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Top 75 Most Memorable Moments in DC Comics History: #45-36

We provided a series of memorable DC moments for you to vote for, we also gave you the chance to nominate other moments (which you then also voted on to get them on to the “ballot”) and then you came out in droves to vote for them all! I think it was our biggest turnout yet (as it turns out, more people will vote if they just have to click buttons to vote). So now, we begin the countdown of the Top 75 most memorable moments in the 75-year history of DC Comics!!! Do note that spoilers will almost certainly be present in these moments, and some of them could have come from comics that were intended for mature audiences only. So be forewarned!

Here is a link to #75-66. Here is a link to #65-56. Here is a link to #55-46.

And now, here’s 45-36!

Enjoy!

45 Hal Jordan becomes Parallax (Green Lantern Vol. 3 #50 by Ron Marz, Darryl Banks and Romeo Tanghal)

(click on images to enlarge)

Hal Jordan is convinced that he can use the power of the Green Lantern battery to fix the destruction of Coast City. And if he has to kill a few people along the way, it does not really matter, since he’ll just fix THEM later, too. Here, after killing his good friend Killowog and snapping Sinestro’s neck, we see Hal reach the final stage where he destroys the giant central power battery of the Green Lantern Corps and becomes something new…Parallax!

44 Green Lantern learns a difficult lesson (Green Lantern Vol. 2 #76 by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams)

In Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ first issue of Green Lantern (where Green Lantern began teaming up with Green Arrow), Hal Jordan is shown how out of touch he is with the plight of typical Americans at the beginning of the 1970s – this helps spur Jordan to travel across the country with Green Arrow re-discovering America.

43 Darkseid and Batman trade blows (Final Crisis #6 by Grant Morrison and JG Jones)

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Batman begins the downfall of Darkseid by shooting him with the same bullet Darkseid used to kill Orion earlier in Final Crisis, but Darkseid gets off one last blast of his Omega Beams, so Batman’s success is short-lived, as seen in this dramatic sequence by Grant Morrison and JG Jones. Of all the moments, this one seemed to benefit the most from the expanded voting population, as it was the second-to-last vote-getter of the 18 audience nominations, yet it finished ahead of almost all the other the audience nominations.

42 Aquaman’s son is murdered by Black Manta (Adventure Comics #452 by David Michelinie and Jim Aparo)

(Click on the images to enlarge)

There is a good case to be made that this 1977 story by David Michelinie and Jim Aparo was the one that started DC Comics down a path of having the loved ones of superheroes be killed off. In any event, a super villain murdering a superhero’s infant son? That’s a major turning point in DC history.

41 Superman expresses his frustrations at Mongul (Superman Annual #11 by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons)

From Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s brilliant “For the Man Who Has Everything,” Superman was just subjected to some heavy duty psychological torture at the hands of the villain Mongul (and on Superman’s BIRTHDAY, of all days!), and Superman is quite displeased with Mongul. Some commenters have suggested that this might very well be the first time Superman ever used his heat vision to hurt an opponent. Can anyone confirm or debunk that?

40 Superman meets the cousin he didn’t know he had – Supergirl! (Action Comics #252 by Otto Binder and Al Plastino)

Otto Binder and Al Plastino give the world a brand-new superhero, and one of the most popular female superheroes ever! Doesn’t Plastino do a fantastic job on her facial expressions?

39 Dick Grayson becomes Nightwing (Tales of the Teen Titans #44 by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Dick Giordano and Mike DeCarlo)

(click on the images to enlarge)

No offense to Jericho, but man, it is too bad Dick has to share his big moment with someone else. Anyhow, in this penultimate chapter of the Judas Contract, we see the debut of the new costumed identity for Dick Grayson. This was pretty much the first time a character THIS big got a new identity (other than characters taking up new names for a storyline, like Cap becoming Nomad for a few issues).

38 Gordon and Batman’s alliance begins (Batman #407 by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli)

As awesome as Batman Year One was, only this last scene was actually more or less transcribed from the page to the screen in the film Batman Begins. It’s a beautifully memorable ending by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli.

37 The Justice Society of America has their first meeting (All-Star Comics #3 by Gardner Fox and Everett Hibbard)

Gardner Fox and Everett Hibbard deliver the first meeting of the Justice Society of America. The early meetings were just framing sequences to cover up the fact that All-Star Comics basically remained the same anthology it was before. To wit, in the first issue, the meeting just sets up Johnny Thunder asking each member of the team to tell a story, and they do so, with each story naturally being the story that would have appeared in the issue had they not all been on a team. Still, the first meeting of a superhero team was a BIG deal!

36 Coast City is destroyed (Superman Vol. 2 #80 by Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding)

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Reign of the Supermen took a major U-turn in this issue by revealing that the Cyborg Superman is actually a VILLAIN working with the alien despot, Mongul! He demonstrates this in dramatic fashion when he and Mongul destroy Hal Jordan’s home of Coast City!

Here is a link to #35-26!

55 Comments

…huh… I just realized Bruce shoots Darkseid in the same place, but on the opposite side that Hurt shoots him in RIP. Weird.

But yeah, that’s some great art from the Supergirl issue. Not so great colouring, though.

Boy 3 cringeworthy moments for Hal all in one sitting, I could spend all day talking about why I despise all 3 moments but I don’t have the energy to waste really. I’ll just say that thank god Hal and GL are seeing better days because there were alot of dark ones thanks mostly to inept editorial who had no idea what to do with one of their icons.

Does anyone else see any parallel between moment 44 and the current Superman JMS story?
Someone accuses the hero of not doing enough for them, so they tour the USA.
If I was Hal, I’d probably say, “I saved the planet, like, 50 times and you were on it so…”
Same for supes. He should have told that woman that he can’t cure cancer but he saved the world so step off.

Does anyone else see any parallel between moment 44 and the current Superman JMS story?

Pretty sure JMS has explicitly cited that moment (and that run) as an inspiration for his current run.

SUPERMAN USING HIS HEAT VISION TO HURT SOMEONE: In DC COMICS PRESENTS # 36 (August, 1981), Superman blasts Mongul with his heat vision.

Hal: Sorry buddy, I’m purposely going out of my way not to help black people. I didn’t know all “you people” and were poor/dirty and required hand-outs from people better off then you. Silly me for not stopping by the ghettos to somehow get you a job/education/money, instead of saving the freakin’ world from alien invasions and such.

Damn it, Jimbo; I’m a super-hero, not a social activist!

@Brian. Thanks for that. An homage is fine. Rip offs, (conscious or not) irritate me.

@ Jeremy. Interestingly, the Geoff Johns version would probably say that (minus the racism) as he seems to be a far right, “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” type. All the GLs are really, because their chief power is making their thoughts a reality. They probably don’t get that some people just don’t have that get up and go.

[…] is counting down DC Comics’ 75 most memorable moments. [75-66; 65-56; 55-46; […]

You know what would have been a great added component to this series? If people added whether they thought a moment was good, bad or neutral when they voted for it. That way we could tell whether a moment scored high because it was fondly remembered or if it was due to infamy. So you’d get results like “this moment came in at #44, with a 64% positive rating. Like Hal Jordan becoming Parallax I agree is very, very memorable, but I wonder if more than half of the voters agree with me that it’s memorable for all the wrong reasons…

Man, Aqualad comes off as a total tool in that Aquaman scene: “Yeah, sorry, foster-dad, I know you’re holding your son’s dead body in your arms and asking me to help avenge his death, but I’m feeling a little angst-filled right now, so I”ll just ahng out. But……ummmm…..good luck.”

Then again, what kind of dad finds his toddler’s body and leaves it with a giant f*^king octopus?

If I’m Hal, I give Green Arrow a giant green boot to the nuts and then drop him off on Qward and tell him to deal the Weaponers while GL mops up all the corrupt ACORN offices in like… 20 minutes.

Stupid crackers! LOL!
(I’m white, damnit… I can say that!)

Rereading Dick’s original evolution from Robin into Nightwing is another reason why the Bryne revamp of Superman – while necessary – had so many unforseen and harmful ripple effects to so many other characters.

To this day they (the revamps, retcons that followed) still haven’t topped this scene.

Why is everyone jumping on Aqualad? His surrogate father just for-real tried to for-real kill him! Aquaman sold the boy down the river for the benefit of his “real” son! Now, I’m not saying Aquaman was wrong as I may very well have done the same under the circumstances.

But Garth still has the right to feel put out over the whole thing. I think “screw you and the baby you failed to save anyway” is a perfectly understandable response from him under the circumstances.

Aren’t we about due for another 100 Best extravaganza? I propose best single issues.

Because I can’t help myself and this subject gets to me for some reason I can’t explain:

“Like Hal Jordan becoming Parallax I agree is very, very memorable, but I wonder if more than half of the voters agree with me that it’s memorable for all the wrong reasons…”

Second greatest moment in his history (next to offing himself by re-igniting the sun).

“I’ll just say that thank god Hal and GL are seeing better days because there were alot of dark ones thanks mostly to inept editorial who had no idea what to do with one of their icons.”

The book was failing. No one was reading, and as I have the first 50 issues and then some of the run, I can see why. I actually applaud DC editorial for doing it and then having the guts in the letters page of issue 50 to explain why they did it. No one knew what to do with him (see his absence in Crisis, Armageddon 2001, and taken off-stage quickly in Eclipso, just to name a few major crossovers he wasn’t a part of). And history has proven them right.

No one cared about him until he was gone. Then there were all sorts of campaigns. Really, where was all of it when he was headlining the book at the time?

“Hal: Sorry buddy, I’m purposely going out of my way not to help black people. I didn’t know all “you people” and were poor/dirty and required hand-outs from people better off then you. Silly me for not stopping by the ghettos to somehow get you a job/education/money, instead of saving the freakin’ world from alien invasions and such.”

Ohhh my Jeremy. Did you EVER read the issue? NO ONE was looking for a handout (f’r chrissakes, can’t this Republican myth just die??) The issue dealt with a slumlord who was collecting exhorbitant rent and not fixing his own building or bringing it up to code. And there was no one to appeal to at city hall cause the crooked politicians were turning a blind eye. So the point was being made by the man that if GL could help out the people on planet Mongo why couldn’t he help out people on Earth?

Really…there’s a reason why the story is a classic. It made the reader think about what was really going on here as opposed to Planet X. Hell, Superman himself started out as a social crusader. Course, nowadays he’d be called a “socialist” and vilified.

I’m with Smokescreen on this one. Hal Jordan was not interesting until he went crazy. I mean seriously, this is the guy who once quit the GLC strictly because he was pussy-whipped! Green Lantern is a great concept, but everyone else who put on a ring was more interesting than Hal. I honestly don’t understand why he needed to be brought back. If everyone hated kyle so much they could have just killed him and passed on the ring to someone new.

Oops, I forgot. Everyone at the new DCEntertainment are deathly afraid of new and original character ideas.

“The book was failing. No one was reading, and as I have the first 50 issues and then some of the run, I can see why. I actually applaud DC editorial for doing it and then having the guts in the letters page of issue 50 to explain why they did it. No one knew what to do with him (see his absence in Crisis, Armageddon 2001, and taken off-stage quickly in Eclipso, just to name a few major crossovers he wasn’t a part of). And history has proven them right.

No one cared about him until he was gone. Then there were all sorts of campaigns. Really, where was all of it when he was headlining the book at the time?”

Nothing more I love than revisionist history, the reason the book was failing was because DC editorial sabotaged Gerard Jones run, they wanted him to write be the lame Hard Traveling Heroes version of Hal and not the real one that Johns is writting. You ask where all the people were when volume 3 was going on i’ll tell you they were waiting for DC to get their heads out of their asses to they could actually read a Hal Jordan/Green Lantern book that didn’t suck. Sadly they had to wait another 10 years for that to happen, it’s no mystery why people are digging Johns run aside from him just telling good stories he actually knows how to write Hal Jordan not the lost, whinny and lame version that GL/GA brought upon the DCU.

The Cyborg reveal and Coast City destruction was so shocking to me at the age of 12 that it blew my fragile mind.

surprise to see a moment from the man who has everything already on this list. and agree the ending to batman year one is deserving one. death of arthur jr. was the first time showing loved ones of heroes could be targets not to mention it made black manta aqua mans own joker plus the fact dc okayed killing a baby in a comic.

“No offense to Jericho…”

Oh, why not? I could be offensive about him all day! (in my head, Nightwing’s second line is always delivered thus: “Why is Joseph wearing THAT uniform?”)

I had to laugh at reading #39 hot on the heels of yesterday’s selection. Compare and contrast Jericho’s get-up to the ‘emo dandy’ look of Grant Morrison when he meets Animal Man! And apologies to the poster who originally came up with ‘emo dandy’ – the phrase was worth nicking! P.

I know he used to pack heat, but Batman shouldn’t shoot people. One of several reasons I personally don’t like Grant Morrison’s writing.

Captain Librarian

August 13, 2010 at 7:55 am

For the record, I think the GL “What have you ever done for the blackskins?” moment works on a ‘meta’ level better than in story (although Crusader K is right, in the context of the story, Hal was protecting a corrupt landlord and needed to be shown the whole situation). I.E. “We have stories about alien people but almost no black superheroes? Why is that?”

But when your resume includes saving the world from aliens and disasters, it does come off a bit petty to ask “what have you done for me?” For comparison, imagine if Hal was instead a World War II vet who stormed the beaches of Normandy. It would come off as a bit self important.

“because DC editorial sabotaged Gerard Jones run”

The first 4 issues were him on the road moping. After Appa stole the cities for Mosaic, he got his ring back on and re-joined the corps., rebuilding it. Now, the worth of those stories is debatable, and I agree that stuff from the time like Trinity or the Evil Star story weren’t great, but he was hardly doing Hard Traveling heroes.

“it’s no mystery why people are digging Johns run aside from him just telling good stories he actually knows how to write Hal Jordan”

I forgot him not being in Legends in my original post; probably the most significant miss since the character was sitting there unused and primed for the JL re-launch and they went with Guy instead.

As for John’s take on the character, this is a matter of interpretation and largely subjective, so I’ll expect disagreement. Here’s my perspective:

Let’s look at John’s run. 1st year and a half (more or less): largely re-establishing him in the DCU. He has his deal with Batman, his deal with Green Arrow/Mongul, re-establishing him with Carol (only to find a hot blond instead), they do some re-working on the rogues during this time (with Black Hand being overhauled the most). What’s notable here is that these stories really don’t require any character development (and often it’s the same old Hal deal of womanizing and what not); they’re simply re-connecting him with the larger universe and, in some cases, resolving hanging threads (like Batman’s dislike).

mid-2nd year on:…and then it becomes Sinestro and the rainbow corps. I’ll argue that the narrative becomes primarily Sinestro’s story (EX: his long view of his partnership/relationship with Jordan, forming the yellow corps., having the red corps. pissed at him and the history there, having his daughter tied to Kyle and examining his view of the corps. and why they should be an order keeping force to be feared). If it’s not centered on Sinestro, it’s centered on the Guardian’s screw-ups (Agent Orange and Blackest Night, for example). Hal just wears a power ring and cleans up the messes in big action scenes and plays the role of head hero. Hey, I’d even argue that you could stick any GL into Hal’s role as hero and the same results would have happened in the major story lines (so if someone else wore every ring, would the story outcomes be that much different? Would it matter if it was Hal who took on Larfleeze or John or Guy or Kyle? What if some other lantern went white after Sinestro?). I see no discernible way that the outcomes of all of these stories are much different because Hal is front and center. We get nothing that really tells us anything about him except he’s really good at saving the day. He’s still as cardboard as he ever was iMHO with the same friggin’ plots (really, did we need to see his relationship with Carol not work again so she could be a Star Sapphire…ugh…hasn’t that played itself out?).

Maybe I expect too much. This is a character who’s betrayed everyone and everything he believed in, died, been brought back, and given a brand new slate. Yet, the writer places him in the same situations and sweep any real potential character development under the rug quickly (“oh, it was a yellow fear monster that turned you evil? Well, in that case, we’re cool.”). Way too pat for me. He doesn’t have to mope and whine through it, but he should have to do more than say “Hey, wasn’t my fault. Let’s go bust heads like the old days”.

Whatsamatta, Jeremy? Klan robes giving you a wedgie or something?

“Ohhh my Jeremy. Did you EVER read the issue? NO ONE was looking for a handout (f’r chrissakes, can’t this Republican myth just die??) The issue dealt with a slumlord who was collecting exhorbitant rent and not fixing his own building or bringing it up to code. And there was no one to appeal to at city hall cause the crooked politicians were turning a blind eye. So the point was being made by the man that if GL could help out the people on planet Mongo why couldn’t he help out people on Earth?

Really…there’s a reason why the story is a classic. It made the reader think about what was really going on here as opposed to Planet X. Hell, Superman himself started out as a social crusader. Course, nowadays he’d be called a “socialist” and vilified.”

Sorry, Captain Librarian, you’re presenting reasonable arguments and making sense. Right wingers don’t deal well with that. That’s why they keep to echo chambers like Fox News that program then with the appropriate party line and save them the trouble of having to engage in critical though.
August 13, 2010 at 7:55 am

Was the GL title really failing before Emerald Twilight? I’ve heard that before, but I seem to recall it being one of the more popular DC books at the time. It had three spin-off books going at that point, right?

I was never a Green Lantern fan as a kid. To me, he was an adult sidekick to either Green Arrow or Flash both of whom were infinitely more interesting.

But, one thing that came up in my head when Coast City was destroyed and Hal went nuts was remembering back to when Iris was killed. Barry begged Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern to find a way to bring her back. Bruce, Clark, and Diana all explained why they couldn’t, and even why they shouldn’t. But, Hal simply hung his head and said that his ring didn’t have the ability to do that.

As I recall, Barry said, “I’ve seen your ring turn mountains inside out. You say it can do anything you will it to. Are you saying you can’t, or you won’t?” And, then he used his superspeed to try and dismantle the satalite around the other JLers.

So, when Coast City went boom, I remembered Hal being upset that his ring didn’t have the power to bring Iris back. And, I thought it appropriately logical for him to think that if one ring couldn’t do it, then maybe he needed more rings, or the whole battery to do it. Maybe his guilt over not protecting the city re-opened the wounds of him not even trying to resurrect Iris.

Again, it made sense to me at the time.

Theno

I’m nowhere near right-wing or conservative, though I don’t call myself liberal either -regardless, I was a bit annoyed about that Green Lantern not helping the black man scene as well. And while I believe that EVERYONE has some racist thoughts in their head, I do not remotely believe that any particular race is superior to any other.
Super-Heroes fight villains and alien invasions. They’re powerless against typical human politics and corruption. Green Lantern wasn’t helping planet Mongo fight their own greed and corruption.

It’s nice to think heroes can make a difference in normal human injustices -but bringing real human issues into a comic book is tricky because real human injustices are far too complicated for a super-hero to conquer.

And it makes me sick to my stomach when people throw around stuff like “republican” and “democrat” as supposed insults and stereotyping someone’s thoughts or beliefs. Acting like someone is insensitive or heartless because because they’re “conservative” is just as stupid as acting like someone has no morals because they are “liberal’. You do your belief system no benefit from badmouthing others.

DanLarkin, you’re right. The book was fairly popular, and the other poster who was talking about the revisionist history earlier is also right. Problem is it was only FAIRLY popular. DC had just sold a lot of books through high-profile events like The Death of Superman and Knightfall, and they wanted a similar spike from GL. It was even in the advertising; the hype line was something like “We broke Batman, we killed Superman — wait til you see what we do with Green Lantern!”. And they did indeed get their spike … and shortly there after, sales went to right about where they’d always been anyway, minus Guy’s book and Mosaic, of course. Kyle sold about as well as Hal. But since DC had pretty much told Hal’s fans to go to hell with things like Kevin Dooley’s WETRATS rant in the Aquaman letter’s page, it was necessary to create the story that the book was failing, and only Kyle the Torchbearer and Ron Marz had saved the book.

“Was the GL title really failing before Emerald Twilight? I’ve heard that before, but I seem to recall it being one of the more popular DC books at the time. It had three spin-off books going at that point, right?”

Sorry for the back to back, but you posted this while I was typing that.

Yes, GL sold horribly. I was working in a small comic book store at the time, and it was the worst selling DC title. Mosaic and GLC may have been spin offs, but they sold at least five times as well. Actually, it was one of the worst selling titles we carried, from any company. We carried it mainly because the owner said that it didn’t feel like a comic book shop if every Marvel, DC, and Image title wasn’t represented on the shelves.

At the time, Batman was our leading DC title in sales. In our store, the biggest sellers were Spawn, Uncanny X-Men, Spider-Man, and Batman (possibly in that order.) In the months leading up to the Death of Superman, holds on his titles grew to around 35, mostly by people who wanted to make sure they got the much hyped crossover and whatever led into it. We ordered 55 copies of the Superman titles, and when Justice League and Green Lantern crossed over into Death, the pre-orders justifyed us increasing the orders of JL to 40 and GL to 4. Yes, 4. One for the guy who was already buying it, one for the guy who said he wanted it for the crossover, and two to put on the shelves.

Emerald Twilight kicked the sales up to 5 per month, and Kyle’s first year kept it rising to around 10 where it tapered off just shy of 15 until the Big 7 Justice League started. This is what allowed it to join the other main titles in sales figures.

Theno

rocketscientist

August 13, 2010 at 10:53 am

WRT this Emerald Twilight debate, here’s my perspective as someone who collected GL vol. 3 as one of his first series.

Initially, I really enjoyed the book. Gerard Jones’ initial arc, “The Road Back,” imo, was really great. Here’s Hal on the road, with this tremendous power but determined not to use it. In a way, that demonstrates tremendous strength of character, integrity, and will power, and it drives Guy, the egomaniac, nuts. There is a really fun conflict between the two.

Up to issue 25, where Hal took over the lead spot of the book, I really enjoyed GL vol. 3. Similarly, I thought Mosaic was great and Guy Gardner was really a funny book. GLC was a great book too.

After 25, though, the quality of GL, imo, started to suffer. More and more old continuity showed up and the stories, and Hal’s characterization,suffered. Later, in interviews with Gerard Jones, I found out the reason for this. Jones had a lot of conflict with editor Kevin Dooley over the direction of the book. Jones had a very specific goal for Hal, freeing him up to become more of a Indiana Jones/Han Solo type character, I believe he said, but Dooley continued to insist on bringing back more and more of the old GL storylines and the like. In the end, Jones just gave up. It’s ironic that during this period, I enjoyed GL: Mosaic, Guy Gardner, and GLC more than the title that spawned all those, GL. GL just wasn’t that fun to read anymore, barring a couple of times Jones seemed to get off the bench with a few of the final issues, namely the Trinity crossover and the War of the Supermen tie in where Coast City was destroyed. Those were good.

Obviously I wasn’t alone in noticing GL’s drop in quality. Sales started heading south. Head editor Mike Carlin, Denny O’Neil, Dooley, and I think Archie Goodwin decided to do another Death of Superman/Knightfall type event. They decided to remove Hal as GL in issue #50. Gerard Jones’ story involved Hal becoming The Protector with a connection to the green energy that didn’t need a ring. He was still going to be a hero. Carlin and company didn’t think that went far enough. They concocted the Emerald Twilight story, or the basic beats of it, and hired Ron Marz to write it.

I thought Emerald Twilight, given its length was really good. It certainly humanized Hal, but it was somewhat incredible since we just didn’t see much development of his mental state, except for the Coast City funeral issue in Superman, there was just no forshadowing. In issue 47 and JLI, Hal seems completely fine. That’s certainly not Marz’s fault though. IMO, considering the constraints that were put on him, he did an excellent job in moving Hal into a new “sympathetic villain” role as Parallax and introducing the new GL, Kyle Rayner.

As Marz said, he knew they would have readers for ET, but the trick was to hold onto them afterwards with Kyle and the “no GLC” status quo. His work speaks for itself. GL sales went up and GL was one of DC’s most successful books for most of the rest of vol. 3’s run (maybe it suffered a bit after Judd Winick left the book, I didn’t care for Ben Raab). Speaking for myself, I still enjoyed the book and became a Kyle Rayner fan, but I did miss Hal and the rest of the GLC.

I also thought Hal as Parallax was a fascinating character with a lot of potential. I think Marz’s portrayal of him in Final Night was just great. At that point, having saved the earth, Hal could’ve carried a book as a sympathetic anti-hero type hero, seeking some sort of redemption or understanding. I thought it was stupid to kill him off. Years later, on Geoff Johns MB, Ron Marz informed me that he pitched a Parallax series to DC, but TPB turned it down. Instead, they made Hal the Spectre, which turned out to be terrible (Marz thought it was a stupid idea too). I think it’s pretty obvious that Parallax was a lot better concept for post-GL Hal than Spectre. The editors really blew it there.

All that said, I’m very glad that Hal is back as GL and being written well. Marz really likes the book too, primarily because, as he said, Hal is being written as Hal, and not the whiny character he was in GL vol. 3 and earlier. Furthermore, I’m really glad that Kyle is still around as well in GLC (though I think he does deserve his own solo book, I miss him on earth and with the JLA). It’s no secret that Kyle was on the chopping block in Identity Crisis and only the intervention of Geoff Johns saved him.

rocketscientist

August 13, 2010 at 11:02 am

WRT vol. 3 sales, now, I don’t know for sure, but what I’ve heard is that before ET, GL sales were not at cancellation levels. That said, sales weren’t great either and may have been slipping.

If anything ET and the introduction of Kyle at the very least brought GL sales back to where they were prieviously and sales were fairly consistent from that point on.

We can all debate over and over again whether Hal’s departure was necessary or not, but I think the facts indicate that the Kyle Rayner era was successful. I mean, that character carried the book for over 10 years, right?

“Then again, what kind of dad finds his toddler’s body and leaves it with a giant f*^king octopus?”

A Dad who is the king of the seven seas!

Hal Jordan becoming paralax is the single moment that made me Love Hal and the entire Green Lantern world. Best decision they could have made. Its such a great moment and to have this great man fall from grace and then later redeem him self its what makes comics great. and the fact that they never tried to just wipe it away. That just keeps me reading. I love it.

rocketscientist

August 13, 2010 at 6:26 pm

I hear ya, Fred.

Like I said, I became a fan of Hal with Gerard Jones’ The Road Back (1-8 of GL. vol. 3). Hal becoming Parallax, though, was just great. It was just great drama (or is that melodrama?). The only thing that sucks about it is that DC ended it so soon by killing Hal off in Final Night. Marz really wanted to do more things with Hal/Parallax, and Final Night could’ve been the perfect point to start a new Parallax series.

Geoff Johns could’ve still used his “yellow impurity” retcon to bring Hal back as GL if they’d left him as Parallax. In fact, it would’ve been an easier story to write because he wouldn’t have been dead as well.

As I said, Hal as Parallax was A LOT better than Hal as Spectre. Yeah, Geoff wrote Hal/Spectre well in Day of Judgement and JSA, (and Ron Marz did a decent job of it in an issue of GL, even though he thought it was a terrible idea) but JM Dematteis’ Spectre ongoing was generally terrible. In that series, Hal wasn’t a Hal. If anything, he was even whinier than he was in the later Gerard Jones issues of GL. Also, the Spectre wasn’t the Spectre. Dematteis made the Spectre the spirit of redemption and instead of examining moral issues like John Ostrander did so amazingly well in his and Tom Mandrake’s Spectre series, made the book all about new-agey mysticism. I wasn’t surprised that that book failed with both GL and Spectre fans (of which I am both).

To sum it up, the ongoing should’ve been Hal as Parallax, not Hal Spectre, at least not JM Dematteis’ Spectre.

39 – If Jack Kirby had introduced that Jericho costume for a character in the Fourth World, as a pretty boy Young God or a new dandy assistant for Kanto, it would have blended right in and looked fine, if rather uninspired. But for another artist to try this look in a mainstream 80s comic was embarrassingly absurd.

That said, Nightwing’s ridiculous new look was even more atrocious, given the importance of the character.

“As for John’s take on the character, this is a matter of interpretation and largely subjective, so I’ll expect disagreement. Here’s my perspective:

Let’s look at John’s run. 1st year and a half (more or less): largely re-establishing him in the DCU. He has his deal with Batman, his deal with Green Arrow/Mongul, re-establishing him with Carol (only to find a hot blond instead), they do some re-working on the rogues during this time (with Black Hand being overhauled the most). What’s notable here is that these stories really don’t require any character development (and often it’s the same old Hal deal of womanizing and what not); they’re simply re-connecting him with the larger universe and, in some cases, resolving hanging threads (like Batman’s dislike). ”

You might need to go back and re-read those stories because they are full of characterization when it comes to Hal, hell even the people who don’t like GL would admit that the first year of stories is some of the best character work on the character in decades. Don’t be fooled beause Johns doesn’t decide to sacrifice storylines and action in his book that he was not doing great work showing people who Hal was and what made him tick.

“mid-2nd year on:…and then it becomes Sinestro and the rainbow corps. I’ll argue that the narrative becomes primarily Sinestro’s story (EX: his long view of his partnership/relationship with Jordan, forming the yellow corps., having the red corps. pissed at him and the history there, having his daughter tied to Kyle and examining his view of the corps. and why they should be an order keeping force to be feared). If it’s not centered on Sinestro, it’s centered on the Guardian’s screw-ups (Agent Orange and Blackest Night, for example). Hal just wears a power ring and cleans up the messes in big action scenes and plays the role of head hero. Hey, I’d even argue that you could stick any GL into Hal’s role as hero and the same results would have happened in the major story lines (so if someone else wore every ring, would the story outcomes be that much different? Would it matter if it was Hal who took on Larfleeze or John or Guy or Kyle? What if some other lantern went white after Sinestro?). I see no discernible way that the outcomes of all of these stories are much different because Hal is front and center. We get nothing that really tells us anything about him except he’s really good at saving the day. He’s still as cardboard as he ever was iMHO with the same friggin’ plots (really, did we need to see his relationship with Carol not work again so she could be a Star Sapphire…ugh…hasn’t that played itself out?).”

This is another myth, Johns has gone on record that GL volume 4 would not work with anyother GL because Hal isn’t just anyother guy not when Geoff is writting him his interactions and reactions with other characters is unique. Also pulling out the old Hal is cardboard talking point just shows people aren’t really keeping up with the character as Johns writes him because there is nothing 1 dimensional about Hal as opposed to in other volumes where he was a tired one note shell of himself.

:Maybe I expect too much. This is a character who’s betrayed everyone and everything he believed in, died, been brought back, and given a brand new slate. Yet, the writer places him in the same situations and sweep any real potential character development under the rug quickly (“oh, it was a yellow fear monster that turned you evil? Well, in that case, we’re cool.”). Way too pat for me. He doesn’t have to mope and whine through it, but he should have to do more than say “Hey, wasn’t my fault. Let’s go bust heads like the old days.”

Maybe you just don’t get what makes Hal Jordan popular with his fans, it’s because he’s not the typical whinny hero or a guy who mopes around because his life sucks thanks to him being a hero. No Hal enjoys life, he enjoys being a hero, he kicks ass, takes names, sleeps with beautiful women and is actually someone who I want to read about which says more than most heroes who come off completelly boring and nowhere near as much fun as Hal and I have to thank Johns for that big time.

Captain Librarian

August 13, 2010 at 11:08 pm

For the record Adam Weissman, I’m a registered Republican, and consider myself pretty ‘right wing’ in both economic and social matters. Doesn’t mean I don’t see that super hero comics in the 60s underrepresented african americans. Although I did point out what I see as flaws in the story. They /were/ pretty preachy and heavy handed, even patronizing and just don’t always hold up over time, especially after other creators made so many more nuanced stories. But people have seen it as a ‘landmark’ in comics and this arc pretty much solidified Green Arrow’s character forever, Batman: Brave and the Bold cartoon version notwithstanding.

Of course, my favorite Green Lantern is Animated John Stewart, followed by Tomar-Re and Rot Lop Fan :P Speaking of animation by the way, does anyone have a source to confirm the story I’ve heard that Alan Moore actually /liked/ the adaptation of “For the Man Who has Everything?”

Well, since 3 of these moments weren’t on my list, it’s impossible for me to see all my picks in the 75. It’ll be interesting to see what ones didn’t make it.

Did Hal become Parallax in GL 50? I don’t have that, but I do have Zero Hour, that came out a few months later, and the impression I had of it was that Hal was just becoming Parallax. Is it that Hal first revealed himself to the DCU as Parallax in Zero Hour?

I like T’s idea of rating our feelings on the moments, but I can just see Brian’s head spinning at the thought. No…More…statistics!

I forget where I read it, maybe on Lying in the Gutters, Cap’n Librarian, but I think I did read that Moore liked the adaptation. but I could be wrong.

No offense to EJ, but I don’t see that you really backed up your points in disputing Smokescreen about how the latest GL volume is and how it MUST BE Hal. But I don’t read GL either, so I don’t know.

To me, Hal and Barry Allen are both characters that seemed to be romanticized by fans. I grew up reading in the 90s and beyond, and never really saw anything of those characters that were that interesting. Until Waid’s series of JLA Year One and Flash and GL Brave and the Bold, I never (myself) saw that they were as interesting as everyone said. I started picking up GL after Emerald Twilight, and for a while, it was the comic I regularly purchased (I got other comics, but they were hit and miss, and I didn’t get to go to the comic store regularly. GL was on spinner racks in grocery stores and the local WalMart, so I could get those if I had to go with mom grocery shopping.). Kyle and Wally were MY GL and Flash, and Marz and Waid made them interesting.

So, yeah.

Oh boy, looks like I didn’t close off my italics. Dammit.

No offence taken, I didn’t even want to get into a whole thing about Hal again but old habits die hard. The thing is for the most part Kyle/Wally fans and Hal/Barry fans will never see eye to eye were just too different fanbases that want and enjoy different things from our heroes and comics. That’s why we can read the same books and get 2 completelly different things from them, i’m just happy that both my heroes are alive and no one else’s had to get killed to have them back.

rocketscientist

August 15, 2010 at 8:03 am

Travis Pelkie: “Did Hal become Parallax in GL 50? I don’t have that, but I do have Zero Hour, that came out a few months later, and the impression I had of it was that Hal was just becoming Parallax. Is it that Hal first revealed himself to the DCU as Parallax in Zero Hour?”

Hal got the suit and the power at the end of GL 50, the end of Emerald Twilight.

The next time he appeared, I believe, was in the Guy Gardner series arc “Emerald Fallout,” written by Chuck Dixon and Beau Smith. Guy’s ring, which was previously Sinestro’s, gets a big power boost from the fallout of the destruction of the Central Power Battery and, initally, stops working. The power comes back later when Guy fights Militia (the villain who is his older brother Mace). It is a lot of power. Then, Alan Scott rounds up a JLA Task Force, Guy, J’onn (who was leading Justice League Task Force), Wonderwoman, Captain Atom (who was leading Extreme Justice), the Ray, Dark Star Kolos, and Arisia (with a big gun). You cas see scenes from this event in GL #55.

Hal’s next appearance was in Zero Hour. That’s where he first called himself Parallax and gave the reasons for the name.

And I hear you wrt Hal and Barry. I got into comics in the 90s too. Like I said, I started GL with vol. 3, but I don’t know if I would say Hal was my GL, since, up to issue #25, the book focused on Hal, John, and Guy in turns and I was reading JLA and Guy Gardner with Guy, GL: Mosaic with John, and GL with Hal. Like I said, during the post- GL 25 period, I’d say Guy Gardner and Mosaic were more interesting to read than GL. I have A LOT more GL issues with Kyle (just about all of them except for a short sabattical from comics), than I ever had with Hal. And I never read a book starring Barry as the Flash except for Waid’s JLA: Year One and Brave and the Bold. I never ever got into the Flash. I’ve tried, but it just doesn’t appeal to me. I know it was a great book with Waid and Geoff Johns writing Wally, but I just never got into it.

But, like I said, I’m really enjoying Hal in GL right now. The characterization just makes sense. That was the problem I had with Gerard Jones’ later issues and very much so with JM Dematteis’ characterization of Hal in The Spectre. The guy just did not seem like a test pilot. He just seemed indecisive and unconfident, something that a guy based on the pilots of The Right Stuff and given a GL ring for being fearless just would not be imo. That’s one thing Geoff’s GL: Rebirth explained, how Hal’s character changed from what it was initially to the O’Neil Adams soul searching to Gerard Jones portrayal. Johns chalked that all up to the prodding of Parallax, who was trapped in the CPB at the time. I thought that was a pretty clever retcon (although there are certainly some things that didn’t jibe with history, of course).

I’m fucking black for one thing. Don’t act like you know me. Its just so damn heavy handed the way this panel was presented. “Yeah, you fight aliens, but what about helping the black skins!?” Get that shit out of here.

Ah, thanks, rocketscientist. That’s what I love about CSBG, we try to help each other out. Like thanks to Brian (presumably) for closing off my italics above. Of course, that makes that other post of mine look weird on its own…

I’m pretty sure I have GL 55, so I’ll have to check that and Zero Hour out. I better read Rebirth some time too. Hope a library gets it :)

And I kind of liked JMD’s Hal as Spectre. Maybe cuz he had good artists (Ryan Sook, Norm Breyfogle).

And you should try Flash again, rocketscientist. It’s good stuff, but hey, if it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing.

rocketscientist

August 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm

No worries, Travis! : ) I’m happy to help and I have fun discussing comics with others because I just don’t know anyone else in my real-life circle that are as in to it (although some of the kids I’ve shown my Batman statures and GL figures to have expressed some interest).

You should definitely check out Rebirth. Johns and Van Sciver really did a great job getting Hal (and Guy) back as GLs and Kyle is the guy who does it. The book is already a classic.

WRT Flash, y’know, I might give it another try. I did read a few issues of Mark Waid’s run and I did read Johns and Van Sciver’s Flash: Rebirth. It’s good stuff, and I really liked the Rogues, but for some reason, I just don’t like the Flash as much as my favorites, Batman and GL, or even Superman. It’s hard to say why, since Wally was a great character and the Rogues were developed wonderfully by Geoff Johns. I think it’s just because I like Batman and GL more and I have to prioritize wrt money. There are so many characters I really like, Batman and GL being the biggest, and Martian Manhunter, Supes, the Spectre, Booster Gold and Beetle from JLI, and even Aquaman being others, that I gotta be choosy when it comes to comics. And y’know, I really like the whole idea of the Atom too, probably because I studied so much quantum mechanics in college and I love the whole sci-fi and science possibilities of that character.

The other thing might be, that, forever reasons, the Flash’s super-speed power just doesn’t work for me. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you consider Superman and Manhunter’s collection of powers, the GL rings, etc., but for some reason, the speed-force thing and the like just never ever worked for me. Sorry, I know that doesn’t seem to make sense. Like I said, I know that Flash has been a great book for a long time and obviously a lot of people love it and it’s been recommended to me a lot. It just hasn’t clicked for me.

Anyway, hope you’re having a great day Travis!

Take it easy!

Bob

Hey rocketscientist, you think maybe your problem with Flash is that he so vastly over-powers his Rogues Gallery that he should be able to mop them all up before any of them ever get off a shot? Captain Boomerang and Mirror master would be worthy adversaries to Batman, Green Arrow, Blue Beetle, even Hawkman. They just don’t work against someone as powerful as the Flash, and without worthy opponents to challenge him a hero just isn’t that interesting.

And the fact that these guys manage to give Flash a hard time makes him look like a idiot.

rocketscientist

August 15, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Nah, Zor El, that’s not my problem with the Flash. I’ve never really thought much about that issue. I probably should’ve, but I didn’t.

As far as the Rogues go, their organization and sense of ethics makes them really interesting to me. They’re not like Batman’s collection of psychos, monsters, and mobsters at all!

Well, I’d say the Flash’s villains are (mostly) science based, which is probably why they can give him any trouble.

If money’s an issue, check out your local libraries. Most of them any more have a graphic novel section, and they have a wide (if scattershot at times) selection. One of my local libraries has the Wally collections of Return of Barry Allen and Terminal Velocity, which are probably good places to start with Waid’s Flash. I think another library has a collection or 2 from Johns’s run, which I like what I’ve read of it.

Hey Jeremy, Congratulations on your blackness. How long have you been that way?

I’ll grant you that the scene reads a bit heavy handed now, but were you even alive when GL/GA #76 was published?

I was, and I’m here to tell you that at the time the idea that black people even existed, let alone that some of them might be having a tougher time than white folks getting an even break wasn’t getting a lot of exposure in most media and not at all in comics.

I was the target audience of the book (a white kid in his early teens) and reading it opened my eyes to a few things that not a lot of people where I lived (and nobody in my family) talked about. Thankfully, lots of things have changed since then and plenty more still need to, but the fact remains that the scene was ground-breaking in simply introducing the topic of racial prejudice and social injustice.

Bob, just Bob,

You make some good points, but you lose all credibility when you start calling names and making racially charged insults. It tends to make people who may otherwise agree with you instead want to stand apart from you. Something to think about.

@Zor-El of Argo:

Bob was just trying to lighten the mood by making a joke, and not even a particularly “racist” one at that. Considering the aggressive and rude manner in which Jeremy responded, I think Bob kept his composure rather well.

The scene in question was perhaps a bit naive by the writers but at least they were TRYING to address the issue, which made that issue, and series, ground-breaking.

I absolutely agree with those points. I was pretty young when I first read that book and didn’t even know any black people, let alone how unfairly they were treated. If I took Bob’s opening comment at Jeremy to seriously I apologize. Irony and sarcasm are hard to pull off in writing, way to easy to come across as condescending and offensive unintentionally. I have fallen in that trap a few times myself.

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