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Old 08-12-2019, 04:03 PM   #1
Mister Ed
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Default Anybody remember John destroying a city?

I was rereading Cosmic Odyssey the other day (why did I do this? Who knows. My son has been reading my GL collection and just got to it, but that probably wasn't a good reason to subject myself to it), and came across something I'd forgotten.

There was a line, after Xanshi was destroyed, where John is thinking back on it and compares it to some incident where he was responsible for the destruction of a city. Anybody have ANY idea what that's about? I thought I had read pretty much every John Stewart appearance prior to that point, and that doesn't ring any bells. Did the writers just casually toss that in as some kind of half-hearted attempt to make his awful characterization in this mini sound as if it had some basis in something that came before?
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:38 PM   #2
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Jeeze... you got me. I suspect it was something around Crisis on Infinite Earths when he was the "main" 2814 GL.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:55 PM   #3
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Doesn't sound familiar. I wouldn't be surprised if it was unshown backstory.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:36 PM   #4
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I don't recall that line in Cosmic Odyssey.

I'm pretty sure John didn't destroy any cities prior to that.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:36 PM   #5
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Doesn't ring a bell, I'm afraid.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:37 PM   #6
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Edit post: found it. JLA #110. John teams up with the JLA to stop the Key who has a bomb he will take out part of a city with. The bomb goes off and John contains the blast so only a few. buildings need to be rebuilt.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:50 PM   #7
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It might be GL Vol. 2, #183... where John Stewart had to deal with a major flood from a busted dam by Major Disaster.

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Edit post: found it. JLA #110. John teams up with the JLA to stop the Key who has a bomb he will take out part of a city with. The bomb goes off and John contains the blast so only a few. buildings need to be rebuilt.
Yeah, it's totally that. He rebuilds them all with his ring.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:04 PM   #8
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I wish I could read that issue. Doesn't sound like a situation where stuff was destroyed because he screwed up, which is what was implied by the line in Cosmic Odyssey.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:13 PM   #9
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:48 PM   #10
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But in what way is that destruction or a mistake?
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:15 PM   #11
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But in what way is that destruction or a mistake?
Yeah, that sequence doesn't seem to fit the implication given by the line in Cosmic Odyssey. (I really should get around to looking up the exact quote, so you can see what I mean.)
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:16 AM   #12
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To be fair, John never destroyed Xanshi. He only failed to save it. And that story did a hackjob on John's character. It was an idea for the story, and nobody cared that it didn't fit with John's character, let alone Hal's. The only human GL I would begrudgingly see fitting that particular role as written in Cosmic Odyssey by Starlin MIGHT have been Guy Gardner. And even THEN I would have hated it.
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:47 PM   #13
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I know this doesn't add much to the discussion, but I don't think Cosmic Odyssey is a particularly enjoyable story regardless of the Xanshi incident. I think the most notable thing about it is the print quality of the book for when it came out.

Going back to Xanshi, I think that was the beginning of the end for John Stewart in comics. Post-Crisis/Post-Watchmen/Post Dark Knight Returns wrecked him with its "real world" deconstruction approach. Christopher Priest only added fuel to the inferno Cosmic Odyssey set in motion. DC wasn't quite ready to wreck characters like Hal Jordan yet, but more secondary guys like John Stewart were easy pickings (Jason Todd is another example [lol Jim Starlin again]). You can write big shocking stuff that changes a character forever without completely upending the status quo or mythology.

It's kind of amazing that Gerard Jones crafted Mosaic from those ashes, but I still don't think it completely repaired the character. Considering all that happened to John Stewart and how he was handled (getting crippled even after all that other stuff), it's no wonder few people really cared about him until the Justice League cartoon, which basically ignored all the baggage that comics had heaped on him and kept heaping on him. And Dan DiDio and Geoff Johns weren't interested in doing anything for him, so he continued to languish and still pretty much does to this day, IMO.

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Old 08-15-2019, 02:21 PM   #14
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I dunno. I think Mosaic did wonders for the character, and a lot of that was built on the trauma of Xanshi, which is why, as terrible as I think Cosmic Odyssey was, I wouldn't want to completely erase it.

The beginning of the end for John was when Mosaic was cancelled. After that, he was pretty much an afterthought, ignored during ET, shuffled over to Darkstars for a bit, then depowered entirely and crippled. He was brought back with Rebirth, but merely as a supporting player, not anybody who actually got much focus (even later, when he was leading the Corps, it didn't seem like his character got a lot of focus).
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:04 PM   #15
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I dunno. I think Mosaic did wonders for the character, and a lot of that was built on the trauma of Xanshi, which is why, as terrible as I think Cosmic Odyssey was, I wouldn't want to completely erase it.

The beginning of the end for John was when Mosaic was cancelled. After that, he was pretty much an afterthought, ignored during ET, shuffled over to Darkstars for a bit, then depowered entirely and crippled. He was brought back with Rebirth, but merely as a supporting player, not anybody who actually got much focus (even later, when he was leading the Corps, it didn't seem like his character got a lot of focus).
And nobody has any idea who John Stewart is. Every writer would completely change his character to suit their idea of what "strong black GL" should be, ignoring his entire history.

Then on top of it all Geoff waltzes in and mutters, "Hey, people like his Marine stuff from dee cartoon, I should retcon that in!" and that becomes like the only thing subsequent writers even focus on.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:09 PM   #16
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Ugh, yeah, I hate how his Marine background has become his defining characteristic. I MUCH preferred it when his Architecture career was more of a focus. For a while there I wasn't sure if him being an Architect was even still canon.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:53 PM   #17
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Ugh, yeah, I hate how his Marine background has become his defining characteristic. I MUCH preferred it when his Architecture career was more of a focus. For a while there I wasn't sure if him being an Architect was even still canon.
And yet your sig is sniper John.
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:56 PM   #18
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And yet your sig is sniper John.
Ironic, I know. I didn't make it, though. If I knew of one based on Mosaic John, I probably would have used that.

Also, that pic came from the very beginning of the time when they tacked his Marine background on. At the time I wasn't aware of how thoroughly that aspect would take over. I didn't really have an objection to adding that bit of history to what he already had.

I grew to hate it when it became pretty much the only aspect of John's character that mattered, to the extent that I no longer knew if his career in Architecture, or his time on Mosaic, or even his marriage to Katma, were still in continuity at all. (I'm still not sure on some of those.)

So really, the fact that I still have that as my sig is more a testament to my laziness.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:18 PM   #19
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DC went wrong with John Stewart in a lot of places. DC took all the worst elements of various depictions of John Stewart and didn't take ANY of the best.

a) DC has completely ignored Mosaic, John Stewart's best story, for decades. But DC will keep him as a closed in on himself tortured soul. So they leave out the good stuff while keeping the damaging stuff.

b) DC has kept focusing on John Stewart's worst moment, Cosmic Odyssey, for decades. All of that is damaging.

c) DC takes some elements from his popular cartoon show appearance, like the Marine background and visual design, but leaves out other key features that seriously contributed to him getting over, like his relationships with Wally West and Hawkgirl, and friendships and mentor role with Static and Supergirl, or his rivalry with Despero. John Stewart being a marine is not what endeared a lot of people to him. I contest that it was his character development and relationships with others around him that made people care about him. DC Comics has none of that for John Stewart, thus fans of the cartoon won't feel totally comfortable with what DC puts forth as John Stewart. Just making him a marine isn't good enough.

d) I'm pretty sure DC intentionally tried to undermine John during the Geoff Johns years without doing anything too obvious until they tried to kill him. They just more or less ignored him for about a decade, which is very damaging in its own way, especially when Green Lantern's popularity was firing on all cylinders. It just looks strange that all these characters are doing all this stuff, but the black guy from the cartoon is off in the corner not really doing anything. This contributed to a perception among a lot of Green Lantern fans that John Stewart was useless and boring.

The character is still contending with all these ramifications. I think it will take something miraculous to have him get over them. Something on par or larger than what he got in the Justice League cartoon, but there is always the threat of internal sabotaging, which he was the victim of even while the cartoon was going on.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:12 AM   #20
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I think John has had too many takes on his basic characterization at this point to really make him the success that he could have been. The only way around that is a big splash for him in a live action movie, which would almost certainly be yet ANOTHER take on the character that is inconsistent with what's come before in the comics. Such a shame.
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