Sad JLA: Green Lantern

Want to see Green Lantern make a mistake before having an emotional breakdown?  Of course.

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We’re looking at JLA #103, written by Chuck Austen and drawn by Ron Garney.  This is a good example of the sheer amount of crime in the DC universe.  Two apartment complexes across the street from each other at the same time have simultaneous domestic disturbances to break up.  Poor John Stewart can’t fly/run at the speed of thought like our previous two superheroes, so he has to choose the order of his heroic acts.  Since you have a fair grasp of the theme this week, you already know: he chooses poorly.

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To be fair to Stewart, if any of the Justice League can handle death, it’s Green Lantern.  This comic takes place in pre-Geoff Johns era, but Green Lantern comics remain (at least in the second half of the last decade) as the bloodiest, violent, and most deadly series in the DC Universe.  Space is never not at war.  Plus, remember that one time Stewart’s arrogance got a planet blown up and all its people killed?  He hasn’t, that’s for sure.

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Sector 2814, the section of the galaxy that Stewart patrols contains far more than just the planet Earth.  You wouldn’t know from the comics, but can you blame the guy?  Dude’s biased towards his own species.  At least he doesn’t do what Sinestro did and have his planet make gold statues of him and force all citizens to grow tiny pencil-thin mustaches.  My Green Lantern knowledge pre-Geoff Johns is a bit fuzzy.  Something about Hal Jordan getting Reed Richards hair and Kyle Rayner crying a lot.

But Green Lantern brings up a good point — his responsibility and the sole reason he wears that ring is to protect every single gosh darn person that walks his planet.  So he pulls a Spider-Man (though many years before Spider-Man makes the same proclamation): nobody dies.  Not from a stabbing, a bank robbery, a fall down the stairs, a broken heart, etc.  Green Lantern’ll create knife-proof armor, punch robbers with giant green fists, make all apartments install slides, passionately make out with the lonely, etc.  It’s impossible, and with Superman being the only character so far who has overcome crippling emotional turmoil, the Man of Steel once again lends his broad shoulders and father-like advice to his buddy and confidant.

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In a lesson I’m skipping, Green Lantern learns that maybe some civilian R&R could do him some good.  Because with all the power capable from using that ring, deodorant and a shower isn’t any of them.  Though depending on the writer, I’m sure it could be.

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Superman only smells like one thing: America.  And there’s a smell that brings pride swelling in your heart and an unbreakable confidence in your patriotic smile.  Or delusion.  Either way, Martian Manhunter on Monday!  It’ll be sad!

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