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DC Comics, Stop Trying to Rob John Stewart Fans


on May 17, 2016

DC Comics has released their solicitations for August 2016, and I have something to say about one of the issues of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps that is listed among them. I want to make it clear that I am not reporting on this solicitation just for the sake of news, because I usually wouldn’t report on this book, but rather for another issue entirely.

I find it absolutely hilarious, and even pathetic, that DC Comics continues to try to fool John Stewart’s fans into buying their products by putting out covers like the one seen above, which make it seem like DC actually cares about the John Stewart character, when in reality, they don’t. DC puts these images out, which prominently feature John, and then, when the John fan buys the book, they discover that it’s absolutely nothing they want to read. In the stories, John is presented as a background afterthought while some other Green Lantern has a considerably more prominent role. In the end, the John fan is tricked and upset they spent their money on a story they would have skipped if DC hadn’t fooled them with a solicitation and/or cover.

We saw this with the “Darkseid War” storyline in Geoff Johns’ Justice League as well as the Green Lantern one shot tie in to “Darkseid War, we saw it with Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion, and we’re seeing it again. They just do not stop. You may think that I am jumping the gun with my sentiments, since the issue in question has yet to be released, but given all that DC has done, I don’t have any reason to believe otherwise. Indeed, let’s consider the solicitation text:

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #2
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art and covers by RAFA SANDOVAL and JORDI TARRAGONA
Variant covers by KEVIN NOWLAN
Retailers: These issues will ship with two covers each. Please see the order form for details.
“Sinestro’s Law” part two! As Sinestro’s grip around the universe grows tighter, Guy Gardner takes on the mission to bring the Green Lantern Corps back from the edge of oblivion to reclaim their role as protectors of the cosmos.
On sale AUGUST 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Why is John occupying such a prominent spot on the cover when, going by the solicitation, he doesn’t seem to play a major role in the story? Could it be because DC is trying to hoodwink John’s fans into buying something those fans won’t care about? Probably. As mentioned, DC has employed that tactic many times before. It’s also upsetting to hear that Guy Gardner is supposedly the one to save the Corps from peril, when I’m confident that spot was originally supposed to go to John Stewart in Green Lantern: Lost Army. Furthermore, DC ought to know better than to try to entice John’s fans with a comic titled Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. That title is a total turn off for a John Stewart fan, and yet another example of DC’s shamelessness.

Keep your consolation prizes, DC, because they’re insulting and I don’t want them. I’m not interested in the second and third class status you try to relegate John Stewart and his fans to just to conservatively guard your precious white male power fantasy, which you already have in abundance. And before you, or anyone else, tries to defend with those two characters no one cares about in the Green Lanterns title, I’m not falling for your front. You are as transparent as saran wrap, and my respect for your company and your methods just goes down and down and down.

I am offended and disgusted by this, because DC continues to shamelessly try to rob us, while putting up a front like they’re actually doing something for us. I know disingenuous diversity when I see it, and unfortunately, that is the main kind of diversity I see from DC Comics. DC does attempts at diversity just to say they have it, because they would look suspicious if they didn’t. What they clearly really care about is being old-timey comic conservatives, which is evident in their output, and is largely why Marvel continues to thrash them in every arena.

I want DC to do good if DC is smart and doing things that make sense, but as long as DC chooses to be old-timey, disingenuous, geriatric, and out of touch, and not even seeming to care, then I will continue to steer clear of their products.



  • PadThai2

    Have you seen their new logo yet? It’s a complete throwback to the 70s. DC management has crawled up their own asses the past decade or so and it’s really embarrassing.

    • Desh Derringer

      Yeah, I saw it. Well, according to Geoff Johns, the “Rebirth” initiative is about returning to the past, so that pretty much sums up where these guys are coming from.

  • Blakk Jakk

    After the New 52 and DCYOU, this is bound to fail. DC isn’t even trying to hide their nostalgia anymore and are making it pretty brazen. It’s a real shame to see a great company go down under like this. The news of Geoff Johns joining the DCEU clinches it for me: DC’s chances of survival are getting worse and worse while Marvel is doing better and better. I’m real saddened to say that because I believe the DCU deserves a lot better but all it takes is some incompetence and a healthy bit of malignancy to sink an entire company, even ones as historically significant as WB & DC.

    • Desh Derringer

      Things aren’t going to get any better as long as the current administration is in power. We’ve seen what they have to offer and they’re not going to change. I’m actually going to be posting an article very soon about my thoughts about Geoff Johns overseeing the DC Cinematic Universe.

      • Blakk Jakk

        I cannot wait for that. I think this might be the most positive thing I’ll ever say about Johns. He’s a marked improvement over Snyder at least. He’s not who DC should be using as their answer to Kevin Feige because I think Timm & Dini or Waid should be. At best we’ll get dumb, popcorn blockbuster spectacles. Of course this does mean that he’s going to shill for his favorite characters and going to go totally Silver Age on it.

        • Desh Derringer

          WB passing the baton to Geoff Johns just shows how desperate they are regarding the DCEU. As I’ll bring out in the article, though, I believe there is a silver lining to this. I’m pretty confident Johns won’t save the DCEU, and when it continues to under-perform, then the blame will fall squarely on him. There isn’t anything for him to hide behind.

          • Blakk Jakk

            I don’t think Johns will bring his A game either because he’s well past his peak. He isn’t churning out good stuff like JSA or Flash (not Flash Rebirth, that book helped finish what GL Rebirth did by bringing down the DCU in favor of nostalgia) like he used to. I imagine it’ll be the level of quality that his JL run is which is to say not very good. I mean, if there has to be a comic guy to go to for the movie universe, why not go with Mark Waid? I know he left DC for good reasons but why couldn’t Johns or DiDio try and woo him back? I mean, whatever Waid’s faults, he knows how to make even characters I don’t care for like Barry Allen, interesting and likable as he did with “Life Story of The Flash.” There’s probably other better people out there than Waid to choose from like Dini & Timm but Waid would be a good choice for DC’s Kevin Feige spot.

          • PadThai2

            Can’t bring back Waid so long as Didio and Harras are there. Marvel seems to treat him well and he also has Thrillbent to deal with.

          • Blakk Jakk

            You’re sadly right about that. The bullshit that happened with his second Flash run (which was meant to fix a lot of the problems going on with The Flash title at the time before DiDio changed his mind) and Geoff Johns’ “Infinite Crisis” & “Secret Origin” retconning his spectacular “Birthright” mini and more I’m probably missing are reasons why the top brass of DC needs to change. I don’t know who should be running DC but it can’t be the current regime they’ve got now.

  • Hudson Faber

    1. Just remember that the words “Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps” will be slapped on that image. SO DUMB AND GROSS.

    2. Also remember that Cyborg’s book was the lowest ordered title, or at least in the bottom 5, and his book is not coming out that month. This cover is pretty much just to gloss the fact that DC will have NO black-led books that month, while Marvel will be putting out several.

    3. Things may only get worse for John fans since Johns was recently promoted further up the WB ranks.

    These guys are so obsessed with power fantasies but only limit those ideal images to whites, with minorities either in the background or as stereotypes or monster-like. A real shame–especially when you see how Marvel is handling their properties. They would have made John the franchise’s face and central Lantern more than a decade ago.

    • Desh Derringer

      To me, it even seems bigoted. DC seems to go out of their way to display minority characters as incompetent, ugly, stereotypes, or often having gimmicks linked to their ethnicity, like, for example, Katana, Manitou Raven and Dawn, and heck, even Vixen. DC often only brings in PoC characters when they feel like using those gimmicks (like whenever they feel like having a samurai girl).

      There’s nothing wrong characters that are samurai or that get their power from African totems per se, but when creators do things like that so often for ethnic characters, it becomes pigeonholing. Like, their only need for Asians is when they want to have ninjas or martial arts. Their only need for a black character is when they want to tell a race relations story, and so on. Of course, this is a bit of an exaggeration, but I believe the point comes across.

      What it essentially tells me is that the writers don’t see people of different backgrounds like normal people. They see them as something different. And since they don’t see themselves in these characters, they make them hideous, incompetent, unimportant, and so on.

      Long story short, the writers/editors/high ups at DC are incompetent, clueless, and out of touch.

      • Steve Rogers

        One of the few characters that don’t fit the bill is John Stewart. Usually, when there’s a right time to shine John Stewart and give him his chances when something fails, a writer like Geoff Johns would do something that gets in John’s way. I’m sorry to say this, but I’m starting to feel that there’s some white superiority racism toward blacks involved at DC Comics.

        • Blakk Jakk

          I’m a mostly white individual myself (my Hispanic heritage isn’t easily identifiable to most) but I’m starting to see that with Johns. I don’t want to question his Arabian heritage but he’s like me. His Arabian roots never affected him in life just as my Hispanic roots never affected me either. So with that in mind, it’s easy for Johns to have a preference for white characters and token minority characters that serve to prop up his preferred white characters or to shut up critics about the lack of diversity. DiDio, on the other hand, I know without a doubt doesn’t like the presence of minority people except for those that satisfy his massive ego.

          • Steve Rogers

            I’m a Caucasian male as well and have a bit of Irish ancestry 🙂 I know that Geoff Johns have half of Lebanese blood, but as you said he do seem to have a preference for white characters. He’s definitely a Silver Age fan, since most characters around then are a bunch of white males. As someone who always been more of a Marvel fan than DC, I would say that John Stewart is the most recognizable African American character for me. Or even the most recognizable minority character at DC. I’ve read issues where John Stewart never seemed to be to be just as good as Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner and even Guy Gardner at times. These were mostly under white male writers who took over for the new creative team. The writers always seemed to have a preference with John Stewart’s partners it seems.

          • Blakk Jakk

            It’s odd that people would prefer Kyle to John. Kyle is himself, half-Hispanic like myself somewhat. I guess Mexicans are better received at DC than black people. Actually it’s weird now that I think about it. Kyle is supposed to be half-Hispanic but he’s only slightly less white than Hal or Guy. It’s an issue I’ve had with Damian Wayne supposedly being half-Arab. But anyways, yes, John Stewart is the definitive black hero for DC. If the black superheroes of DC need their own Superman that they look up to for inspiration and try to earn approval from, it should be John Stewart. He should have the effect on people the way Superman or Captain America have on people if you understand what I mean. In a way, he actually almost is both characters in one character except that’s he’s black and that’s just beautiful and amazing.

          • Steve Rogers

            Although John is my favorite GL, Kyle is a really good GL. I believe most out there liked him most in Morrison’s JLA. I think usually when there’s people who’s either Hispanic and Arab, it seems that readers would identify more with them being white characters. While Black and Asian characters that are mixed with white, they would be identified more with minority characters. It could be because their ethnic culture isn’t really that depicted with Damian and Kyle. It’s just my guess.

          • Blakk Jakk

            I think Jaime Reyes is a great Mexican superhero and a worthy bearer of the Blue Beetle name. Heck, I was overjoyed when I saw him and Ted Kord in DC: Rebirth as I was seeing Wally again. After everything those two have been through, they deserve that. It’s just still odd to me that even though Kyle is half-Mexican and Damian is half-Arab that they’re still very very white. Kyle’s a great character and I thought Morrison did good with him and Wally. But I don’t think Kyle should look that white. It’s even worse for Damian because he, like almost every Robin after Dick Grayson, is practically a clone of Dick and it’s really creepy just how similar they all look. Damian’s Arab background is something that could have been used to differentiate him from the other Robins but all its really used for is to explain his antihero behavior and that’s just not a good way to make him stand out. You have a point about the state of black and Asian characters. I don’t get DC’s logic here: Why is Cyborg and presumably, New Wally the only black characters they’re willing to promote? Why not actually promote more with a legitimate agenda of wanting more minority readers to get invested in comics instead of just giving them so few options. I’m a white guy despite my partial Hispanic heritage and I’ve got so many superheroes to choose from and identify with. It’s not necessarily that minority people can’t or shouldn’t relate with white characters but there should be an option given to them. I identify quite heavily with Jaime Reyes and Ted Kord for instance and I’m hoping that Keith Giffen doesn’t fuck things up in the Blue Beetle solo book. John Stewart has been that for people across the globe with the Justice League cartoons and it’s a shame DC just wants to take that away from them.

        • Desh Derringer

          You know… you never want to go there, and I really try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but DC has really exhausted the benefit of the doubt. I wouldn’t be surprised is if there is some kind of bigotry in there somewhere. Either that, or DC is REALLY incompetent. What’s so weird, is that no matter how much fans complain about John’s treatment, or Cyborg in general, DC never improves.

  • Steve Rogers

    What I’m going to say, kind of relates to the article that Desh wrote here.

    I don’t know if anyone looked at Geoff Johns twitter recently, but it’s so hilarious that he has a picture of the late Darwin Cooke’s picture of John Stewart and the Green Lantern Corps on his avatar. It’s the variant cover that shows John Stewart standing in front of EVERYONE including his pet favorite, Hal Jordan. Kyle Rayner was also in the picture, but Johns cropped out half the picture where Kyle was in it. It wouldn’t surprise me if this had anything to do with a PR stunt to show people he likes John Stewart. Thoughts, anyone?

    • Blakk Jakk

      I can understand Johns celebrating Darwin Cooke and his work. I think all of us are continuing to do just that for the legacy he’s left behind. It’s certainly strange that out of all the Cooke GL art he could have used, he went with that. Granted, I didn’t see it until I just logged on a few minutes ago but it’s certainly peculiar. I don’t think that would convince anyone since one of the pictures he has on his Twitter feed is DC: Rebirth and if you look at the top of the picture, you can see 3 GLs: Hal, Kyle and John. Hal is at the front while Kyle is behind him but still somewhat prominent while John is all the way at the back. That’s certainly a way to show detractors that you’re a big fan of John Stewart via sharing a picture where he’s the least prominent of the GLs and one of the hardest characters to spot in the picture. Good job, Mr. Johns.

    • Desh Derringer

      I actually noticed that, and I think you’re right. I believe Geoff Johns is trying to show people (us) that he is on our side, so to speak.

      Well, if so, my thoughts are this:
      To heck with the covers, the avatars, the mentions of John in social media, the empty promises, and so on. There is only ONE thing that truly matters. The end output. If DC really cared about John Stewart fans then they would push John in a more favorable way.

      Johns had all the opportunity in the world to do that, and he showed that he would rather write Hal Jordan, Simon Baz, Sinestro, and Jessica Cruz before he writes John Stewart. He’s led me to believe that he would rather write ANY leading Green Lantern character before John. He would rather write a big villain of Green Lantern before he wrote John. He would rather create new, extraneous characters before doing anything with John. All he ever wanted to do with John Stewart was shove him in the background and make him near mute. And when he wasn’t mute he was licking Hal Jordan’s boots one way or another, or saying/doing something dumb, like sulking*. And I say all of this by looking at Geoff Johns’ OUTPUT. The stories he created. That’s all that matters, not whatever he says in an interview, or whatever he posts on Instagram.

      *By the way, when I looked at the previews for Geoff Johns’ DC Universe Rebirth, I thought it was interesting when I saw yet another sad, sulking black character from Geoff Johns, in the very same vein as how he portrayed Cyborg and John Stewart.

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