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25th August 2016

John Stewart and the Darkstars

Many fans know that John Stewart was a Darkstar back in the mid-’90s, but not that many actually read the comics that feature him as one. Conceptually, this should be an important part of the character’s history, but the reality is it’s pretty much forgotten and never referenced these days. There are many things from pre-Geoff Johns Green Lantern that aren’t brought up at all anymore, like Kari Limbo, Guy Gardner’s yellow ring, Hal Jordan’s arguably questionable relationship with Arisia, Tom Kalmaku, Ferris Aircraft (somewhat), Rose Hardin, the Mosaic World, John Stewart’s deceased wife Katma Tui (somewhat), and on and on. And yet, John’s time as a Darkstar is even more obscure than all of that. This is ultimately because The Darkstars comic series wasn’t all that popular in its day.

Considering that this should be an important segment of John Stewart’s history, and that not many people actually read these comics, I thought it was worth shining a light on this period from over twenty years ago.

I was fortunate enough to find the entire series in mint condition in a big bundle on eBay. I waited with curiosity for the package to arrive. Like the fans I mentioned above, I always knew John was the leader of the Darkstars, but I did not know the ins-and-outs of it all, and basically no one I knew in person or online really knew, either. Or at least they didn’t talk about it if they did. I always knew John was romantically involved with a blue alien woman named Merayn Dethalis. John was actually with her in the very first Green Lantern comic I ever purchased back in 2003. But I never really knew who she was. Yes, I eventually learned she was a Darkstar, but I only knew what bare bones wiki entries would tell me. Despite being a hardcore John Stewart fan, there was a large, gaping hole in my knowledge of his history. I had to break through the hazy mist and find out for myself what John’s time as a Darkstar was like, and the only way to do that was to read the comics, especially since information about this series was so sparse.

The comics eventually arrived, and read them I did! Before going into the John Stewart specifics, I would like to talk about the series in general.

The Darkstars are a cosmic peace keeping force in the service of The Controllers, Oans who disagreed with the Guardians of the Universe about how best to establish and maintain cosmic order. Because of this, the Controllers left Oa and took up residence in another dimension. The Controllers have sometimes been presented as villainous or vaguely villainous, but not so in this series. The Darkstars are very similar to Green Lanterns in purpose, but instead of using power rings, they use suits that grant them flight, force blasting, heightened defense, and protection from harsh environments, like space. Writer and creator Michael Jan Friedman wanted a tougher, grittier, darker version of Green Lanterns, hence the name Darkstar.

Initially, Friedman set out to mix smaller stories with big cosmic epics. For example, the first arc features an alien crime syndicate spreading an extra-terrestrial drug on the streets of Dallas. It’s an interesting premise, but unfortunately, the execution left quite a bit to be desired.

For probably about half or more of the entire series the book had difficulty getting a regular artist. There were a lot of fill-in rush jobs that I think really harmed the series out the gate and I don’t believe it ever recovered. The book was often rather unsightly, and it has not aged gracefully. The earliest issues are filled with wannabe Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld art that I don’t care for. The book eventually did get a regular artist in Mike Collins, who did an okay job. He was generally competent but lacked a notable or especially attractive style.

The main characters are somewhat interesting. The initial lead character, Ferrin Colos, is like a “bad ass” Abin Sur. The series debuted in the early ‘90s, so it’s no surprise that Colos is full of angst and a bunch of cheesy made up alien curse words, a’la Lobo. His Earth born deputies are more interesting than him. My favorite is a toss-up between Mo Douglas, a homeless man who is generally a cool guy, and Carla White, a young African American woman who is a lawyer. Carla would easily be my favorite, except she spends quite a lot of time pining for Colos, and I just didn’t find the way it was portrayed believable or engaging. Fortunately, her feelings aren’t unrequited, and Ferrin Colos and Carla White officially get together in the final issue. There is also John Flint, a feisty cop who spends most of the series transformed into a hideous, violent monster.

The most interesting villain is the leader of the Darkstars, Jeddigar. As an example of one of the larger cosmic stories, Jeddigar found a baby universe and was planning to expand it and use it to overwrite the regular universe. Naturally, the idea was that he’d be some kind of god in the new universe. John was put in charge of the Darkstars when The Controllers learned of Jeddigar’s plot and summoned John to stop it, which he did. As a reward, John was made Darkstar director.

Prior to John’s arrival the book was having problems with sales. The inclusion of John Stewart was part of an initiative to attract readers. Bringing in John was a good idea. His Green Lantern: Mosaic series had recently been cancelled, and with him being a Green Lantern, he was a natural fit. During this period, Hal Jordan went mad, became the super villain Parallax, and decimated the Green Lantern Corps. DC mandated that there could only be one Green Lantern, the newly created Kyle Rayner. The Darkstars series gave John something familiar to do, and he brought many former members of the Green Lantern Corps with him, like Hollicka, Galius, K’ryssma, and Medphyll.

Now, the weird part. Despite getting regular point-of-view scenes, John was a glorified supporting character. Ferrin Colos kept a prominent position in the narrative, but he now had to share much of it Donna Troy… who is probably one of the strangest characters in DC history, with how she bounces from strange status quo to strange status quo, and different origins, and her involvement in this series is a perfect example of that.

Donna Troy, initially a Wonder Woman character, had absolutely nothing to do with anything even vaguely related to the Darkstars, but DC more or less made her the new main character of the book. I guess the Wonder Woman office had nothing for her at the time, and The Darkstars editor saw it as an opportunity to get Titans fans interested in the waning title. While John brought the ex-Green Lanterns with him, Donna brought a bunch of Titans stuff and her own strange personal baggage involving her ex-husband Terry Long. Donna’s personality isn’t bad, but she and the aspects associated with her are very bizarre additions to the book, especially when she gets most of the focus. It’s just weird that just because Donna is around, the Darkstars come into conflict with Psimon, a Teen Titans villain.

Another character who becomes more important is John’s love interest, Merayn Dethalis, who had been romantically involved with Ferrin Colos in the past. Merayn of the planet Bavacqua Seven is the Darkstar who first discovered Jeddigar’s skulduggery. She was instrumental in his downfall. For John, it was love at first sight. Friedman handles romance rather lazily. Characters are just instantly in love with no real believable build up. While John and Merayn don’t instantly get together as an item, after John meets her about 70% of his monologues are about how attracted he is to her. I know instant attractions happen all the time in real life, but Friedman goes too far with the pining and infatuations.

I appreciate Friedman addressing Rose Hardin, John’s previous love interest from Gerard Jones’ Green Lantern: Mosaic, but at the same time, he throws Rose under the bus to get Merayn over. John thinks about how Rose can’t compare to Merayn. Granted, Gerard Jones somewhat threw Rose under the bus himself during the end of Mosaic, but I’m a considerably bigger fan of John’s relationship with Rose and the Mosaic story in general compared to The Darkstars and Merayn, so I see what Friedman did as somewhat tacky and cheap, especially since Friedman doesn’t spend an iota of effort on John/Merayn as Gerard Jones did on John/Rose, which Jones literally built over the course of years and multiple Lantern titles.

What I believe Friedman was trying to do was give John Stewart what he had before, without really giving him what he had. Once again John’s in a cosmic peace keeping corps with ancient immortal masters. Except he’s not a Green Lantern. Once again he falls in love with an alien female member of that Corps. Except she has blue skin instead of red, and she’s not Katma Tui.

There’s a good side and a bad side to this. The good is that given the circumstances—only one Green Lantern (who is not John Stewart) allowed per editorial mandate—this was probably the best thing that DC could have done with John. He still got to be a costumed superhero in a similar setting to what he had before. The bad thing is that, the Darkstars, while interesting, are a poor man’s version of the Green Lantern Corps, and while everything is somewhat familiar, it seems like an imitation rather than something enthralling in its own right. It’s like… instead of eating the real Honey Nut Cheerios… you’re eating that cheap imitation stuff that comes in a bag. There is a difference.

As characters like John, Donna, and Merayn got more focus, the initial characters like Carla, Mo, and John Flint started to recede. Carla gave up being a Darkstar to continue her law practice, John Flint was still a violent monster, but Mo kept on trucking. Regardless of the odd association with the Titans, the book actually did become more interesting with the change of direction. That wasn’t enough to save it from the cancellation axe, however. The Darkstars series ran for forty issues, so anyone looking to dive into it will have a pretty filling read on their hands. Personally, I would have given John a lot more focus and cut Donna completely out of the equation, because she never had any place there to begin with. But what’s done is done… And would that have saved the title? Probably not, but it likely would have been better and made more sense.

John’s time as a Darkstar, while far from perfect, was certainly better than what Ron Marz, the writer of Green Lantern at the time, had in store for him when John was consolidated back into the Green Lantern comic. Marz (and/or Editor Kevin Dooley) clearly didn’t want even an inkling of competition for Kyle Rayner, so he promptly destroyed the Darkstars and physically crippled John Stewart. Both moves were completely needless. Making matters even more hilarious was that some totally other writer in Final Night had John Stewart healed by a remorseful Hal Jordan/Parallax, and Marz promptly crippled John again when he got the opportunity to. The Darkstars gave John and many former GLC members a place in the DCU that wasn’t in anyone’s way. But apparently, DC didn’t want any of those characters at the time. John’s lot became offering Kyle Rayner advice while sitting at home in a wheelchair, drinking coffee, and running an architecture firm with Merayn Dethalis, who was also no longer a Darkstar, but the happy secretary.

I’m truly surprised Merayn lasted as long as she did. She survived at John Stewart’s side through three different writers (Michael Jan Friedman, Ron Marz, and Judd Winnick), two different comic book titles, and about eight years. It’s actually a stunning feat that no other love interest of John’s can claim. At the same time, Merayn is probably John’s most obscure love interest. I believe the reason Merayn was around for so long is because no one at DC really had anything for John to do, so they just kept him with her. When writers actually have an idea for John, they often give him their own love interest. Len Wein used Tawny Young. Steve Englehart used Katma Tui, Gerard Jones used Rose Hardin, Michael Jan Friedman used Merayn Dethalis, and Bruce Timm used Hawkgirl.

So, why did the Darkstars as a concept and comic series ultimately fail and fade into obscurity?
First, their uniforms are extremely gaudy. Comics are a visual medium, and unsightly costumes are damaging to the heroes that wear them. Furthermore, their powers are uninspired. Darkstars fly, shoot beams from their hands, and have heightened defense. That’s basically it. Readers will naturally compare the Darkstars to Green Lanterns (even the writer did this in the letters column), and with less interesting powers, a worse look, and way less name recognition, one begins to wonder why they should care about this concept. It’s my view that if you’re going to shamelessly ape something, then it should at least be better than the original. Otherwise, why bother, and why should anyone bother with you?

Then there is the issue with the irregular artists, many of whom were poor. And at the core of it, the characters, stories, and writing in general just weren’t captivating. They weren’t offensively bad, but they weren’t good, either. I believe the Darkstars, and especially the Controllers are concepts worth revisiting, because with some spit, polish, and updating, I think they can be made to work in some capacity, and I even feature them in my own comic series, Green Lantern: Starlit Crisis. That said, I can see why no one (besides me) has really bothered to do much with them since Ron Marz wiped them out, because there really isn’t much of a reason to care.

Would I like to see John Stewart as a Darkstar again? Only in flashbacks, but I would like to see his history with the Darkstars and Controllers referenced. Having read every key John Stewart appearance, he actually has an interesting history if writers cared to research and exploit it, and are clever enough to do so in a good way, and the Darkstars are a part of that history. Instead, it seems that most writers only see John’s failure in Cosmic Odyssey, which is unfortunate.

Is The Darkstars series worth hunting down and reading? I can’t say that it is, unless you’re like me and hunt down all John Stewart appearances you deem important enough. In this series you will see how John became leader of the Darkstars, and romantically involved with Merayn, which are both important parts of his history, in my opinion, but most of that happens in the twilight of the series. It probably isn’t worth you reading the whole thing just to see those instances, because the comics aren’t especially great, or even good. They are mediocre at best.

I do hope this exploration of an obscure period in John’s history was useful to some.


Oa, by the way

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26th July 2016

John Stewart to Appear in Justice League Dark Film

A short clip of John Stewart was shown in a featurette about the upcoming Justice League Dark animated film. It’s good to know John Stewart appears, but as his short scene is playing, producer James Tucker’s voice is overdubbed saying, “There are Justice League members in it, but they’re not going to be the focus.” Of course John won’t be the focus of something like Justice League Dark, and going by what was said, I don’t think we fans should expect too much from his appearance here. Whether or not you choose to check this film out for a likely minimal John Stewart showing is, of course, up to you.

As for me, I’m not sure. Justice League Dark isn’t a concept I’ve ever been interested in, so I won’t see the film specifically to see those characters together. I don’t follow all of DC’s animated films. I believe the last one I saw was Justice League War, and the last one (and one of the few) I actually liked was Batman: Under the Red Hood. Furthermore, I stopped following paltry John Stewart appearances a while ago, so I think I’ll pass on this unless I hear really great things about it, or it turns out that John has a decent role.

In any event, it’s good to see John in a cartoon again, and I think his design looks great, aside from him lacking green eyes. I suppose in this instance, some John Stewart is better than none, and it’s refreshing to see him instead of Hal Jordan.

At the moment, Justice League Dark doesn’t have an official release date, but is expected to be out later this year.

Zoom to the 1:30 mark in the video below to see the clip with John Stewart:



20th July 2016

Let’s Talk About Cyborg

Cyborg is really relevant to John Stewart fans and how the John Stewart character is treated at DC Comics and Warner Bros. in general, nearly as much as the Hal Jordan character. To believe otherwise is to be rather naïve. Seeing as how Cyborg affects John Stewart to such a large degree, I think the character deserves attention here at greenlantern.co.

Ever since Bruce Timm’s animated hit Justice League, there has been a precedent for having a black male on the team. Timm thought exclusively showcasing a bunch of white guys and a white girl saving the universe with a green Martian was very dated, so he added John Stewart, a black male Green Lantern. Certain sectors of comic fans were predictably against John’s inclusion, since they preferred one of the several white Green Lanterns. In the end, those fans didn’t really make any difference, and the show went on to be a big hit, and John developed a passionate fanbase from it.

Though this opened up a lot of doors for courting a demographic DC Comics had trouble penetrating—largely because they rarely ever bothered to put in the necessary effort—they were never really behind John Stewart. The late Dwayne McDuffie, one of the main writers from the Justice League cartoon, touches on this issue in the video below at the 1:30 mark.

I’m very confident Dwayne McDuffie would have been more than willing to write a John Stewart comic series, but DC had no interest in printing such a title, even at the height of Green Lantern’s popularity when the franchise could comfortably support multiple books.

It is true that John’s inclusion in the cartoon brought him out of comic inactivity… but to what? DC never utilized John for anything of note. This was very jarring to anyone who looked at what the popular cartoons were doing with him on television. Bruce Timm was moving DC Comics’ properties successfully into the 21st century, and painting a new, fresh, inclusive view of these iconic concepts for a new generation… and DC Comics, as McDuffie said in the above video, were very comfortable with what they (DC Comics) were doing.

Regardless of John Stewart’s success on television, or perhaps even in answer to it, DC was gearing up to resurrect Hal Jordan, the then long dead Silver Age Green Lantern, and put all their resources behind that character. John Stewart proved to be an inconvenience for DC, since they wanted to perpetuate the idea that Hal Jordan was Green Lantern, yet Stewart had been firmly cemented in that role in the minds of millions. DC’s strategy for surmounting that obstacle was to greatly increase Hal Jordan’s visibility, which eventually culminated in a Hal Jordan movie and cartoon show, while ignoring John Stewart in the hope that people would forget about him.

Even though DC black balled John Stewart, they rather surprisingly realized they shouldn’t just have a bunch of white heroes in prominence. I personally believe that if DC could feature just a bunch of white people without the audience looking at them with suspicion, they would. Remember, actions speak louder than words, so let’s consider what DC has done. They squelched their most popular black and diverse character–who came to be such by no effort of DC Comics, but rather by WB Animation–for the sake of a white one. What also makes me think the way I do is that DC put even less than halfhearted effort into John’s black ‘replacement’. As a consolation to black people, DC promoted the Teen Titans character Cyborg to the Justice League while continuing to more or less ignore John or only give him stupid roles.

This whole situation is problematic on numerous levels and has naturally resulted in a massive catastrophe. Despite problems every which way, from lack of care on DC’s part, lack of interest on the fans’ part, intense criticism from both traditional fans and the black fans Cyborg is supposed to appeal to, creative conflict behind the scenes, and a recent comic series that proved to be a sales disaster, DC is stubbornly sticking to their guns and continues portraying Cyborg as essentially their number one black guy. This has not worked out for them and it will not, and here are the reasons why…

Let’s discuss Cyborg by himself. Blogger sonofbaldwin wrote a great article highlighting many of the troublesome issues with Cyborg, especially with portraying him as the most prominent black character at DC. However, regardless of the negative social implications of the character (and there is a crap load), Cyborg is… just not cool.

He does not look cool. His story is not cool. He basically has no world. He has no good love interest. And his only relationships are with Beast Boy and his dad. DC has never done anything good with him that I have ever seen. Regardless of the fact that the character is missing his penis, is missing about 40 percent of his face, and is a general freak (and again, those are whoppers), black males simply do not have a cool character to get into with Cyborg. The character is similar to Maul from the Wild Cats or Beast from X-Men in that they can work in a team, and it has to be a certain type of team, but on their own… forget about it.

Everyone else on the Justice League is generally cool to at least some extent, which is what makes it one of DC’s strongest properties. Even if I don’t like a particular version of a character, like Barry Allen, The Flash is worth investing in, which is why fans fight over who should be The Flash. The Flash is a cool concept, and fans want their guy to fill that role. The same can be said of Green Lantern.

Cyborg, however, is not cool. He is lame as hell. Very few people will fight for Cyborg, and many of those who will have ulterior motives. For example, they could be Hal Jordan fans, or fans of the general New 52 Justice League status quo, or just some of those guys who think that just about anything DC does is great. I know all of this first hand, because I’ve dealt with all three types of Cyborg supporters. There are legitimate Cyborg fans. From my experience they fall into two camps.

There are fans looking for a black hero to relate to, and since Cyborg is just about the only thing DC has on the menu, they try to make the best of it rather than reject it. Typically, I believe most of these fans prefer John Stewart, but since John is sidelined, they take what they can get.

Then there are real, totally legit Cyborg fans. I honestly don’t believe there are many, but they are out there.

There is the hope for Cyborg that he is popular with a bunch of kids who aren’t making their voices known online and who do not buy comic books. That’s possible, but we can’t really say. What we do know is that a lot of the kids who grew up watching the Teen Titans cartoon in the early-2000s are young adults now, certainly of an age to buy comics and post online, and the character does not seem to garner much esteem and support among fans. It’s my personal belief that the character is just not popular, because the character IS NOT COOL.

Black males generally don’t want him, because they have much better options, like John Stewart, and a number of characters over at Marvel, and elsewhere. White people don’t want him because he doesn’t have much of a history, and they really have no good reason to like him. Black people have limited options and still have much better choices than Cyborg. White people have near unlimited options, and when you can get into Superman, and Batman, and Spider-Man, and Captain America, and Nightwing, and Wally West, and ten trillion other characters, why on Heaven, Hell, or Earth, would they choose to be into Cyborg!? This character with no history, no world, barely any comics of his own to delve into. He looks like crap. He can’t even have sex like most people can, and who would want to have sex with him even if he could?

This is what DC is telling black males they have to offer them? No wonder it isn’t working out!

What do white males have? Superman. It’s established all kinds of women want to be with him. Batman. It’s established all kinds of women want to be with him. Hal Jordan. He’s supposed to be a lady’s man. Kyle Rayner. A total wish fulfillment character to the point they had him date Wonder Girl in his heyday. I bring this up because sexual desirability is a regular part of superhero wish fulfillment. Cyborg is not capable of that. And to present this character as the primary black hero of their publishing company is a message to black people that they are less. Whether DC intentionally meant to send that message isn’t even important. All that matters is how the audience perceives it.

While DC offers the problematic Cyborg to black people, John Stewart sits in Hal Jordan’s shadow, being neglected or used as a side character. Who is John Stewart famous for having a romance with? Hawkgirl. John Stewart can actually have have a romance just like his white peers, and he has one with a character that probably most straight, red blooded human males wouldn’t mind being with too much.

John Stewart succeeds with black males because he got to be a superhero and naturally do the things superheroes do, including having pretty love interests. These are things many people wish they could escape to. John Stewart is a character many people would like to be. Who would want to be a mutilated Cyborg with no penis and a large portion of his face missing? Personally speaking, I would rather date Hawkgirl and have a wishing ring. I have no desire to give up my penis or face, or even for my arm to turn into a cannon.

John Stewart succeeds with other types of people, not just black males, because he is famous for being an extremely well written and compelling character, in incredibly well written and compelling pieces of entertainment that just about anyone could enjoy.

Now, let’s consider how DC has handled Cyborg. The whole endeavor was always doomed for failure because of the points above, but DC didn’t really help things with their obvious lack of interest in the character.

DC showed their lack of caring about diversity simply by putting Cyborg on the Justice League and promoting that character as their primary black hero. All this is exacerbated by the fact that in five years, DC has barely done anything with the character. It didn’t take Bruce Timm five years plus to do something worthwhile with John Stewart. Nope, it took about two episodes. Timm knew John and Hawkgirl would be in an epic romance right from the get go. Very early in Justice League’s first season, Timm planted the seeds of the romance and believably built it over the course of two seasons, and it was the focal point of the season 2 finale.

I don’t claim to be a super master comic scripter. However, I have written and drawn comics that people enjoyed, so I feel I have at least some authority to say something here. What I learned about writing comics, which is a really simple thing that you kind of already know, is that you, the writer, ARE GOD!

If I wanted John Stewart in a relationship with… Princess Iolande… I could write it, I can make it happen, and I can even do it to where it would probably be an entertaining story. The Justice League writers wanted John with Hawkgirl despite there being absolutely no precedent for that relationship, and look how well they made it work.

What my experience tells me is that Geoff Johns, the writer of the Justice League comic series for about five years, and Green Lantern for nine, has no excuse for ignoring Cyborg or John Stewart, other than he clearly just didn’t want to write them. When you’re on a book for fifty odd issues, I don’t care that Cyborg is sharing it with Superman and whoever else; you have more than enough room to do something meaningful with that character. When you’re writing Green Lantern for… I don’t even know how many issues, perhaps about 90-something… you have more than enough room to do something with John Stewart… IF YOU WANT TO. GEOFF JOHNS DID NOT WANT TO. THAT IS ALL! THERE IS NO OTHER REASON!

Why did they put Cyborg on the Justice League and then not even want to use him? Just so they can say they have a black guy, that’s why. There is a term for that type of thing. It’s “tokenism.” The fact they stomped out John Stewart and replaced him with as problematic a character as Cyborg, and then didn’t even care to do anything with Cyborg, tells me that DC didn’t really care about diversity. They cared about removing a threat to what they see as a white icon (Hal Jordan), while keeping up an appearance of diversity. I honestly don’t know what else I could glean from all of this.

The transparency of the Cyborg issue is a huge problem for DC. Most discerning people should see all the politics behind Cyborg’s inclusion on the League and thus being DC’s top black guy, because it’s all shamelessly staring you right in the face. The Hal Jordan fanboyism, the marginalizing of John Stewart, the lack of interest and care toward Cyborg… it’s all obvious.

Cyborg is on the Justice League because those in seats of power at DC do not want John Stewart there. Not because they have some special affinity toward Cyborg. Cyborg is being pushed, and I use that term somewhat loosely, because the powers that be don’t want to heavily promote John Stewart. This is because they want Hal Jordan to be seen as Green Lantern and don’t want that challenged. At least, this is how things were at the onset of the New 52, and we are still more or less dealing with the aftermath of all of that.

If you look at this situation, who benefits from it? Certainly not John Stewart fans. They’re left feeling incredibly alienated and frustrated with John’s treatment and DC’s blatant Hal Jordan favoritism. The Cyborg fans don’t benefit. They’re left continually disappointed by DC’s nonstop misfires with the character and general lack of care. Black people in general, the people who this diversity is supposed to benefit the most, don’t benefit. No one wants to be an ugly Cyborg, and no one is impressed by DC ignoring their most popular black hero, and also ignoring the black hero that DC wishes you liked.

It is the Hal Jordan fans who benefit. Unsurprisingly, it was essentially Hal Jordan fans who orchestrated this whole thing, and they did it for the sake of Hal Jordan.

Will revealing and discussing any of this really make a difference where it counts? No, I don’t believe so. DC officials may see this article, and they may even read it, but at the end of the day, DC is going to do what DC wants to do.

No matter how much people warn them, no matter how much people tell them they don’t like what they’re doing regarding all of this, DC will not change. If they were going to change, they would have done so by now. Rather, we see Cyborg continuing to be on the Justice League looking ugly, with that same tired storyline of his (apparently the only one he has). We see him continuing to get another series despite his previous one being a big failure. We see John Stewart shoved firmly behind Hal Jordan in a title called Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps.

Cyborg, despite DC failing with him, and basically no one being happy with him, is slated to hit the big screen, and there is no official word on the status of John Stewart. If John Stewart does appear in film, he will probably be, once again, shoved firmly behind Hal Jordan. It doesn’t matter if the Hal Jordan movie and cartoon ultimately failed. It doesn’t matter that a bunch of people would rather see a John Stewart led movie. It doesn’t matter that multi-million dollar actors would love to play John Stewart. None of that matters, because, again, DC/WB are going to do what they want to do, and unfortunately for the John Stewart fan, DC could give less than a fart about him.

If you don’t care for all of this, all you can do in response is say so and choose not to support DC Comics. There are other alternatives in comics and entertainment in general that would probably frustrate you a whole heck of a lot less.



8th July 2016

Green Lantern: Starlit Crisis #2 Pages 6-10

It looks like it’s time to return to Green Lantern: Starlit Crisis! Find out what happens when John and Arisia cross paths with Lobo… the Main Man! Also, finally there’s some insight on what happened to Ch’p. Get access to this exclusive content right away by pledging $2 or more on the greenlantern.co Patreon! Simply click on the button below to do so!

Apologies for taking so long to get this content out there. I had quite a lot going on in my personal life lately, but there will be more Starlit Crisis on the way very soon! Don’t miss it!

Need to get caught up with Green Lantern: Starlit Crisis? Find previous episodes of this cosmic saga at the links below:
Green Lantern: Starlit Crisis, chapter 2, pages 1 – 5
Green Lantern: Starlit Crisis chapter 1



30th May 2016

Stop Telling Me to Buy Things I’m Not Interested In

Certain things have really been rubbing me the wrong way lately. One is false advertising from DC Comics that relates to John Stewart, which I have written about in this article, and another is certain fans trying to convince John Stewart fans that we should settle for less, and ultimately buy crap we’re not interested in. This is usually suggested to us under the belief that it is all for the betterment of the Green Lantern franchise, or, weirdly, diversity in comics.

See, the idea works like this: if you buy a bunch of Hal Jordan or whoever comics, maybe… maybe… there is a chance you may eventually see a John Stewart spin off. And if you buy enough comics that feature black characters like John Stewart as worthless token wallpaper, then maybe… maybe… there is the chance that DC might actually do something worthwhile with the characters.

First, I’m going to admit an unfortunate truth. Many of us have already played those games with DC before. We never should have in the first place, because they are based on incredibly flawed, warped, backwards principles. But we did. And guess what we discovered? None of it leads anywhere, except for the thinning of our wallets and the fattening of DC’s coffers, all toward products we don’t really support. DC winds up doing the exact same things they have always been doing; sucking at black characters in general and pushing John as far in the background as they reasonably can.

When you ask me to support that, or suggest that I should, what I have to say to you is “kiss my butt.” I will buy products that I am interested in. Those are the only products I will buy. At this stage, I am not interested in Green Lantern products that feature Green Lanterns other than John Stewart, because I ultimately don’t care about those characters enough. There is nothing wrong with that and I have no shame about it, nor should I. I never signed a contract saying that just because I am a fan of John Stewart, I must also support all these other completely different characters that are not John Stewart.

A counter argument seems to be “if you think John Stewart was ever meant to be a big deal, you’re delusional. He was never set up to be that.” If that’s the case, then I’m definitely not going to spend my money on those products.

Many fans of John Stewart are interested in him because he was a big deal on a television program that went out to way more people than any of those comic books. On Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, John was treated as an important, complex hero of high standing, who was integral to the show, and who didn’t really take a backseat to anyone, least of all a bunch of characters that aren’t recognized as much as he is.

If DC wants to ignore all the people who grew up watching John Stewart presented that way, and who still watch him, well, that’s their decision. They tried that before when the 2011 Green Lantern film arrived, and we saw the response it got. Some of these fans who make these suggestions don’t seem to fully realize that DC isn’t who has the power here. I don’t even think DC fully realizes that. We are the ones with the power. We have what DC wants, which is money.

Either DC offers what we want, or we won’t give them our money. That only makes sense. That’s how I operate with everything else, so I’m not sure why John Stewart should be any different. When I go to the deli, I buy pepper turkey instead of roast beef, because I like pepper turkey. I don’t ever buy roast beef on the fragile hope of some weird round about benefit that likely won’t even happen.

If the whole thing somehow doesn’t work out, and the Green Lantern franchise gets shot to hell, what do I care? It wasn’t giving me what I wanted to see anyway, and DC seems determined to keep things that way, so it’s not like I’ll have any sad feelings about that. There are innumerable other things I can spend my money and time on that I actually like and that don’t frustrate me.

Therefore, no one should think for a second that John Stewart fans in general are somehow at the mercy of DC Comics and need to capitulate to them. If push comes to shove, we’ll be perfectly fine packing our bags, going where the weather is nicer, and enjoying ourselves with products that give us what we want. Indeed, many of us have already done just that.

In the end, the divided state of the Green Lantern fanbase is a situation DC has put themselves in that either they will work out or they won’t. The fans are not at all accountable for the sorry state of the Green Lantern franchise, nor are they the ones responsible for fixing DC’s problems.