially based on Alan Moore’s comments about DC basing a crossover on a short story of his, forgetting that Moore doesn’t read superhero comics, so he didn’t actually have any basis for it.
(ie. Unless he’s very different to what he says, he’d only know that if someone told him they were).

For me it’s the cumulative effect of Johns’ use of all the Moore GL shorts, not just this one. The overuse of Mogo until seeing him is as surprising as seeing the Daily Planet building is the worst part.

The joy of this story is that it explains a trivial fact of Green Lantern lore that no one ever thought of before. That’s continuity at its best.

Except for the fact that trivial fact from GL was explained before during the Silver Age by Gardner Fox, but hey why not let facts get in the way of Moore being overpraised for things he had no hand in doing as the usual.

Trying to claim that Johns owes anything to Moore while at the same time not giving all the people that Moore took stories from shows just how delusional him and his fans are.

Travis Pelkie

July 31, 2010 at 1:54 am

OK, EJ, how did Gardner Fox explain why Abin Sur was in a spaceship when he had a GL ring? I’m honestly curious.

Because the great thing about this story is that it shows how paranoid that Abin Sur gets without even recognizing it.

And I have to agree with Third Man, from what I know of what Johns has done with GL. Alan Moore did, what, 3 GL stories (this one, the Mogo story, and the one about the lightless world), and at least those first 2 I mention have elements that Johns (especially, although everyone involved in GL since Rebirth has been using them) has used in the most recent GL stuff. Maybe not “this entire crossover was based entirely off of those 2 Alan Moore stories”, but “a lot of these ‘prophecies’ ought to come true, so let’s use them somehow”. Again, I don’t read GL regularly, but I do know that Mogo is featured semi-regularly (which lessens the impact of the character) (Mogo was a key element to the end of Infinite Crisis, right?), and different things mentioned in this story are used 25 years later. For just 3 or so stories, that’s a pretty impressive impact.

I’d say that taking the creepy predictions the demons make and making it so they “happen” can go either good or bad, and it looks like people here are split over how well Johns achieved it.

There was a GL collection from a few years back that had intros by Johns about the stories, and I know that this, and probably “Mogo doesn’t socialize” were in it, and I’m pretty sure Johns said that elements from this story were going to matter to his GL story. However, I don’t own that book, and can’t remember what it was called, I just looked at it in a book store.

But Alan Moore certainly built on the past stories with his stories, and it’s too bad if he doesn’t recognize that others can do the same with his stories. However, given the way DC treated (and treats) him, is it any surprise that he’s bitter?

You know, one thing that kind of bugged me about Geoff Johns’ take on Abin Sur was that he never has Abin talk to the Green Lantern construct he uses to communicate with his ring, which we see later in “Tyger, Tyger.” It was an orb with a mouth, which may not sound like anything special, but is actually a great, slightly haunting design by Kevin O’Neill. Click here, if you want to see for yourself:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_4N6ybVLERfQ/SEgya9DeZ8I/AAAAAAAADqo/1JCZnYXZ6Lg/s1600-h/Tygers-11.jpg

We often see power rings talk to Green Lanterns, but rarely in such a literal manner. I think it also says a lot about Abin; he’s one of the few Green Lanterns who chose to treat his ring as a peer, instead of a weapon.

Not having read any GL since before the infamous refrigerator incident, is it possible, given the implied dating for the story, the child’s sex and skin color, that the child could be Katma Tui? Add the time from the setting of “Tyger” to how much later it is in Hal’s career that he meets Tui (and of course, her later relationship with John), that barring some back story that is irreconcilable, it would have her as a candidate as being the child.

Abin Sur was an interesting character . I always liked the stories where he appeared that took place before his death . If all he ever did was die and turn his power ring over to Hal Jordan, that would qualify him for an entry in Who’s Who in the DC Universe # 1 . However, he did a lot more than that . You can read about Abin Sur at the following links —

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abin_Sur

http://glcorps.dcuguide.com/profile.php?name=abinsur

http://glcorps.dcuwiki.net/w/Abin_Sur

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