About Me

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I started reading comics regularly after 'Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns'. Since then, I've become a co-host on 'The LanternCast' (a podcast dedicated to Green Lantern that's been on the air since 2008), started a new podcast covering the late 1980's DC series Action Comics Weekly (appropriately titled The Action Comics Weekly Podcast), and have been the curator of THE blog on the internet dedicated to the character of Ragman, created by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert published by DC Comics starting in 1976 and currently appearing on The CW show 'Arrow' as portrayed by actor Joe Dinicol. I'm an avid fan of comics, classic rock, and speaking my mind. Welcome!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fire Friends...

It's a very large world we comic fans operate in these days. With the Internet in hand, our corner of the geek playground has exploded in newer, interesting and interactive ways. We can follow or friend our favorite creators on twitter or facebook. We can catch up on stuff we can't afford by means of blogs or podcasts. It seems every comic "fanboy" (a term I use both affectionately and insultingly on a whim) with an ounce of creative juices either has a podcast, blog, comic script, character design or something in the works. I myself and perfect evidence of this. But occasionally we have pause to call attention to and respect those who inspired us to make our own creative comic endeavors. NOT the creators of the comics containing the characters we love, but the fellow nerds who took fandom to another level with blogs and podcasts of their very own.

I came across FirestormFan quite by accident one day while searching for Firestorm images on google. Been hooked ever since. This fantastic blog is both entertaining and informative. Run by the Irredeemable Shag Matthews, FirestormFan has been on my favorites bar for the better part of a few years. It's through his blog that I found others like AquamanShrine, The Phantom Stranger Blog & Indigo Tribe. While I knew about the Phantom Stranger blog before FirestormFan (sorry Shag but Rob wins that prize) it was Firestorm fan that exposed me to the fantastically dedicated fans around the world who devote time and energy to posting about their respective characters as well as supporting one another. The comics community has always supported it's own and it's nice to see that tradition continued in the niche of comic blogging.

On that note, Shag (these days a friend of mine) stepped up to the plate on my behalf and posted the following...

Now I did indeed take the time out to ask Shag to pimp out my new blog here in this corner of the web but I left the method up to him. Having been around for awhile as a name (not long enough to make you old Shag lol) he has a fairly large following on facebook and twitter. So for him to promote my blog on all of his social media outlets is a flattering thing.

All "return the favor" spirit aside, Shag and later Rob (responsible for the Phantom Stranger blog and the more popular Aquaman Shrine) are the two top names I think of when I think of respectable, knowledgeable and entertaining comic friends and bloggers. But if their sites aren't your thing they're all to happy to accept that and point you in the direction of other good people who might have something you WILL like.

So to Shag and Rob this blog goes. I HIGHLY recommend you at least LOOK at their respective sites (found in the "Favorite Blogs" tab on the right side of my blog) and poke around for a bit. There's always some interesting stuff there to see.

More recently however, Shag and Rob teamed up to create "The Fire and Water Podcast". Guess what the topic is? Yes, Firestorm and Aquaman. Both guys have a wealth of information on their respective characters and with tons of jibes and personal opinions batted back and forth their new show is sure to keep you entertained. As a podcaster (both host and avid listener of numerous shows) their show is high quality from the get go (rare find) and they find their groove with one another quickly. So I suggest you pop on over to iTunes and download it the moment you're able.

The Sinestro Corps War...from within...

So for two of my past blogs I've been operating under the theory that what we will see come is the collapse of the various corps due to the nature of their respective emotion and/or the speed with which the various corps were set up. Nowhere else does this theory get more tricky than with the Sinestro Corps.

We saw the roots of the Sinestro Corps set-up when we first saw Arkillo and then saw a ring try and induct Batman into the Corps (at the time the yellow on the suits was purple). Then, we saw Sinestro ignite his ring under his own power (supposedly igniting it with his own fear). Thus the Sinestro Corps was born (at least its core members).

The back story I'm operating under is that Sinestro all along planned to create his Corps but began the leg work by recruiting core members. Afterwards recruitment began fast and heavy...

Here's where things get tricky. Now we're given no timestamp to prove otherwise but the above panel takes place RIGHT BEFORE this panel...

So unless Geoff Johns says otherwise, in my mind Sinestro picked a core group then went on a recruiting frenzy.

The PROBLEM comes not with the planning, the problem comes with RAPID recruiting AND the nature of fear. Setting up right hand "men" is all well and good, any strategist will tell you that, but when you select individuals from all over the universe who are known for "the ability to instill fear" and then IMMEDIATELY send them into war against Green Lanterns, then problems start.

Yeah, Thall Sinestro had his Hitler-esque moment with the Corps on Qward before they went to war but beyond that we're not given much of a "training" routine for Sinestros Corps. (aside from that Tales of the Corps story with Amon Sur) My point is, when you recruit thousands of sentient beings who, for all intents and purposes, are psychopaths and then send them to war against an enemy with the ONLY goal being, "Hey, just kill as many of them as possible however you want."...then later on you LEAVE that Corps (albeit not by your design)...can you blame them if they "give in to their sadistic urges"?

So that begs the question...to WHAT "code of conduct" is he referring? Did we miss something? Are we supposed to assume training took place? A "code of conduct" for a Corps centered around fear is alot for us to read between the lines. Obviously the question of Sinestro's "code" is the question Geoff Johns WANTS us to ask. Well we have two panels of hints but they're not much...

So that's all we get. Sinestro wants to PROTECT Korugar. But here's the kicker, this blog isn't about my theory. This blog is showing (in my opinion) that my theories are starting to bear some fruit. The Blue Lanterns will begin to see fallout, Atrocitus is starting to feel the unsettling rumblings within his Red Lantern Corps...but Sinestro is in the thick of his Corps issues right NOW.

He's seeing firsthand the fully negative effects (sadistic urges) that the yellow power amplifies. He's seeing the effect on his people (what better way for the writer to make a point?). The Sinestro Corps is on the precipice of major change at this very moment and it's my theory that it is ABSOLUTELY because of the NATURE of fear and the speed with which Sinestro initiated his vendetta against the Guardians of the Universe.

And, spoilers for the next blog...that's not all the yellow power of fear or, more importantly Sinestro himself, is about to contribute to the larger storyline. Wait till you see what the Blue Lanterns, the Sinestro Corps AND the villains currently in the Green Lantern Corps title will be bringing to the table VERY soon...unfortunately you'll have to wait a few days. THIS one takes some setting up.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Battleground Blog!

I'm doing my FIRST semi-contest for my blog. So here's the deal, I've never been TRULY excited about a blog before but I really want to promote this one. So I'm going to do my best to promote it. That being said, my blog has ZERO followers.

So here's the deal:

FIRST SEVEN FOLLOWERS TO MY BLOG....I toss your names in a hat and pick one. That person gets to write a blog entry of their very own on my blog. First seven because of the seven colored Corps (aside from black and white)


1) It has to be comics related.

...that's it.

You want to rant about female objectification in comic art? Go for it.
You want to promote a friends small press comic venture? Doors wide open.
You want to throw out your OWN "semi-ludicrous" Lantern theories? Mi blog es tu blog
Just has to be comics related.

"But Chad, what if people just follow to win then unfollow?":

Why would you follow so you can win the entry...only to unfollow and decrease visibility to your blog entry?

"Chad, you DO know it might be difficult to get seven followers INTERESTED in guest-blogging from this blogs visibility alone right?":

There's where the promotion aspect comes in. I'm sure some of you aren't interested in writing at all...but maybe you know someone who IS...so you tell them about the blog...and there you go!

So what do you think? Are you game?           

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Day Another Golden Age Legend Vanished...

Today the comic world got news that comic legend Jerry Robinson passed away in his sleep. At age 89, Jerry was LOVED by many in the comic industry and responsible for a great many things including Bruce Wayne's butler (Alfred), Robin, Two-Face and...The Joker.

Now I personally don't know much about Jerry Robinsons body of work, in fact I'm fairly certain that I can't remember ever seeing his name before today. However, I feel the loss as a fan of the comic book community. It doesn't take a genius to understand that Batman as we see him today wouldn't be around if not for the contributions of Jerry Robinson. It's often said that a hero is only as good as his villains and what comic book villain is more iconic that the Joker?

Part of the reason these losses within the comics community hit me like they do is because these creators are the last remaining FIRST HAND link to the origin of the comics industry. The more legends we lose, the less chance we have of documenting everything they have to say regarding their experience and entrance into the industry. Unless it's Gil Kane or Martin Nodell, I don't know or have a connection to any of these golden age behemoths...but I can and will ALWAYS appreciate their impact. And you can be damn certain if I have the opportunity within my grasp to talk to them...I'll jump on it.

So a heartfelt "thank you" to Jerry Robinson for his contribution to comics and their creators and condolences to his family and friends.

(iFanboy - Episode #188 - The Joker and Jerry Robinson)

^Watch that video. That's pretty much the perfect video interview with Jerry. My thanks go out to iFanboy for conducting this interview last year. It's great to have access to these "first-hand" accounts. You can check out their fantastic site by CLICKING HERE.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Dark Side of Blue...

In my previous post I mentioned that "each Corps will begin to face internal struggle and start to break in some form or another." I stand by that statement. However I don't believe all the Corps will begin to crack for the same reason. Where Atrocitus faces issues brought on by the speed with which his Corps was formed, I see the Blue Lanterns collapse beginning for a very different reason.

That reason is the nature of hope itself. During 'Blackest Night' we saw Sinestro momentarily control THE entity (the entity of life). Though brief, his connection to the raw power of life afforded us the very basic origins of each of the emotional entities. We learned how the hope entity came into being, "Hope from prayer" and were shown a panel of a furious rainstorm and flooding. Jim Ford holds the theory that this represents the worldwide flood, specifically the story of Noah found in the Old Testament. (a theory I agree with) It's safe to assume from this one point alone that the nature of 'hope' is very closely associated with religion. But to be safe I wanted to explore it a bit further.

If we look into the origin of the first Blue Lantern Saint Walker, we see a man struggling with his own faith as his world and his family die around him. We see him reach the mountaintop (both literally and figuratively) and bring that hope and that message back down to his people. Only then does the first blue ring find Walker and induct him into the Corps. Prayer played an important role in Saint Walkers life prior to being brought into the newly formed Blue Lantern Corps and continued to play a role well after the fact, as we saw post 'Blackest Night'...

(from: "Green Lantern #56")

The religious aspects aren't all so obvious though. Prayer is easy to see and can be used in many different forms. I think the most compelling reason to compare the Hope corps to religion is found in their recruitment process.

During "Green Lantern #36", we witnessed the induction of Brother Warth into the Blue Lantern Corps. A process which Saint Walker said takes 'days'. According to the issue, each Blue Lantern selects the next candidate from the next successive sector (Sector One Blue Lantern selects Sector Two's Lantern candidate). That candidate is brought before Ganthet and Sayd and in essentially put through a compatibility-like interview. Ganthet and Sayd inform the candidate of the Corps intentions and put it to the candidate (now fully informed) to choose for themselves to join the Corps or not. Here's some dialogue from the issue itself from Ganthet and Sayd, "You have heard our intentions over the last three days, Warth. We offer everything we can to educate you on the necessity of the existence of the blue, and the sacrifice you make if you embrace our light."

Having been brought up in the Christan church (specifically Lutheran) that sounds alot like a religious statement of intention. Much like one does when you're officially inducted into membership of a church. I was going to make the comparison to baptism but these inductees already have a system of faith/hope of some kind, so Ganthet and Sayd act like pastors who educate potential members on their intentions.

With Ganthet becoming a member of the Green Lantern Corps and now back as a lobotomized member of the Guardians of the Universe, and Sayd under oath to be Larfleezes Guardian and slave...the Blue Lantern Corps is completely without their 'pastors'. It's more than just being directionless, they're now "lost".

It's subtle but multiple times since 'Blackest Night' Saint Walker has extended an invitation to Ganthet to return to the Blue Lantern homeworld of Odym. To have Walker beg frantically for Ganthets return would be out of character. But he has asked multiple times.

It's my theory that the Blue Lanterns will experience a fissure following a "crisis of faith" moment. Perhaps different factions will crop up, each with initial good intentions, and small sects will appear wielding the blue light. With no clear intention stated from a figurehead, no careful selection process to go through...it's very possible that the wrong person could be recruited and start an inner conflict within the Corps.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rage of the Red Lanterns...and the Consequences Thereof...

Ever since the relaunch of the DC's new 52, we've seen multiple corps suffer through some internal dissolution. None more obvious than Atrocitus' Red Lanterns. Regardless of the popularity of the series or it's current sales figures, "Red Lanterns" has given us a perspective we hadn't previously had access to (at least not since the Red Lantern Final Crisis special), Atrocitus' view.

One of the very first things we see Atrocitus struggle with in "Red Lanterns" is the beast-like nature of his Corps. Being the only member of his Corps with a hightened awareness (at least during issues #1 & #2) we see him becoming annoyed by the constant and pointless in-fighting between his Corpsmen. So much so that he begins contemplating raising the consciousness of one of his Lanterns so they may assist him. At least, that's what he tells himself. (I personally think Atrocitus is beginning to feel lonely)

However it's not the choosing of the Lantern assistant, nor Atrocitus' loneliness that I'm interested in. Believe it or not, I think the biggest thing to be aware of in the first three issues of the "Red Lanterns" series is that Atrocitus...is ANNOYED by his own Corps.

I believe that we will start to see the internal (and in some cases external) dissolution of each of the various Corps in some form or another. However, focusing on the Red Lanterns for the moment: it's becoming obvious that Atrocitus is feeling the affects of the power with which his Corps was created.

The Red Lantern Corps was created by Atrocitus on the planet Ysmault, a planet in a space sector that had been obliterated by the Manhunters. Atrocitus and four others survived (called the Five Inversions) and were imprisoned on Ysmault by the Guardians. Years later, when Abin Sur died and Hal Jordan first got the ring, Atrocitus took on Hal and Sinestro and then was imprisoned once more on Ysmault. Somehow, Atrocitus got free and later (seemingly just before Blackest Night) he coalesced his rage and became the spark that ignited the Red Lantern Corps. Recruitment began fast and heavy after that point because it wasn't long until we saw an entire Corps on the surface of Ysmault when Atrocitus captured Sinestro and began to enact his vengeance on him.

But here's where my theory rests. What if Atrocitus' annoyance with his Corps isn't JUST because they're mindless beasts? What if it's because Atrocitus didn't take time to THINK before creating this Corps? Atrocitus knew rage because of what the Manhunters/Guardians did to his homeworld. But just because he knew HIS rage doesn't mean he understood the nature of rage as a WHOLE. Don't agree? We see during the fight scenes during the "Rage of the Red Lanterns" storyline in "Green Lantern" that Atrocitus STILL is learning things about his Corps...even as he is fighting. For instance, when Hal Jordan gets hijacked by a red ring, he is the FIRST of the Red Lanterns to create a construct of any sort...

(from: 'Green Lantern #38')

...and it isn't until much later (well after 'Blackest Night' as a matter of fact) that Atrocitus learns to do this for himself...

(from: 'Green Lantern #54')

So we begin to see that Atrocitus is STILL learning about his capabilities. Though he seems to have access to some cosmic medium (as yet still unrevealed) he shows he knows about the relationship between the green ring and the blue by stating, "...hope is nothing without willpower to enact it." ('Green Lantern #38') but yet, in the SAME issue Atrocitus reveals he doesn't understand EVERYTHING. When Saint Walker takes his own ring off and places it on a Red Ring possessed Hal Jordan, the blue ring overrides and destroys the red...to which Atrocitus says to himself, "...The blue ring...it destroyed the red? Impossible...". From here I can safely assume that Atrocitus doesn't know everything about his own corps and the power they possess. In fact, in the SAME issue (#38) Saint Walker understands WHY Atrocitus picked the lanterns he did...

(from: 'Green Lantern #38)

So we begin to see the consequences of creating his Corps too fast and not taking the time to understand the power he had begun to access. Being too focused on the object of his rage, he didn't really care. Now that the object of his rage is dead (Krona) he becomes uncertain of how to carry on and is made aware of how foolish directionless rage can be. I personally believe that each Corps will begin to face internal struggle and start to break in some form or another. It's my theory that the Red Lanterns will rebel under Bleez's leadership and will be made self aware as Atrocitus and Bleez before them. Atrocitus will be faced with a dilemma. He will either have to leave his own Corps...or awaken to a CLEAR ideal and purpose...and take back control of his Corps in a ball of blood vomit fury...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

To Be A "Semi-Ludicrous" Blogger...

It's been quite some time since I bothered with anything blog related. In fact, I believe I've had three start/falter/fail blogs before this very one. Once upon a time I would've opened up a blog with introspective rambling about myself. Vain attempts to come across as witty or remarkable. Truth is, I've lost alot of my steam. So I decided to start up this bad boy.

Yup, I LOST steam and then became productive. Fascinating right? Anywho, if you weren't able to determine, I'm a Green Lantern fan. Big time. As a matter of fact, I'm a co-host on a podcast known as The Lanterncast! which is self proclaimed "The Foremost Green Lantern Podcast on the Internet". Before you get caught up in my Internet celebrity, take note; I didn't start this fantastic downloadable show. That credit goes to Jim Ford and Dan Kurtzke. I joined much later and in stages. At first, I was just a listener of the show intent on getting DC to get off their collective asses and create a full length Green Lantern documentary. Well, that failed. Not for lack of trying though. Before Warner decided to inform me of their copyright claims, I had already made contact with MULTIPLE Green Lantern creators from past series. Contacts that came in handy much later.

Once the documentary idea sputtered and died, I became an involved listener of the podcast. Leaving voice mails, questions, suggesting content, hunting down clips for their 'Best Of' episode and even making a guest appearance or two. Then came Free Comic Book Day two years ago. I found out that Scott Kolins was going to be signing in one of my local comic shops (or LCS). So I snagged my sketchbook, some extra cash and my portable voice recorder and hit the road. After the crowds in the shop died down a little I asked Scott if he would be willing to do an interview for the podcast. Posing as the Lanterncasts roving reporter I managed to record my first interview on behalf of the show I loved. It served as a tidy wrap-up to their FCBD talk and I was hooked.

A few months later when co-host Dan Kurtzke temporarily stepped down due to time constraints, Jim Ford (and program director Jason Grice) went on a co-host hunt. Not to REPLACE Dan, but to insert a rotating cast of guests to fill his place until he could return. So he picked me and few others. But not before he gave me an assignment. Jim wanted me to start recording something called, "The Larfleeze Report". This new segment for the show would involve me searching for every Green Lantern related thing solicited in the latest issue of 'PREVIEWS' and pimping it out for the listeners. Wasn't long before I got creative and added Marvel Picks, Indy Picks and Picks of the Week.

Somewhere along the line they made me an official co-host (I even got the snazzy podcast email account to prove it) and there I was. I put my documentary contacts to good use and we eventually got to interview one of the legends of the comic book industry, Mr. Denny O'Neil. That interview was one of my favorite moments on the show and I will long be grateful to Jim, Dan and Jason for giving me the ability to secure that interview in some tangible form. Well, that interview put me on a high because hey, if I could interview a LEGEND everyone else is a piece of cake. So a few months later I found myself procuring a press pass to Wizard World Austin and securing three more interviews back to back to back in the form of Tom Nguyen, Mark A. Nelson and Mike Bullock. That episode (the most recent to go up at the time of this posting) was quite fulfilling and instilled confidence in me to hopefully continue doing more interviews for the show and (who knows?) maybe this blog.

So why do a blog and why did you have to wade through all that history to get to this point? Well, on the show, even back when I was just making suggestions and asking questions, I 'called' alot of things. In the beginning these ideas hardly ever came to pass. More often than not they were wildly out of left field. Then they got closer and closer to what the creators actually ended up doing and soon enough I was getting a few right. But our show can't always be focused on wild predictions. And if you listen to the show, you know my ideas (while respected for sure) get alot of hazing because I'm the new guy (and because they're....well, ludicrous). So I've invented my own way of putting these theories "on the record" so to speak. Timestamps and episode numbers are hell to go back and keep track of, so I figured a blog posting with a clear date and time would help me gain a bit of legitimacy in the show ranks.

Kidding. I'm doing this for the hell of it. Oh...and to rub it in Jim's face when I actually DO get one right...cause Oa knows I don't get to do that enough...