Just giving John Stewart fans a heads up! John Stewart will be appearing in the digital first comics Injustice Year Two, as well as Smallvile: Lantern. I encourage John Stewart fans to pick these up and support the character. Though John Stewart has yet to appear as of my writing this, the arcs for both have already begun, and you may want to start reading now. Injustice Year Two is updated every two weeks on a Tuesday and Smallville: Lantern is updated every Friday. GreenLantern.Co will have reviews of these stories once more chapters have been released.
You can check out the beginnings of the arcs and follow along with them at comiXology.com:
Injustice Year Two
Readers know that in “Oa, By the Way…” I often post cool things involving John Stewart that I find around the internet. This time, it happens to be a Tumblr post by thefanattic. This user expresses their strong appreciation for John Stewart, and how he’s transcended just being a fictional comic character for them.
I really want to see John Stewart in the Justice League film.
The Ryan Reynolds solo film was a train wreck but amongst all this Wonder Woman casting news, I got to thinking about John.
If you don’t know, John Stewart is the Green Lantern to succeed Hal Jordan and he is a big favorite amongst fans. And with the bold move of making Wonder Woman someone of color, I’m hoping they skip over Hal and go with John.
And here’s why: There are no black superheroes in cinema right now. The Falcon will be in a supporting role in next year’s Captain America but there is legitimately no black superhero and I don’t think DC wants to be known as the “white-face” side of the superhero cinematic universe.
Growing up, the Justice League cartoon was one of my big inspirations to get more involved in the comics universe (DC and Marvel alike) and my favorite on the show was Batman and Green Lantern.
And here’s the weird thing: I’m Korean. And yet John Stewart was my black role model growing up. And here’s why: As an Asian person, there is a turning moment in your life when you realize you’re not white. As a kid, no other kids are prejudiced and you have a ton of black, white and Asian friends. But growing up, I noticed that I became slowly segregated and white kids would only hang with white kids while I was kinda forced out to hang with the other Asian kids.
Growing up, it’s hard to see colored role models and even more difficult to have an Asian one. But then John Stewart came along. When I saw him, I was immediately in geek love. He was different from the others, he wasn’t white! But everyone treated him equally and he was also strong and smart. It really helped me come to terms that I wasn’t “normal” like the other white kids.
I think John Stewart can be this again. I think he should be in the JL film. And yeah, it is a form of favoritism to choose a black superhero over the original white one but you know what? Fuck you. I don’t care if it seems like racial favoritism (and racist by proxy) but we people of color want a fucking role model. And we get enough baggage for not being white so I don’t care.
I think there are currently 3 great choices for John: Idris Elba, Common, and Taye Diggs. They would all honestly make great John Stewarts but each actor would bring a different vibe. My personal choice is Idris Elba but I don’t know if he’d do it (seeing as how he’s got that small role in Thor that makes no use of his talents).
Anyone else wanna see this happen?
One of the powerful things about the John Stewart character is that he has organically come to represent something, and a rather relevant subject, too. He’s come to represent diversity, and that, yes, people of color can be strong, smart, powerful heroes, too. Yes, people of color can be the best and brightest and chosen to represent their species in the universe spanning Green Lantern Corps.
All personal feelings of the characters aside, as a part of the narrative, I just don’t find it compelling that a White American male is chosen to be the best of the best by this totally unbiased alien selection process. It makes no interesting statement where there is a perfect opportunity to make one, other than the White character is a product of the time in which he was conceived, and that the narrative is catering to White American males. It misses the chance to play upon a strong theme in Green Lantern, and that is anyone can be a Green Lantern. It doesn’t matter their shape, size, age, race, gender, or species. All that matters is that they are worthy. This theme resounds loudly with John Stewart!
I am with thefanattic. I would like to see John Stewart on film. The character makes a strong statement as not only a great character, but also a powerful role model of color, which is sorely lacking in the superhero genre. Dissenters sometimes ask why some treat John Stewart as the only option for showcasing diversity in the Justice League. He is not the only option, but he is undoubtedly the best. Cyborg will never be much of a role model. The character lacks the weight, authority, charisma, and… he’s a robot. Vixen has the potential, but it has never really been met. Neither of those concepts are nearly as cool as the Green Lantern concept.
John Stewart’s potential has been met, and that’s why he’s made such an impact and is such an important character to many of us. Seeing a superhero of color being showcased well and not stuffed in a broom closet somewhere made a big difference to some of us, and it’s honestly offensive that the-powers-that-be turned around and buried him just to support an old-fashioned White hero, when the hero of color never failed, and the White one bombs everywhere.
Well, John Stewart fans, if the situation has frustrated you, you know by now you’re not alone. John Stewart fans all over the internet recognize what’s been happening. John’s support is pretty hard to deny at this point, but let’s keep on keeping on for our favorite superhero and showing DC and WB that his influence from the Justice League cartoons is simply too strong to be ignored.