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Monday, December 26, 2005

Egads!

Okay, so I went to Borders today to buy the Fantastic Four DVD, which I did, when I found something that looked interesting. A hardcover Green Lantern book (Sleepers, 3).

Well, it was the third in a trilogy, but I figured it couldn't hurt to look to see if it was worth hunting down the previous ones. Even if it's not canon, it could be fun. I did after all enjoy O'Neal's Hero Quest.

Big mistake. The book is terrible. Christopher Priest was the novelist. And I would rather see Kyle Rayner permanently written by Brad Metzer until the end of fucking time than see him ever in the hands of this guy.

Hal's the hero of the book, which is fine (though the timeline's screwy, more on that in a second), but Kyle is written as an absolute ineffectual twit who is skirting a deadline in order to illustrate a fucking duck for an asshole editor named Howard.

Okay, now the book is set in a nebulous timeframe when Hal's the Spectre, but he gets temporarily re-animated in this trilogy. Kyle's dating Jade but not yet working for Feast. But honestly, there's a whole half a chapter devoted to how Kyle's the type of character who can't just sit down and draw a duck, he has to google names and types of ducks, and spend hours bitching on how the author didn't choose the right kind of duck, and is constantly late to deadlines because he's not satisfied with the duck.

Hold up a second, this is *Kyle Rayner* we're talking about. Yeah he likes revising/fixing his work and isn't completely satisfied, and he's frequently personally late. But he's the single most visually creative of the Lanterns. He's known for instantaneously constructing much more complicated designs when he needs to (and don't get me started on how he looks to the ring, tempted to just goof off and lose the deadline: Kyle's a little silly, but he doesn't go joy-riding with the fucking ring, and he takes his job seriously). We've also seen that he's pretty adamant about keeping deadlines for his work in the comic, worrying about them, and is usually on time for them.

Not to mention that at this point he's had gallery openings and published cartoons in Rena Stone's magazine that will soon get him the nice steady comic-drawing job at Feast. He's successful enough, by the time he's dating Jade, to probably not need to deal with any sort of Howards. And he's shown to be professional enough when writing for Feast anyway.

But that's nitpicky. The guy is also written as completely impossible. Hal tells him he has to do some sort of energy/matter conversion with the ring. And Kyle first is incomprehending (which is annoying as it wasn't a hard concept), and then has to *write it down*. This is the guy who on Batman's vague command *contained a SUPERNOVA in a construct that looks like a safe*. Who rebuilt computers and DNA machines based on what he thinks they'll look like. He might not understand everything it's supposed to do, but he can do it regardless.

Then apparently we're supposed to believe that somehow someone manages to switch his ring with Sinestro's sleeper ring and he couldn't tell. (Not to mention Hal is able to use the ring. Yes, he uses it in Emerald Knights...but that's because Kyle lets him. It's genetically tied to him.) Kyle couldn't TELL he had the wrong ring?!

And then he gets defeated ignobly (*grr*) and is in the infirmary for the rest of the book. Damnit, this is the guy who caught a Supernova through force of will. Who blew up Oa to stop Parallax. He was the one Lantern able to stop a full-powered Traitor! And helped Hal hand Sinestro's ass to him in the past, when Hal was in his prime, earning the respect of both Hal and the Guardians. He can be taken out, yes, but at least give him a good showing!
--

But it gets worse. I mean, Priest is ostensibly a Hal fan. But Hal is written just as bad. Hal constantly does stupid things in the book and is an absolute jackass. This is not the Hal I liked so much in Green Lantern volume 3 (both as Hal, as Parallax, as Spectre, and Emerald Knights!Hal), Rebirth or the new series.

And to add insult to injury, Hal spends many chapters being openly hostile to Kyle. Even having to "fight back his dislike".

His dislike. Of Kyle. His *dislike*! I would be very shocked to find out that Mr. Priest has ever read *any* Green Lantern past issue 50. Hal's *always* respected Kyle. Even as Parallax, Hal had a healthy respect for Kyle's abilities. Let alone giving the ring back to Kyle after being Lead-Piped, or when Kyle came to him for help against the Sin-Eater.

As the Spectre, Hal was often a good voice of reason/support for Kyle. And in Circle of Fire, before any of the characters even realize Hal is the Spectre, Hal's very vocal about his concern. (The pushing back of his hood and "Godspeed," bit made me snicker just a little).

Hell, even Hal-from-the-past in Emerald Knights respected and liked Kyle, without all of the past history there.

Finally at the end, after being nobly victorious, Hal goes back to the infirmary, realizes that he "shouldn't be so hard on the kid" and returns the ring to him. And I want to show *that* to any Kyle-fan who bitches that Johns patronized Kyle-fans and gave us a pittiance in Rebirth.

There is a big difference between a Hal-loving writer who loves the Green Lantern concept and likes and respects Kyle for saving/carrying on the title, who allows Kyle to have in some ways even more of a vital role in Rebirth than Hal himself...and THIS.
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This book was horrible. Seriously. Alan was out of character, Guy and John were made into useless dissenting voices (think Batman in Rebirth, without the validity of his doubts), Kyle was a twit and Hal was a jackass. No character was unscathed.

I don't want this writer near *HAL* again, let alone Kyle.

Apparently Priest also wrote under the name James Owsley. And wrote that godawful storyline where Hal went on Oprah to set the record straight and somehow ended up with a fear of HEIGHTS. As a *pilot*. Let alone the stupidity of going on Oprah to "clear his reputation" to begin with. Thank god they retconned it.

Ragnell tells me he's also the guy who killed Katma Tui in an 8 page story where she was incredibly out of character.

Please Mr. Priest, I liked the Ray but put down the Lanterns and promise never to touch them again. Ever.

It's a bad sign when my first reaction just before seething anger is "Thank god this isn't canon."
---
On the plus side I got ahold of both Rebirth (yay) and World War III in Trade form. Yay. Much much better.

11 Comments:

  • At December 27, 2005 1:02 AM, Blogger James Meeley said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

     
  • At December 27, 2005 1:07 AM, Blogger Ragnell said…

    I can't understand why Marz gets accused of Misogyny, when Preist did worse to Katma Tui!

    At least Ron Marz only ever killed his own disposable creations, not wonderful established characters like Katma.

    (And he did give sane Hal good characterization in Emerald Knights)

     
  • At December 27, 2005 1:10 AM, Blogger Ragnell said…

    (And yes, I freely admit, if I enjoyed anythign Christopher Preist wrote aside from Bart Saves the Universe which was pretty funny, I'd probably be able to forgive Katma's death. But, nah... I'll be bitter a while. It realy wasn't a good appearance)

     
  • At December 27, 2005 1:14 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Egads, *he's* the one who wrote that monstrosity?!

    I'd take Marz any day. I'd take *Metzer* any day. At least Hal and Kyle read like themselves for the most part and not some screwed up AU counterparts that almost make Frank Miller's Batman work seem in character!

    Almost.

     
  • At December 27, 2005 1:45 AM, Blogger Ragnell said…

    Man, you almost have me talked into picking up the JLA relaunch.

     
  • At December 27, 2005 10:43 AM, Blogger CalvinPitt said…

    See, this is why you should never read novelizations of comic books. I did that with a Spider-Man book years ago, something involving Venom, the Hobgoblin, a nuclear bomb, and some thing that eats radioactive stuff.

    The writer didn't do a bad job, Spidey felt like Spidey to an extent, but it didn't feel right.

    I guess this means I can't nominate Priest for a Ray/Kyle Rayner crossover. Damn.

     
  • At December 27, 2005 2:04 PM, Blogger Mallet said…

    Actually Flash: Stop Motion is a pretty damn fine book as is Batman: Stone King.

    In fact all of that seires of books is wonderful from what i've read in the wonder woman and superman novels.

    Just be glad none of them are in continuity because Stop Motion would destroy all notions on the flash.

     
  • At December 27, 2005 4:58 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    calvinpitt: Sadly no, Priest's kind of like Miller I guess, good with his own stuff absolute crap with anyone elses. And trust me, you don't want to see his version of "Kyle".

    mallet: That series isn't bad. That's actually why I gave this book a chance. I enjoyed GL: Hero Quest a lot. But then there's a marked difference between O'neal and Priest as a writer.

    ragnell: Well, from rumors, it'll be Hal in JLA. Metzer writes Hal pretty well. (And didn't do *that* badly with Kyle...he still acted/sounded like Kyle; even if it was Kyle after a rough set of days...).

     
  • At February 18, 2006 10:19 PM, Anonymous Dan Coyle said…

    People also forget that it was Priest's bright idea to make Hal a mean, daddy-issues-centric drunk who blamed everyone else for his problems. I have a feeling New Frontier is a response to that more than anything Marz came up with.

     
  • At August 02, 2007 11:32 PM, Anonymous philippos42 said…

    OK, this is an old post now, but...

    It was Owsley's buddy Peter David who wrote "that godawful storyline where Hal went on Oprah to set the record straight and somehow ended up with a fear of HEIGHTS."

    The first comic book I bought regularly was Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man when Owz was editor & Peter Allen David was just starting as writer. They did a four-issue storyline in PAD's first year, called "The Death of Jean DeWolff," in which they killed off the titular recurring female character on the first page. Which didn't turn me against them, oddly enough.

    But then, several years later, I bought Action Comics Weekly. Owz killed off Katma Tui in the first two pages of the strip. Then PAD took over, & did a story where he retconned out the requirement that all GL's be fearless because he found it implausible (his reasons are in the story). So now Abin Sur's ring made Hal fearless because Abin Sur was afraid of death.

    I bitched about that for years. Helped turned me against PAD (though I still like his Spider-Man & Hulk). Some writers just can't accept/handle certain concepts & should be kept away.

    P.S. 1: Man, between that & Alan Moore's stupid "why Abin Sur died" story (which is, oddly, the entire basis of everything Geoff Johns has done or ever will do on GL :shudder:), poor Abin Sur takes an unfair amount of crap!

    P.S. 2: Jim Owsley, already known as "Owz," renamed himself "Christopher Priest," then just "Priest," thus he is the Prince Rogers Nelson of comics. Or is he the Big Baby Jesus? Or is he just Sean Combs? No, he's not enough a poser to be Sean Combs. Definitely Blacker-than-Thou, though. Man.

     
  • At August 02, 2007 11:59 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Hehe, correction appreciated. When I conquer the world, David will never be allowed near the Lanterns either. :-)

     

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