Wednesday, December 06, 2006

From Greek Gods to Guy Gardner and G'nort

I was planning to post on the flaws of George Perez's Wonder Woman reboot, but instead I'm just going to touch on one flaw and how it relates to Green Lantern. Well, more specifically, Guy Gardner: Collateral Damage #1 which could have been called Green Lantern: Collateral Damage (Just like Ion is really only Green Lantern: Now With Less Angst!). In it, Howard Chaykin's Guy Gardner really reminded me of George Perez's Greek Pantheon.

With Perez, it was painful to read his Olympus and Hermes scenes because it seemed like he'd never read up on the gods. I got the distinct impression that he got a fact sheet and a few pages summarizing the notable stories and he went from there because while the structure and framework of the Pantheon was there, the life and the spirit was nowhere to be found.

I'm convinced that's what happened with Howard Chaykin and Beau Smith's Warrior run. Someone must have given Chaykin a list of plot elements and summaries, because the framework of Warrior is there but the spirit sure as hell isn't. I'm willing to accept the narrative condemnation of Guy because its first-person narrative from G'Nort's POV (I mean, since when is G'nort considered "perceptive"?) but even taking that into account doesn't improve on the overall mood of the book. I'm largely unimpressed with this comic and that is really saying something because I had very low expectations to begin with.

Also, that new Rannian Lantern puts the series out of continuity with GLC, which grates on my nerves because GLC has managed to keep with the spirit of Warrior even though it threw the trappings of the series to curb.

On the bright side, there was a G'nort butt-shot.



(Annoyingly, that was the only full tailview of G'nort and every other Lantern was turned to the side or the front every panel. Even the female character. The man knows nothing about Green Lantern. Butts, not breasts, dammit!)

Also on the bright side, I spent twenty minutes laughing at the first two pages in which we see "Dark G'nort." That was golden unintentional comedy, funnier than any other G'nort appearance I've ever seen. The scrunched up little face, the badass attitude, the known history, and the fact that this is Dark fucking G'nort combined to save the entire issue for me. I think he should stay this way, it is hilarious.

Those two pages aside, don't waste the six bucks. Buy a few Warrior back issues instead.

7 comments:

  1. Couple things...
    You know, the two weeks we won Monday Night Trivia, we used "G'nort" as the name... Just sounded right... Heee...

    Also... I know that artist... that square jawline, that torque of anger in the woman's lips... Who be?

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  2. I read this, then I read it again, and then I read it AGAIN...and I still can't get my brain to comprehend DARK GNORT!!

    I rather like Gnort...he's an idiot, but he's a loveable idiot, and if there is one person in the universe that Gnort loves, it is Guy Gardner. So telling Guy that he wants him to "die in pain" just makes my brain hurt.

    I agree with you about "Warriors" Chaykin seems to just pick through the various concepts that Beau Smith used so well, and reuse them without any attention to context, so it all comes out so...odd. I mean, the whole point is that Guy was the LAST Vuldarian, and a half-breed one at that. And I could have sworn that he, Lobo, Hawkman and Wonder Woman wiped out the Tormocks too.

    *sigh*

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  3. As someone who knows absolutely nothing about Guy Gardner, except what I've managed to take away from the ironic, snarky blog posts that praise issues of Warrior....doesn't holding a writer to whatever happened in Guy Gardner's solo series from the 90s seem a bit much? Sure, there are basic points that you don't want to miss, but you can't really going throwing around the Warrior series like its the Biblical authority on all things Guy. Can you?

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  4. Sin -- That's Howard Chaykin art, he wrote and drew.

    SallyP -- There has to be a better way to use Warrior elements and "seriousness" without completely throwing away the substantial parts of the character.

    Spencer -- When the series was solicited as meaning to "tie up loose ends from Warrior", when its the most substantial characterization of the character to date, when its still the characterization being used by GLC writer, and when its just plain the best written and most likeable Guy Gardner has ever been, yes you can hold it as the Biblical authority on all things Guy.

    To be a bit nicer, here's the thing. I'm not complaining about a missed name or a villain randomly brought to life here. The character that Howard Chaykin is writing just isn't Guy Gardner. Guy Gardner's personality was established in 80s GL and JLI books.

    It was fleshed out and made substantial in Warrior. Warrior was the definitive characterization of Guy Gardner, because it was the first time anyone tried to keep him in step with his earlier appearances but still make him likeable. Against all odds this actually worked, and the charactetr is likeable, consistent, and shows a pattern of personal growth.

    Now, Guy's best known for his caustic demeanor, but the substance beneath that demeanor, the likeability laid down in Warrior, still persists in GLC and current GL appearances (also in Infinite Crisis, Blue Beetle, Ion...etc..).

    I don't know who is in this special, but its not Guy Gardner. Maybe that evil clone is still running around. But there's no substance to the character.

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  5. Ok, that makes sense, considering the solicitation. When I look at Warrior, I just see really bad 90s EXTREME-in-your-face-kewl comic book. I'm sure it has its moments, but I feel like its something that would be brushed by many writers who take on Guy after the fact. Guess I was wrong. I imagine with Chaykin doing it, its basically a "Throw me a character that I can use for my 'Son of a bitch' type story I have and you'll have your comic" type situation.

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  6. I want to encourage you to go ahead and do more of your Perez/WW criticism, because you've already nailed it. I remember really looking forward to Perez art and the approach he was going to take, but with the final product it was "Meh" all the way. Glad someone else said so, because for all these years I just assumed I was missing something in my genome.

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  7. what a interesting way to compare this history with the Greel mithology, now I want to support the cause, so go ahead Perez, you can do it!

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