Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hey Kids! Com--Aw, nevermind, that joke's not even funny any more, is it?

So this is probably the goriest image I saw this week's new super-books (at least the ones I read).

I know I often complain about how incredibly gory Marvel and DC books can be these days, but I don't necessarily think this panel from Green Lantern #37 is that bad. At least in context.

Sure, it's hard to imagine every parent who found their kid reading a book like this being pleased about it, but not any harder than it is to imagine a kid reading a book like this in the first place (I could be completely wrong about this, since I know so few actual children, but it seems to be that kids regard John Stewart as Green Lantern, whereas only us old people know/like/care about Hal Jordan...those four or five episodes of The Batman notwithstanding).

This is part of the "Rage of the Red Lanterns" story arc, and the Red Lanterns are men, women and weird aliens who wear special magic rings which take over their bodies, forcing them to vomit up all of their own blood, and then replaces it with new blood that the ring itself creates and pumps. The Red Lanterns projectile vomit this magic hate blood, which burns like napalm.

This issue, about the blood-vomiting Red Lanterns, takes place on their home planet, a world covered in oceans of blood. So a panel of a Red Lantern getting blasted open by an energy beam? Not all that out of place. Complaining about it seems a little like complaining about all the stabbings in a slasher flick (Although I suppose a historic argument could be made that perhaps Green Lantern shouldn't have reached a point where it can even be compared to a slasher flick, but I'm not going to make it).

But I do have a bone to pick with this image, which was drawn by Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert and our Julio Ferreira, and colored by Nei Ruffino.

As I stated before, the Red Lanterns' rings completely purge their wielders/hosts of their own blood, and replace it with this viscous, red, napalm-y stuff they puke out (See this issue's charming cover, for an example).

So this poor purple lady getting killed in this image, the only blood she should have in her body would be the red stuff, not whatever color purple space lady blood is. (Is that fuchsia? Hot pink? Puce?)

And yet, in this very gory panel, in which we see a veritable geyser of gore gushing from her wound, her blood is very clearly this pinkish-purplish colored stuff, not the same red stuff that is spewing from her mouth.

Did DC decide to color her blood purplish because the panel looked just way too over the top violent with red blood, as everyone knows alien blood isn't as gross as human blood? Does the yellow light of Sinestro's power ring shining on her blood make it look a lighter, brighter color? Or did Sinestro's ring beam, rather than simply exploding through her like a missile, liquefy her purple body as it passed through and HOLY SHIT WHY AM I EVEN THINKING ABOUT THIS STUFF?!


mordicai said...

I am on the team that is over the whole "comics are for kids" angle.

That being said, clearly that isn't her blood-- Sinestro just killed her so hard that is her LIQUEFYING FLESH.

Hdefined said...

I don't think we need Ultimate Blob eating Ultimate Wasp, not because I fear for the corrupting poor little children, but because it's tactless and unnecessary and shock for shock's sake, rather than something that seems like a genuinely good idea to put into a comic.

As Caleb mentioned, in the context of Johns' Green Lantern run, there's really nothing wrong with this image. It's a series set in interstellar locales in which a multitude of factions are about to go to war, and an alien leader who faintly resembles Adolf Hitler just committed murder.

Yes, you can argue about why such a context needed to be established, but within the context, I see nothing wrong.

SallyP said...

Since Laira's skin tone is purple, it is quite possible that her blood/skin would also be purple. Interestingly enough, she's being killed by Sinestro in exactly the same way that she eviscerated Amon Sur. Lanterns always seem to get their payback.

Green Lantern books do seem to be on the gory side sometimes. As a mother, I probably wouldn't want a five year old to be reading it. However, considering how bloodthirsty most children are ANYWAY, they can probably handle it when they are a bit older. I was going to say more mature, but considering the maturity level of MOST of us fans, that would be just silly.

JMD said...

When I was 5, a Green Lantern comic got me into the Omega Men, which led to Omega Men # 2, featuring a baby decapitation and the C-Word.(crap).

I think the comic book store lady did warn my mom, but I really wanted any Omega Men I could get.

Siskoid said...

Am I worse for thinking about Klingon blood for the entire post?

JohnF said...

Man, remember when Green Lanterns had force fields, and fought each other by making giant hammers and stuff? Now they all just shoot each other, and force fields are a thing of the past.

Hdefined said...

"Man, remember when Green Lanterns had force fields, and fought each other by making giant hammers and stuff?"

What good would a giant hammer be in an interstellar war?

JohnF said...

What good would a giant hammer be in an interstellar war?

Guess it would depend on how big the hammer was.

Scott said...

I think seeing someone getting smashed to paste by a giant hammer would actually be much more violent than seeing someone get shot(and, perhaps consequentially, much more awesome).

Jacob T. Levy said...

It'd be nice (and Kyle-validating, though that's secondary) to show that even in the new age of lethal combat creativity of ring-use can trump the pure force field/ straight-force-beam combination. That combination makes it purely a matter of will (or whatever the other relevant emotion is) and numbers on each side; it's just like having a fight between a bunch of very small starships allocating power between shields and phaser banks. But the rings can do a lot more than that...