Monday, March 26, 2018

Emma Gonzalez

I don't like to get political here, after all I'm here to promote art. But I'm also a teacher (elementary art) and I am aware of difficulties facing America's youth. I am also often dismayed by adults who discount all of the young people in our country as lazy and useless. Therefore, I will now note that I am very proud of the young activists, willing to speak up and persevere despite the criticism they know is coming their way. In particular, I wish to give credit to Emma Gonzalez, who has become the face of the March for our Lives movement.

Emma, your courage leaves me astonished and proud. You didn't ask to be on center stage, but you've handled it with class and done far better things than many of us old people. I call you a hero. My hero.

Emma Gonzalez meets with Congressman Ted Deutch.png

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Justice SOCIETY of America

Someone asks, "Is your favorite Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, or John Stewart?"

"None of those." I answer.

"You like that new guy, Simon whatzit? Or that Jessica woman?"

"Not even close."

"Oh, you don't mean you like Kyle Rayner?"

"You aren't thinking. My favorite Lantern, the greatest of all Green Lanterns, is the original ring-wearing super hero himself, Alan Scott!"

You see, I have a particular affinity for the Golden-Age heroes of DC Comics past. In fact, I invariably prefer the original versions over the Silver Age reboots. Why? I think there's a grittiness in the old heroes. The Silver Age Green Lantern, Flash, and Hawkman, seem a lot more like typical generic heroes, whereas the Golden Age heroes seem more human. Less powerful and more down to Earth.

And I also love the heroes of the Golden Age that didn't get rebooted. Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite in particular have excellent powers and great costumes.

But anyway, the point of this is to praise a couple of comic series of old that featured these characters. I used to love reading the JLA/JSA Earth1/Earth2 crossovers to see these old heroes interact with the then-current DC super folk. The crossover issues were by far the best JLA stories, I think, and they showed how these characters could be used well.

In the 80's legendary comics writer Roy Thomas wrote the All-Star Squadron, an Earth-2 comic set during the 1940s. It was a great comic, and showed how you could write "modern" versions of these characters, but set in their historic framework. (This is the perfect companion to Thomas' Invaders at Marvel.) All-Star Squadron got nerfed when DC merged their worlds, but at least it led to one more great series with the Golden Age guys and gals.

In the late 1990's, DC started a Justice Society of America comic, featuring the classic characters Green Lantern, Wildcat, and the Flash, all kept in their prime via various means despite being WWII vets. Launched by writers James Robinson and David Goyer and eventually mostly written by Geoff Johns, with art by many but mostly Stephen Sadowski and Leonard Kirk, this is THE greatest JSA series I have ever read!  It's currently in reprint and I even picked up a couple trades at bargain prices recently (to fill holes in my collection). So there's no reason to not go buy at least some of this series!

Or read any of the JSA-related series. You'll find something great!