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How It Should Have Been: Spider-Man 3 (PART 1/3)

I’d like to thank by friend Luke, a professional screenwriter and fellow comic book geek, for providing the basis of this idea. Let’s jump right into it.

ACT 1

Ok, so this revised version of Spider-Man 3 starts off much like the actual version, with Peter Parker happily in love with Mary Jane. He runs his idea to propose to MJ past Aunt May, who gives Peter her blessing.

And then while riding his bike home one night, BAM, he gets ambushed by a man in a modified GREEN GOBLIN suit, this time with a reflective silver tint. Peter is immediately horrified, believing that Harry has found out the truth about his father Norman. He battles the goblin briefly, perplexed by the fact that his enemy says not one word in the entire fight. Finally Peter defeats this goblin in the same manner as his first confrontation with the Green Goblin, ripping the flight controls out of his glider. Peter escapes and hurries to make sure that both MJ and Aunt May are safe.

The next morning Peter tries to visit Harry, only to be told he needs an appointment. As Spider-Man, he instead sneaks into the Osborn mansion. He is shocked to find Harry passed out on his living room floor, surrounded by a scattered bottle of pills and an empty whiskey bottle. Spidey takes his friend to the hospital, where the doctors conclude that he has been nearly comatose for over six hours — there is no possible way Harry could have been the one to attack Peter. It’s as if the ghost of Norman Osborn has returned to haunt him.

When Harry awakes he finds himself surrounded by his friends: MJ, Peter, and May. He is happy to see them all — except Pete. Alone, Peter very nearly tells Harry about his confrontation with the goblin. He decides that it is best Harry doesn’t know.

Returning to work at the Daily Bugle, Peter finds the offices in an uproar with the release of the newest headline: “THE GOBLIN RETURNS!” A mysterious figure on his own glider has been seen soaring above the streets, and has already bombed an Oscorp facility off the coast of Manhattan Island. Jameson is on a search for the catchiest name for this new menace, scoffing at Hoffman’s suggestion of “The Hobgoblin.” We also meet the man who broke this story, a rookie photojournalist named Eddie Brock. This isn’t really a plot point that has much significance, just a nod to the fans that Eddie does exist, and works for the Bugle.

To be continued…

Pirate Punishment

You know how if you pirate certain video games, the developers have embedded certain codes into the game script to render the game extremely difficult or otherwise unplayable? Well I just had a thought.

What if comic book companies put a serious effort into shifting their sales into digital — a risky proposition given that digital comics are so easy to download illegally. BUT (and this is the good part) if these comics weren’t properly purchased, maybe on a comic book form of iTunes or something, the dialogue bubbles in these pirated books would be rendered blank and unreadable.

There might always be a way for serious cyber-pirates to hack the code of these comics, but it would certainly decrease the number of illegal digi-comics floating around out there. It would also spare companies the cost of printing comics, decreasing the overall cost of their product and boosting their sales.

Just an idea I had.

Talking Comics: Hal Jordan

Today I’d like to talk about one of my favorite comic book characters: Superman!!

Just kidding. Although I’ve got plenty to say about Superman, I’d actually like to talk about Green Lantern. More specifically, I’d like to talk about the Silver Age Green Lantern, Hal Jordan.

Hal was created following the successful rebooting of The Flash in 1956. Instead of focusing on the “magical” aspect of his powers like his predecessor Alan Scott, Hal’s story had a much stronger sci-fi bent. Instead of coming from an ancient, mystical lamp, Jordan was given his powers from a dying alien named Abin Sur. Over time this story developed to the point where Hal Jordan was just one of many thousands of “Green Lanterns” patrolling the stars.

This is one of the more divisive characters in the DC Universe. I’ve heard criticisms of Hal ranging from accusations of him being bland and wooden, to complaints that he hogs the spotlight from more interesting Lanterns, to fans whinging that he’s just not as relatable as his successor, Kyle Rayner.

Before I go any further, let me just say I’m not defending Hal Jordan as a character. I’m not saying these complaints are invalid. I just want to state my own opinion of the character, which I’ve drawn up after years of comic book reading.

I don’t think Hal is a horrible character. In fact, I don’t think he’s a bad character at all, he’s quite good actually. But then again, I don’t think he’s the greatest thing to be invented since sliced bread either. I think he serves his purpose very well, and that’s just great.

But let me explain that in a little more detail.

Hal Jordan is not your typical “neutral everyman,” popularized by Marvel Comics’ Peter Parker. He doesn’t have an average job, because he’s just not an average Joe. In fact, the whole purpose of the character is to show the audience a man who was special enough to be chosen as an intergalactic space ranger. He’s brave, he’s bold — he’s fearless.

He’s also pretty bland. Yep. Those people who accuse Hal of having the personality of a cardboard box? Well, they’re not wrong. He’s a white male with brown hair and brown eyes, good-looking in a rugged movie star kind of way. Out of costume, there is hardly anything defining about his appearance, besides maybe his signature bomber jacket.

But what most naysayers fail to realize is that this, also, is an important part of Hal’s character.

Let me draw up a classic movie example to help me explain this. In Steven Spielberg’s classic adventure film Raiders of the Lost Ark, Harrison Ford was the director’s initial choice for the lead role of Indiana Jones. He wanted someone rugged and virile enough for the character’s swashbuckling style, but more importantly, he felt Ford brought an undercurrent of normal-guy relatable-ness to the character. What was important was that the audience could project themselves onto Indy without much trouble — despite his lightning-quick wits and intrepid curiosity, “He could be anyone with that whip and hat.”

And that’s part of why Hal Jordan works so well. Sure, he’s got a dangerous job as a fighter pilot. It’s not something we can relate to — but damn, wouldn’t it be cool if we could have that job?

By being able to project yourself onto the character, you subconsciously immerse yourself in the story even further. Who says Hal Jordan has to be brimming with psychological pathos like Bruce Wayne? He’s a space ranger, dammit, that’s just not necessary. His adventures are full of action and excitement, not gloomy brooding.

What I really want to say is this: Hal Jordan is the cop, the cowboy, the swashbuckling archetypal action-hero. And that’s all he needs to be, because hey — if you don’t like him, there are dozens of other Green Lanterns to choose from. There’s Kilowog, the bruiser with a heart of gold. There’s Guy Gardner, the jerkass who everyone loves to hate. There’s John Stewart, probably the most cerebral of the Earth Lanterns with his military background and self-destructive anger.

And hey, there’s even Kyle Rayner, the mild-mannered everyman.

These characters all work fine on their own, but in my opinion Hal Jordan is the glue that holds them together.

In everything Mark Millar writes, there’s always at least one character who is nothing but a purely condescending tool. And that’s always the character that’s held up as the “cool one.”

In the worlds he writes, there are two kinds of people: those who shit on other people, and those who gladly accept being shit on. And the former is always the one we’re supposed to admire.

Sure, he can write perfectly sweet and emotional scenes, like Logan’s farewell to his family in “Old Man Logan.” But then he has to have Hawkeye laugh at him and call him a big pussy for hugging his daughter.

It makes me wonder if Millar himself is as much of a slimy dirtbag as his characters.

*1

Souls don’t die.

- The Iron Giant

Also - Billy Tan SUCKS. Get GL a better artist, damn it

Brighter Days

I don’t usually type out big, long blog posts on tumblr, but this is something I’ve been thinking about for a couple days now.

As most of my followers may know I’m a big comic book fan, one who’s particularly loyal to DC comics. One of my favorite characters happens to be the Green Lantern. I’ve read every manner of GL stories, from the golden days of Denny O’Neil’s run to the sprawling saga laid out by Geoff Johns this past decade. I’ve followed Hal Jordan and his band of alien comrades all the way from Emerald Dawn to Emerald Twilight, from John Broome’s Silver Age wackiness to Alan Moore’s mythically-scaled space operas.

My point is, I’m an experienced reader when it comes to Green Lantern. As of late, I’ve been finding myself disappointed with the recent string of Green Lantern releases. Even a longtime-reader such as myself is finding the new stories largely inaccessible. It’s not because the stories are boring, or because the action is lacking — very much the opposite, actually. It’s that I’m finding that the Green Lantern books are focusing less and less of their energy on developing their core characters. Let’s take a look back at the Green Lantern Corps series of the 1980’s, which contained what was, in my opinion, the strongest supporting cast the book has had.

There was Hal Jordan, of course, who in those days still had all the personality of a cardboard box. But then there was Kilowog, the lovable bruiser from Bolovax Vik. There was Katma Tui, Sinestro’s reluctant successor. Tomar-Re (or, if he wasn’t around, Salaak) filled the team’s “smart guy” slot, and Arisia Rrab came in as the team’s rookie kid-sister. They even had John Stewart as the team’s token racial minority! Now that last one never made much sense to me, but at least his raw, angry personality was often a great foil to Hal’s levelheaded blandness.

Now it might seem like I’m shitting on Hal a lot, but let’s be honest;  it wasn’t really until Geoff Johns’ Rebirth that the character was re-imagined as a super-powered Chuck Yeager, a characterization that has worked fairly well thus far. I actually really enjoy the modern-age portrayal of Hal as “Han Solo-meets-Captain Kirk”. Sure it’s a little derivative, and Hal still can’t shake some of that blandness — but at this point I think that’s the point of the character. You’re supposed to be able to project yourself onto him, if even subconsciously. Being bland never hurt Luke Skywalker, or Kirk, or that paraplegic guy from Avatar.

Okay, maybe that last one counts, but you understand my meaning. Hal Jordan is a solid character who is just not interesting enough to carry a book all on his own. Ask me, Green Lantern is meant to be an ensemble book with Hal at the center. But in order for that to work, we need an equally solid supporting cast around him.

Take a look at the supporting cast that the book has in today’s GL series. There’s … um…

image

…fish guy. Or, uh…

image

…flame-head … guy…

The point I’m trying to make here is that these “characters” don’t have any memorable characteristics. They look weird, but that’s all they have going for them.

I miss the characters with actual character. We’ve got a better portrayal of Hal Jordan, but what about Katma Tui? What about Tomar-Re? Why can’t they come back like Kilowog did?

Why can’t Green Lantern be the ensemble it’s supposed to be?

aninventoryofthepossible:

bigredrobot:

franzferdinand2:

"I am Bruce Wayne".

"Please touch my butt."

"I’m really into anime."

"I am your father."

aninventoryofthepossible:

bigredrobot:

franzferdinand2:

"I am Bruce Wayne".

"Please touch my butt."

"I’m really into anime."

"I am your father."

(via dcu)

*2

can you imagine if Christopher Nolan had directed Man of Steel?

Comic Ideas

Hal Jordan, like John Stewart and Guy Gardner, goes public with his secret identity. In doing so he makes himself available to the U.S. Air Force as an individual combat/rescue unit.

There are both negative and positive ramifications for this. For one, Jordan is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and granted full access to USAF facilities. On the other hand he is forced to distance himself from his loved ones — such as his younger brother and Carol Ferris — in order to protect them. To make matters more complicated, his commitment to the Green Lantern Corps often overshadows his duties in the Air Force.

Note that he’d still wear the mask, since it’s pretty iconic to the character. I just think it’d be a fresh approach when it comes to stories for Hal.