Zamaron — A Green Lantern Femme-Site

{September 25, 2006}   What do you mean “the ONLY one”?!

Newsarama has an interview with Geoff Johns about Green Lantern.

There’s some good stuff in there. Nice things to say about Guy, an indication that there’s something larger beyond the POW plotline, a look at Hal’s worldview (he seems to be going anti-Earth), more vague promises about John, and, of course, it wouldn’t be complete without something to piss me off:

As Hal’s said before, he answers with, ‘Borders are ridiculous. I’m Green Lantern and my duty is to the whole planet if I need to go somewhere, I’m going to go.’

And then, he adds: ‘Do you realize that I’ve been to hundreds of planets – hundreds, and the only one with countries is earth.’

Not to mention Earth is the only planet that has people with differing skin tones, oh, and different cultures, who wear different styles of clothing and speak different languages, and live in different climates!!

I hope Hal is just being dense, and has seen like, one patch of land and assumes the whole damned planet is like that. Because I hate that stupid One Planet, One Culture, One Race, One Language, One Fucking Climate shit that pervades the worst sci-fi.

I mean, I see, he’s trying to make a point about Earth there. That we’re all fucked up, right? But its really limiting to try and establish stuff like that. That we’re all so diverse and the rest of the universe isn’t. Because the beauty of outer space stories is when we can explore our own problems wtih parallels to the alien cultures.

“Sentient beings have more commonalities than differences,” I think that’s what J’onn said to Kyle in Recharge #1. And Mars had two clans that may as well be countries. I can’t imagine the White Tribe and the Green Tribe living under the same rule, after all.

And it’s really only lazy writing to actually hold to that. You don’t want to put too much work into a single world that’s not Earth, so you basically make a planet like you would another country. No need to spend too much time explaining how everyone differs. And they slap some explanation like “Countries are a primitive idea. When these other planets discovered space travel, they suddenly banded together in perfect harmony…” or, in the case of a hostile world “The first country to discover space travel wiped the rest out.”

I hope this is just Hal being stupid, or that Gibbons doesn’t hold to that. So far over in Green Lantern Corps, Gibbons has been pretty good about the different people we see. The cast is diverse. Not nearly as diverse as the cast of Mosaic, granted. That was the best series just because it dealt with as many different cultures as possible, and how they relate ot each other. It was just unbelievably cool to read all the wonders of that little world, you never knew what John was going to have to work with next. Shirley Temple-style psychos with psychic knives, singing plants, clergybirds, a small mining town…

I miss that. I’d like to see some real diversity in the universe again, dammit.


Sandicomm says:

Wouldn’t a planet be more stagnant and f*cked-up if there was only one culture, race, climate, etc. on one planet? Just a thought.

Ununnilium says:

I know we’ve seen some other planets with multiple countries in the DCU. Heck, it might have been in a Green Lantern comic. Now, if I could only remember which it was…

Nick says:

There is a trend towards larger and larger political units: we’ve moved from city states, to feudal provinces, to nation states, and recently larger constructs such as the European Union. So it’s no real stretch of the imagination to assume that, as history moves on, we move to larger groupings: pan-global or even extra-global. And it certainly fits within the themes of GL that Earth is somewhat backward in its in-fighting and divisions.

But it is really lazy to assume that just because some planets move to global government, they all must do so. Perhaps a more useful interpretation would be that, while other planets retain countries, there is a separation of powers so that the countries don’t tend to deal with interplanetary matters – these are left for a global authority, and the countries go along with what’s decided. So, in the same way that the US government negotiates trade agreements, and New York and Texas comply with the US’s decisions, it would be for another world’s version of the UN to negotiate with the Green Lantern Corps, and national governments comply with the UN’s decisions. But here, on backward Earth, we haven’t got that far yet.

SallyP says:

I think that Hal is just being a bit of a blowhard here. Either you or Kalinara pointed out once, that Hal is someone who thinks he knows
more than he actually does. I think that he’s exagerating for effect and to make his point. And, being Hal, to win the argument.
On the other hand, I think that Geoff John’s point of view is that once a
world reaches the point of interstellar travel and communication, the parochial concerns of varying countries and politics becomes a whole lot less important. It becomes my PLANET against those others, instead of just my town, my state or province, my country.
I must say however, that I LOVED the fact that he defended Guy Gardner,
“He’s not the DCU moron, he’s the DCU SHITKICKER!” Hoohah!

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