Tagged: Barry Allen

Martha Thomases: Health Care For Super-Heroes

The Supreme Court finally ruled on the Affordable Care Act. Hallelujah!  They went my way!

Now I don’t have to worry about that chance the court might strike down the individual mandate, which would mean my premiums would have gone up – in New York, if one is self-employed, one pays gigantic premiums. My worrying didn’t make the difference, however, so let’s consider something really important.

Can super-heroes get health insurance?

Barry Allen was already working for the police department when the lightning bolt caused those chemicals to drench him and made him The Flash. Usually, public employees get good insurance. He should be okay. We can only hope that Tea Party pressure hasn’t weakened his union’s negotiating power and force public workers to take a worse policy.

Bruce Wayne not only has enough money to pay any medical bills he might have out-of-pocket, but he also has Alfred on staff, who, in addition to his butler skills, also seems to be something of a battlefield surgeon.

Reed Richards is a doctor. Presumably, he can take care of many of his colleagues. Those he can’t might be cared for by Dr. Strange, or Dr. Mid-Nite.

But what about the others?

Once you’re bitten by a radioactive spider as a teenager, you have a pre-existing condition. And, as a self-employed person in New York (at least when he started freelancing at the Daily Bugle), Peter Parker probably got a policy with a high deductible, if he got a policy at all. Here’s hoping that radiation didn’t cause cancer along with a spider sense.

Can test pilots get insurance at all? Even if he wasn’t a Green Lantern, is Hal Jordan the kind of guy who could get a policy?

Among those without powers, masks or capes, there might be circumstances that make it difficult to get a coverage. It seems that just living in certain areas invites life-threatening accidents. I know that living in the New York area means I pay higher rates, so I guess most of the Marvel Universe does as well. Metropolis, Gotham, Coast City et al. are probably no bargain either.

Who pays for those over-worked emergency rooms, especially after an alien attack?

If ever there were places that could use single-payer health insurance, it’s the DC and Marvel Universes.

And me.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman Renders His Verdict

 

Mike Gold: Truth, Justice, and Spinelessness

Just as life is drifting into a lull, I can always count on Fox News to provide entertainment by going disproportionately apeshit. Case in point:

DC Comics made a big whoopdeedoo about one of their top characters coming out of the closet. Immediately, our friends at Fox said “It’s the end of the world! Superman is gay! Superman is gay!”

They were subsequently told Superman is not gay. Don’t tell Rick Santorum, but that caped dude Lois Lane’s been sleeping with is actually a strange visitor from another planet.

So Fox thought about it for a nanosecond and started braying “It’s the end of the world! Batman is gay! Batman is gay!”

They were subsequently told Batman is not gay. Perhaps they were also informed that psychiatrist Fredric Wertham beat them to that bullshit story over 60 years ago.

DC finally came clean and, as you undoubtedly know – particularly those of you who have been to your friendly neighborhood comic shop today – it’s Green Lantern who is gay. No, not the guy from last year’s unwatchable movie or the guy from this year’s better-than-expected CGI teevee series, not the black guy who was in the Justice League teevee show and has his own comic book and has been around for several decades, and not the guy with the Moe Howard reject haircut who was in the Brave and the Bold teevee show and also has his own comic book. Nor is it one of the hundred thousand or so space alien Greens Lantern. Nope. None of them.

It’s Alan Scott. The original Green Lantern. So original he predated the Green Lantern Corps by almost 20 years. The old dude who was ret-conned out of existence last year. Now he’s been reintroduced as a gay man.

The story received some press, much of it just shy of ridicule. Each piece I read was careful to point out that Alan Scott was not the guy in the comic books or in the movie. Each piece I read tried to justify its newsworthiness but came short. For good reason.

Showing the fourth-string (at best) Green Lantern to be gay is less than no big deal. Hal Jordan, yes. That would be a big deal. Barry (Flash) Allen, certainly. Wonder Woman, absolutely. Any one of what Warner Bros. refers to as the “family jewels” would have been newsworthy.

Gay characters in comics are no big deal. We introduced an ongoing, major gay character in Jon Sable Freelance in the early 1980s; having super-macho Sable deal with the revelation was unique for its time. A few years later, Marvel’s Northstar came out. Not a household name (nor was Alpha Flight – but the X-Men were), but a big deal for the time. Last week, Northstar got engaged, which was pretty cool. Over at Archie Comics, they introduced a gay character that Veronica Lodge fell for. That was an amazing story, a very courageous move for Archie because it is almost totally dependent upon newsstand sales and therefore was taking a risk of tainting its brand. Quite the opposite happened: Kevin Keller graduated from supporting character to mini-series star to his own title, all within a year.

In the face of growing acceptance of same-sex relationships, DC revealed its spinelessness by outing a character few people have heard of (you’d have to have been collecting social security for years for you to have been a reader of All-American Comics) and even fewer people care about. There was no risk of an Alan Scott movie or television series, no action figures at Toys R Us or Wal-Mart, no ancillary revenues put in jeopardy.

This is not a knock on the creative talent involved: James Robinson has been one of the best writers practicing the craft today and he’s held that status in my fanboy brainpan for quite a while. I don’t know if Alan Scott’s still got those kids; there’s no reason why he shouldn’t but that would show more guts than DC has offered thus far.

It is not DC Comics’ job to bring truth and justice to the American way. But making such a big deal over such a small event is just pandering.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil talks comics’ survival

 

MICHAEL DAVIS: Game Change

I’ve seen the light.

I’ve seen the future of comics.

I had a meeting yesterday with a company that is going to change the game on the net and can change for comics and creators. I’ve haven’t been this excited since I was 17 and my very first real girlfriend Yvonne Stallworth said, “My parents won’t be home until the morning.”

At 17you know what that means, right fellas?

Poon tang…yeah.

Or in my case spending the night saying; “Please…please…please.”  Before you think I was begging for poon tang; “Please, Please, Please” is the title of a James Brown song I was singing… as I was begging for poon tang.

I can’t talk about the company or what they are doing…no that’s not true, I can talk about it but I’m hedging my bets just in case I’m wrong…which, by the way, I’m not.

That way if they crash and burn I’m protected and if they succeed I’m golden!

All the above said, I’m at a lost as to what was the last game changing moment in comics.

I guess it was the New 52 from DC.

I guess.

I’m not sure because to say something is a game changer is a big deal. Because it’s such a big deal I started thinking, what does it take to be a real game changer?

This is what I came up with. Areal game changer is a person or event that creates a new way of looking at things and years later that way has become the way.

So, with my personal criteria noted what follows are what I consider the most important game change decisions or people who have done so since I’ve been reading comics. You may disagree and if so feel free to amend, add or challenge some or all of my choices.

This list is in NO particular order.

  • Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man
  • Image Comics
  • Jack Kirby
  • Stan Lee
  • Dwayne McDuffie
  • First Comics
  • Mike Gold
  • Milestone Media
  • Death of Captain Marvel
  • Death of Superman
  • The New 52
  • The iPad
  • The Killing Joke
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths
  • Secret Wars
  • Death of Barry Allen
  • Neil Gaiman’s Sandman
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Kirby’s fourth world
  • Death of Gwen Stacy
  • Dave McKean
  • Bill Sienkiewicz
  • San Diego Comic Con International
  • Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles
  • Alan Speiegal
  • Arkham Asylum
  • Paul Levitz
  • Jenette Kahn
  • Axel Alonzo
  • Howard Chaykin
  • Dark Horse
  • Mike Richardson
  • Len Wein
  • Marv Wolfman
  • The A.P.E convention
  • John Jennings

Like I said the above list is in no particular order. Don’t send me comments about McFarlane being before Stan Lee, the list is in no particular order.

Duh.

Now. Have at it!

WEDNESDAY: Mike Gold

 

REVIEW: “Justice League: Doom”

If you’ve been a fan of Warner Bros.’ direct-to-DVD DC Universe movies, you are no doubt eagerly awaiting the February 28th release of Justice League: Doom. ComicMix’s own Glenn Hauman and Mike Gold attended a press screening of the movie, along with the mandatory press conferences and post-game roundtable discussion. We decided to take a conversational approach to our preview – not quite a review, as we’re avoiding spoilers. Still, if you’re extraordinarily anal retentive (the fanboy/fangirl affliction), you might want to just look at the pictures.

Glenn: The story, and the universe, felt familiar – not just because we’ve known these characters forever, but because it was Dwayne McDuffie’s take on them, his POV from Justice League and from Justice League Unlimited. One of those “you don’t realize how much you miss it until it’s gone” things.

Mike: DC’s animated universe came about organically, from the original Fox Batman Adventures through Doom… with major exceptions like that Teen Titans and that unnecessary and initially unwatchable The Batman series a couple years ago. Dwayne played a major part in that Justice League animated universe to be sure, but those Batman and Superman series created the foundation of this universe, as well as the bouncing off point for many of the actors.

Glenn: Speaking of the DC animated universe: one thing that was weird for me, throwing a new bit of unexpected unfamiliarity, was meeting Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman for two decades, because he just doesn’t quite look the part in real life – he looks more like the Scarecrow. I found myself mentally covering up his face from his nose up, superimposing a cowl on him. Or am I just that weird?

Mike: Yeah, Conroy is pretty skinny and he’s got a great face. But I think he’d be perfect as Jason Blood or Orion of the New Gods.

Glenn: Conroy as Jason Blood, live action? Oh, that works really well.

(more…)

MICHAEL DAVIS: David

When I was a kid around 12 years old I met another kid around the same age while at the library. This was a big deal because I was black and he was white and I had no white friends, so at the time this was an historic meeting for me at the time.

We were both at the same table at the library both working on a book report. We regarded each other only with sly looks while trying to avoid eye contact with each other. I lived in a housing project and I just knew that David lived in the real nice houses that were not to far from the projects in distance but light years away in lifestyle. For about an hour we played that cat and mouse “look, don’t look” game.

We played that game until David put away his notebook and replaced them with a stack of comics that could choke a horse. I’d never seen that many comics outside of my home. Never had I seen anyone carry that many comics around.

Then I noticed something incredible. All the comics were brand new. I’ve carried comics around with me on many an occasion: grandma’s house, dentist’s office, car trip (which I only did once because I can’t read in a car; it gives me the worst headache, even now) or to a friend’s house to trade.

Whenever I’ve carried comics around, they were never a stack of new comics – never. At 12 I don’t think I’ve ever brought more than three comics at one time. Not that I didn’t want too; I just could not afford it. Now, here in front of me were at least 30 brand new comics that this snot nose white kid was showing off.

I did not want to stare but I could not help it. I was mesmerized by the wealth of comics this kid had in his possession.

I hated that kid.

I hated that I had one comic on me that had no cover.

I hated that I wanted to ask to read some of his.

(more…)

MICHAEL DAVIS: Why I Still Like the New 52!

Because Marc Alan Fishman doesn’t.

A few days ago Marc wrote that he doesn’t like the New 52 and he took me to task over a few things I wrote in my Why I Like The New 5 article last week.

It seems that Marc, or he who is Dead To Me, or simply Dead To Me as I now call him, doesn’t think DC went far enough with the reboot.

I said in my article that I liked a lot of the books but what I really liked about the New 52 is that DC had the balls to do it in the first place. I also said that as fans of the DCU it would be hard to satisfy everyone with the massive undertaking.

A lot of people hate the New 52. I get that. It’s easy to hate from the sidelines. I do it, you do it, everybody does it. My point was, love it or hate it you have to respect the people that put it all on the line to do it. A lot of people don’t think that matters because to them it sucks and it will always suck because change is bad.

Change sucks. The DC comic reboots sucks. I suck for liking the DC comic reboots. And let me not forget to the GOP, Obama sucks.

Mar…  I mean Dead To Me, thinks the reboot was an easy out. He thinks DC didn’t go far enough.

Really? Let’s see how you would have rebooted the DCU. You who are Dead To Me. Here’s how I would have done it.

Batman

I’d make Batman black and call him Black-Man. He became Black-Man because his parents were shot in a drive-by on their way to Yale where they were both professors of Black History. Oh, I bet you thought his parents were walking in the projects looking for some drugs or some other stereotypical black bullshit storyline.

No! In my DCU there will be no stereotypes.  So Leroy Washington son of Ray Ray and Shaiqua Washington becomes Black-Man!

The Justice League

I’d make the Justice League black and call them the Malcolm X-Men.

Hawkman

I’d make Hawkman black and call him Black Hawkman.

Black Canary

What do you think I’d do? I mean, duh.

Green Lantern

I’d make GL black. His name will be John Stewart and his secret identity will be a talk show host.

The Flash

I’d keep the Flash white. I mean a black guy with super speed? Ron Paul would have a field day with that. “If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.” Ron Paul said that. Now just imagine if the Flash was black. Nah; I’m keeping Barry Allen a white guy but I’m making him a teen-age criminal who robs people and runs away.

Aquaman

He would stay white too. Everyone knows black people don’t swim…duh.

Wonder Woman

I’d make WW my flagship book. Why make it my flagship book? To make it clear Michael Davis’ DCU avoids racial and any other stereotypical depictions.For my reboot, I’d make Wonder Woman black. Hell ,in my book she’s already a black woman. She doesn’t take any shit and she’s got a banging booty.

So, Dead To Me, where is your DC reboot? My reboot only features classic characters and it’s taken me 10 years to come up with this new universe. Yes, I started 10 years ago when it was crystal clear to all in the industry that I was going to become head of DC.

After waking up I decided to work on the universe anyway and I’m glad I did because it has certainly come in handy today wouldn’t you say? Yes, 10 years of hard work, research, toil and trouble. I lost a wife with my unwavering commitment to redoing the DCU. Well, actually I was going to call it the MDCU but that’s beside the point.

The point is this type of universe building or rebuilding takes some serious balls not serious eggs like you wrote in your column when you thought you were being clever and used Spanish…wrongly.

It’s obvious you don’t regard research as something you need to do when you create something.

Eggs? Really?

So. I await your universe. If you think it’s so easy let’s see you put the time and effort into it and in 10 years we can talk about it. Or you can knock something out by next week because you don’t have the discipline to take the time to do it right.

I’ll leave you what I would do with DC’s biggest character and the biggest challenge for any DC universe do over, the Man Of Steel…

Superman

I would make Superman black and call him Icon.

WEDNESDAY: Mike Gold kicks it up a notch

MARC ALAN FISHMAN: What I’m NOT Thankful For

I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving holiday was amazing. I myself hosted festivities for the first time in our new home. It was here, in 2011 where Marc Alan Fishman finally graduated from the kiddie table. Looks like all it took was making a meal for 10 people, in my own home. But with the assistance of my fantastic in-laws, and even more fantastic(ly pregnant) wife… we done pulled off a doosy. After last week’s lov-in, I unbuckled my belt, let my gut out, and took stock in those things that didn’t quite make me a happy camper. Sure, my initial articles covered some of those (The X-Men, Barry Allen, and Hal Jordon to name a few)… but here we are, nearing the end of the year. What exactly happened that cause my beard to stand on end? Let the hatespew begin!

Epic Events of Extremely Excessive Inanity

To be truly fair, I could spend the entirely of this editorial tearing DC and Marvel both for their predilection to create crappy crossover events. But let’s boil it down to the brass tacks, shall we? Simply put, these money-sucking whores create bloated wastes of ink and paper, all based on the idea that “everything you know will change.” This of course, preys on our fan-boy fear of being left behind. And it would seem over the course of the Aughts, such as they were, the Big Two have perfected their scheme:

Create a main book where all the bullet point action takes place. A few not so significant people will die. One or two major ones might kick it too. A great evil rises up. It looks insurmountable. Then a legion of the most marketable heroes get some brilliant form of upgrade, or a lost and forgotten hero comes back from the dead, or some other deus ex machina reveals itself in the nick of time for one last issue of double page Photoshopped explosions. What follows is generally seven to twenty seven epilogues setting up the next six months of editorial mandated character changes.

But it’s never just that one main title now, is it? These mega-loads of mega-suck bleed into the entire continuity of issues. Soon every book you’d normally pick up features the event-du-jour’s nom de plum across its masthead. What follows is generally exposition taken from bullet point A before bullet point B from the main series. Not reading that series? Well, I guess it sucks to be you. I was loving, L-O-V-I-N-G Matt Fraction’s Incredible Iron Man series until Fear Itself. And for four issues straight, all the world building he’d done was cast aside so I could follow Tony into Asgard to get drunk, swear, and make some action-figure-waiting-to-happen weapon variants for random heroes to use. Did I follow Fear Itself? No. Thanks for wasting my time, money, and love of the Iron Man book.

Don’t think for a second DC skates by here either, kiddos. Those cash-craving carnivores did one worse; they let the deus ex machina implode their entire line of comics. Flashpoint, by and large, will sit in my collection next to Countdown to Final Crisis as a testament to everything wrong with comic books today. “But why did you keep buying them, if you hated them so much?” Well… One – I’m a masochist. Two – the series promised to feature at least one or two characters I’d normally not get to read about. Three; – I didn’t want to come out of the other side confused as to why everything changed. Flashpoint even had the nerve to release wave after wave of mini-series to take us around this “Age of Not Quite Apocalypse.” And while Batman: Knight of Vengeance delivered an amazing Elseworlds tale, it was just that… An Elseworlds tale. Slap any title card you wanted on the cover, Dan, Geoff, and Jim. We all knew it should have said “Flash Point Over There and Distract The Fanboys While We Hit The Reset Button.”

4/5ths of the DCNu

And since we’re on the subject… the next thing that ground my gears was the rebooting of the DC Universe itself. I give credit where credit is due. It was a bold move that in fact did raise awareness, sales, and general levels of hope amongst the comic book readers of the world. But by and large, it was all smoke pellets and Mirror Masters.

Let’s face facts. Superman, Wonder Woman, the JLA, and Aquaman all got the reboots needed to make them matter again. Batman and Green Lantern may have gotten shiny new #1s on their books, but didn’t reboot a damned thing. Batgirl got to disappoint the handicapped community (not that the book is bad mind you, but still…), and a plethora of bad ideas were hurled out with hopes any of it would stick. What we’re left with is a mangled mess of a few fantastic books littered amongst total garbage. All the solid character-building moments that gave DC a strong legacy and continuity were thrown out with the bath water in hopes that a #1 and a power-cycle would somehow make comic books appeal to the masses who aren’t reading comic books. Guess what? Sales may have increased, but not by that much. Walk out on the street today, and ask a passer-by who OMAC, Voodoo, or Captain Atom are. Don’t be surprised when they need to Google it.

It’s still too early to say exactly what impact this reboot is going to make. Suffice to say, I hardly believe I’ll be telling my son “Oh yeah, in 2011, it all changed. DC created the new paradigm by which all comic books were created.” More likely? “Oh yeah, in 2011 DC rebooted everything, because they figured they’d move more issues if they had #1 on them. Superman turned out really good. I kind of forgot everything else.”

The Fallacy of Death in Comics

If 2011 has taught us nothing else, then we should all learn this: Death is meaningless in comic books. In the long-long ago, in a time and place far far away from here… dying meant dying. No mysterious body swaps. No time-bullets. No psuedo-science backtracking. Dead meant dead. In 2011, Marvel iced the Human Torch, Bucky Barnes (again…), and Thor (again, again). Human Torch didn’t even stay chilled long enough to be missed. With Fantastic Four #600, his mighty resurrection (as predicted by just about everyone) came to pass. In Fear Itself, Bucky and Thor each bit the dust. Who here is man enough to say they’ll stay that way for 365 days? With The Avengers movie hitting megaplexes next summer, I doubt Mr. Odinson will be resting for even a fortnight. Oh, and it looks like the Phoenix force is coming back too. As it stands, I can’t even tell you for sure who is alive and who isn’t. Only Ultimate Peter Parker seems to be the most likely candidate for a spot next to Gwen Stacy of the 616 in the land of the “neva’ coming back.” And thanks largely to Flashpoint, DC was able to kill off whole portions of their catalog, with the promise to thaw them out the second sales dip. Did someone say JSA?

Goodbye 2011. May 2012 boast less deaths and less events. See you next week, when my column resets back to #1.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

MINDY NEWELL: To Love, Honor, And Cherish Until Death – Or Editorial Decision – Do Us Part

If you’re a regular reader of this column, you know that my daughter, Alixandra Gould – yes, she’s keeping her name – married the love of her life, Jeffrey Christopher Gonzalez, last week. (A big thank you! to Mike Gold for posting a beautiful column last week that I posted on Facebook, then e-mailed to every single person I’ve ever met just to make sure they read it, and which Alix and Jeff thought was terrifically cool.) So of course I decided to write about superhero marriages this week. Not a big leap, is it?

I just finished googling “superhero marriages.” There were “about” 7,750,000 hits in 0.23 seconds, the most recent being a slide show in the Huffington Post posted only four days ago – well, five days ago since this appears on Monday – on November 9, 2011 titled “Comic Book Weddings: 8 Of Our Favorite Superhero Weddings.” In order, they are (1) Spider-Man, a.k.a. Peter Parker, and Mary Jane Watson in 1987’s The Amazing Spider-Man Giant Annual; (2) 1962’s The Incredible Hulk #319 in which Bruce Banner and Betty Ross’ nuptials are interrupted by a “special guest”; (3) The X-Men’s Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Jean Grey (Phoenix) in 1994; (4) Wonder Woman in her eponymous title married Mr. Monster in 1965 – ‘nuff said!; (5) Aquaman and Mera in Aquaman #18, 1964; (6) “Death Waits to Kiss the Bride” screamed the cover of Lois Lane #128 in 1972 – featuring the now iconic picture of Superman holding somebody’s dead body; (7) The Flash races down the altar to stop Iris West from marrying the wrong Barry Allen in The Flash #165, 1966; and (8) Wonder Girl, a.k.a. Donna Troy, marries Terry Long in Tales Of The Teen Titans #50, 1985.)

How did they miss Reed Richards and Sue Storm Richards, a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Woman? Im-not-so-ho, Reed and Sue are the most realistically portrayed marriage “pros” in the comics universe.

The couple married in 1965, making this year the 46th anniversary of their being a Mr. and Mrs. (They look pretty damn remarkable, don’t they? Must be all those visits to the Negative Zone.) Down through the years, Reed and Sue “have and held, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,” and have loved and cherished each other through everything the Marvel Universe could and continues to throw at them, including “real life” curves like a miscarriage, potential affairs, political differences, and a brother’s death.

Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson came pretty close in matching the Richards’ record – not in years married, but in a realistic view of marriage – but then Marvel decided to “disappear” their relationship. Clark Kent and Lois Lane had a wonderful thing going, too, but DC recently terminated without prejudice that couple, too.

And what the hell happened to Scott and Jean?

Jean Loring, the wife of Ray Palmer (The Atom) has a “mental breakdown” and goes on a rampage, killing Sue Dibny, the wife of the Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny), in one of the most gruesome scenes I’ve ever seen in any comic.

Betty Banner, wife of Bruce Banner (The Hulk) was abused, suffered miscarriages, was turned into a harpy, and died. She got better and turned red.

Shayera Hall, Hawkwoman, dead.

I’m sure glad Jeff isn’t a superhero.

TUESDAY: Michael Davis

MARC ALAN FISHMAN: Just Kill Kyle Rayner

Typing that title hurt. A lot. It’s been stated here time and again: I am a Kyle Rayner fan. Here I sit, sarcasm sitting in its glass jar next to me, legitimately about to make the argument that my favorite character in comics be given a dirt nap… and I don’t mean the Steve Rogers–Bruce Wayne dirt nap kiddos. I mean the Gwen Stacy sleep of the pulpy gods. But why, you ask, would I suggest such a fate to the character that inspired this bearded bloke to make comics himself? I paraphrase Dr. Denis Leary:

“Elvis Presley should have been shot in the head back in 1957. Somebody should’ve walked up behind Elvis in ‘57 with a 44 magnum, put the barrel of the gun right up to his brainstem and just pulled the trigger, so you can remember Elvis in a nice way. Wouldn’t it be nice to remember Elvis thin, with a big head of hair? Maybe that gold lame suit. Wouldn’t that be nice? Because how do you remember Elvis? You know how you remember Elvis. He was found in the toilet with his pants around his ankles and his big fat hairy sweaty king of rock and roll ass exposed to the world and his final piece of kingly evidence floating in the toilet behind him!”

And as I look on the career of Kyle, since 2005, I see a fat Elvis, crapping on the pot.

Kyle Rayner was brought into the fold of DC Comics in January of 1994. After they wrote off Hal Jordon as a villain-turned-martyr, they introduced new blood into the comic. Kyle represented everything Hal didn’t. He was timid, indecisive, and anything but fearless. All he was, was a kid with an amazing imagination. A kid given the ultimate toy, and a universe to save. For lack of a better M.O., Kyle Rayner was DC’s Spider-Man. An everykid being shown that with great power rings comes great responsibility. It was a bold move. And over ten years he was given free reign to learn, and grow. I grew with him. Kyle joined the Justice League (during the fantastic Morrison run), and became the POV character we could get behind. While Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman were the serious heroes, Kyle was the kid who could still yell “cool!” Simply put, with Kyle Rayner, DC had the bold and inventive reboot they’re so desperate to have now.

In 2005, Dan DiDio and Geoff Johns decided that the comic book world had enjoyed too much of this “modern” era and declared the silver age be reborn! Hal Jordan was resurrected, and with it took every last ounce of thunder Kyle had mustered in his 10 year tenure as the torch bearer. This is the moment folks, where, had I the will power, I would politely take Rayner’s ring and hurl it into the sun. Ever since “Rebirth” Rayner has floundered, flopped, and died a slow and pitiful character death. Ask ole’ Geoff or Dan, and I’m sure they’d feed you a brilliant line on how he’s still “relevant and as awesome as ever!”… Let’s go to the tape!

Since 2005, Kyle Rayner has… uh… got chummy with Guy Gardner… and… became Ion until they gave that to another alien we’ve since forgotten about… and … uh… got taken into Parallax for an issue… put on a blue lantern ring for a day… oh! And at some point his mom died, and he lost 17 girlfriends. Some died. Some blew up. Others turned out to have daddy issues. Ain’t it riveting?

Simply put, with Hal as the lead green meanie, Kyle fails to matter in the great scheme of things. As Barry Allen came back put Wally West out of a job, so too, does Kyle remain a waste of ink. The whole concept of legacy is so strong at DC (far more than Marvel…), but with the reboot, and continual Geoff Johning of the multiverse… legacy is fast becoming nothing more than an MMO title.

And so, this September, DC rebooted its entire universe. With Hal continuing to be the star of the flagship series (mainly because he was the star in a wonderful flop of a film this summer…), and John Stewart (affirmative action at it’s best!) and Guy Gardner (because we all love angry Irish guys, right?) over on GL Corpse (pun intended), what was Kyle given to do? Well, with GL: New Guardians… He’s the top banana in an adventure that will undoubtedly:

1. Have him shack up with a random space chick. And then she’ll die.

2. Have him wear a plethora of rings, resulting in him changing costumes 10 more times.

3. Remove any semblance of his character, and have him shout various generically heroic things as he saves the day.

4. At some point, he’ll mention all the good things he’s done as a Green Lantern, reminding us Raynernauts that he mattered there, for a while.

5. He’ll grow a bitchin’ half-beard.

I’ve been through the first two issues of the series. I’ve yet to be impressed. It’s like a cattle call for all the last two years worth of Lantern D-listers, all brought together for yet-another-unforeseen-prophetic-battle. Rayner will end up working with Bleez (the slutty Red Lantern), Arkillo (the tongue-less Kilowog of the Sinestro Corps), the Orange jelly-bean thing from Larfleeze’s lantern, Fatality (the only character in the DCU to have even less to do since Kyle Rayner’s original run on GL), an Indigo Lantern (who we still know nothing about, nor care about at this point) and Saint Walker (all will be well, and have some milk!).

Two issues in and nothing has happened. Seriously. 40 pages of content that has seemingly set up a single final splashpage of him in some kind of White-Lantern getup. As if we haven’t seen that before?

Ultimately, if DC wanted to ‘shake things up’ with their reboot, it was the perfect time to shed some dead weight. Since the love affair with all things Silver Age is still in full swing, the world simply doesn’t need a Kyle Rayner. And as one of his biggest fans, I’d much rather have seen him retire his ring for a desk job… instead of continuing to not-matter in the grand scheme of things. He could take a seat next to Wally, and they could simply wait until the next crisis. Or until someone recalls why he mattered in the first place.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

Superman: The Wedding Album

Happy 15th Anniversary, Clark & Lois Kent!

Not a dream! Not a hoax! Not an imaginary tale! It was this week in 1996 that Superman: The Wedding AlbumClark Kent and Lois Lane got married, an event comics fans had been anticipating for 60 years.

Superman: The Wedding Album was published during the week of October 6, 1996, coinciding with an episode of the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman that also featured the wedding of the two characters. Nearly every major comic artist who’d ever worked on Superman contributed to the book.

Of course, nowadays, Clark and Lois are no longer married, as post-Flashpoint they have been exposed to the Anti-Marriage Equation (only slightly less expensive than a Vegas divorce) and they aren’t even dating. It seems to be contagious, as Barry Allen and Iris West have also been exposed to it as well.

But we’ll be able to buy a new wedding issue in… 45 years. Of course, by then comics won’t be printed on paper anymore, but it’s the thought that counts.