Apr 4, 2011

On Green Lantern (or, Haters Gon' Hate)


I don't have strong feelings on Green Lantern. I've never been particularly interested in the character, though I did enjoy Kyle Rayner's characterization in Grant Morrison's JLA run. I read some Hal Jordan stories sporadically up to and including when he went nuts and destroyed all the other Green Lanterns, and I thought he was way more interesting as a villain than he ever was as hero. Of course, we all know now that he only went bad because he was possessed by a yellow fear demon (I mean, naturally, right?), but whatever.

So now there's a Green Lantern movie coming out this year, and the internets, they are abuzz. Maybe it's because I don't have a strong attachment to Green Lantern, but I think the movie looks completely awesome. I enjoy Ryan Reynolds, and I think CG technology has gotten to the point where ring constructs won't look goofy or completely fake.

Maybe I just hang around in the wrong places (oh, internet fan forums, I wish I knew how to quit you), but the general consensus, at least up until this past weekend, was that this movie was going to be terrible. People have complained about how the costume looks, but for something that was always supposed to be formed on his body by his ring I don't know what people were expecting. Others have complained about Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. For those that don't know, Hal Jordan is a test pilot who is chosen to become Green Lantern because of his great willpower and because he's fearless. In old Silver Age comics, fearless apparently meant totally boring. The best Hal Jordan stories I ever read were in JLA: Year One and Flash/Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold, both by Mark Waid and Barry Kitson. In those comics, Hal is portrayed the way that someone who is actually 'fearless' would be portrayed: he's cocky. Not arrogant, but definitely more than a little self-assured. I see that in Ryan Reynolds, or at least I think he can play that. I don't think of Hal Jordan often, but when I do that's what I think of. Also, yellow fear demons.

New footage from GL was revealed at this past weekend's WonderCon, and a lot of people who I've seen previously disparage the GL movie have changed their tunes. Part of it, I think, is that the effects are much more polished in the footage that was shown, and I think you get a better feel for what the movie will look and feel like. The other part of it, though, is something I've been thinking about for a little while, and it's this: on the internet, at least in the nerd/fandom community, it seems that the default position is "this sucks".

Example: a few weeks ago I posted something on Facebook about how the aforementioned Mark Waid is going to be writing Daredevil. A couple of comments in, a guy I know through a friend at work goes off on a tirade about how the recently announced Daredevil movie (what I posted had nothing to do with the movie, nor had any commenters mentioned it), for which there is no casting and no script, only an attached director, is awful, how it is being marketed to appeal to the Twilight crowd, and a bunch of other nonsense that was based on nothing at all. I've heard the same guy complain about how the new Spider-Man movie is being marketed. Neither of these movies have had any marketing completed, save for the release of a few photos of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man that didn't really scream 'sparkly vampire' to me. That didn't stop this guy for going off at length in nerd outrage about how awful those two movies are.

Is it just easier to hate stuff right off the bat than it is to give stuff a chance? Or is it just how people are? I feel like I tend to be predisposed to enjoy things; maybe there are some people who are just predisposed to hate things. Once you've experienced something, feel free to rag on it all you want. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and the more the merrier, unless that opinion is ill-informed, in which case I pretty much don't want to hear it.

I know this isn't revelatory at all - there's negativity on the internet? Joe, I never noticed that before! - but it's really been bothering me lately, and it's something that I really try to avoid. I'm not promising that I won't rant about stuff every now and then; after all, I've got a mental folder full of Flash rants that aren't just going to go away. But I do promise, as something of a pledge, that I will give things the benefit of the doubt before I complain about them. I challenge you, dear reader, to do the same.

So how about that Green Lantern drawing? I had to draw the head twice, but I'm proud that I successfully photoshopped the new head onto the existing body. His left arm is pretty bad, but I like the right fist. He doesn't really look like any one specific Green Lantern - it's sort of Kyle Rayner in Hal Jordan's current costume. What do you think? What works, what doesn't?


Ashley said...

I literally know nothing about Green Lantern except what I've read in magazines and seen in trailers, and I think it looks awesome.

The most negative fandom out there right now is for The Hunger Games, and I'll admit, I complained loudly when I heard about Jennifer Lawrence. Very loudly. But you're totally right. I'm going to see the movie and judge it on it's own merits before I yell out to the internets THIS SUCKS. I'll probably end up liking it, even though I don't like either actor that has been cast in the lead roles. We'll see.

Jennie said...

I don't know anything about the Green Lantern, either, but I'll go see it with you if only because Ryan Reynolds is so pretty. I mean, I saw Iron Man for similar reasons and ended up liking it, SO WHO KNOWS.

SaraD said...

Well said, Joe! I hadn't really thought about the negativity that way before.

I know nothing at all about art. Your drawing looks very simple, which I have no idea how to fix (shading or something?) and I don't know if simple is fine in the comic world. I feel like his nose is too small. Or maybe he needs a bottom of his nose or something?

Heather Anne Hogan said...

Here here, Joe! What you said, exactly! I don't understand the predisposition people seem to have about stuff sucking. It seems like it's getting louder and more prevalent, and it really bums me out.

Eric said...

The right hand (ring hand) looks great. The lines are rough and sketchy, though, when you get more comfortable, work toward more confident, solid pen strokes, resulting in less lines.