1. Our classroom discussion of Squadron Supreme will conclude this week–and the new discussion-prompt (in which I take extreme issue with this facile libertarian reading of the book) is up! Please–join in the fun! (unless you’ve got nothing better to offer than a critique of the characters’ uniforms and hairstyles…)
2. Darwyn Cooke explains, in his own words, why I hate his writing so much!
Most importantly, I suppose, was my personal attachment to Green Lantern and Hal, coupled with the Mercury and Apollo Space programs. These were the stuff of my childhood imagination. It is almost impossible to explain to someone what it was like to be a kid during that era unless you were there. Today we worship fey actors and millionaire children who throw or hit balls. But the Astronaut — good fuck, they strapped in on top of huge jerry-rigged tubes of unstable fuel and fired themselves toward the heavens!
Listen to any athlete today crying about his sore arm or the way the press treats him and then listen to the radio tapes from the Apollo 13 Astronauts as they try to find a way home before they run out of air or freeze to death. So Hal and the whole space program became a symbol of something that has vanished from our society. The man with the daring and the balls to put it on the line for the sake of it. For the thrill of it. Risk your life to feel an extra 100 mph of speed. Gamble everything to fly that much faster or go that much further. And these men… Jesus, they were like ice. Pilots heading straight into the runway at 500 mph — they’re 100 feet from exploding on the pavement and the tower asks, “Do you wish to declare an emergency?” Invariably, the pilot’s response is something like, “Negative. I think if I can just — ” and then you hear the explosion. And unbelievably, the very best of them did it for peanuts. Air Force pay and whatever perks that came with being a hotshot pilot. No million dollar paydays or private jets or summer homes in Monaco.
So the persona of Hal offered all the romance and mystique you need for a great hero. From a character point of view, Hal is a fairly regular Joe who doesn’t really fit in. He’s perfect in every way I suppose, except he has nothing to believe in that is any bigger than he is. And New Frontier is a story of his discovery of that higher power that he can put his faith in. Once Hal is able to graft his courage and values to a purpose, he becomes a complete person.
Uh…”fey actors”? Becoming “complete” through the discovery of one’s “relationship” to a higher power? Sick! And the idea that this kind of indoctrination is supposed to be “good for kids” is what makes it sickest of all!
Also (and this applies to a wide variety of people–but if you read that entire interview, you’ll understand why I’m mentioning it now), if you’re going to use the word “deconstruction”, try to develop at least a minimal understanding of what the term really means, okay? It’s not a synonym for “debunking exercise”.
I had no problem with the idea of an altruistic hero when Rozakis and DeStefano did it properly in ‘Mazing Man (which I just re-read yesterday…what a beautiful series!)
see–the great thing about ‘Maze is that he contributes to his society through sheer force of goodwill–but no one “looks up” to him (and he certainly doesn’t participate in the grotesquely masculine discourse of “heroism” that the Cooke interview exudes…) They just love having him around! (and so did I! Why not bring the whole gang back, hunh DC?)
Good Afternoon Friends!