Sunday, January 13, 2008

Reason #256 the I enjoy time travel stories

I've been watching episodes of JLU this weekend, and I finally got to see the Once and Future Thing, where there's a time shift and John is replaced by Hal for a couple of scenes.

It's a really cool bit, because Hal steps right into the plot, and answers everyone's stares with "Another time shift. I'm Hal Jordan, I'm up to speed. Carry on." John doesn't miss a beat when he comes back. They're so natural about it.

They did this with Kyle and Hal in JLA/Avengers, too. I think I've seen it in a few other JLA stories. There's some sort of DCU law where for the purposes of a time travel story, any Green Lantern can replace any other Green Lantern, and they won't be fazed or confused by this.

I swear I've seen this in almost every time travel story where a Green Lantern appears. We can only hope the entire GLC never gets together during a time travel story, because the readers wouldn't be able to follow the scene with everyone changing positions. I imagine the characters would laugh it off, though. (It's all fun and games until someone get replaced with a Parallaxed version of themselves, after all.)

They try to do this with other characters, but it works best with Lanterns for the variety. I mean, you have 4 Earth-based Lanterns running around as it is. They've all been with the JLA at once point or another, and given the trouble with Earth it's reasonable to assume that any version of the JLA would have dealings with the local Lantern. Even going before Hal you have Abin Sur (and if you screw up the timeline enough, Donna Parker or Carol Ferris would work) and after Kyle there would be any future Lantern idea you could come up with. You can just randomly throw an alien in there from either way.

Anyway, there's not much point to this post. It's just a fun trait of time travel stories.


  1. Heh, "any future Lantern idea you could come up with." They could pull in the Green Lantern of the 73rd century, from Justice League of America #138-139. Then all the younger fans could go "What the...?" and all us old guys could go, "Hey, I remember him!"

    (Except of course that I might be the only guy who actually does remember him!)

    Coincidentally I just watched "Once and Future Thing" tonight myself. I've been blasting through all of JLU this month, and it's a whole bunch of fun.

  2. What I like about this trope is that it suggests that the Lanterns have a protocol and training for "you just got time/dimension-swapped with an alternate counterpart." Given how often that sort of thing happens in comics, it seems like a good idea. Someone should be able to fall out of a time rift and land on his/her feet.

  3. Alternate Timelines...They're Not Just For Breakfast Anymore!

  4. Nerd trivia: the guy who voiced Hal Jordan was none other than Adamn Baldwin of "Firefly". Since some folks would like to see Nathan Fillion of "Firefly" play Hal in a movie ... actually I don't know where I'm going with this. I suppose it means something, I just haven't figured out what yet.

    (Personally, I'd like to see Jason Lee as Sinestro, because let's face it, all he has to do is put on a yellow shirt and he's perfect. But that just brings up the issue of the rest of the standard Kevin Smith cast ... Ben Affleck as Hal? Ethan Suplee as G'nort? Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith as Guy and Silent 'Wog? But, I'm really getting off-topic here and I apologize.)

  5. I like Tom's idea. It would make perfect sense for the GL corps to have training in this sort of thing. Heck, it would make sense for the Justice League to have training in this sort of thing!

    Batman probably already has plans drawn up.

  6. Our current favorite time travel tale is "Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist: The Fran That Time Forgot," in which Franny travels back in time to change her name on her birth certificate from the humiliating "Franny Kissyface Stein" to the much cooler "Franny Kaboom Stein."

    Unfortunately, all of her classmates find her new middle name equally ridiculous, and the change has the further unfortunate result of turning her from a regular mad scientist to an EVIL mad scientist, so that she much fight her evil future self to go back and change her name back to Kissyface.

    I bet that in an "Untold Story," Guy Gardner has already gone back in time to change his name from "Leslie Lynch."

  7. Hee hee. Well, his middle name IS Darrin.

  8. You know all those "space missions" the League went on in the Silver Age and in JL/JLU?

    The only way they have ANY authority for that kind of thing is if they're GL's DEPUTIES.