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Friday, December 16, 2005

A Favorite Scene: GL v3, #64

My last entry written last night:

The full page in question is found here.

Okay, now I want to babble about my favorite GL panel. This one. See, that's Kyle. Hitting Hal. With a lead pipe. I should warn you that this has spoilers, but as it's for GL v3,#64, I doubt anyone will care.

It's not that I hate Hal. Far from it. I think he's a complex, interesting character. But see, I have this inordinate amount of love for scenes like this. "When all else fails, whack it" scenes.

It was a scene like this that made me love Liam Kincaid in Earth Final Conflict. He and another character are chased by a crappy robot thing. The uber-gun he was given turns out to be of no use. So now he's unarmed and trying to protect the other character, so what does he do? Grabs a pipe and starts whaling on it. It doesn't work of course. No one really expects it to, but he tries.

In this scene its similar of course. If you don't remember it: Hal's beaten Kyle to a pulp, beaten the Justice League too, and taken back the ring. Hal's not actually unsympathetic here, just crazy. He thinks getting the ring back will fix everything. It can't, of course. So now Kyle's powerless, the JLA is beaten, Hal's got both Parallax's power and the ring. So Kyle whacks Hal with a lead pipe.

The "when all else fails, whack it" scenes almost always immediately endear me to a character because it shows something I admire very much. Here you have someone so utterly defeated, facing someone more powerful than god, knowing that there is no way in hell he (or she) can win, but he's not just going to lay down in defeat.

The lead pipe move isn't about winning. It's about a last show of defiance. A last bit of "You may have won here, but it doesn't make you right." The lead pipe is an indicator of "You better the hell kill me you jackass, because if you don't I'll keep coming and I only need one lucky shot."

And the rest of the scene is even better, because as crazy as Hal is, he's still utterly rational, he just can't comprehend that he's not in the right. So the fact that this virtually helpless youngster that he's just beaten to a pulp is hitting him with a lead pipe is completely incomprehensible.

Kyle's speech is great too, one of the things I think about when people bitch about Ron Marz's writing, because it really sums up Kyle's character for me: he's not the bravest, nor the strongest, nor the smartest, but he does what he does because it's the right thing to do. Even if it's hard and painful, even if he was mistaken before and has now realized his error. Kyle's a little dim sometimes, easily distracted, shallow, vain, immature, lacks self-confidence and is sometimes quite envious of others, but he never falters when it counts, when it's something that needs to be done. It's a great little panel speech, and one that only he could give and mean. It's great because he's not saying it to convince Hal or anything, it's just the truth. And it's not a speech, say, Batman or Robin could give because they'd be still working on back-up plans that had a shot of working. In this case, it's not a scheme, it's not even an attempt to get through to Hal, it's just the sheer unvarnished truth. And it's powerful.

And Hal seems to think so too, because it works. It reaches him and he actually stops...the whole scene is just so incredibly, quietly powerful to me. I love it. :-)

And it has a lead pipe. And I dig the lead pipes.


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