Zamaron — A Green Lantern Femme-Site

{October 8, 2006}   Dark Stars: John Stewart

Always Bet on Bahlactus has started a weekly feature on black superheroes called Dark Stars and the first one features none other than the severely underused John Stewart.

The 80s reintroduction didn’t go over quite so well with him. Granted, we all know that John is a complete nerd, being a bookish architect and everything (but also having a history of boxing in school, because comic book creators like their nerds kickass) but it seems like Englehart went a bit overboard in trying to divorce his character from slang-slinging stereotypes, ending up with dialogue best suited for an old codger like Alan:

Black in the day, we were using words like FRESH!, WORD!, and Ain’t No Stoppin’ was blazin’ your boombox on the corner while you rocked that headspin on your cardboard mat. My point isn’t to say that John Stewart should be all shuk-n-jive (and it’s clear he was a seriously intelligent type brutha), but, I am saying that in 1984 no Black man worth his weight dropped lyrical bombs like oh, swell [page 17], or callin’ another man pond scum [#182,page 8] or even fella [#182,page 12,17]. It’s not realistic and as a Black man, I can’t relate. Especially with a flagrant foul like nutty as a case of cashews! [#183,page 15]

From there, he goes into how the villains perceived and interacted with John and the time-honored Fantern tradition of Hal-bashing.

(Hattip to BeacoupKevin for the link)


SallyP says:

Umm…I’m not quite sure how to react. Are they saying that John
isn’t a viable black character because he wasn’t a raging stereotype?
John isn’t my favorite Lantern, (that’s Guy of course), but I am
fond of him.

Ragnell says:

I didn’t get the impression from the column that he found John a poorly constructed personality or a bad idea, or that the story was put together badly, just that he had issues with corny dialogue interrupting suspension of disbelief.

SallyP says:

But…but comics are SUPPOSED to have corny dialogue!

Ragnell says:

I wouldn’t say that for all of them. It depends, I think, if you’re going for a classic feel or a “serious modern comic.”

Here’s a quick test: Did the issue have the phrase “Great Guardians” in it?
(I have to relook on this particular one.) If not, open season.

GLC says:

The reason John Stewart doesn’t wear the mask as a Green Lantern is he doesn’t want to hide anything from anyone.

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