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March 13, 2012
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This is it, folks. This is THE most preachy run of comics I've EVER freakin' seen! Almost as bad as "Superman: Grounded"! ALMOST! And the worst part is...this is a Green Lantern comic. I pretty much grew UP on Green Lantern.

And yet, unfortunately, Green Lantern's given me some of the most pretentious, preachy, head-up-its-ass, morality-play, talking-down-to-you storylines I have ever, EVER seen. And right outta the starting gate is a story run done by the the comic creating dynamic duo of Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams. The story comes from the 70's, during the "Silver Age" of comics, when Hal Jordan was the Green Lantern.

Who's Hal Jordan? He's a test pilot. He used to be a military pilot but he got fired due to certain circumstances. One day he was flying a plane for his girlfriend's company, Ferris Aircraft, and what should he find? A crashed alien ship. He goes down to try and help the inhabitant because he is "without fear", and because of this admirable quality, the dying alien within, Abin Sur, gives HIM the Green Lantern ring he'd had. Hal becomes Green Lantern of Earth, sworn to protect the innocent, uphold law and order. The Green Lantern corps are, simply put, space cops. He was, though a bit of a stick in the mud, as moral as Superman, and a decent, well-meaning guy.

He was also friends with Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow. Ollie is, to put it simply, like an early version of "The Dude". He's like Robin Hood, but a "cool cat". He's the man on the street looking out for others on the street. He's a grounding influence in the Justice League, somebody there to speak up for the little man. He's anti-establishment and something of a conspiracy nut. And often, a lot of fun to read.

However, because Hal is kind of working for "The Man", he and Hal often clash. This is one of those times. I'll show you. Hal notices a bunch of people roughing up a fat person on the street. Naturally he does what ANYBODY not knowing anything about the circumstances leading up to said events would do: he tries to keep the guy from being publicly lynched.

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Heh-heh. I LOVE that expression he has on the lower right panel. Its then that Green Arrow shows up to "put Green Lantern in his place".

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Now at FIRST I was feeling sorry for Green Arrow. At first. But then I kept reading. Take a look.

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...that's right. Green Arrow just invoked Godwin's Law. He brought in the Nazis. Dude, are you serious? How did you honestly expect Green Lantern to know the guy was a sleazebag evicting jackass? NOBODY would have known that unless they were actually living in the building! Don't blame Green Lantern for just trying to keep someone from getting beaten to death!

Oh, but wait. This is it. This is one of the most controversial parts of comic book history. This is a big damn moment in comics. Are you ready for it? This is the next page.

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...ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?

I am...I CANNOT believe that...I mean...

I'm gonna quote the epic comic book writer Grant Morrison here to express my views. "In any real world where the laws of physics and some interstellar impartial judiciary permitted his existence, Green Lantern's response would have been ALL our responses to the same accusation. "I'VE BEEN SAVING THE ENTIRE EARTH AND EVERY LIVING THING ON IT REGARDLESS OF RACE, COLOR, POLITICAL AFFILIATION OR SPECIES SINCE GREEN LANTERN ISSUE NUMBER 1"." But no. Green Lantern just hangs his head like he should be SO ashamed. Believability got sacrificed to hammer home this preachy little bullshit of a point.

Oh. And in case you're thinkin' "Now hold on, Nick! We're looking back on this and laughing from our more modern era! Of course it comes off as preachy NOW, but back then, it was a different story!"

That idea is charming. But wrong. This is why I am a believer in universal ideas of right and wrong: there are ALWAYS people, no matter WHAT time period, that have the right idea on what is good and what is bad. And here's a letter from the last issue of the O'Neil/Adams run. The first was number 76. This is from number 89. A little over a YEAR later. In the 70'S. This was someone's response. I've circled it so you can't miss it.

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Ya see? Even people BACK THEN were calling "bullshit" on this! So if anybody wants to go on about how "People back then didn't know better", here's an example of how "people back then DID". You people know who you are. :no:

Let us move on. Green Arrow gets a clever little idea as Hal wangsts and wangsts like the "White Guilt" machine that stems from Hollywood and the Comic Book industry enjoys seeing.

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No, he's not gonna kill him. Close.

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Ollie tries to trick him into showing up and incriminating himself whilst he records the experience. The problem is that the tape he uses to record all this gets destroyed. And when Hal tries to appeal to the man directly? He laughs at him for being a "bleeding heart".

But wait! HAL now has a clever idea.

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Green Lantern and Green Arrow just created a "Sting" operation. A federal agent got snuck into the building along with them and now they have a pretty much public confession of what he's done. He is SO screwed.

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Oh, but wait! There's MORE to this preachy bull! Wait for it...wait for it!

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Oh GOD, its like "Superman: Grounded" all over again! Good art? Yes! But like I said, this story is preachy, pretentious and freakin' insulting! God darn it, O'Neil! God darn it, Adams! If you can't come up with a less in-your-face-insultingly bad story arc later on, I'm NEVER buying ANYTHING you've ever written EVER again!

Oh, but guess what? I'VE READ AHEAD. This isn't even as bad as it GETS with the pretentious garbage! Oh no! I'm just gettin' STARTED.

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:iconnobody25864:
nobody25864 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
So let me get this straight.

Green Lantern saves a guy who was being attacked. Because he stood up for a guy that was being attacked, everyone started attacking him as well. Green Lantern starts to defend himself, and then Green Arrow, a "hero", starts threatening him as well. Green Arrow points out that the kid has a family, and Green Lantern rightfully counters "yeah, but he was attacking an innocent man". Green Arrow then counters that initiating violence against peaceful people is okay so long as they are richer than you. What's more, this guy's apartments weren't really high quality either, which also means he deserves to die. But then when the guy decides to sell his apartment away (possibly because he did such a poor job at maintaining it in the first place and bred this much hatred in the process for providing cheap housing), suddenly Green Arrow is mortified that this guy would ever not provide his cheap housing. Green Lantern again counters that it's his job to defend innocent people from attackers, so Green Arrow calls him a Nazi. Because that's what the Nazi's were famous for. Protecting innocent people. Then an old black guy comes out of nowhere and, for no reason, calls Green Lantern a racist saying "what did you ever do for us", not only implying entitlement to Green Lantern's free life-saving services, but ignoring the fact that he HAS saved them on numerous occasions. For some reason, this works against Green Lantern and he agrees that the fat guy needs to die.

So then Green Lantern and Green Arrow create this brilliant plan to show how evil the slumlord is. What is the plan? Threaten to kill him unless he starts paying them extortion money! Way to take the moral highground. Apparently this guy fearing for his life constitutes "taking the bait". Their plan fails though, and our "heroes" are mortified that a man who can do so evil a task as selling his own property that they didn't like him owning anyways still hasn't been locked away for life. So the slumlord, fearing for his life after Green Arrow threatened to kill him, hires protection so that the guy trying to murder him is killed first. When Green Arrow and Green Lantern reveal this in their "sting" operation though, somehow everyone still favors their side after they've committed acts of violence, extortion, threatened to kill a guy, etc. The slumlord is then locked away for life because he attempted to defend himself against an attempted murderer.

I think that about sums it up. Yeah, I'm guessing there IS a moral cancer destroying that country. "Heroes" like Green Arrow though are part of the problem, not the solution.
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:iconsaintheartwing:
SaintHeartwing Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Student General Artist
Yeah, Green Arrow kind of has a hypocritical side. And he'd only get more self-righteous from that issue out, finally culminating in actually committing outright MURDER by the "Cry for Justice" era. But not before he talked down to his own girlfriend, dressed up as a Native American to inspire actual Native Americans in a REALLY racially insensitive issue, beat up his kid ward and mocked being addicted to drugs...

Ollie's pretty much just a JERK.
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:iconnobody25864:
nobody25864 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
>And he'd only get more self-righteous from that issue out, finally culminating in actually committing outright MURDER by the "Cry for Justice" era. But not before he talked down to his own girlfriend, dressed up as a Native American to inspire actual Native Americans in a REALLY racially insensitive issue, beat up his kid ward and mocked being addicted to drugs...

...really? Really? You're serious?

God damn it, Ollie.

>Ollie's pretty much just a JERK.

Absolutely. Not to mention that the basic problem here is economic, not "moral cancer".

Slums like the one shown here are the result of cities imposing "rent controls" on housing, making it illegal to charge higher rents than some arbitrary amount picked by the state. When the price of a good, any good, is set below the equilibrium though, this creates something called a "shortage". More people are trying to buy housing than sellers are able to sell, which Ollie made clear was true about this society as closing down this one apartment complex would apparently condemn all the residents to living in the streets instead of finding somewhere else.

The only way to really subvert this is to let the housing fall into a state of disrepair so that it can stay profitable. When this poor economic situation is combined with a social hatred gained for someone who does it, because the economically ignorant blame the slumlord rather than the rent control for these problems, no one is going to want the job even if it's profitable, so profits need to be even higher to justify entering this kind of business, meaning an even further state of disrepair. Not to mention that the people who accept this job now are also going to have to be people who are okay with being hated (which is why slumlords tend to be kinda slimy guys as well). So no shit appealing to his "humanity" didn't work. Not to mention that if the horrible state of the slum he ran still wasn't profitable enough so that the guy needed to sell it all off, and this guy really is as callous as the comic portrays him, how low are these price ceilings exactly?

Had this city faced free market competition, not only would this city have more housing provided so these people wouldn't be condemned to the streets, but there'd be greater competition for housing, meaning better quality apartments are offered, and nicer landlords. But no, they just had to "think of the little guy" and try to help him get a "fair deal" by making it illegal to ask for certain prices that people would voluntarily agree to.

This is what happens every time people like Ollie try to interfere with voluntary exchanges on the market because they personally deem them "unfair", trying to fix these problems not by, you know, actually doing the work themselves, but rather just use the government to outlaw behavior they disapprove of. Just pass a law and everything will magically fix itself! They mess everything up, and even hurt the people they were trying to help in the process. This entire problem is Ollie's fault even before he started threatening innocent people.

"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance." - Murray Rothbard

Thanks for posting all this btw.
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:iconsaintheartwing:
SaintHeartwing Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Student General Artist
I can respect the comics for ATTEMPTING to try and address complex moral issues...but when you simplify the issue too much to make a mainstream audience get it, then real solutions fall through the cracks.
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:iconjon-wood:
Jon-Wood Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Isn't...Isn't Ollie a millionaire?

Couldn't he just by the building?

:iconfrageplz:
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:iconsaintheartwing:
SaintHeartwing Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Student General Artist
Use your THOUGHTS, writers! Use your THOUGHTS!
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:iconmagicman001:
MagicMan001 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
If it has been established that Green Lantern had not been doing enough to help the more disadvantaged people like the African American poor, then yes, I could understand where Green Arrow was coming from, but it's like you and Grant Morris said, it's well established that he's been saving the entire world and EVERYONE in it for years. It just seems the writers picked Green Lantern for this because they needed a hero to force this PSA to us through.

And once again, Godwin's Law. For me, using Godwin's Law straight up means you have Lost the argument and are admitting it, but not admitting it at the same time. It's basically admitting your wrong whilst trying to maintain to some dignity.
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:iconsaintheartwing:
SaintHeartwing Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012  Student General Artist
Ya wanna know the ironic part? Within half a year, a black Lantern would be picked. And Hal would be training him. You might know him as John Stewart, the bald black Lantern from the JLA cartoon.
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:iconlazyrayfinkle:
LazyRayFinkle Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012
What did you expect from Green Arrow. But his preachyness is what liked to Speedy's downfall. He was so busy trying to minister to the world, he forgot all about his ward.

Tell me, do some of these panels look familiar?
[link]
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:iconlazyrayfinkle:
LazyRayFinkle Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012
*led to Speedy's downfall*
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