Robot 6

‘Green Lantern Corps’ gives nod to John Stewart ‘death decree’

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It was only three months ago that writer Joshua Hale Fialkov abruptly resigned from DC Comics’ Green Lantern Corps and Red Lanterns before his runs could even begin due to, as Comic Book Resources and Bleeding Cool reported, an editorial edict to kill off John Stewart. The news was met initially by a “no comment” from the publisher, followed by an assurance from incoming Green Lantern Corps co-plotter Robert Venditti that he and writer Van Jensen “have never even contemplated killing John Stewart.” A DC representative added, “Seeing a lot of unverified reports on this. To clarify: John Stewart is not going anywhere.”

So why bring this up now? Because this week’s Green Lantern Corps #21, the first issue of Jensen and Venditti’s tenure, features a pretty obvious wink and nod to the March controversy.

As Stewart and Fatality arrive on the planet Kosh to prevent the meltdown of a fusion reactor and the deaths of 9.8 billion lives, they’re confronted by vaguely reptilian aliens who are stealing the ruthenium. “Lanterns,” the leader says. “Kill them both. No witnesses.” To which Stewart replies: “Sorry — I’m not dying today!”

OK, but how were you feeling three months ago?

Green Lantern Corps #21 is available today online and in stores. A four-page preview can be found at Comic Book Resources.

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5 Comments

Whatever. What happens behind the scenes of a publisher it’s their own business. Since Fialkov didn’t want to talk about it in the first place, nobody should’ve tried to “unveil the mystery” and try to make a big deal out of it.

Well said, Johnny. Well said

A DC writer quits instead of obeying the editorial decree to kill off a (long-standing, popular and Black) Green Lantern… gets replaced by others in the DC stable to do the (revised-from-the-ensuing-controversy) series… who then have the character make a joke about all the fuss about his corporate mortality (tee-hee)?

Yay New DC!

@Johnny: Er, except that there’s a pretty strong likelihood that DC reversed course BECAUSE of the huge, immediate public backlash.

Do you really think it would have been better if they’d succeeded in keeping it under wraps and today’s top comics headline had been “DC kills off most prominent black character”?

Because I can tell you right now, even if he’s not (and he’s in the top 5, anyway), and even if he were coming back in 6 months anyway (and of course he would be), that would be the headline. It might even have made it into the mainstream press — deaths of prominent characters tend to do that.

If people hadn’t made a big deal of it when it was just a rumor, you can bet your bottom dollar people would have made a big deal of it when it actually happened. You ask me, DC’s lucky the story DID leak and lead to an outcry — it stopped them from making a mistake that could have spilled over from the usual fanboy kvetching (like what we’re doing right now) and into negative press among the mainstream media. During the same week they’ve got a movie coming out.

I grant your point that fans aren’t entitled to know what’s going on behind the scenes and that creators/editors/publishers aren’t obligated to talk about it. But in this case, I think the leak really DID work out in DC’s favor and save it from a pretty negative PR situation.

Well said, Thad. well said

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