There Will Be Only Three

With the recent announcement that one of the four Green Lanterns of Earth will be dying in the War of the Green Lanterns, I thought I'd take a look at all four, reasons they might or might not be the one to bite the bullet, and which one I think is most likely. 
Hal Jordan   
 Hal  is the lynch pin of the Green Lantern franchise.  He's headlined the main series since it started after his resurrection in Green Lantern Rebirth and is the star of an upcoming feature film starring Ryan Reynolds.  He's also to be featured in Emerald Knights and a future Green Lantern cartoon series.  The main character of Blackest Night, expect Hal Jordan to once again take center stage in War of the Green Lanterns.  Hal has always been characterized by his unwavering determination and rigid moral code.  While Johns championed these qualities in Rebirth, he's now exploring the negatives of Jordan's stubbornness and will.  He's made deals with devils, cut his friends out of his life, distanced himself from the Corps, and pursued Krona and the Entities at the expense of his own personal identity.  For the first time since he was Parallax, Hal Jordan is truly alone.  What's more, this isolation is entirely is own doing.  Hal has only just recently come back from the dead, and I doubt he's so quick to return.  In addition, it'd be a strange marketing move with the movie and cartoon series on the way.  For the past seven years, Geoff Johns has been telling the definitive story of Hal Jordan, and I don't see Hal going anywhere so long as Johns is on the book.  That said, if this is John's last hurrah (not saying it is, but its worth addressing the possibility), he might take the character out with him. 
Chance of Dying: Very Low  
John Stewart 
  John has been the odd man out within the GL quartet.  He rose to great prominence thanks to his appearances in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, but comic writers really haven't known what to do with him.  He was supposed to headline the main Green Lantern book, but fell to the wayside as Hal stole the show.  With Guy Gardner getting his own title, John took his place headlining Green Lantern Corps.  While the book had previously maintained a balance between Kyle Rayner and Guy, John has once again been overshadowed.  No mistake about it, Green Lantern Corps is Kyle Rayner's book with guest appearances by John Stewart.  It's more than possible that the writers will have John see his end soon, if only because they don't know what to do with him.  It wouldn't be the first time this year the member of a quartet with the least attention got his due with an epic demise.  Wouldn't be the first time that character was named John either.  While I shouldn't have to, I need to bring up the race issue.  We all remember the PR disaster that was the death of Ryan Choi.  And for the sake of this blog, lets assume Jaime Reye's death in Generation Lost is real.  John Stewart is arguably DC's most prominent African American character.  Killing Ryan Choi, Jaime Reyes, and John Stewart would mean DC has killed three of their highest profile minority characters in the course of a single year.  Poor taste?  Absolutely.  But after the death of Lian Harper in Cry For Justice, I've learned not to underestimate DC's potential for deaths in poor taste. 
Chance of Dying: Medium 
Kyle Rayner 
  Kyle Rayner, once decreed the single and true Green Lantern, is now perhaps more representative of the Corps than any of the other Earth Lanterns.  Kyle has been the main character of Green Lantern Corps through both the book's creative teams.  We've seen him become an honor guard, develop a relationship with Sinestro's daughter, and get a swanky new apartment on Oa.  He's no longer the host of Ion and is now a regular, if exemplary, Honor Guard Green Lantern.  Twice now has Kyle avoided death.  Fans feared Kyle's dismissal or death in Green Lantern Rebirth, and were instead treated to an affirmation of Kyle's importance to the Green Lantern mythos.  The second time came in Blackest Night when Kyle actually did die saving the central power battery from Black Lanterns, but came back to life only an issue later.  After so many near misses, I'd normally peg Kyle as our unlucky Lantern.  He's the heart and soul of the Corps, and losing him would be a devastating blow.  That said, given that he actually did die in Blackest Night, killing him again would just feel too much like treading the same ground.  I don't see GLC going anywhere, and I don't see the book surviving without Kyle. 
Chance of Dying: Low 
Guy Gardner  
You can't keep a good Lantern down, though in Guy's case, maybe you can.  Since getting his ring back in 2004, Guy headlined Green Lantern Corps all the way through Blackest Night and has recently been given his own series, Emerald Warriors.  While a new ongoing seems to make Guy one of the least likely to die, Emerald Warriors has really failed to establish its own identity.  It's existed for little more than to set up War of the Green Lanterns, and I can easily see the title getting cancelled or revamped.  But that goes back to why Guy Gardner is not long for this Earth, set up.  Since his stint as a Red Lantern during Blackest Night, Guy has had a sense of sacrifice about him.  He has more knowledge of the events ahead than anyone else, and has come to accept that this war will see him pitted against Hal Jordan.  The red light has never been purged from him.  So if Hal is making deals with devils, Guy is on his way to becoming one.  What's interesting to me is the way Guy's slow turn towards the red light has been presented.  He treats it like a fatal illness.  The video he makes in Emerald Warriors #1 reads like a last will and testament.  This all could be a red herring (pardon the pun), but I don't think this story will sacrifice its narrative for a plot twist.  The ending with the most set up, and in my opinion the most pathos, means this could be the last hurrah of the most brazen of the Green Lanterns 
Chance of Dying: High 
And that's my rundown of the four Lanterns of Earth.  If I missed any important details, be sure to let me know and feel free to sound in on how you think this story arc will shape out.


What Loki Should be Doing

This post is based off the preview for Siege #4, so bear in mind this comes only from the first 5 pages of a comic.   Here’s the basic rundown of Siege for those who don’t know: Loki has convinced Norman Osborn and his army of super villains to declare war on Asgard (which is in Oklahoma).   In the resulting battle, the Sentry went completely off his rocker and destroyed Asgard, unleashing the Void and is poised to kill absolutely everything.   The preview has a mournful Loki saying he never meant for Asgard to be destroyed and he uses a MacGuffin from New Avengers to power up all the superheroes.  


What we have here is the biggest waste of potential I have ever seen in a comic.   Loki should be the true villain of Siege.   Even with all the Sentry/Void stuff going on, Loki should be the true villain, the epitome of evil in this story.   Loki is the god of chaos and lies, he should be reveling in the destruction, not going “my bad.”   I can perfectly picture a page spread of Loki stepping on and breaking a wounded god’s neck, laughing with pure malice in his eyes.   And I mourn for it never coming to be.

First off, it just rings hollow.   This is Loki, the guy whose entire life was one huge Xanatos Gambit.   Up until now, Loki has been playing everyone in the Marvel Universe like a violin, and to extend the metaphor, this symphony should be his masterpiece.   Instead, he’s crying about how he didn’t know Asgard was going to get F-ed up.   How are we expected to believe he didn’t know?   He engineered a war between gods and supervillains, and didn’t think there would be some collateral damage?


Loki should have known full well what was going to happen, and he should have enjoyed every moment of it.   It’s not like the Sentry was a secret.   Loki’s been whispering in Osborn’s ear since Dark Reign began.   Loki knew how powerful and how psychotic the Sentry was.  

I’m not saying villains with redeeming qualities don’t work.   Conflicted villains who try to do the right thing usually make some of the best villains around.   But in world of comics, they are a dime a dozen.   Pure, unrestrained, terrifying evil though?   That’s a much rarer beast.   And that’s what Loki could have been.   Siege should have been Loki’s moment, the act he’d have been remembered for for decades.   Green Goblin killing Gwen Stacey, Obidiah Stane pushing Iron Man past the brink, the Joker murdering Jason Todd, that’s the kind of evil I’m talking about.

But no, instead we get the god of chaos mourning and seeking redemption.   And you can’t even say he had to because it was the only way to make it so the heroes could beat the Sentry.   It’s comic books, there’s countless other ways.   The Sentry himself could have given them gold dust that lets them beat the Void, Odin could come out of nowhere and give them power, the Phoenix could come back.   I just pulled those three out of my ass in 5 seconds, you get the deal.   But okay, let’s assume that Loki has to use the MacGuffin to restore the heroes, here’s how you do it:

Loki stands triumphantly over the bloody and battered body of Thor.   He lets his brother that no matter what happens next, he has won.   Everything Thor ever cared about has been destroyed, and the god of lies is behind all of it.   Loki then restores and powers up all the superheroes.   Why?   Because after all the chaos and destruction he sowed, he wants Thor and everyone else to know that Loki was the one that saved them.   Loki wants Thor to owe him his life.   Loki has turned the world into his plaything.   He has brought the Earth to the brink of destruction, he has pushed it the darkest it has ever been, and then he’ll save everyone.   Why?   Just to show that he can.  


Music While You Read

I don't know if everyone does this, but I make it a point to always be listening to music when I read a comic.  I try to find songs that capture the mood and enhance the comic.  Usually, it's more trouble than it's worth.  Sometimes though, you get lucky and you find that absolute perfect song, and you can't separate the character and the song.  Maybe it's the mood, or the subject matter, but Rise Against's "Audience of One" was the perfect song when reading the original run of The Authority.  Anytime I read anything with the Flash, my mind starts playing Gin Blossom's "Found Out About You."  Probably the most fitting and haunting song was one that was pure luck.  I stumbled upon Kelly Sweet's cover of "Dream On" by chance.  It was the absolute perfect song for what is easily my favorite story of all time, Kingdom Come.  I know nobody is reading this, but please share any songs that really fit a character or story for you.