I consider you a friend, Douglas. Together, we have shared many adventures, from waiting in line for the Star Wars: Episode I premiere to meeting Mark "Dukat" Alaimo at ComiCon 2001. Your friendship is as valuable to me as my Michael York-autographed DVD of Logan's Run.
But when it comes to reasoned, thoughtful, and informed discussions on the Green Lantern continuum and its place within the larger DC universe, I hold friends to the same high standard I would strangers or anyone else.
So long as you insist on clinging to your, quite frankly, bizarre opinions on the Emerald Knight's 60-plus-year history, it is not worth my time to engage you in purposeless noisemaking. Rather than become agitated, as I've allowed you to make me in the past, I will simply serve notice that I will not entertain any future Green Lantern discussions with you until you have come to a more mature place in your development as a fan. When you are ready to have a serious conversation about Green Lantern, you have my e-mail address.
I can forgive your unwillingness to recognize that Hal Jordan is, and forever shall be, the greatest Green Lantern of all time. After all, though I can never hope to understand it, the world is peppered with otherwise intelligent persons who inexplicably lack the sense to see Hal's towering superiority. But Kyle Rayner? This way lies madness, Douglas. At the very least, name John Stewart as your favorite. Or Guy Gardner. Or any of the countless Silver Age Lanterns. Heck, even Abin Sur is more interesting than Kyle. When he enlisted Kyle, Ganthet himself merely said, "You'll do." Is that your idea of a ringing endorsement?
I mean, if you are hot for Jade or something, you could simply say so, and no one would think the less of you for it. But don't couch your opinions in a false respect for Phase III Green Lantern that supersedes any enjoyment of the Silver Age. You might as well read Aquaman if you're going to act like that.
In particular, I am baffled by your insistence that being "more powerful" makes Kyle a better Lantern. Are superheroes always superior when they're invincible? If Superman was better when he was able to move entire solar systems, why, then, was John Byrne enlisted to reinvent him as a more vulnerable character who can get injured by his foes and even killed? Because to hear you tell it, Douglas, Superman was "ruined" by the '80s revamp, long before the ridiculous electrical version.
By your twisted logic, Green Lantern's ongoing "Ion" story arc ought never end. Instead, Kyle should simply retain his infallible godlike powers forever, enshrined in comics history as the most powerful (and, therefore, best) superhero of all time.
But this is hardly the only belief of yours with which I take extreme umbrage. I find particularly laughable your naïve conviction that Hal's vulnerability to the color yellow damages the comic's storyline rather than adding excitement. Are you intentionally trying to miss the point with comments like, "You would just have to shoot him with a yellow bullet"? Jumping fish hooks, how many times do I have to explain: NO, he can't use the actual BEAM to stop such a bullet, but he can GRASP solid things with it to use as a shield! And this is just one example! Think creatively, Douglas, or at least consult the Silver Age issues.
And don't drag me into that same stale argument of yours that Sinestro would beat Hal every time if they fought in real life. For some strange reason, you continue to insist on defining fighting skill in terms of brute strength. Don't you see that in a power-ring duel, strategy and reflexes are of the essence? Only an emotional child could spend hours arguing that Sinestro is a better fighter than Hal Jordan, in the face of my lengthy, point-by-point rebuttals. Oh, and, by the way, Superman must also suck, because you'd just have to shoot him with a Kryptonite bullet, right?
Perhaps I am overstating my case. It is not the actual idea of Kyle Rayner to which I am so opposed. But in the hands of a writer like Judd Winick, why does DC even bother printing it? I'm not even going to get into his contempt and utter disregard for the sanctity of the established Green Lantern continuity; I'd only be rehashing my comments already made public on the dccomics.com message board. For purposes of this discussion, I will focus strictly on Issue #137. Did Mr. Winick say to himself, "Yeah, Hal Jordan may be the savior of Sector 2814, but it's not like he ever befriended a gay teenager. Now, that's a superhero!" Who on this planet has ever said to themselves, "Say, I wonder whether gay people are actually okay folks just like you and me. I sure wish Green Lantern would weigh in on the matter"? Somebody needs to tell Winick that homosexuality is not a hot-button issue, but that #137 is most definitely a lame one!
And may I remind you that you would not even be a Green Lantern fan had I not lent you my "Superman: Last Son Of Earth" Elseworlds two-parter, which, incidentally, was returned to me seven weeks later with an ugly brown smudge on the lower-right of page 37 of Part One? Oh, and then there's your allegation that the concept of the Green Lantern Corps is "ripped off" from Doc Smith's Lensman novels. I'm not even going to dignify that charge with a response.
I don't want this temporary madness on your part to jeopardize our friendship, Douglas. Now, after all, is a critical time for GL fandom. The runaway success of Lord Of The Rings makes a Lantern movie a genuine possibility, given the heightened general interest in movies about rings that possess great power. But while such a prospect is exciting, it will take a unified fan base to bring about the kind of feature film Green Lantern has so richly deserved for so long. Together, the world's GL fans can make their voices heard and help create what could and should be the greatest superhero film of all time. As long as it's based on the Silver Age comics. And Tim Burton isn't involved.
In conclusion, Douglas, I want to make it clear: You are still my friend. And I do not hate you. Though, frankly, deep down, I find myself pitying you.
It is ridiculous to let our friendship falter because of a juvenile disagreement about a comic book. I therefore await your e-mail of capitulation, as soon as you see fit to send it.
Oh, and I want my Legends Of The Superheroes bootleg back by Friday.
Larry Groznic is a noted fan-community luminary and sought-after expert on the topics of British television, spy-fi memorabilia, cosplay, RPG adventuring, and limited-edition collectible maquettes. He lives in Cedar Rapids, IA, and is single.