There is a lot going on in the comic book world and it seems like it’s all flying by at 100+ miles an hour. In fact, some of this news has been released out in the “real” world through news outlets such as CNN, USA Today, and MTV.
That last supposed “news” outlet you can take with a grain of salt.
But, to save you on some time and energy, I decided to compile a few of the biggest comic stories here, inform you of what comic books to pick up to read more on and what I think about them.
Keep in mind, things may get more serious here than usual.
To further add to the challenge and to keep the readers on their toes, I’m going to attempt to discuss each piece in 300 words or less. I did this recently when discussing another batch of comic book news stories, so here we go again.
1) Alan Scott, the gay Green Lantern
This is interesting in that this is not the Green Lantern that many people would be familiar with if they saw last summer’s “Green Lantern” movie with Ryan Reynolds.
No, Alan Scott was the first Green Lantern, introduced way back in the 1940s. See, his powers did not come from an intergalactic police force. No, they came from a magical, green lantern. He was a mogul in the entertainment industry, working in radio then movies then owning a worldwide television network. He was also known for being a ladies’ man and being a well respected member of the DC Comics super community, even when younger heroes began emerging, like the Hal Jordan version of Green Lantern.
Then, something came along called the DC New 52.
With that, DC Comics reset their entire line of comic books and, with that, their history.
So for quite some time, Alan Scott was nowhere to be seen. Then a month ago, DC launched a comic book called Earth 2. This
Earth is different from ours, in that Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were all killed in a catastrophic event. Now, new heroes need to arise.
Alan Scott is back, and this time, he’s back as a gay superhero.
Obviously, this is causing waves among the comic book community, in that a character’s sexual orientation is being changed. Now, from what I understand, the way it’s being handled in the comic book is that being the powerful, known-over-the-world entertainment mogul that he is, Alan Scott being gay is not news.
It’s common knowledge.
I wish I had an opinion on this greater than: the comic that this story is unfolding in, Earth 2 was a fantastic first issue. It, alongside Batman, Inc. was launched with a new #1 issue recently and should be checked out.
Series to Read: Earth 2, written by James Robinson, drawn by Nicola Scott
2) Before Watchmen…Begins!
Heralded as one of the biggest releases to reach comic book readers this year, this weekly series explores all the characters from the monumental Watchmen story, written by Alan Moore and drawn by Dave Gibbons.
Whether or not this series will be any good is still left to be seen, however, it does contain some of the best talent to ever be in the business. I go into a little more detail here, with a story I wrote earlier this year.
If you happened to catch the Watchmen movie a few years ago, and it seemed to leave a sour taste in your mouth, there might be a very good reason for that. Watchmen is not a superhero story like The Avengers or The X-Men. It’s meant to break apart the superhero genre. Look at the character’s faults as opposed to their triumphs.
So, if these new mini-series’ can capture that original feeling, then they will be accomplishing what they set out to do. Drawn by some of the best artists and written by some of the greatest writers, this really will be the series to check out.
Now, USA Today ran a news story discussing the problems of these comics being published. That it infringes on Alan Moore’s (original series author) rights as a creator and is morally wrong. That the original Watchmen is supposed to be a self-contained story, with a beginning, middle and end.
However, the series is owned by DC Comics. They can do whatever they want with the characters. That ends all debates.
No matter what the ethical implications are, I cannot wait until these stories are released. Mainly for the reason to see these artists draw comic books again.
In fact, the first issue of the weekly series was just published yesterday…
Series to Read: Before Watchmen. The first issue released yesterday was Minutemen, written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke.
3) X-Men: Northstar, the first gay marriage in comics
The X-Men have a member, named Northstar, who has been a gay superhero for quite some time.
There’s never been any big issues about it, that’s just how it’s always been.
Now, he’s going to be getting married to his boyfriend and Marvel Comics is sending out fake invitations. They do this when characters marry sometimes, it’s cute.
Now One Million Moms is trying to stop the issue from being published. They tried to protest the new, gay Green Lantern Alan Scott. All in all, they don’t appreciate gay superheroes in comics. They believe it will taint the mind of children and youngsters that read the comics, exposing them to gay lifestyles in cultures.
Now, I wish that this wasn’t such a huge deal. Comic books are a great way to learn about the world. Growing up, spending hours reading comic books by my bedroom window, I learned a lot about life.
I learned what it meant to be courageous person.
I learned what it meant for someone to overcome a great challenge.
I learned what it meant to fall in love and to lose that love.
And with this, what is presented is a marriage between two people that love each other. I think that’s all that’s being presented and that is how it should be treated.
I don’t know exactly how 9 year old Bobby would have reacted, but I’m positive he would have understood and then kept reading to see these guys continue to fight evil villains all over the world. That’s what matters.
Series to Read: Astonishing X-Men, beginning with issue #50, written by Marjorie Liu and drawn by Mike Perkins
In addition to writing for the column “Comic Matters” for the Tucson Citizen website, Bobby Acosta is also a 5th Grade Elementary school teacher, frequenter of local comic book shop Heroes & Villains, and explorer of the importance of comics. He recommends each and every comic he writes about. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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