Ok, not really. But that was a great headline, right? Right?! Anyway... Yesterday marked the beginning of DC Comics' "Zero Month", in which all of DC's titles would be numbered 0 for the month of September, marking the end of the first year of DC's The New 52 relaunch. I went on record last year saying this wouldn't last a year. I stand corrected, because there are as yet no signs that DC will revert back to the pre-Flashpoint continuity. The tagline for Zero Month is "New Characters Introduced. Secret Origins Told. Mysteries Revieled". It is about one of the new characters introduced that I would like to rant and rave about, and why I spent three hours last night praying that Geoff Johns would be smited with gross boils all over his pretty boy face.
The new character is Simon Baz, Earth's newest Green Lantern. Simon is an Arab-American and he's also a Muslim. A friend of mine first told me of Simon on Tuesday, probably expecting me to be pissed that DC was making an Islamic-American GL. I wasn't. I was intrigued. You see, I understand the difference between a radical Muslim and a regular Muslim. Most Muslim's you meet in your every day life aren't trying to destroy you, and they're just as appalled by what the terrorists are doing in the name of Allah as the rest of us are. I was intrigued to see where they would take this character, so yesterday I ran out to the comic book shop and got my copy of Green Lantern 0 (along with Green Arrow 0 Green Lantern Annual #1 and Smallville Season 11 #5). I read Green Lantern 0 immediately, which I don't normally do. After reading it, however, I was outraged.
Do you remember back in the 70's when the hated Denny O'Neill was going out of his way to make every hero in the DCU lean to the left? Do you remember how much it worked with Green Arrow, giving the character some much needed depth and giving him a personality all his own where before he was just kind of a Batman knock-off? Remember how it DIDN'T work with Wonder Woman or Lois Lane? Remember Wonder Woman in a pants-suit? Remember Lois Lane becoming a screaming, man-hating bitch that Superman would never in a billion years fall in love with? Simon Baz is an epic fail along those same lines.
First of all, if you haven't seen the cover to Green Lantern 0, look it up. Simon Baz is wearing what looks like a ski-mask (you know, the kind bank robbers wear) and carrying a gun. A gun! What in the world does a Green Lantern need with a gun?! Also, when the ring chose this guy it said "Error"! Error! When you're introduced to Simon Baz he's running from the police, driving a stolen van with a bomb in the back! And he drives it into a building and blows the building up! Really?! Ok, so he didn't know the bomb was back there, Mr. Johns would have us believe. It was all just a coincidence. Ok, so maybe he's not a terrorist, but he's a car thief and has no business being a Green Lantern. He just doesn't.
We're also supposed to feel sorry for this guy, this car thief, this criminal, because after he blows up the building he's arrested and held at (what I can only assume is) Guantanamo Bay as a suspected terrorist. He blew up a building! Ok, here's a rundown of the evidence against Mr. Baz:
1. He drove a stolen car, with a bomb in it, into a building blowing it up. He was arrested at the scene, just as he dove from the van a split second before it crashed into the building.
2. The building he blew up was a car factory where he used to work and was recently laid off from.
3. The van was stolen a full day before he crashed it into the building.
Even if you leave out that he's an Islamic-American, if I'm on the jury, Simon Baz is going to prison. This is how Geoff Johns expects us to believe he is being wrongfully prosecuted. How, under the surface, Geoff Johns wants us to believe that every suspected terrorist in US custody is being railroaded by the system. BS! The man looks guilty as hell! I'd hold him too. I wouldn't believe him when he said the bomb wasn't his, or that he drove the bomb into the old factory he was laid off from just because he knew it was empty and no one would be hurt. I wouldn't believe him when he said someone else must have stolen the van, put the bomb in it and then he just haplessly stole it from the original thief. Would you? If you were on the jury of Simon Baz, would you convict?
Mr. Johns, please, stop writing comics. You suck! Green Lantern 0 was an extremely incoherent story, it was offensive to the Muslim community (I mean, why did Baz have to be a car thief to begin with?) and Simon Baz is not a person of good character and has no business being a Green Lantern. Even the ring knew it! He was chosen by a glitch! I don't know why you've chosen to ruin Green Lantern, Geoff, but ever since Green Lantern: Rebirth that's all you've been doing. Also, you're the reason people hated the Green Lantern movie. They used too much of your stuff in it. So please, do us all a favor and go work at Marvel.