Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Legion of Bland

I've been reading the second volume of Green Lantern Showcase, and I'm enjoying it a lot more than the first. John Broome seems to have picked up some of the nuttiness of his colleagues, and the stories are a lot more entertaining for it.

They are also full of howlingly dumb moments, which are often funny for all the wrong reasons, but at least they're not boring. The stories written by Gardner Fox are still dull, though. And when he adds a level of the fantastic, he then goes and spoils it by spending way too much time on leaden explanation that doesn't actually work anyway.

At some point I'd like to get on to the peculiar qualities of the colour yellow, as defined in this volume, but I'm about half way through now and I just reached Green Lantern #32, which introduces a group of heroes so generic that it stopped me in my tracks.

While Jack Kirby might imbue a character with a distinctive look and hint at a fascinating backstory, even when they are only intended to appear for two pages, like Gnorda, normal size queen of the giants, Broome gives us a super group composed of Energiman, Golden Blade, Strong Girl, and Magicko.

Nothing tells you how how important a character is than giving them a name like Strong Girl.

The budget for this issue must have been very low, as they don't even get to do a team up, spending the entire story imprisoned for GL to save them. So we never do get to find out what powers Strong Girl and Magicko might have. The assault on the villain's fortress also occurs off-panel to the extent that we have GL shooting off rays in one panel, and in the next it's so destroyed that there isn't even any rubble. A rare example of Gil Kane phoning it in.

On the plus side (depending on what you consider a plus) this story does include GL fighting a giant sentient oxygen atom with electrons that look and behave a lot like basketballs.

And how much of a dick is Hal Jordan at the end of the story, telling the released heroes he'll have the Guardians assign a Green Lantern to this sector, since they obviously can't handle it on their own?

Have these guys ever turned up again?


Johnny Bacardi said...

So we never do get to find out what powers Strong Girl and Magicko might have.

Maybe I'm going out on a limb here, but I'd bet one has magic powers, and the other is really strong.

Walaka said...

Wow, Mari - I think you win the "back from obscurity award" on the intarweb this week! (Although there is some fanfic, believe it or not, with the Honor Team of Thronn.)

Now, if only we can get them a TPB with the Protectors of Strarzl...

Hale of Angelthorne said...

"Have these guys ever turned up again?"

If they do, I'm sure it'll be in a deadly-serious arc by Brad Meltzer in which they totally kick the JLA's ass...

SallyP said...

Aw, c'mon...the whole reason for these stories was just an excuse to have Hal show off his magnificent hindquarters. The rest was just filler.

Have you read the one where he and Pieface and Carol Ferris go surfing? Completely, horrendously, fabulously horrible.

Marionette said...

Yes, I read that one. But the whole volume is full of such awesomeosity. I'm quite looking forward to volume 3, now.

Isn't Guy Gardner due to show up soon?

SallyP said...

Well, they are coming out with the THIRD Green Lantern Showcase in another couple of months, and I do believe that Guy's first appearance is in #59, which is the final story of the next collection.

Guess what I'll be getting?