I’ve calmed down since, but I got kind of irritated by a certain aspect of Green Lantern No. 52 earlier today. Let’s watch!
Spoilers! Spoilers aplenty! Read no further if you care about such things!
So this is a mostly-talking issue and I’m not too upset about it. There had to be an origin of that white light thing that Sinestro ate in Blackest Night and if it was a bit long, well, that’s kind of what happens when a story is blown up to somewhere between four and ten times the size that it needs to be. Gah, and there’s probably going to be another one of these for Nekron, isn’t there.
So Sinestro stops in the middle of a fight with about a million dudes and narrates the history of the White Light Entity. It goes something like this: the Entity appeared in our universe and created all of the stars and planets and stuff. It then created the Earth at the point in space where it first entered our universe and hid inside (deep within the planets gooey centre in the narration but about a foot below the surface in the actual comic). The Entity’s presence caused life to evolve, and then as creatures start displaying emotions (emotions like willpower!) they are transformed into Ion and Parallax and Predator and so forth, seven in all. I think that this is the origin of the emotional spectrum. Like, Ion is the first anything anywhere to exhibit willpower and afterward there is green light power for all – it’s not explicitly stated but it’s strongly implied and so I’m going with it.
This whole thing has been bugging me for a while now and I think I’ve figured out why: it’s the Earth-centric aspect of the whole thing, straight out of terrible 50s sci-fi. Where Our Heroes Are is the Most Important Place in All Creation. It’s a perennial problem in comics, especially DC comics, wherein writers feel a perpetual need to explain the remarkably high instance of alien invasion and such. I kind of thought that they settled that problem fine way back in Invasion: humans have a crazy genetic code and so there are lots of superhumans and so alien races want to exploit/conquer/destroy our planet. Simple, and yet every new event seems to layer on another heaping spoonful of importance, until the fictional history of the DCU Earth resembles some ungodly narrative casserole. I swear, if this exact same origin was set on a random alien planet I would have no problem with it, but it isn’t and now I have to tear it apart.
Okay, so the timeline goes: Entity arrives – creates universe – creates Earth, hides inside – life starts – unicellular/whale-looking thing feels first will – flying bug thing generates first fear – some other bug (?) feels first love – snake feels first avarice – bull (?) feels first rage – bird feels first hope – octopus feels first compassion.
I guess that this is a comic book and that the Earth could be 10+ billion years old instead of the 4 or 5 we currently reckon it to be, and maybe the universe revolves around a stationary Earth that is certainly not quintillions of kilometers away from where it might have been 10 billion years ago. Maybe the DCU is that radically different than ours.
And maybe the entire Age of Reptiles happened without any creature feeling anything like rage. Maybe dinosaurs went about their business in a dignified manner and didn’t take anything personally. It took the Rise of the Cows to mess things up for everyone. And maybe no living creature in the entire universe felt hope or compassion any time until the last, say, million years or so – remember, that octopus didn’t get around to it until after the cow-murder.
But even if every Green Lantern story told before this whole rainbow brouhaha is now said to be completely apocryphal, there are some holes in this story. Geoff Johns creation Larfleeze the Orange Lantern got his start billions of years ago, all fighting the Guardians and betraying his homies and such. And then billions of years went by and snakes and apples evolved and a snake in an apple tree felt avarice for the first time. Bah.
I suppose that I should be as willing to discard what I know about evolution and such as I was to abandon cosmology and common sense and the prior established history of the Green Lanterns and by extension the DCU, but this last detail pushes things just a bit too far. An earth that is the centre of the universe, that evolved the very first life anywhere and that reached the Age of Mammals something like 10 billion years ago (necessary for anyone to have gotten angry for most of the history of the universe, remember) only to remain in a sort of evolutionary stasis since then is just a bit too much for my suspension of disbelief glands to process. Especially since I just described the planet Malthus, a central element in Green Lantern’s history. There’s already a place that this could have been set that would have made all of this make sense! I mean, it wouldn’t be the greatest story ever told, but by GOD would it be about a billion times more palatable without ERTH ISS COOL AND IMPURTENT scrawled across it in foot-high letters.
Okay, I had to go and do something and I’ve calmed sown a bit. All I’ve got left is that it’s weird that that one robot would know the term “Western Seaboard” and not “Tootsie Pop”. They’re both pretty Earth-colloquial, right?
Okay… nerd rage spent. Go read the rest of the reviews in the next post for me being happy about comics. I’ll try not to do this any more.