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Subj: Re: Why (How) didn't you like Rebirth?
Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 12:53:26 pm CDT (Viewed 1 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Why (How) didn't you like Rebirth?
Posted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 03:27:56 pm CDT (Viewed 641 times)
Thanks for the (Lengthy) follow-up, SP! Itâ€™s always good to read an thought-out post and I appreciate it. I canâ€™t help but think this would be better served on the GL board:
Here is a thread I posted back in 2005 when Rebirth was fresh in my mind. In short, I had been reading 11 years' worth of GL comics with Hal as the evil Parallax so when Rebirth came along to undo it, I wanted an explanation that was worth the wait. I went into it saying "as long as they don't say something lame like 'he was possessed all along' then it'll be OK" which is exactly what Johns ended up doing. Even if they played the "Hal wasn't in control of his actions" card, I wouldn't have minded if it had been a premiere villian like Sinestro or Krona behind it all. Instead Johns chose to make Parallax a seperate character, a sort of vague energy being from the dawn of time shaped like an insect or something. I thought it was really lame.
See, I have to admit right off the bat, I only collected the Emerald Dawn storyline when it came out originally came out, â€˜cause it looked cool to see Hal destroying the GLC. Since that story, the only DC books I picked up where Morrisonâ€™s JLA run and Waid/Johnsâ€™ Flash run, so Iâ€™m missing the time between Emerald and Rebirth, so I canâ€™t comment on what happened between the time. Although I wasnâ€™t a big fan of Parallax, I did think he served his purpose for the storyline in order to give an, â€œOutâ€ for Johns to use as a springboard. I really have no major beef with his out, since it reversed Hal from being a murderer and gave him a chance to save face. In fact, I do think John played the, â€œ Hal not in control of his actions,â€ just by using (Again I'll admit lame villain) Parallax. I will admit that the Ion/Parallax entities are kind of left dangling and as of now, with no further story telling, do seem to be weak concepts (Iâ€™m assuming there are entities for the other colors as well), but time will tell.
What's worse was that a series of retcons followed that I found unnecessary. For example the GL Corps was no longer said to have been founded as an agency for policing wrongdoing in the universe. The Central Power Battery was now said to be merely a prison to hold Parallax and the GLs' purpose is to send willpower into it to keep him there, instead of drawing power from it to police the universe, which now seemed like an afterthought.
See, I thought the central battery is/was the source of the GLâ€™s power and due to itâ€™s power, itâ€™s the perfect cell for Parallax. Like itâ€™s not its intended use, but it fitâ€™s what is needed, so they went with it and now because of it, the GLâ€™s must constantly battle their own fears constantly or be forced to be seduced by Parallax since a part of him is within their individual rings. Maybe I read too much into that. I know that Johns uses A LOT of retcons, but again this addresses the lack of follow-up I have with GL, so I donâ€™t know what toes are being stepped on. I will say, without knowing the full history, I like the current Secret Origins story and like what johns has been adding in/retelling. Maybe Iâ€™m way off base, but he seems to be adding to the mythos and laying the groundwork for future storylines, without taking away the original characterization of the individuals (In fact, he seems to be adding to them: Abin, Sinestro while a GL, Ferris, Hammond, and of course Attrocious). But, being that my biggest beef with Brubaker is his mischaracterizations, maybe Johns is doing the same thing. If so, please let me know.
The 24 hour recharge rule was replaced with a percentage countdown as GLs draw power from their batteries, and the yellow weakness is no longer absolute but now something that can be overcome just by trying hard.
See, again maybe I misinterpreted. I thought the 24-hour was still in effect and the percent was just the countdown to the 24th-hour. Maybe Iâ€™m misreading. Also, I thought Yellow was still a weakness and they have to try hard to not be overtaken by the Yellow Impurity. Kind of like they now have to careful not to be taken over by the other colors (Like we saw with the Red Lanturn).
I don't like these changes because what I liked about GLs in the old days were that they didn't have to be tough so much as smart. The rings had inherent weaknesses which the GL had to overcome with intelligence. Now the rings' weaknesses can be overcome just by toughing your way through it. It goes towards my disappointment in the big Sodam Yat/Superboy-Prime battle toward the end of the Sinestro Corps War. Here's two guys with all the GL/Sinestro power set, who also have full Daxamite/Kryptonian powers, and also have Ion/Anti-Monitor armor. Imagine all the possibilities! What happens is pretty much just two guys punching each other for an issue. That seems to be mostly what the GLs do these days. They don't make many constructs or apply much intelligence to their ring function, they just punch things and shoot things.
I can agree with you here. In fact the best source for ring constructs has been Bâ€™zzzz (Or however they spelled his name). I really canâ€™t recall the last time Hal used a construct, rather than a power blast or generic force wall. This hasnâ€™t been a deal breaker, but it would be good to see more constructs, rather than hand-to-hand combat. It would serve the GLâ€™s stories well to see more thought based constructs, which is the source of GLâ€™s ring abilities, rather than hand-to-hand. Again, not a deal breaker, but something to wish for.
Also retconned out was Sinestro's death back in the '80s. Now I'm glad Sinestro has returned to the living, I just don't know why they couldn't have resurrected him like they did Hal. Instead they told us he was never dead, just imprisoned in the Central Power Battery which invalidates the whole story where the GL Corps executed him, and the whole reason the CPB imploded as a result, and also invalidates all the stories that followed with Sinestro's ghost and his corpse in the GL Crypt where Guy Gardner acquired the yellow ring in the '90s. It seems like one little thread got pulled but it unravels the whole tapestry. Johns could have maintained that Sinestro had been dead all this time, and just said that since Sinestro had corrupted Hal through the CPB he used Hal's Spectre powers to bring himself back to life. Just because Johns references old stories doesn't mean he's respecting continuity if everything he references originally happened differently than the way he says it did.
See, Iâ€™m only aware of Sinestroâ€™s death in Emerald Dawn and his return in Rebirth, so Iâ€™ll plead ignorance for the most part. But, since Johns is a big fan of retcons, couldnâ€™t it be simply stated that as result of seeing his friend Abin killed, Sinestro took it upon himself to plan for an untimely death and how to work around that. Almost like when he would die, events would be put into motion to bring him back or store his essence. Almost as if Sinestro made a pact with the yellow impurity (Parallax) to bring about his return. So once his ring was used by Guy, it brought about the return of Sinestro. Iâ€™m thinking that this is a story that Johns will expand upon in the near future.
The Lost Lanterns were also casualties of retcon since some of them were shown to be dead in the original stories (such as Tomar-Tu who was confirmed in Guy Gardner Warrior) yet here Johns just tells us that they never died, they were just captured by the Manhunters. Bringing Arisia back by saying that her race just happens to be born with an "extra life" or whatever and can heal from any mortal wound once seems like another extremely cheap resurrection with no thought applied to it.
Again, Iâ€™m unaware of this, but I know that Amon can return from major wounds (Which is why he was vaporized), so I donâ€™t see why the same canâ€™t be applied to Arisia. Everyone returns from comic death at some point and itâ€™s the why added with the how that makes it significant. If it was a cheap retcon, rather than an actual thought-out plot point, then I can understand your anger. I guess the big picture would be to see how the characters have been used since brought back to life. Just what Iâ€™ve read from Johns run since rebirth, he hasnâ€™t had to undo any items from his lengthy run, so I have no problems, but I can only go by Johnsâ€™ run.
And I just don't think the Rainbow Coalition of Lantern Corps is all that inspired. A Yellow Corps to fight the GLs works, I guess, although I think I preferred Sinestro as the only yellow ring-slinger backed up by the Thunderers of Qward. But turning the Star Sapphires into the Violet Lantern Corps seems like it's just taking away what made them unique and making them a copy of something else. And with 4 more Corps to follow, I don't really see the point. I think GLs of varying emotional state would be interesting. Having a seperate Corps for every mood and assigning only members of that mood to that Corps will be more limiting. I don't see why having seven Corps that are each defined by a single emotional state is more interesting than having one Corps which displays all emotions.
Likes/Dislikes here. I happen to be a fan. But again, Iâ€™m missing a large amount of GL history. Iâ€™m thinking that after the War of Light, there will be one color that fuses all colors: Most likely white. I think it makes sense that Sinestro would get his own corps. Kind of like, â€œHey I donâ€™t need to be in your club. Iâ€™ll make my own and it will be cooler.â€
It's everything about Rebirth through the Sinestro War and leading into the Blackest Night that bothers me. I don't understand bringing back the Anti-Monitor and making him a henchman. I don't understand taking Kyle's one-time power boost and making it into a new, ill-defined cosmic character called Ion and failing to give it a personality or purpose. I don't understand the Guardians thinking they can make GLs better by making them into half-Manhunters, their greatest failure. Guardians may not be ethical but I didn't think they were this stupid. If Johns has a method to all his madness here, I can't see it.
Letâ€™s see what happens. The Guardians obviously have some reason for continuing to go back to the Manhunters. And maybe Iâ€™m missing it again, but I thought the Anti-Monitor was only at a lower level of his power and was hoping to be restored to his true level via the ring? What I think thatâ€™s happening, and I think Johns is showing this, is that events are being put into motion that are forcing the Guardianâ€™s hands. They are being forced to make decisions that require further thinking/research, but the events are happening too quickly and all the Guardians can do is react. itâ€™s like they are left with saying, â€œWhat other choice do we have, but go with this?â€ Iâ€™m thinking things like this will only increase for the Guardians and will become much harder. In fact, I can the Guardians becoming an antiquated commodity in the near future.
Overall, I guess Iâ€™m just missing out on the history of the GL universe. Iâ€™m cringing that I may be doing the exact same thing that irritates me about people liking Bruâ€™s Captain America: Liking something that flies in the face of history and characterization. I guess Iâ€™ll have to ask: Regardless of the retcons, have the characters been acting in Character? From what I know, the characters have acted according to how they should be written and have actually furthered the storyline by simply acting how they would/should act. Is this true?
> Just as a follow-up: Who would you consider the best writers in comics today?
Look, this has been a severe slam against Johns but it's mostly for his GL stuff. At the same time I praised Johns for his work on Booster Gold which I said was DC's best book. And I mostly like his JSA, I just think he has so many plot threads going that the pace is pretty slow.
See, I have to say I love ALL of Johns stuff. I could care less about anything in the DC Universe, but I now find that time goes by at a snails pace for his DC stuff. I love it. GL = My favorite comic right now. Action Comics = Love it and Superman may be my least favorite comic hero. JLA = Incredible and I could care les about nearly all the characters. Man, I so wish Johns would go back to Marvel.
I don't think there are any writers that I can universally praise. Morrison turns out some great stuff but I wasn't so fond of Seven Soldiers and it seems like Final Crisis is playing out the same way. By the way, I liked Johns' FC tie-in with the Legion of 3 Worlds.
Used to love both Morrison and Millar, but I find Iâ€™m enjoying both of their stuff much less now. Millar jumped the shark for me at the end of Civil War with his mischaracterization of Cap. Iâ€™ve been browsing Morrisonâ€™s Bat-Man and it looks good, but I just donâ€™t care about Bat-Man.
I think Busiek is the most respectful of continuity and since I'm a long-time reader I appreciate it. But his stories themselves can sometimes be dry. I haven't found any of his writing to be bad but his Superman stuff and now Trinity just haven't been exciting either. I really liked his Avengers though.
Busiek has always been good and he actually got me to care about Conan for a time (Along with Nord). He is my second favorite Avengers writer, behind (You guessed it) Johns.
I liked Simone on Birds of Prey but haven't been that wowed by her other projects. Secret Six was okay, we'll see how the ongoing feels.
I picked up the first couple of arcs of SS and I liked them. Simone is a writer Iâ€™d like to read more of, but she doesnâ€™t write any other books I care to look through (Which is what Johns was doing, so I may have to bite the bullet, like I did with Johns and just pick up her stuff).
I was never really a fan of Waid before, but I really like The Brave and the Bold, it's been incredible. Hated his Legion though.
Always been a fan of Waid. Stopped reading him since he went to DC. Waiting for him to come back to Marvel.
You can tell I'm mostly reading DC these days, nobody at Marvel has motivated me to buy their comics. I've been reading Avengers out of habit for a long time, but ever since Civil War it's hard to get into the books. Bendis is some good/some bad.
I have to admit, the best stories seem to be at DC right now. Marvel has the better artists. Was a big fan of Bendis, but ever since he started doing Avengers, he has gone WAY down on my list. Heâ€™s a better individual character writer, rather than a team writer.
I generally like Giffen and Dixon at DC, although they can turn out some stinkers, most of the time they do good work.
Never liked Dixon. Ever. I thought his stories were boring and just left me feeling angry.
I don't know, I guess for me it's a question of matching the writer to the character and the story they want to tell with that character. Every good writer has a bad story in them, and sometimes good writers just don't work with certain characters.
I totally agree. My favorite book of all time: Captain America, currently is being written by Brubaker and is getting universal praise, yet I hate it more and more with every issue. Itâ€™s easily my least favorite book right now and Iâ€™m considering dropping it. Iâ€™ve been with the book since â€™84 and Iâ€™ve stuck through Cap-Wolf! The scary thing is, many of my reasons for hating this run so much seem to parallel your dislikes for GL. This is why I wanted more info on the GL history to see if John is doing the same thing.
I have my eyes on Fraction as an up-and-comer.
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