I had some drinks with people in our University’s English Department the other week, and someone brought up comics/graphic novels. Talk went back and forth, someone’s teaching a class on the holocaust and literature and is using MAUS, one professor who I think is quite smart said that Watchmen is one of the best Post-Joyce novels (bold, but defendable), etc.
Though I could have dropped some knowledge on them, I was really embarrassed that all I wanted to talk about was The Sinestro Corp War. A Green Latern comic. Sinestro has created his own Evil Green Latern Corp and is fucking some shit up. Half of the issues (the ones not written by Geoff Johns) aren’t that good, you need to have read DC for about 2 years now to get a baseline sense of what is going on (and about 21 years to understand all the subtexts for the characters), but man am I excited to pick up the next issue today. The Stewart Latern ring sniper duel, the scene with the lethal-force activation and the appearance of the invasion force are all cherry-picked for his audience, and we all eat it up.
Comics are dying. Kids aren’t reading them (if I was 10 now I’d be playing Warcraft instead of getting into comics), and the adults are slowingly attritioning off. The plus side of this is that the stories can be indifferent to new readers. So they can go ahead and really change up the character dynamics (Marvel – Tony Stark, Hulk, etc.) or create navel-gazing, dense, allusive stories traced to its own continuity (DC – The way the fan-favorite Giffen era Justice League keeps showing up, etc.).
Geoff Johns may be the best straight-up comic writer working today in parts because he gets this. He knows that the people who join up for Sinestro Corp will do the wikipedia and message board searching needed to find what’s up, or simply buy (or download) the issues that they are missing. Comics are being tailored for the real die-hard fans, and John, having grown up with them, knows all the touchstones. I think that is how he got Teen Titans so right. And his Green Latern is fantastic. He has interviewed that he wants his run to be Star Wars for comics, with three epic stories. And the Sinestro Corp is his Empire Strikes Back.
So chapter 8 (of 10) is out today! Sinestro has outmaneuvered the Guardians. His army begins its full assult. It’s going to be a bad issue for the heroes. And I’m like approaching 30 years old. I am quite excited for the first part of this.