Podcast of Doom (transcript): Dropping Green Lantern

[SFX: Intro music]

DOOM DELUISE: Hello and welcome to the latest Podcast of Doom. I’m your host, Doom Deluise, and with me is – –

JIM DOOM: Hey, I’m supposed to be the host. What are you doing? Hello, folks, I’m your host, Jim Doom and – –

DOOM DELUISE: I forgot to ask you, but why did you quit reading Green Lantern?

[SFX: Intro music fade out]

JIM DOOM: I just haven’t enjoyed it at all.

I am glad that DC is doing something to make their roster less of a white-boys club, but the attempt to normalize those of middle-eastern descent by having him be a falsely-accused terrorist just felt really heavy handed and I can’t get into this Third Guardian War at all. And I’m spending too much on comics, so that finally got the axe.

Green Lantern was one of the longest-running comics I’d been buying.

I think I’ve been reading that since I first made the effort to read more DC books around the time that the Countdown to Infinite Crisis began.

DOOM DELUISE: I’ve been reading it since Rebirth. I’m not going to drop it, but I see your point. I think that removing the main character has really hurt the book. Why not introduce Simon Baz in Green Lantern Corps or something? But the flagship? Why?

There are, like, seventeen Green Lantern books he could’ve debuted in other than Green Lantern.

[audience laughter]

JIM DOOM: I am very much in favor of treating the “Green Lantern” crown as something that other characters can slide into. I think it’s good for business when the title becomes as important as the character, or even more important.

I love things like the differences between the Gold and Silver Age characters. But as much as I love that kind of thing, I don’t think you can just hotshot someone into that spot.

Or if you can, I have yet to see it work well.

It makes sense — if Hal Jordan is “dead,” someone has to fill his spot.

But it reminds me of that scene when Batman was momentarily a Yellow Lantern — find someone established to play Green Lantern for a few months, if that’s all you need.

DOOM DELUISE: It kind of undermines the guy taking his spot, though, when Hal’s journey back to the land of the living is in the backup every issue.

JIM DOOM: Let people geek out over the “what ifs” of seeing a familiar face in an unfamiliar role and build up the new guy in a lesser book.

DOOM DELUISE: I haven’t been giving it much thought, but now that I am, what have they done to build up Simon Baz anyway? If I had to describe his character, I would say: “Muslim. Kind of a dick.” That’s it!

[audience laughter]

JIM DOOM: Well and he is a criminal, just not as much of a criminal as everyone thinks he is. Which apparently makes him a good guy.

So ultimately, we still get the insulting caricature of Muslims as Criminals.

[audience boos]

And it’s shocking that the white guy is a terrorist, because we’re supposed to buy into the premise that it’s the Muslims who are the terrorists!

So by attempting to show us that our preconceptions as Americans are bigoted, it’s actually relying on them and reinforcing them.

That said, I think someone could still tell a compelling story that happens to line up with stereotypes. I don’t think there’s an obligation for all writers to defy them or break them down out of some sense of moral responsibility as comic book writer.

This just doesn’t do anything to hook me.

DOOM DELUISE: I hadn’t given much thought to the idea of dropping Green Lantern until you mentioned that you were going to last week, but it’s since got me to thinking about it. I’m actually thinking now would be a pretty good time to slowly start dropping all of my books, since I’m going to be moving in April, and I can’t exactly bring home a few hundred comics when I come back to the states.

[audience boos]

JIM DOOM: Is there anything else you’ve read for a long time that you’ve dropped recently?

DOOM DELUISE: X-Factor, kind of. I’ve stopped reading the ones I’ve been buying, so I think I’m more or less done with that.

And Captain America, obviously.

Now that Brubaker’s said his farewell to the Winter Soldier, too, I’m going to drop that series as well.

JIM DOOM: I dropped X-Factor more than a year ago, I think.

That was one of those that I missed accidentally one month and then didn’t realize it was gone.

Captain America — man, that’s bad. I hadn’t been reading mine though. That was one I was buying out of habit.

DOOM DELUISE: Remember the issue where Cap died that I gave to you for a hamburger?

JIM DOOM: Yeah that was fun.

[audience makes “aww” noise]

DOOM DELUISE: That puppy was selling for like 70 bucks a couple months after that trade. But just checking it out on Ebay just now shows that, since Steve Rogers returned, the price is now down to 2.99.

JIM DOOM: I looked all over town and couldn’t find that issue anywhere.

But hamburgers were everywhere.

[audience laughter]

I’m glad I kept it.

Those memories are priceless.

Also I’m not sure I could have figured out the ebays.

[audience boos]

DOOM DELUISE: Since we’re talking about dropping things that we’ve been with for so long, are there any good new series out there that you’ve recently started buying and reading and enjoying?

JIM DOOM: Yes actually!

[audience cheers]

I am loving that X-Men series that Bendis is writing where the youngster X-Men come from the past.

DOOM DELUISE: All New X-Men! Yes! I love that too!

[audience cheers]

JIM DOOM: I’ve also started buying Amazing Spider-Man, and I’m really digging it too.

DOOM DELUISE: I started buying that new Spider-Man series, where Doctor Octopus is Spider-Man.

JIM DOOM: I might drop Justice League though.

DOOM DELUISE: Hey, I was talking!

JIM DOOM: I haven’t enjoyed it for a while. But there was an exchange in the Captain Marvel backup story this month that I enjoyed.

Seems like I started buying something else new recently because I was thinking about writing a blog back at our website — which you can find at doomkopf.com — about new books I was reading and liking.

Sorry for the plug — some of our listeners might not visit our blog.

DOOM DELUISE: No worries. I started reading Daredevil a couple months ago. I went back and got all caught up on Mark Waid’s current run. I think I mentioned that to you before, but, man! It’s fantastic.

JIM DOOM: That’s one that I’ve been buying but not reading.

I really like buying it.

[audience laughter]

Oh I dropped Batman & Robin recently.

It was pretty good and I enjoyed it, but it was clear that nothing consequential was really going to happen in any of the Bat-books that weren’t Batman.

And Batman is so good that I felt like I was getting my Bat-fix there and I was happy with that.

DOOM DELUISE: Yeah. I don’t read any of the non-Batman Batman books.

JIM DOOM: Last week was the first time I’d been to the store in 3 weeks.

I was kind of considering just not going back.

[audience boos]

You should edit this part out in post-production.

DOOM DELUISE: I thought you were going to do the post production this time.

[tape ends]