Pick of the Week

07.21.04 – DC Comics Presents: Green Lantern #1

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Writers- Brian Azzarello & Martin Pasko
Pencils – Norm Breyfogle & Scott McDaniel
Inks – Sal Buscema & Andy Owens
Colorist – Tony Avina
Letterer – Rob Leigh & Pat Brosseau

DC Comics – $2.50

You know, Stan Lee gets all the credit. Seriously, think about it, when people (and I mean general people, not us comic book folk) talk about the comics pioneers, Stan Lee is always the first to be mentioned. Not that he doesn’t deserve it, but, as we all know, there were other important comic pioneers. In recent years, we’ve seen a surge for artists like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Bill Finger get long deserved credit. But still, there were others. One such other, was the great DC editor Julius Schwartz.

Julius, or Julie as he was affectionately known was an editor at DC for 45 years, including 20 years of editing the Superman books and resuscitating the superhero genre after the indecency attacks of Dr. Frederic Wertham of the 50’s by shepherding in the Silver Age. By bringing back new incarnations of Golden Age characters such as The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman and the Justice League of America in the late 50’s/early 60’s. If it wasn’t for Schwartz’s editorial guidance, Stan Lee may not have had any “Distinguished Competition” and could possibly have never invented the great characters of Marvel.

Julius Schwartz passed away in February of 2004. So when tasked with a memorial of some sort, DC decided to go the classy way, and publish a few titles in tribute to Schwartz. With modern takes on classic books he edited in the past, these various titles honor a great man within the medium he loved and became great in.

This particular tribute is themed around Green Lantern #31 with two stories written around the original cover from the Silver Age: Green Lantern selling power rings to regular people. Azzarello’s writing and the great art of Norm Breyfogle stands out as the better of the two stories, with a kitschy, silver age-esque with modern self awareness/tongue in cheekness tale that includes both the Green Lantern and the Justice League. The second story is a bit more modern and introspective into the Hal Jordan character with support from the classic team up with Green Arrow.

Growing up a Marvel kid, I never really read DC books. But in the past five years of catching up, I realize that DC has such a rich history of characters and stories and the majority of it all leads back to Julius Schwartz in one way or another. So, once again, the comics industry takes a classy, dignified approach of honoring the passing of a legend.

There are three other titles as part of this tribute, Batman (which came out last week), Hawkman and Mystery In Space. I urge you to pick up all four, tip your hat to Julie, and enjoy the stroll down comics memory lane.

Ron Richards
Old Chum
E-Mail: ron@ifanboy.com

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Comments

  1. I haven’t picked up these books – though perhaps I should.

    Not having read this one I will say that EX MACHINA #2 kicked everyone’s ass this week.

  2. Now while once I finally got my hands on a copy of Ex Machina #1, I was admittedly blown away, so I was looking forward to issues #2. While it was good, it just didn’t blow me away like issue #1 did (hence it not being my pick). I thought it was good, don’t get me wrong, but while in issue #1 I was stunned at the last page, nothing in this ish got me like that and further the main controversial point made me just groan and say, “eh” – I dunno, maybe I’ll read it again, once I find my comics admist all these boxes.

  3. We passed Azzarello today, and Lindsay didn’t know who he was, but noted he looked angry.

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