Geek Reads

Geek Reads

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps

Having been immersing myself in the last year, not to mention couple of months with the current Green Lantern series, Blackest Night and it’s almost never ending prequels and tie-ins, I figured that I’ve had it and would not be tempted, bullied, seduced to get another tie-in. 

Boy, was I wrong.

After much “research”, I knew I just had to reneg on that promise I made to myself and just had to get the Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps. 

I know I was burned into collecting the last one which was Rise of the Black Lanterns on harbound (ouch!), I apparently have not learned from this lesson. 

Now shouldn’t I be rewarded with an Orange Ring? Ah paging Larfreeze! 

This compilation collects Green Lantern Corps #39-47 and shows us the damage (not to mention carnage) that the Black Lanterns inflicted on OA, while the main Blackest Night Storyline takes place on Earth, with Hal Jordan and the rest of the Justice League, Justice Society, The Titans and the rest of the DC folks all keeping the bad guys (and Guardian) in check. J

The book starts with Guy Garnder and Kyle Rayner on their way back to OA, after having come from Earth to attend Tribute Day. (Yes, Flash isn’t the only one who has this). They are met by Lantern Soranik of Korugar and Lantern (Princess) Iolande of Betrassus. They are the first to encounter a horde of Black Lantern Rings making its way to OA, and realizing that willpower-powered barriers erected to stay their flight proved futile.

Sure enough the Black Lantern Rings find their way, infiltrating the Lantern Crypt, overwhelm caretaker Lantern Morro of the desert planet Sarc, and revive all deceased Green Lanterns and turn them into Black Lanterns. 

Some of these include casualties of the preceding Sinestro Corps War like Lantern Jack T Chance of Garnet; Lantern Katma Tui of Korugar; Tomar Re of Xandor;  

Lantern Jade (daughter of Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern) and Lantern Ke’hann who was then rumoured to be harboring feelings for Lantern Arisia inspite of his marriage. After his death, she became a Red Lantern, successfully channelling her rage and frustration.

Most Green Lanterns were not spared with meeting the deceased and corresponding Black Lantern that held the most emotional connection to them in their lifetime. 

Like Kyle was met by Jade; Guy Gardner by Lantern Bzzd of Apiaton and Lantern Ke’hann. Trainmaster Kilowog wasn’t spared as he was met by his mentor and now Black Lantern Ermey!

The onslaught of the Black Lanterns was so overwhelming that even the main power battery on OA was threatened. These conflicts were just some of things that happened and why I felt I had to have this as part of my Green Lantern collection in an effort to bring me up to speed in my Lantern education. 

Wouldn't want to give anything else away if in case you are contemplating whether or not to collect this volume. And would want to keep other aspects of the storyline a surprise. But if not for anything else, seeing Guy Gardner aptly channel his rage and become a Red Lantern should be a good reason for you to get this.

Why then did he become a Red Lantern?

Well I guess you would have to get your copy and sign up in the Corps to know all about it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rage of The RED Lanterns

Still continuing my current GL fixation, I decided to get for myself the prequel to the much anticipated Blackest Night.
One of the prequels called Rage of the Red Lanterns, takes place after the Sinestro Corps War with Sinestro behind bars in one of the science cells in OA; with the guardians contemplating about the ramifications of the war just past and the different scenarios leading to the formation of the other colors of the spectrum, like Red and Orange.

Now for those not initiated into the mythology, the Green Lantern is what you could call an intergalactic police force comprised of humans and beings empowered with Green power rings and enforcing order and peace throughout the known parts or sectors of the galaxy. Green stands for will and the force behind to shape it. But after the Sinestro Corps War wherein former Green Lantern Sinestro was able to wield the color of yellow and power his own rings and recruit like minded beings who can harness the power of Fear; represented by the color Yellow, the color spectrum has further grown and divided into a new spectrum representing Rage; which is Red.

Without giving too much away, the collection begins with a Green Lantern named Laira who killed a Yellow Lantern, Amon Sur. She claims that it is but in adherence with the new law of the Guardians permitting lethal force be used against members of the Sinestro Corps. But as evidence shows, Amon Sur was willing to surrender and thus her actions are put on debate until she harnesses her rage and makes herself eligible to join the new Red Lantern Corps.

This prequel bridges events leading to Blackest Night and gives Lantern fans stories of other members of the Corps and how one choice affects all; from the new laws enacted by the Guardians, to the restrictions that some Lanterns feel and how they allow themselves to be true to what they feel regardless of the consequences.

For someone who would want to start with reading the Green lantern series, I would suggest that one begin instead with Origins by Geoff Johns in order to orient oneself about the world of the Lantern and how the original Green Lantern of Earth, Hal Jordan came to be selected.  As the series progressed, newer Lantern’s for Earth have been selected and added to the franchise like John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and the latest selection graphic artist, Kyle Rayner.

You could follow this with Green Lantern: Rebirth then with Green Lantern: No Fear then Revenge of the Green Lantern Corps before moving on to the 2-part Sinestro Corps War.

 Addendum to this reading is Tales of the Sinestro Corps then followed by Rage of the Red Lanterns and then Sins of the Star Sapphire before proceeding onto Blackest Night and Green Lantern: 
Blackest Night.

At the time of this writing, I am still waiting for the paperback release of Green Lantern: Agent Orange which introduces Larfreeze, a new Lantern who harnesses the power of the Orange lantern; representing Greed. And he is quite the character and as per Hal Jordan himself looks like a cross between Gonzo and Scrooge. :)

So far my journey to rediscovering Green Lantern continues as I delve into the Lantern mythos and look for more back issues and compilations. In reading this much, have to say that the Guardians themselves have much to answer for. You may also check out Avengers VS JLA which also features the villain named Krona who like the Guardians come from the planet, Maltus. And this journey of discovery continues and culminatesnext year in anticipation of the Green Lantern movie which stars Canadian actor, Ryan Reynolds.

 For now, I am counting the days till the December release of Brightest Day; the next tumultuous saga in the Lantern universe, following Blackest Night. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

After reading Anderson Cooper...

Why do people write memoirs?

Because they want to understand the life they lead by looking back at the life they led.

Why do people read memoirs?

More or less the same reason, but just reversed. Isn’t it rather fashionable to read about someone else’s life, learn what you can and quote it next time in casual conversation in order to pass oneself as learned?

Sure we can.

At times we do and even get a kick out of it equally, especially when someone takes notice of it and marvels at your apt usage of it and at the significance of such a tidbit. Admittedly, what drew me in to buy & read the book is the author himself; a prominent anchorman and news personality on CNN and hosts his own show, AC360. 

And even if he went by another name, who wouldn’t take notice of him; of his piercing stare, his clear and crisp commentaries and equally creative repartee with his guests. Not to mention his distinguished looks; all grey-haired and smart looking. Yes, Anderson Cooper is well liked.

When I found this hardbound 1st edition at a Book Sale branch in Makati, I liked it all the more because I didn’t have to order it from Amazon as Powerbooks don’t have it and it only cost me only P70, which is roughly $1.56 just to get to know him.

Born into a family of wealth and opportunity, Anderson is the son of famous fashion designer, Gloria Vanderbilt. But he traded all that to live his life, to pursue and discover his calling, wherever it may take him. The book touches on his reminiscing about his father, of his own identity crisis after he died and the chasm that threatened to pull his family apart that claimed his brother’s life as well, for he took his own life by jumping off their condo balcony, just minutes after speaking to his mother.

There are no words for situations like these but somehow Anderson has managed to weave all of this family history and drama into the dream that ever more gets strengthened and tested whenever he travels to other countries like Sarajevo, Nigeria, Iraq, Indonesia and more recently in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck the city in 2005.

Finishing the book tonight and reading his entries about missing his father, I can’t help but think of my own; how my Dad’s own passing changed me and continues to do so and affect me in profound ways that I could not have predicted.

They always say that life is for the living and that the good of men (as well as the bad) are often interred with their bones.  And knowing that it is said often; might we not rock the foundation just a little bit and remember properly those who died? That what they left behind propels us to look inward and decide for ourselves what and how much can we leave behind, when it is time to do so?

I may not be a parent yet. But when the time comes, I would want to do the same for my child, be they be a son or a daughter.

That as a child, you live your life in accordance with what you parents have taught you, what your values dictate. And in so doing, you honor their life and memory by giving and living your life; giving it the best show that you can give. So far the best shots that I have given have resulted and manifested in creative endeavours like the release of my first album, dedicated to Dad and also embarked on the writing of my first book which I am dedicating to Mom who has strongly carried on for us and whom we equally feed and give our own strength back to whenever needed.

Although 3 years after Dad’s passing, I may not be a crack shot just yet, I can at least say that I’ve managed to aim dead center and increase my chances of getting a bullseye.

Target up.

Ready. Aim. Fire.


……Next Round please.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Zero Hour or Zero Jordan?

Part of rediscovering my favorite childhood hero Green Lantern, was me being catching up to speed with all that has happened to my favorite character.

Alas when I got the book, I was dismayed to find that Hal Jordan only came out during the latter part of the story and we weren't given an idea as to why he became Parallax, he just popped out of the storyline claiming to have absorbed some cosmic powers after the destruction of Coast City and that was it.


Lucky for us, there is Geoff Johns now who has addressed the question of the yellow "impurity", and how it relates to the rest of the Corps and brought Hal Jordan back from the dead while re-forming and reviving the Lantern Corps.

For starters, you'll be glad to know that Hal Jordan is back to being a Green Lantern (REBIRTH) after his demise in Final Night. (which I have yet to collect), and we are promised more compelling adventures of our favorite Lantern after the events of the recent Blackest Night.

But since all of this massive graphic novel purchasing that I am doing is adhering to my love and fascination to a character that I have forgotten growing up and only in the past year allowed myself to embrace. (1st one being Dr. Strange), then this is still worth collecting, just to keep oneself in the loop of the Green Lantern/Hal Jordan saga.

Now, it's off to the next graphic novel and the hunt continues for more Green Lantern adventures....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Of Strange and of Fate- My 2 New Doctors

Twas my day off yesterday and hard as I could I couldn't resist the temptation to drop by Fully Booked Bookstore at the Fort and check out their stocks of Graphic Novels.

Ever since I started rediscovering Green Lantern, I have been collecting graphic novels left and right. Anything that has do with my our favorite Green hero, count me in.

But prior to him, my favorite marvel hero, Dr.Strange takes precedence and when I saw the new Doc novel, I just had to get it.

For those in the know, the good Doctor has been "dethroned" and stripped of his title as being Sorcerer Supreme and it's now Brother Voodoo who wears that distinction, including his magical amulet, The Eye of Agamotto.

After purchasing the New Avengers issue where Doc relinquished his position, I wondered if we would ever hear from him again. Lucky for us Strange fans, there was a new series on Doc's life after that relinquishing.

The new novel is called Strange: The Doctor is Out.

This is a must read and collect for all Dr. Strange fans and it follows his life after being stripped of his title and how the taking of a new apprentice seems to make up for the damage that the Doctor has caused in his misuse of magic.

No Orb of Agamotto here but still enough magic and good writing as well as drawing to keep a fan coming back and hoping for more. :)

And in my search for my doctor, I find myself getting acquainted with another one; from DC this time.

May the best Doctor win. :)
Was able to collect loose issues of these back in the days but

 when the compiled version came out, I just had to have it.

What could be better than my favorite

 Marvel Character Dr. Strange and 

duking it out with my favorite 

supernatural being. ;)