Wednesday Comments – Saying Good-Bye to Green Lantern

I love Green Lantern and I love The Flash. They are my two favorite super-heroes. There may be other characters that I’m passionate about, like Christopher Chance or any of the Minutemen from 100 Bullets, or even 355, but hands down my favorite super-heroes are The Flash and Green Lantern.

And that’s why the mainstream success that Green Lantern is about have is so bittersweet for me. Because it means that I’ve got to endure months of hype for a summer blockbuster. It means I’ve got to witness the birth of a Green Lantern bandwagon and people jumping on because it’s the latest fad. I’m going to see the Green Lantern symbol adorning fast food kid’s meals and cereal boxes.

I’m not looking forward to that, because that symbol meant something to me. I remember when virtually the only place you could see that was either in a comic or on the cover of a comic book. I can still remember how upset I was when I missed out on getting the promo Green Lantern rings that came out with the first issue of Green Lantern: Mosiac (the first time there were three Green Lantern family books on the shelves at the same time.) And I was angry because having that ring really meant something.

When I first got my Graphitti Designs Green Lantern t-shirt I was so hyped. I was finally going to be able to rock my inner fanboy on the outside and it was going to serve as a sort of secret handshake; those who recognized it were down and those who just thought it was a random t-shirt weren’t. I got quite a few compliments on that shirt plus some knowing nods.

But once Big Bang Theory took off, sort of had to retire my Green Lantern and Flash logo shirts because people began to mistake me for a fan of the show and emulating it’s characters. There’s no worse feeing than wanting to scream out “No! I was a geek first!.”

And when DC started building the Green Lantern brand I was cautiously happy. The idea of a rainbow of corps wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, but I was happy that Green Lantern was growing to prominence. I was even ok with the promo rings that were distributed (and I managed to snag a complete set this time.) Even at the time some worry about the oversaturation of the market crept into my mind. Still, I was a fan of the symbol.

But pretty soon that symbol is going to be everywhere and it’s meaning is going to be diluted. It’s going to be on lunchboxes, pool toys and various other movie tie-ins. It’s not going to symbolize an underrated superhero with a strong will, instead it’ll symbolize the latest big budget Hollywood movie based on a comic book property.

As a result I’m going to have to downplay my love for Green Lantern. I’ll pretend to be ignorant about the character, his origins and mythos. When someone strikes up a conversation about summer movies and the topic turns to Green Lantern, I’ll feign a passing knowledge of the character and quietly gauge the other person’s interest.

It’s going to be a dark couple of months for me. I’m going to have let go of one of my favorite fictional characters.

At least I still have Jim Rockfish.

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