Joshua Hale Fialkov Confirms DC Editorial Planned to Kill Green Lantern John Stewart

on May 2, 2014

Joshua Hale Fialkov

After roughly one year, Joshua Hale Fialkov -who was once the writer of Green Lantern Corps and Red Lanterns, but who quit before a single issue of his shipped- stepped forward to shed some light on the fiasco involving DC Comics’ edict to kill Green Lantern John Stewart. In an interview with Bleeding Cool, Fialkov admitted it was DC editorial’s idea to kill off their most well-known and beloved minority character, and quite possibly their most recognized Green Lantern. This is the first official confirmation from any of the parties involved.
From Bleeding Cool:

RJ: So, exactly who was it who told you to kill off John Stewart? You don’t get these questions at CBR, I know.

JHF: Editorial felt that the story we were telling wasn’t ‘compelling enough’ and suggested that the murder of John Stewart would be. I disagreed.
It was all so long ago, but it still bums me out. I love those characters, and wanted to be a part of the launch so badly.

RJ: I notice he is now alive in the Futures End comic set thirty years in the future.

JHF: I know that those plans all got scuttled after I left, but, that wasn’t enough for them to ask me back.

RJ: Is there any way you could ever see yourself going back?

JHF: It was a toxic environment working there when I did. I was walking with a cane and suffering from migraines two or three times a week from all the stress. After I quit, that all went away.
I’ve lost probably 50 pounds, and, am training for a marathon.

RJ: They should probably bottle that as medication.

JHF: Just being out from under the negative energy contributed a lot of that change.

RJ: Tense, nervous headache? Cramps down the left side? Simply quit DC!

JHF: And let them make a PR mess out of it, completely vilifying themselves in the process, yes.”

Talking To Joshua Hale Fialkov About Hell, Atheism And Killing John Stewart

I’ve had a theory that the character Simon Baz -an Arab American Green Lantern- was meant to replace John Stewart, perhaps as an effort to keep John Stewart from being used in other media, like film, video games, and so on. DC could use Baz as a shield from accusations of racism if they killed John Stewart.

It’s well known that Green Lantern Hal Jordan -a favorite of DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer, Geoff Johns- hasn’t performed well in mainstream media, and that a great many people have asked for John Stewart to appear in film, animation, and so on. What’s the best way to keep John out of such projects and continue pushing Hal Jordan on audiences? Simply kill John Stewart in the comic books, of course!

Well, John Stewart fans, it’s been revealed. DC Comics has been intentionally trying to keep John Stewart down, and they’ve likely been doing this for many, many years. We did not imagine anything. We did not make up anything. We did not exaggerate anything. This stuff was really happening.

This makes me think rather low of DC Comics, because what it looks like is certain people at DC can’t stand the fact that many people recognize Green Lantern as a black person. That’s why they’ve shoved all this stuff at audiences starring the white Green Lantern, while attempting to bury John Stewart. What’s so hilarious is that audiences have shoved it right back in their face and have asked for the black one, and DC’s dirty secrets are coming out in the open.

Conversely, I have a lot of respect for Joshua Hale Fialkov. I think I speak for all John Stewart fans when I say how grateful we are for his great sacrifices. I’m very happy he’s doing much better now on a personal level, and I wish him all the best in his current and future endeavors.

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  • anonsaga

    Your analysis was right on the ball. I am also proud of Joshua Hale Fialkov. It really sounds like DC is a miserable place to work.

    The New52 Justice League has been a failure from top to bottom. It was a mistake to redesign Superman in look and personality, to strip Wonder Woman of her individuality, and to induct Cyborg into the league — just to use Hal Jordan instead of John Stewart. And just look at everything DC had to do to get it: [1] resurrecting Hal Jordan AND his buddy, Barry Allen; [2] creating TWO MORE Green Lanterns for an already overcrowded sector; [3] erasing Cyborg’s history with the Teen Titans (thereby effectively creating a character different from the fan-favorite of the animated series). And lest we forget… cutting John Stewart out of nearly every form of DC entertainment since the end of the animated Justice League series, all while ‘literally’ attempting to kill him.

    Even the quality of DC animation has fallen since deciding to base their Justice League off The New52.

    With the potential overcrowding, questionable casting decisions, and everything else DC has been doing wrong lately, I really don’t have much hope for the movie.

    • Desh Derringer

      I agree. The lengths they go to in order to bury their most beloved POC character just to promote another white hero are absolutely sickening. They are foul people, and definitely not fit to be running a business. It makes me so happy their plans constantly fail and all their attempts to make Hal Jordan relevant in the mainstream backfire. They try so hard to force Hal Jordan to be popular, giving him the kitchen sink treatment, whereas John Stewart’s popularity came about very naturally. I can’t get over how ridiculous it is that they keep running away from that, thinking up plots to get rid of John Stewart.

      • Hudson Faber

        DC Animation’s quality has gone down since JLU. The Justice League comics have sucked the entire course of the New 52. The Hal Jordan film sucked and failed to launch a DCCU like it was supposed to. Seems to me like the more WB/DC tries to force Hal, the more their products suck.
        They should have let John’s importance grow, made him the head of the franchise, and put him on the Justice. Everything he’s been involved in has been successful–every run, game, and cartoon.

  • Hudson Faber

    This is probably how it went down –

    • Hudson Faber

      I’m really happy so many people fought back for John. When will DC understand that he should be the head of the franchise?

      Ironically, while the tactic of killing off John to promote Hal didn’t work, DC’s strategy of erasing pretty much everything about the old Wally West to promote Barry Allen does seem to have worked–probably because Wally didn’t show up for 2.5 years. I shudder to think at what would have happened to John if the Green Lantern titles were relaunched with the New 52. But it looks like Johns’s fanboyism not only protected John from the horrible 2011 GL film, but it also protected him from Wally West’s fate.

      • Desh Derringer

        Yeah, DC virtually destroyed the Wally West character, and put up a front of having a noble aspiration doing it. John has been spared that type of fate, but I’m sure that is what DC was aiming for with his death. I think DC’s in a predicament now, because too many people are on to what they tried to do to John Stewart (burying him and attempting to kill him), and too many people are asking for him to be in the Justice League film. Also, the character they decided to back for years, Hal Jordan, is now toxic. His projects and merchandise flopped and stores won’t touch him. If they don’t use John, they’re going to suffer serious backlash (and justly so). Aside from the obvious, I have some pretty good reason to believe they’ll use him in the movies, regardless of Cyborg.

        “Seems to me like the more WB/DC tries to force Hal, the more their products suck.”

        Very true. It’s partially because the Hal Jordan push has been so unnatural. DC has tried to dictate to people what they should like instead of just giving them what they like. That’s not going to work, because outside of comic-dom, Hal Jordan has no support. By the time he showed up with his terrible film, John Stewart was already emblazoned in people’s minds as Green Lantern thanks to the DC Animated Universe. Not to mention the projects John has appeared in are great and greatly loved, and the majority of Hal Jordan’s suck.

        They need to stop fighting against the natural order of things and just give people what they know and what they want.

        • PadThai2

          Hal Jordan : John Cena :: John Stewart : Daniel Bryan

  • Clyde

    Now guys, you didn’t think that you could leave me out of this discussion could you? Lol. As I write this message I’m watching all the old episodes of Justice League on Netflix. And as I look at the show, I am so proud to see that John Stewart leads all members in being in the most episodes. I’m also so proud of his leadership role on the team of being the team’s strategist…yes even over the brilliant Batman and even over the face of the franchise Superman, and even over the ambassador voice of the league in Wonder Woman. John Stewart is a respected leader on the Justice League and the Green Lantern corps. He’s a former U.S. Marine, he helped defend this country, he’s helped defend the Milky Way galaxy and he ranks up there with the triad big three. The most well known names in real life and in fiction. Unlike Hal Jordan, John Stewart never sold out and put on the yellow ring, regardless of the circumstances. However Sinestro and Hal did. John never gave in to rage however Guy Gardner did by slipping on the red ring. Unlike Hal, John never took out the corps and was taken over by Parallax and also the Spectre. Hal was like Anakin Skywalker, the Guardians thought that he would lead the corps to salvation, but he turned out to be worse than Sinestro. Hal was just a cocky airforce pilot, nothing really special about him. I’m sure he would have never gotten his job if it wasn’t for his father. While John worked hard for everything he got, he lost his family members, he was born a minority so he was already behind the eight ball in life. John always kept it real and never sold out. The temptation was there sure, he might have had hiccups along the way like any other character, but he stayed true to himself and with others.
    Donald Sterling found out real fast what happens when a prejudice, bigoted, biased and racist mentality does to you when you’re in a position of power. DC/Warner Bros. please don’t make the same mistake that he did. As Heisenberg said from “Breaking Bad” “I suggest that you tread lightly”. I wrote an email to the DC entertainment discussing John Stewart, and naturally I didn’t get a response back. Those cowards. I can’t believe that in 2014 in a multi diverse society that we live in, that there are still people who are stuck in the old ways of racial segregation, discrimination on a multitude of levels, even economic discrimination of the Have’s (vs) The Have Not’s.
    If DC Comics would’ve given people a choice, if they would’ve given all the Earth based Green Lanterns an opportunity on an even playing field to prove their worth to the fans using their personalities and skill set, then perhaps Hal wouldn’t have been as rejected as he is. But because the establishment has provided an uneven playing field, it has caused an uproar. I think its safe to say that of the four main Earth Lanterns( not counting Simon Baz because he has nothing to do with this battle), Guy Gardner ranks fourth in popularity, Kyle Rayner in third place and then the battle for the number one spot is between John & Hal. While DC knows that John is winning that number one spot, The establishment continue to promote Hal in an uneven playing field, endorsing him to be the next Prez of the U.S. in a matter of speaking. Hal had two animated movies, his own animated series, live action movie, every animated Justice League movie appearance, comic book series over the many decades, and even in the Young Justice animated series he battled for positioning with John as there were two Lanterns as a part of the counsel. So you see, Geoff Johns and the establishment won’t stop, they won’t quit, they never will stop their endorsement of Hal. And just like when Malcolm X, Martin Luthur King Jr., JFK, and Abe Lincoln, all were assassinated because they grew to big for the establishment, the same scenario almost happened to John. You know what’s funny though…for every time that the powers that be try to bury John Stewart alive and to promote Hal Jordan like a presidential candidate; is the more that the people will endorse John Stewart. So in that case, keep up your hate DC/Warner Bros. (Geoff Johns), because the more that you do…the more that you expose yourselves and the more the playing field is in favor of The people’s champion…no not Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but John “The Green Lantern” Stewart!

    • Hudson Faber

      Great post. Speaking of John on the Justice League cartoon, I love how he mentored Supergirl so well.

  • Corey A Lee

    I think that this article shows that people want John Stewart as the GL of the Justice League movie. Hal did not connect with people as much as DC wanted. In the comments of course you have those die hard Hal fans that want him even though it will not be a good move but those kind of fans you cannot tell them anything. I of course supports this idea. But more and more people are starting to get behind John Stewart as Green Lantern.

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