Subway Shorts – Dec. 17

Barry Allen makes an important decision about his life in The Flash and Hal Jordan gets his life back in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, while his brethren are trapped by Brainiac.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 10
Written by Robert Venditti 
Art by Ed Benes 

haljordan-gl10This has got to be an ongoing joke, right? Publish a comic book called Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps and then keep the main character separate from the rest of the team for as long as possible. Jordan spent the first arc of the book returning from being a renegade and battling Sinestro, which ended up “killing” him… again… But there are no turns as the Spirit of Vengeance this time, as Hal is only trapped in his own Green Lantern ring, ripe for White Lantern Kyle Rayner (who looks none the worse for wear from the hell he went through in Omega Men) to bring him back.

Meanwhile, the recently-returned Green Lantern Corps and the Yellow Lanterns that fled War World and Sinestro’s rule before Jordan blew it to smithereens have been miniaturized (I assume) and bottled by a new Brainiac, who has returned to his classic shtick of curating different species, only this time he’s doing it for someone else, The Collector, who is revealed here to be… ah, hell, it’s Larfleeze, the Orange Lantern.

Brainiac…. one of my favorite Superman villains and a guy who, just recently, was the big bad of a major DC Comics storyline… has been reduced to being a toady for the greedy Larfleeze? Ugh. Sometimes, this company drives me crazy.

I’ve complained a lot about DC Comics’ new tendency to make the Green Lantern universe about the various Lantern groups and nothing else, and it that continues, even after I got my hopes up with the appearance of Brainiac. And with all the talk about hope in this issue, I assume we’ll be dealing with the Blue Lanterns once Larfleeze is handled. So, the Color Wars continue.

I have lost almost all interest in the whole Green Lantern universe, and DC is doing its best to make that all inclusive. Green Lantern is no longer a space cop patrolling the universe with his band of brothers. It’s now all about fitting in all the other Lantern groups in as often as possible, rotating them in and out as needed. Once “Bottled Light” is over, I’m probably done with this title, too.

The Flash 12
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Davide Gianfelice

flash10The titular hero lives up to his name, finishing off a quick three-part story featuring classic villain-turned-friend The Shade, who managed to accidentally drag both Barry Allen and the younger Wally West into The Shadowlands. The heroes have to fight through the shadows to save a captured Iris West, who has been captured along with Shade’s girlfriend. They’ve also been infected by evil and are trying to kill the heroes.

Rescue and escape is complicated by Kid Flash’s frustration over not knowing The Flash’s secret identity and not trusting his skills and abilities yet. Humorously, Wally tries to get past the first part by spending the entire issue guessing what The Flash’s first name is.

After convincing Kid Flash of his abilities, the heroes manage to save their damsels in distress. Seeing The Shade with his understanding girlfriend pushes Barry towards making a decision to not be alone and he finally builds himself up to ask Iris out on a date. The moment probably would have had more weight if Barry and Iris didn’t already have decades of history as a couple. Not to mention the relationship finally blossoming over on the CW show.

I’m also not sold on the Wally West II character, especially with the original Wally West running around over in Titans as another Flash. The character has always been the one spotlighted when comics fans talk about the generational nature of certain characters. But with the most recent reboot, they’ve just made the Flash family more confusing than ever, with two Flashes, a Kid Flash and two Wally Wests. Just for the sake of doing recaps, it gets confusing…

The next issue tease promises “Date Night” in two weeks, which should bring the usual amount of sitcom-level wacky hi-jinx.