Green Lantern Corps Tie-in with Batman: Zero Year.

on August 8, 2013

Batman: Zero Year

There’s some interesting news for Green Lantern John Stewart fans. “Green Lantern Corps” #25 will feature John Stewart’s Zero Year. What does that mean, you ask? It is a tie-in with the “Batman: Zero Year” mini-event, which journeys six years back in time to explore the history of certain characters, the great majority of which are Batman related. As such, though I’m not complaining, it’s honestly kind of weird that John Stewart is getting involved in this. I suppose Van Jensen wants to take this opportunity to explore some of John’s history, which is nice, because it’s been pretty chopped up and changed ever since the (absolutely terrible) “Wrath of the First Lantern” event. Apparently, John Stewart has been around Gotham some time in the past, as Mike Marts, editor of all Batman books states:

Let’s just say that John Stewart’s early adventures may have taken him close to Gotham City around the time of “Zero Year.”

I’m intrigued and certainly looking forward to this. Mark your calenders, Lantern fans! Come November, John’s heading to the greater Gotham area. Read the whole interview here:

Oa, by the way

DiDio vs Timm

There’s a very interesting poll going on at Comic Book Resources again. This time, it’s about replacing the current top brass at DC (Geoff Johns and Dan DiDio) with Bruce Timm.
CBR link.

For the most part, I got into DC Comics because of Bruce Timm. Prior to that, I was a small child who reveled in Marvel. I watched all the cartoons, I had a large collection of Spider-Man toys based on the 1994 cartoon show, and my favorite super heroes were probably the Fantastic Four.

However, after I matured a bit, I became deeply engrossed in the DC Animated Universe. When I go back and watch those Marvel cartoons that I loved as a little kid, I can barely stand their poor voice acting, crude animation, and generally shoddy artistic style. When I revisit shows like “Batman: The Animated Series,” “Superman: The Animated Series,” and “Justice League,” I’m awestruck at how classy and timeless they are. I actually appreciate them more and more with time.

I think that in a lot of ways, the DC Animated Universe is better than the main DC Universe. Of course, they’re not entirely comparable, as one is primarily showcased through the television medium, and the other through comic books. Yet, if I were to measure them in terms of total enjoyment I’ve gleaned from them, and how much they’ve affected me, I’m going to have to go with the cartoons. They’ve had a larger and more positive impact on my life, and it’s not because I believe the cartoon medium is superior to comic books, rather what was done within the cartoons connected with me more.

For Green Lantern John Stewart fans, it saddens me to say that the main DC Universe has historically been an unfriendly place, so why in the world would I like it better? It’s a place where John Stewart is frequently shafted and short-changed, his potential is rarely reached, and it seems like it is guided by creators who don’t seem to care about the character, or straight out don’t like him. It saddens me even more to say that this type of behavior has been running rampant more than ever in recent times, after John Stewart’s secured a place within the hearts of millions due to “Justice League” and “Justice League Unlimited.”

Just to be clear, I’m very pleased with the way things for John have been going most recently. I give Bernard Chang, Van Jensen, and Marcelo Maiolo -the current creative team on “Green Lantern Corps”- all the credit in the world for bringing out the best in John. However, this is unfortunately an isolated and unusual incident, so to speak. If we look back through recent history, John Stewart was doing nothing of note, moping about how sad he was, or getting screwed over in some way. I’d like to direct your attention to this article on that documents one such instance of his being screwed over, to give you an example to show this isn’t just all in my head.

One such instance of many…

Though I like what is being done with John now, I’m not going to forget about all that other stuff. At least not this soon. Indeed, it’s especially hard to forget when the main perpetrators currently hold very high positions of authority at DC Comics/Entertainment.

Everything finally came together and clicked. It was finally openly revealed as to why all this stuff has been happening. Dan DiDio, the Co-Publisher at DC Comics, came out and admitted that…

We publish comics for 45-year olds. If you want to do comics for kids, you can do ‘Scooby-Doo.’

Read the rest of the article on Bleeding Cool, right here:

Oh… I see. Yeah, it all makes sense now.
Well, that was certainly something I’ve suspected for a while, but it’s really something to actually see it being admitted by the Co-Publisher at DC. That explains why heroes that I grew up with, and who kids are still growing up with, like Green Lantern John Stewart and The Flash Wally West, have been treated so horribly in recent years; they’re typically not your 45 year-old comic fan’s Flash or Green Lantern. As such, Wally got blasted into non-existence, and John likely would have died if fans didn’t get wind of DC’s fiendish plans to off him before they could execute them.

These are not the sort of people I feel should be running DC Comics. They’re not progressive, they’re regressive. They are passive aggressive, petty, and frequently alienate many younger fans to selfishly make stories for themselves. It’s so weird to me that they tried to draw in new readers with their New 52 gimmick, but then presented many kids and young adults with unfamiliar heroes in familiar roles, like Barry Allen and Hal Jordan, all the while blasting the ones they know and like into non-existence or preparing to kill them. I won’t deny that DC has had some success, but I can’t help but think of the potential greater success DC Comics would have if they weren’t such a backwards company.

It’s no wonder I like the DC Animated Universe more than the DC Universe. The Animated Universe was progressive, in touch with and respectful to its audience, inclusive, used common sense, did what was good for business, gave people what they wanted to see, and was something people of all ages and backgrounds could enjoy. I can’t say the same about DC Comics. It’s the type of company that takes one step forward and three steps backwards, and after seeing that quote from DiDio, I believe that, more than ever, a leadership change is desperately needed.

4 responses to “Green Lantern Corps Tie-in with Batman: Zero Year.”

  1. Dante says:

    As the guy who made the thread on CBR, I thank you for putting it on this site.

  2. anonsaga says:

    Finished watching Justice League: War a few days ago and was nonplussed. Thinking about the problems of that movie reminded me of this article so I had to come back and post. (*I apologize in advance that it is less about John Stewart and more about the state of DC)

    I really don’t understand what DC is thinking these days.

    The thing I loved about the DCAU was that it tended to portray DC characters as MATURE people dealing with MATURE situations. Like Avatar: The Last Airbender, the entire DCAU was something that kids could watch and adults could respect. The handling of the John Stewart-Shayera Hol romance was the most mature I’ve ever seen in an animated program. The Flash’s mature and responsible handling of volatile situations in the JLU episode, “Flash and Substance” earned him the adulation of his entire city — even from heroes and villains alike. The DCAU is literally littered with examples of ‘mature’ writing by writers that understand what that word really means. Unfortunately, this has seldom been the case for the writers of the comics the DCAU was inspired by; and, though disappointing, I managed to accept that reality so long as DC continued to produce quality animated material. Recently, rather than animate classic stories, DC has decided to animate those based on The New52, starting with Justice League: War which was based on the comic Justice League: Origin by Geoff Johns. The comic wasn’t that good and — no surprise — neither was the movie. Without going into details, the overarching problem of the movie is that the heroes don’t act like adults. They act like children. Maybe it’s the absence of writers like Bruce Timm and the late Dwayne McDuffie; I don’t know. While I could easily accept this as a misfire in a long line of quality DC animation, my concern is that this movie is only a precursor for things to come. While I believe it would be unfair to say that The New52 is all poorly written, I do believe The New52 was founded on poor writing by people who neither understand their (potential) audience nor what makes their superheroes so iconic. It’s not about boy-scouts but it IS about heroes. Everyone knows sex and violence sell but at what point do you decide that you’re grown-up enough that you don’t need to treat every woman like she’s eye-candy? That you don’t need to respond to every situation with a gun or a fist? With regard to the majority of The New52, what DC claims to market as ‘mature’ or ‘adult’ is, in fact, the opposite. DC has regressed to a juvenile state and it’s about time they grow-up (again).

    • Desh says:

      Great post, anon!

      I wholeheartedly agree. With the New 52, DC sought to ‘de-age’ their heroes, and I think Geoff Johns –being the clueless klutz that he is– wound up writing them as total idiots in hopes of making them seem younger and more ‘hip’. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a collection of superhero comics as annoying as Geoff Johns’ early Justice League arcs. DC/WB has really gone wrong with trying to force their other media to reflect their comic books. I get that the comics are the source material, and I get that they should be respected, but what I respect the most is what is best. As you alluded to with your example of Green Lantern and Hawkgirl in the DCAU, the other media, like cartoons, does things better than the comics much of the time.

      For example, I don’t care that Hal Jordan comes before John Stewart in the comic books. I don’t care that Hal Jordan has been the starring character in Green Lantern for decades worth of comics. I don’t care how many comic books starring Hal Jordan have sold. He is not the best interpretation of Green Lantern to me, nor is he to many other people, judging from how poorly his movie and merchandise performed, and the fact that his cartoon is completely off the air after a single season. I do not respect tradition just for tradition’s sake. What I respect is what is best.

      People want to see what is best and what they like. Bruce Timm and his team more often than not knew what to take from the source material, knew what to leave out, knew what to change, and knew what to add to make for a better presentation than the comic books, and 9 times out of 10, the audience loved it. I mean, his Hawkgirl is without a doubt the best representation of that character. WHY IS SHE NOT IN THE COMICS!? If anything needs to change, the comics need to be more like the cartoons. After all, the cartoons are way more successful and have way larger audiences. When people go to the comics from the cartoons, they don’t want to see a bunch of unfamiliar stuff where they’re expecting familiar stuff.

      Rather than restrict the cartoon producers (like Bruce Timm) and tell them what stories they have to do, and what characters they have to use, everything would turn out better if they let Bruce Timm cut loose and do his own thing. If his stuff winds up being a hit and is better than the comics, it should be incorporated within the comics. Most of their DTV movies can’t stand up to the DCAU shows, and I feel not giving the producers as much control contributes a lot to that. They’re just not coming up with content that is good, and I feel it’s being stifled. Thus, everyone –WB/DC and the audience– is hurting because of it.

      I’m actually looking forward to when WB moves DC to California, because I’m more of a supporter of Warner Bros. than I am of DC Comics. I’m hoping that WB whips the comics more into shape so they start doing things that make more sense.

      Anyway, great post, anon. I look forward to hearing more from you in the future.

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