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24th October 2014

Addressing Arguments Against Using John Stewart as the Cinematic Green Lantern

Green Lantern JS!

With the announcement of a new Green Lantern movie scheduled for 2020, many people are getting into figurative camps, supporting which Green Lantern they think should be the focus of the film, and a member of the Justice League. It always comes down to two characters above all others; John Stewart and Hal Jordan. Naturally, I am 1000% behind John Stewart. In browsing the net, I have seen some arguments in favor of Hal Jordan, and I’d like to address a couple of the more consistent ones, and bring out why I feel they don’t hold much water.

First up is that Hal Jordan has more stories to adapt than John Stewart.

I will concede that is true! Hal Jordan does have more comic book stories centered on him than John. However, this argument seems to carry the implication that comic book movies are direct adaptations of the source material. It is actually very rare that they are. This argument also implies that people cannot simply write new stories that accommodate the John Stewart character. As if writing stories for this particular character is virtually impossible. If that was truly the case, we wouldn’t have episodes of Justice League that are focused on him, like “Blackest Night,” “Hearts and Minds,” and “Starcrossed.” None of those events ever happened in comics, and yet they’re famous stories. The show had writers that wrote for the character. It was really simple. I don’t see why the films must be different.

I think we should consider why Hal Jordan has been focused on much more than John Stewart. There are layers of reasons, such as Hal Jordan being created first, writers and editors preferring Hal Jordan, and so on. However, underneath all of those, the core reason is because the products that DC Comics has been putting out for decades upon decades have been made primarily by, and primarily for, White males, which Hal Jordan is depicted as being. For this great length of time, appealing to other demographics has not been anything they strived to do with any great effort.

Given that the comics that birthed Hal Jordan were the product of a society that was very much rooted in racism, it was virtually impossible for John Stewart –a Black character- to be a huge showcase in that climate. When the Green Lantern series was rebooted in 1960, in the United States, people who looked like the John Stewart character had to drink out of specialized water fountains away from the normal ones, had to sit in the back of buses, and were refused service at certain eating establishments, all because of the way they looked. What are the chances that there would be an idealized superhero that looked like John Stewart and was the star of a popular comic book series back then?

The question, then, is should this system where only Whites are idealized heroes be preserved? Should Black characters be denigrated because they never had the opportunities of the considerably more privileged White ones? This system, which is deeply rooted in the industry and the fanbase, is built on the notion of White male power fantasy.

Now it’s 2014, and we live in a different time, when people are fortunately much less ignorant, on the whole. In actuality, people of today have even accepted and been acclimated to a Black Green Lantern, more so than the White one. This is because progressive people (Bruce Timm, James Tucker, Dwayne McDuffie, et al.) gave the Black character an opportunity, instead of holding him back because of an outmoded “tradition,” which is ultimately rooted in racist ideals.

If Black characters are continually held back for White ones, because, “That’s the way it was sixty years ago,” we may as well come out and call superheroes a White male pastime and be done with it.

Another argument I see is that too much time and money was spent on making Hal Jordan viable. Therefore, WB should stick with him.

This one is, frankly, very foolish to me. First of all, a lot of time and money was spent building up John Stewart in Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, and related merchandise, yet DC and WB didn’t have a problem completely shafting him when the 2011 Green Lantern movie was made, or in their numerous direct to DVD animated films, or in Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and so on. So, why should Hal Jordan get preferential treatment now?

What is even more unfair about this reasoning is that a lot of time and money was lost in backing the Hal Jordan character! The big budget film lost money, the merchandise didn’t sell, and the cartoon didn’t last long. Why should WB risk throwing even more money down that funnel? Why should Hal Jordan continue to get all these chances when John Stewart has never failed them, and when legions of fans are dying to see him on the big screen?

This argument just smacks of White privilege to me. It seems to support the idea that a White person/character can fail, and continue to get opportunity after opportunity, yet a Black person/character can actually SUCCEED and still get all their opportunities taken away.

This is why I will boycott the DC films if Hal Jordan is chosen over John Stewart. I simply will not accept that racist exercise. John Stewart has only ever succeeded for WB, and for him to continue to be disenfranchised… well… it smacks of racism! It smacks of trying to hold onto that outdated principle where Black characters do not get opportunities, because that’s the way it was a long time ago.

There is no logical reason not to use John Stewart. There are reasons rooted in passion and personal preference, but no good reason born of rationality, fairness, and just good business sense. John Stewart is this generation’s Green Lantern. He’s never failed. The Hal Jordan projects bombed hard, and many people wondered why Hal Jordan wasn’t John Stewart. That, in itself, is extremely telling.

The fans are dying to see Green Lantern John Stewart and he’s primed for success!



21st October 2014

Green Lantern Corps #38 and Secret Origins #9 Solicits

DC Comics has released the solicits for their comics line for January, 2015. There are a few big things that will interest fans of Green Lantern John Stewart. First is Green Lantern Corps #38. Check out the cover and sales pitch below.

Green Lantern Corps #38 Cover

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #38
Written by VAN JENSEN
Art and cover by BERNARD CHANG
THE FLASH 75 Variant cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ
On sale JANUARY 14 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
The devastated Corps returns to a universe that has grown much different – and much more dangerous – in their absence. John Stewart must lead the weakened Green Lanterns against a truly demonic threat’s expanding its dark reach across the cosmos.

I imagine this is when the Shadow Empire story begins. It sounds like John is the full blown leader of the Green Lantern Corps. That’s great! It was a long time coming.

Fans have been asking for a John Stewart Secret Origins story, and they finally get their wish with Secret Origins #9.

Secret Origins #9 Cover

SECRET ORIGINS #9
Written by CHARLES SOULE, PAUL LEVITZ and VAN JENSEN
Art by JAVI PINA, ALISSON BORGES and PAT BRODERICK
Cover by BRYAN HITCH
On sale JANUARY 28 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T
Swamp Thing is in the spotlight in this new set of origin tales in a story written by Charles Soule with art by Javi Pina. Also in this issue: the origins of Power Girl by Paul Levitz and Alisson Borges, and Green Lantern John Stewart by Van Jensen and Pat Broderick.

This is really great, and everything, but I have a complaint about Swamp Thing being billed over John Stewart. I mean, really, Swamp Thing!? A character starring in a comic selling around cancellation levels? It strikes me as DC Comics not appreciating John Stewart as well as they should, which is a feeling they’ve given me for a long time. John Stewart is their most popular minority character, and one of the few Black characters in current mainstream comics who is the star of his own book, which sells respectably, and without the aid of a superstar creative team. They just do not seem to appreciate what a huge accomplishment the character is. This is why I am excited about the company moving to California where Warner Bros. will be able to exert more direct control over them. I honestly don’t believe WB has anything against the John Stewart character. I believe it is certain people at DC Comics who do.

Anyway, I’m happy to see Pat Broderick make a return to working on John. He was the artist on Green Lantern in the very early ’90s, when the Mosaic arc was first being set up and when readers were introduced to Rose Hardin. That being the case, I hope that period in John’s history is touched upon in this issue. As the solicit says, John’s segment of the issue will be written by Van Jensen, the regular writer on Green Lantern Corps. He certainly knows John’s history.

There are a couple other things I’m hoping for. First is that Jensen removes Hal Jordan from John’s origin, in order to make John a more independent character. The second is that Jensen uses this rare opportunity to make it so the Xanshi incident was not John’s fault. I would like to see it depicted as something that he was not able to prevent. It would really go a long way in repairing the character. I have a lot of faith in Van Jensen. I don’t believe he’ll let us down.

Moving on, John is also on the variant cover for Sinestro #9, which was done by Ethan Van Sciver. He rendered an excellent John Stewart.

Sinestro #9 Cover

That’s it for now. Be back soon for more content!



17th October 2014

Green Lantern Corps #38 75th Anniversary Flash Variant Cover

Green Lantern Corps #38 Variant Cover

DC Comics continues its theme of charming variant covers. For January, 2015, they’re celebrating the 75th anniversary of The Flash. Green Lantern Corps takes part in this by featuring an awesome cover that is a throwback to Green Lantern (Volume 2) #87. That issue -released in 1971, written by Denny O’Neil, with art by Neal Adams- is the debut of Green Lantern John Stewart.

This cover is done by Bill Sienkiewicz. Click the lower link for a larger image:
Green Lantern Corps #38 Variant.


Oa, by the way

With the recent announcement of the 2020 Green Lantern film, the support for seeing Green Lantern John Stewart for the starring role is rolling in. Check out the comments section in this IGN article:
JUSTICE LEAGUE: WHO IS ON THE MOVIE TEAM?

There’s heavy John Stewart support. Here are some comments:

“LopezOne jarrodwjones • a day ago
I’m leaning towards Stewart myself, but only because its the best way to distance yourself from the first GL movie.
But I’d want Hal Jordan done right. And I’m not ok with him being the SECOND human GL as part of his background.

Ultimately, John Stewart is by no means a bad call. He’s quite awesome and the cartoon has a huge generation of fans following.”

“Oden_The_Great arm30 • a day ago
I agree! Either is good even can use Kyle Rayner too but John Stewart seems it”

“LavsToSpooge • a day ago
Just out of curiosity, why do most people prefer John Stewart to Hal Jordan? I have never really followed the John Stewart story that much to know any better.. if anyone can explain.”

“Darkangel_Omega Jimmy_Five • a day ago
You know. I’m not against Cyborg on the League. I’m against how he got there. They trashed ALL of his history and put him there as the new kid on the block. That I don’t agree with. Vic from the Titans would have made a good JL member. But I’m sick of Hal Jordan being forced, down our throats lately. I like ALL the other Green Lanterns now alot more than him because of it. But I agree I’d rather have John on the team and J’onn added onto the team. They both need the live action treatment.”

“Kal-El385 • a day ago
Personally, this will always be my favorite “founding member” line-up:

Superman
Batman
Wonder Woman
Martian Manhunter
Green Lantern John Stewart
The Flash
Hawk girl”

That’s not even scratching the surface. I cannot post it all, because there’s too much. And it’s not just IGN. It’s Twitter, forums, website articles, and so forth.

DC and WB. I’m talking to you. I don’t care how much some of you may love Hal Jordan. You CANNOT deny the massive wave of support for John Stewart. You cannot. The fans are telling you what they want. Make the smart move.

Don’t let us down.



15th October 2014

Warner Bros Announces New Green Lantern Movie Scheduled for 2020 Release

Kevin Tsujihara

During a Warner Bros. investors meeting, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara announced the WB DC Comics films slate going up to the year 2020. Among the films was a new Green Lantern movie scheduled for a 2020 release.

Now to address the point all of you are wondering about. Will John Stewart be the star of this upcoming Green Lantern film? Well… we have no idea.

There is something very suspicious going on with that property. Most of the other movies announced have their stars listed with them. Jason Mamoa is confirmed as Aquaman, and Ezra Williams will be The Flash. The Shazam movie has yet to announce its star, and Green Lantern is a big question mark, as well.

For so long, Warner Bros. has been holding off on revealing the secret about how they will approach the Green Lantern franchise for their new cinematic universe. Many fans (including yours truly), have hollered out for John Stewart to be the star, especially considering the 2011 Green Lantern film featured Hal Jordan and ended up being a failure.

There are many positive reasons to make the change. First, John Stewart is already very well known to audiences from his starring role in the popular Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons. Secondly, changing the face of the Lantern for future films will help in distancing them from the 2011 flop. Third, it would be great to see more major superheroes who are Black on the big screen.

The cries for John Stewart can’t be ignored, and I’m sure they have made their way to executive ears. The only reasons I can see for WB being so secretive about Green Lantern are that they’re not sure what they’re going to do, or they’re going to do something different and are waiting for the right time to drop the news on fans. If it is just the same old stuff over again, I don’t see the point of the closed mouthed attitude they’ve been taking.

As usual, we’ll just have to sit back and wait and see what happens, as well as continue to support Green Lantern John Stewart. Click the link below for more information on this new development:
Warner Bros’ Kevin Tsujihara Outlines Major Film & TV Push Amid Cost Cuts: Time Warner Investor Day



13th October 2014

The Flash Mobile Returns in Lego Batman 3

The Flash Mobile

Fans of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, rejoice! The Flash Mobile from the classic episode “Eclipsed” makes its way into the upcoming video game Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham! If you’re unfamiliar, take a gander at the video below:

It’s nice to see DC products celebrating one of the best (the best, in my opinion) superhero cartoons in history instead of pretending it never happened. This has made me a sure customer. I will definitely be buying this game!


Oa, by the way

Speaking of The Flash and Green Lantern, here is a cool video by Hudson Faber dedicated to them. Enjoy!