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Tag - Green Lantern

4LN Comic Review: Planet Of The Apes/Green Lantern #1

Series: Planet of The Apes/Green Lantern
Story: Robbie Thompson
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Barnaby  Bagenda



Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern #1


Summary from Boom: BOOM! Studios and DC Comics are proud to bring together two classic properties in a historic crossover event. When Taylor goes missing, Cornelius investigates and discovers an ancient ring, unlike anything the universe has ever seen.As its power echoes through the stars, the Guardians of the Universe must reveal to their Lanterns a secret they had hoped would remain buried. With the Green Lantern Corps, led by Hal Jordan, racing to get to the source of this power before Sinestro can get his hands on it, they will discover a truth that will change them forever on…THE PLANET OF THE APES.


This has been one of the few comics that I have eagerly been waiting for. I absolutely loved “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes“, and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is one of my all time favorite Sci-Fi movies. Plus, with the Green Lantern being one of my favorite superheroes, how could I not love this?

This first issue is mostly world building due to setting up the rest of the 6 issues in the mini series. However, they do a fantastic job with characters such as Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, and the infamous Sinestro. Bringing in Justin Jordan to work on this project was a great move for Boom/DC since he’s previously worked with a majority of these characters during his time on DC Comics New Guardians during the New 52.


I mentioned my love for the new franchise, but this book includes a few beloved characters from the original Planet of The Apes. Cornelius and Nova are the main apes, in this issue at least, and the story seems to take place sometime after the original movie ends. Cornelius ends sup finding some type of ring inside a crater and this ring just happened to once belong to the notorious Larfleeze. With the uses of Sinestro and Larfleeze this is already building up to be an epic story involving two beloved franchises.


Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern #1


Barnaby Bagenda worked with Tom King during his run on the DC series The Omega Men and also worked on Evil Dead 2 by Space Goat Productions. Bagenda does a superb job with the art in this issues and makes it truly look at times like a watercolor painting but is still able to have a great amount of focus in the detail. Only one issue in and I am already itching for more of his art. I personally think that Bagenda and Jordan make a fantastic team, and I can’t wait to see what type of constructs and images these guys come up with.

Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern #1



Justin Jordan does a fantastic job tying these two properties together, Bagenda’s artwork is phenomenal, and this has turned out to be the crossover I never knew I wanted. I literally couldn’t be more happy for it! If you are at your LCS this week and you see this book on the shelf, be sure to pick it up, especially if you are a fan of either franchise. Let us know in the comments below if you picked this series up and if you enjoyed it or not.


Music Pairing:

The Get Up Kids are a great band for this style of a comic, and their song Like A Man Possessed is a perfect pairing for this book. I would dare say Cornelius is a man possessed after this issue. I’m sorry, that was a terrible dad joke, but whatever. I made it and I don’t care.

4LN Interview with Writer of Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps, Robert Venditti

We got the chance to sit down and talk with comic book writer Robert Venditti (for the third time) about his upcoming DC project, Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps, which hits shelves tomorrow! Be sure to grab Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1 because we promise, this won’t be a series you will want to miss. So, without further ado, our interview with Robert Venditti!


Are you excited to be working with former comic collaborator Rafa Sandoval?

Robert Venditti: Absolutely! I have worked with Rafa before for about 5 issues during X-O Manowar for Valiant. It was a great collaborative relationship, and he does so much so well. Especially when it comes to cosmic/sci-fi/space-oriented books. He does a lot of alien races, and a lot of ships. He’s fantastic when it comes to design, and those kinds of things. When DC told me about Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps, I asked if I could have Rafa Sandoval on this book. I just love working with the guy, and DC went and got him.

How does working with Ethan Van Sciver compare to Rafa Sandoval?

Robert Venditti: Ethan is somebody that I’ve worked with in a very limited capacity. We did one issue of Green Lantern together, during my run, but he’s somebody that brings so much weight and experience to the title. He’s an artist whose synonymous with not just Green Lantern mythology, but with the concept of Rebirth. And so to be able to work with him, who literally co-created a lot of the stuff that we are going to be dealing with, he has such an enthusiasm and a love for the characters. He’s very knowledgable and easy to talk concepts with, and if you are writing a book as part of the Rebirth initiative which embraces the long legacy of the DCU. I can’t think of a better artist to have on that for Green Lantern than Ethan, because in a lot of ways he represents that legacy. Him and Rafa together are just a great 1-2 punch… I couldn’t be happier.  

How does Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps work with the theme of Rebirth? (Are you bringing back classic elements/characters while moving forward)

Robert Venditti: Absolutely! Yeah, I mean, that is Rebirth in a nutshell. It’s to embrace the long legacy of these characters, and embrace everything that has come before, but push forward and look towards the future and new directions as well. That’s exactly what we are doing. When you look at our opening arc, it’s going to be Hal and the Green Lantern Corps vs Sinestro and the Sinestro Corps. It’s green versus yellow. It’s will versus fear. These are concepts that go back to the earliest beginnings of the Green Lantern mythology. We are embracing that, but we are also doing some new things with that. If you read a lot of the books of the Rebirth books that are already on the stands, you’ll see that that is what the incentive is pretty much about. It’s a concept that I feel I am really suited for and it’s something I’m really excited about, and I hope people are excited for the stories when they see them.


Will Hal continue being a rogue lantern and using his  power gauntlet, or will we see the return of the iconic leader that we have been so used to?

Robert Venditti: When we open the Rebirth issue, Hal is in the possession of Krona’s gauntlet, and it has an affect on him where it’s changing him into a being of will. So what that’s beginning to do will have a profound affect on the series going forward. But what he does aside from that is he makes a decision with the Green Lantern Corps absent, he is going to reclaim his mantle as Green Lantern and be the last green lantern in the universe. He’s going to try to go find the corps, find out what happened to them, save them, and bring them back. Hal doesn’t know what the situation is yet, but he’s going to go searching for the corps and trying to protect the universe while he does it, all while being the standard bearer of the Green Lantern Corps. Coming into that at the same time, with the void of the Green Lantern Corps being absent, Sinestro parking War World in Sector Zero and becoming an established police force in the universe. So now you have Hal and Sinestro sorta on this collision and that’s where our story is going to begin.  

Are you excited to write different members of the corps besides Hal?

Robert Venditti: It’s such a diverse cast, you know? So many different lanterns who have been introduced over the years and one of the things that I’m doing is really trying to embrace that wider taprecy of DCU, with all the various planets, cultures and civilizations. And the lanterns who often times come from those cultures and civilizations. And with each of those civilizations comes different lanterns and with different character point of views. The diversity of that is what can really separate the Green Lantern mythology from a lot of other mythologies.  

With all the different characters in the Green Lantern series, will we see the return of B’dg?

Robert Venditti: [Laughs] I get a lot of B’dg and Ch’p questions. Yeah, B’dg is still there and he’s on the table, but I’m not doing a B’dg centered story anytime in the near future. But yes, B’dg is definitely still around.   

4LN: My personal favorite Lantern is Kyle Rayner, do you have any special plans for him?

Robert Venditti: Yup! Yes we do, it’s interesting. I don’t mention Kyle a lot in interviews, and we haven’t shown him in a lot of promo art, because what we are doing with him is really secretive. So when he does get introduced, it’s going to be for a very significant reason. To do something that only Kyle can do. And where the story then goes from there, it’s going to take a turn in a different direction. Kyle is definitely going to be there, but I have to be more secretive about him and other things because of what we are doing.    

4LN: What has been your favorite part about writing Green Lantern so far?

Robert Venditti: I would say just being able to work with these characters in the cosmic nature of the DCU, which is really the Green Lantern’s domain. There are so many worlds, so many different space race villains, and space race heroes, and alien cultures, and all these types of things. It’s such a rich history, and so much imagination, all these elements being introduced by different writers over the decades, so to be able to have all of that to play with and to mine for stories… It’s just a huge honor, and I feel very fortunate to be able to do it. It’s always enjoyable.


We’d like to thank Robert for taking the time to chat with us! Below we have some previews of Hal Jordan & The Green Lanterns Rebirth and Issue #1!





4LN Comic Review: Green Lanterns #1

Series: Green Lanterns
Writer: Sam Humphries
Pencils: Robson Rocha
Inks: Jay Leisten


Summary from Comixology: “RED PLANET” Chapter One

New Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz promised to protect others in brightest day or blackest night, but as “Red Planet” begins to rise, the partners find themselves confronted with an unimaginable threat from Bleez and the Red Lanterns!

THEY SAID IT: “I am psyched for GREEN LANTERNS!” says writer Sam Humphries. “Myself, Simon, and Jessica are all new to the DC Universe. We’re gonna have a blast exploring it—if we don’t destroy it first.”

I’ll be completely honest, I’m not normally a big fan of Sam Humphries.  I went into Green Lanterns expecting to feel indifferent about the book, since I’m not reading many of his books.  The main reason I picked this book up so I could have seven books to review for my yearly Seven for Seven (I review seven comics in seven day, just for the hell of it). In spite of that, this book wasn’t grim.

The main lanterns in this book were both introduced during The New 52, Simon Baz was introduced in the 2012 free comic book day special, and Jessica Cruz was introduced in Green Lantern #20, but both were quickly forgotten, but it’s rewarding that they have now returned and will hopefully bring with them interesting points of views for the Green Lanterns Corps. As many know, Simon Baz is Muslim and was viewed as a terrorist, and struggles with persecution from his religious beliefs. An interesting addition to the backstory of Jessica Cruz is the introduction of her struggling with anxiety. With her being a new character for millennial readers, it only makes sense to give her anxiety since that’s so common with today’s young adults. I think if done correctly, Humphries can use this to become an extremely relatable aspect for the character.

Robson Rocha does a really good job with the art in this book, and that’s one of the most important things for a Green Lantern book. The writer and artist have to be as creative as possible, since the rings can construct anything the wearer can imagine. Humphries and Rocha do a great job bringing the rings to life. There are also a couple pages in this book that are absolutely brutal and grotesque, in addition Rocha does a wonderful job of making the unbelievable come to life, and in comics, that is much needed.


If you are new and looking to get into DC or are a fan of Buddy Cop movies than Green Lanterns is the perfect book for you. Simon and Jessica have very little background due to being almost entirely new characters, and Sam Humphries is an entirely new writer for DC Comics, so the three of them make an interesting combination. Conversely, if you are a longtime fan of Green Lanterns, I would recommend waiting for Hal Jordan and The Green Lanterns, because that title will focus on more of the characters we know and love.

Music Pairing:
This Will Destroy you is perfect “background” music for this book. There are no lyrics, and it’s just instrumentation. So it’s easy to follow along with and not get distracted by the band.

Saturday Morning Review: Green Lantern #43

Series: Green Lantern
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Publisher: DC Comics
Page Count: 26


Summary from Comixology: “Renegade” continues! Hal Jordan’s at the very edge of space confronting an old adversary who may be key in helping the former Green Lantern save the universe!

I have been absolutely loving Venditti’s Green Lantern run, since issue #21 started. I think I can speak for 4LN as a whole, and say that we all love Venditti’s work. I, of course, am reading Green Lantern, and I know that Cameron and Stephen are reading his Valiant books, X-O Manowar, Book of Death, and I’m sure they will read his next book, Wrath of Eternal Warrior. Green Lantern has been a great ride, and we have seen a few changes to the corps as a whole. With all the changes we are definitely seeing Venditti leaving his own mark on the Lantern Universe, and there is nothing wrong with that.



The Green Lantern Corps is no more. Hal has gone Renegade and it trying to figure out was has happened to the rest of the corps, but he has run into a problem, Relic has returned and is looking into the Source Wall which falls at the very end of the known universe, what lies beyond the wall, is the essence of all life, and in the hands of Relic would leave the universe trembling. Besides Relic, my favorite Lantern enemy is seeing in the first few pages, Black Hand. I personally think Robert Venditti does a fantastic job at capturing the tone and feel of Black Hand. Since he has the personality of a child, if he’s not written correctly, the character can just come of as awkward. But, Venditti captures Black Hand perfectly, and I look forward to seeing more of him in later issues. Personally, I’m excited that the Green Lantern Corps is no more, because I can enjoy a break from GL crossover events, and since Renegade started in issue #41, there have been no hints to any upcoming crossovers.

This issue features artwork done by none other then Ethan Van Sciver, and I have been a fan of his work for a while now. I absolutely loved his work on Green Lantern: Rebirth, and New X-Men. I think of my absolute favorite moments in this issue, was because of his artwork. Traveling through the “farthest reaches of existence,” there was a beautiful two-page splash of Hal just staring out the window into the great emptiness of space. And, as a person who loves the idea of space exploration, I found myself just being captured by the greatness, colors, and patterns on this splash. The fight scenes between Hal and Relic were equally beautiful and well organized. There wasn’t a single panel where anything felt messy, rushed or unplanned. Also, can I just say that I love Hal with long hair. This might be my favorite version of Hal in recent years. And, it’ll be interesting to see how Hal handles all the problems that are falling into his lap. Black Hand, Relic, and a new group called the Gray Agents, looks like things are getting worse and worse for the Renegade Lantern.


Be sure to pick up this issue of Green Lantern and let us know what you thought of it in the comments below!

Music Pairing:
I thought really hard about who you should listen to while reading this. I was jamming Gregory Alan Isakov, but his music didn’t “fit” the feel of the book. Instead, I would recommend the post-rock band, Do Make Say Think, and specifically the track “The Universe!” of the album You, You’re A History In Rust. The build up for that entire song fits the vibe of the book perfectly, and you won’t be distracted by lyrics when you read.

4LN Comic Review – Green Lantern/New Gods: Godhead. Act 1, Part 1

Book:  Green Lantern/ New Gods: Godhead. Act 1, Part 1
Writer(s): Van Jensen, and Justin Jordan
Artist: A lot to list, check the comixology page for a full list

Summary from comixology: “GODHEAD” Act 1, Part 1: Highfather, leader of the New Gods, has long studied the infinite and infinitely mysterious Source Wall which surrounds the universe. Now, he has learned that during “Green Lantern: Lights Out,” the ring-wielders broke through the Wall and stole secrets of cosmic importance. Determined to breach the Source Wall himself, Highfather must gain one of each colored ring in the emotional spectrum. But even mighty Highfather doesn’t know all, and the forces he’s about to unleash will have transformative effects on the whole DC Universe! Cosmic mystery, overwhelming odds, familiar and brand-new New Gods – This one’s got it all!


That last statement, “This one’s got it all!” boy was that true. This was a great start to the crossover run and it had some pretty emotional moments, especially for the start of an event. Now, I normally stay away from major events in comic books, somehow they always leave me a little disappointed, or I feel they are anti-climatic. This was only act 1, part 1, but I feel like this was a really strong issue. There is a lot going on to kick off this series, but this issue does a lot to prepare us for what is to come; and, what’s to come sounds freaking brutal! “With these seven rings, I will at last bring Darkseid to his knees.”

The Good:
Having a few writers working on the same book is an interesting way to tell a story. In this issue our storytellers are Jensen and Jordan and they do a really great job at setting things up, and tearing things down. Some of my favorite moments in this book were the scenes involving Saint Walker and Mogo, and also the fights with Sinestro and Larfleeze were a lot of fun. I really loved in the fight panels when the color scheme switched to a red background and a black and white character sketch. It really made it easier to see what was going on. (The Red Lanterns altercation was also very emotional, and a little depressing…)

The Bad:
The only bad I could think of for this book was the lack of background for why the New Gods were so upset with Darkseid. The first several pagers were history and explaining some of the hatred between the two, but I would have much rather had a longer history lesson regarding the New Gods. Besides that, I really couldn’t find anything else I didn’t like in this issue.

The Final Say:
If you enjoy the Lanterns, any of the colors, then you really need to read this book. It was a solid 4 out of 4, and I am really excited to see where the story will go from here. At times it was a little confusing, but the beautiful art made up for that, and the best part of the issue is the very last page, and if you know me, or how I feel about the Lanterns, you’ll understand why that last page alone got the book a 4 out of 4. Head out and pick this book up, and let us know what you think in the comments below!


In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night: An Interview with Robert Venditti

In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!

For me, that is one of the most important expressions in all of comic books. Growing up as a kid, Batman and Aquaman were my two of my favorite superheroes and I was always able to relate to them. As long as I have been a fan of comic books, I have related to DC characters, and as I have grown older and “wiser” I have related more and more with the Green Lanterns. When I was a snot nosed punk kid, I could relate to the Red Lanterns who are a bit more angry. But now, being a 20something American, I can relate to the Green Lanterns the best.

I have had never ending discussions and arguments with Stephen about which Lanterns are better then other Lanterns, and for me Kyle Rayner is the superior Green Lantern. I think a majority of that is due to me being biased and young. Now, I say young because I have always been the youngest guy in my group of friends. I have an older brother that I am fairly close to, so growing up I was always tagging along with him and his friends. In high school I was always hanging out with my older class friends and eventually college friends, and now at 4LN, I’m the youngest writer. Kyle is also the youngest lantern and that’s something to draw me to the character. I mean come one, in the first comic we meet him in, he’s in a Nine Inch Nails shirt.


I enjoy trolling with Stephen


Enough about Kyle though. The most famous and popular Green Lantern is Hal Jordan. He’s the face of the intergalactic police force and there have been some great stories written about him. Last year Geoff Johns finished his 9 year run on the character, and it made me really like Hal again. If you haven’t been reading Green Lantern lately you are really missing out. Geoff Johns’ long, and critically acclaimed run finished with Wrath of The First Lantern and an amazing story came to an end in a truly amazing way, but I’m not going to spoil anything because I think this is a story every comic book fan should read. A quick summary of the final Geoff Johns arc was found in the back of issue #20, which I’ll share with you…

  • The Origin of the first Lantern.
  • Can Simon Baz bring Hal Jordan and Sinestro back from the dead?
  • Sinestro’s Greatest Tragedy!
  • The Final Battle With the First Lantern!
  • The end of an era, but the light shines forever!


On Green Lantern issue 21, a new creative team took hold of the book, Hal Jordan and the entire Green Lantern Corps. That creative team is writer Robert Venditti and artist Billy Tan. Under the direction of Robert Venditti, Hal Jordan is now the leader of the most loved AND hated police force in the galaxy, The Green Lanterns. Robert Venditti is one of few writers that I believe is fully capable of keeping Hal and the rest of the lanterns in high regards. It’s only been a year since Venditti took on creative duties of The Emerald Knight; and, he has some major situations, obstacles, and challenges approaching the Green Lantern’s and possibly the entire DC Universe. I was recently lucky enough to get the chance to Interview Robert Venditti about his career, his work on Green Lantern and what’s coming up for Hal and the Core…



4LN– How did you get into comic book writing, and what was the pivotal moment in defining your career?

Robert Venditti– “[Laughs] That’s a bit of a long question, I didn’t get into comic books until I was 27 years old. I didn’t grow up reading them. I was working on a Master in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida… I worked at Borders for 10 years and a co-worker introduced me to the medium. I like the idea of being able to write a story and work along side someone that will turn my vision of words into art.”

4LN– Geoff Johns had previously been on the Green Lantern title for close to a decade, what was your reaction to finding out that you would be the next writer for one of the most popular DC titles?

Robert Venditti– “Yeah, I mean its obviously huge shoes to fill. It’s one of those things where, you know, what do you say? I feel very fortunate and blessed to be in the position that I am in. To write the books that I am writing at this stage of my career. It is a huge challenge and I knew it would be going in, and it was very intimidating. But, I try to look at everything from the aspect of taking risks as a writer and getting outside of my comfort zone… It was a long pitch process and I was very happy to get the gig, but I still I try not to think about how big of a run Johns had, I just try to tell stories in the way that I know how and I hope that people like the results.”

4LN– Are there any hints, which you can share, about what might be in store for Hal and the rest of the Lanterns following the events of “Uprising”?

Robert Venditti– “We begin to see a version of Hal where he uses more strategic military plans and also how to grow into the role of a leader of the entire Green Lantern Corps. Now the question becomes, like we all have to deal with in our daily lives, how much do we grow as people without losing core aspects that make us who we are? I think that’s a conflict that Hal will be faced with in this next story line we have coming up, and this is going in involve something entirely new to the Green Lantern Corps in terms of adversaries… this will be like something they have never seen and the aftermath of this will  have a legacy in just not Green Lantern, but the entire DC Universe.”

4LN- How long is your current run planned for with the Lanterns?

Robert Venditti “We’ll it doesn’t really work like that, for me with Green Lantern, The Flash and XO Man of War, I just want to take the job and be on the book until I run out of ideas or someone doesn’t like what I’m doing. [Laughs] It’s kind of an open ended gig. I do have ideas for storylines that go pretty far into the future from where we are now. I’ll continue to build on what we are doing now, but you know things come up and other opportunities arise. I try to never predict where things are going to be.”

4LN– What advice would you give to the many aspiring comic book writers out there?

Robert Venditti– “It’s one of those things, don’t limit your possibilities. Everybody tunnels their way into the mountain their own way. I mean, my way was packing boxes in the warehouse of Top Shelf Productions and I wrote the script for The Surrogates while working there. I gave it to the editor and he read it and ended up liking it and that’s how I got my first publication credit. I didn’t know working in a warehouse would end up getting me a publication credit out of it. But that job was a way to get involved in the industry and learn the business side and to be around like minded people in the industry I wanted to be in. So, don’t close any doors on yourself. Try to look for the opportunities, and take advantage of them when the arrive.”

4LN How did it feel to have something you’ve written be turned into a movie?

Robert Venditti– “Yeah, I mean it was crazy. It was far beyond anything I ever thought would happen. The most I hoped to get out of it [Surrogates] was for somebody to publish it. I felt pretty certain nobody would ever read it, but at least I would have a book in my hand, and with a publication credit I could get to editors and say ‘Here is how I write’ and maybe I could get more work. I mean that’s ALL I thought I would get out of it…. I wasn’t overly involved in the film making process, because I didn’t want to be, I wanted to enjoy it and I certainly did that.”


Everyone should be reading Green Lantern. Not only is this a great story, but Robert Venditti has some major things planned for Hal that it appears will also impact the extended DC Universe, so now is the perfect time to jump on board. Go pick up the first trade, Dark Days, and get caught up on this book before issue 34 hits shelves next month (August). I assure you, you will not be disappointed in the new Green Lantern!

Equality In Comics


Comic books have always had an impact on society, from helping children learn the dangers of landmines in third world countries (Batman Death of Innocence: The Horrors of Landmines) to the coming out of superheroes (Earth Two issue 2 and Astonishing X-Men issue 51). Comic books have always played a role in cultural shifts during troubling times, and also helped society in becoming more tolerant to differing views, ideals, and ways of life.

The issue at hand is not necessarily the impact of equality in comic books, because honestly that is a more open-ended situation. The problem at hand is a portion of the equality movement. What we are going to look at is the impact of feminism and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender(LGBT) issues in comic books. Are women and LGBT’s represented the same as their male and straight counterparts? Are women and LGBT’s treated equally in comic books? Do women and the LGBT community play the same roles that men play in comics? The answer to these questions is simple; “no.” Women and LGBT’s are grossly misrepresented in comic books, even into the 21st century. The gay community has struggled for acceptance in all areas of life. From film to literature, and from television to comic books, the LGBT community has been fighting for equal rights, and that struggle is all too real in comic books when only a handful of gay characters exist. The problem  is the fact that comics are being written by men, for younger men and boys, who are mostly straight, and the writer’s distortion of women and men cause readers to form hostility and even eventually to the creation of stereotypes which may lead to forms of sexism and plausibly homophobia.

When we look at the topic of women in comics, it’s very important to realize that the majority of comic books are read and written by men. Being an avid comic book collector, I have first hand experience with this issue. In the four years that I have frequented my two favorite local comic shops, I can count on one hand the number of women I have seen perusing the aisles. Another issue that I have noticed is that women in comics are extremely over-exaggerated. From their breast size, to the depiction of their buttocks, women are constantly misrepresented.  Marriage for a female homosexual character can also be quite the hot topic with DC Comics.

As mentioned before, the LGBT community has not had the same level of acceptance as women. Their representation has been a constant uphill battle for equality. In recent years, we have seen the “coming out” of ironic characters such as  Alan Scott (Green Lantern), and the writer, James Robinson, once stated that  ‘“It’s a realistic depiction of society.” New York Post commented that “You have to move with the times.”  Comic books should help with social movements and help shape the reader’s mind to become more accepting and understanding to the fact that they’re different then their own ways of life. If comics could integrate more LGBT characters, then the LGBT community could become better represented.

After Golden Age’s Green Lantern, Alan Scott, “came out of the closet” in the comic series Earth Two, it was rumored that Batwoman would eventually become married to her significant other, Maggie Sawyer. When news of this rumor became true, many in the comic book community were ecstatic and excited to see how DC would let this play out and the outcome this would bring to the Bat-World, along with the extended DC Universe (Melrose, Kevin). Unfortunately, this was not the case for Batwoman and the women’s agenda for equality in marriage. DC Comics came to Batwoman writer, JH Williams III, and told him that DC was no longer in support of his ideas for Batwoman and the marriage of Kate and Maggie. JH Williams ended up writing on his own personal site that

“Unfortunately, in recent months, DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many long-standing storylines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series. We were told to ditch plans for Killer Croc’s origins; forced to drastically alter the original ending of our current arc, which would have defined Batwoman’s heroic future in bold new ways; and, most crushingly, prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married. All of these editorial decisions came at the last minute, and always after a year or more of planning and plotting on our end.” (JH Williams III)



When this news was released, many of the comic book community was outraged and very disappointed/upset with DC. The writer JH Williams III and Haden Blackman ended up walking off the title in a form of protest. Unfortunately, this move by DC really ended up hurting business and their representation among comic book readers and even a large majority of people that are pro-marriage equality.  After the Batwoman fiasco, the Green Lantern from Earth Two also just happened to be killed off when writer James Robinson stepped off the book (Alan Scott has since made his return in Earth Two issue 22, April 2nd, 2014). I remember a lot of speculation around whether the character was killed off because DC wasn’t completely supportive of writer Robinson and his agenda for the continuum of a classic characters altered origins or if it was Robinson saying good-bye to a character he changed. It was a little concerning though, that the character picked to represent the LGBT community was a second-tier character that not many non- comic book readers would be familiar with.  If DC truly wanted to help equality and the LGBT community, they should have made a well-known character homosexual. For example, instead of Green Lantern Alan Scott, why not Green Lantern Hal Jordon?

For women in comics it’s a very different situation. You have heroes that range from Wonder Woman to Black Widow, and while most female characters come from all different backgrounds, they are not often represented the same. As stated in Some of The Greatest, Most Popular Comic Books Are Feminist,  “The original Wonder Woman comics were even more politically engaged. Creator William Marston believed that women were better suited than men to rule, and his comics were devoted to “explicit feminist moralizing.” Another example is how Buffy: The Vampire Slayer has always focused on a feminist protagonist, and also dealt with all sorts of feminist challenges (Some of The Greatest, Most Popular Comic Books Are Feminist, The Atlantic). Recently the news of the introduction of a Muslim Ms. Marvel was a serious cultural shift in comic books (Willow G., Wilson) and was major equality moment for both women and people of different faiths.

If more characters could gain the acceptance of the already popular female characters, then the lesser-known characters such as Power Girl, Zatanna, Wanda Maximoff (also known as The Scarlet Witch), and Emma Frost could have better representation. I mention these characters not only due to their relevance, but also because each of these characters’ costumes show off their extreme cleavage. It is completely unnecessary for a woman to have that much of her upper body exposed, be it in comic or film. Women in comics should not have their breasts exposed just in hope that the book will sell because of this factor.


As the times change and society shifts from different views, so should comic books. When new social issues rise and fall, comics should be there with them. Comics can help men, and women, of all ages become more accepting and tolerant to the changing world around them. Writers (and artists) must take into consideration the amount of power and persuasion they have and as a great writer once said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”


Works Cited

2) JH Williams III, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.


3) Melrose, Kevin. “‘Batwoman’ #17 Puts Marriage Equality in the Spotlight.”

Comic Book Resources. Comic Book Resources, 20 Feb. 2013. Web. 26 Feb.

2014. <>.

4) “Some of the Greatest, Most Popular Comic Books Are Feminist.” The Atlantic.
N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. <
5) Wilson, G. Willow. Ms. Marvel (2014) #1. New York: Marvel, 2014. Print.

Why A Toddler Makes Your Opinion Irrelevant

You might have already seen it, but there’s a video making the rounds of this adorable little 1 year old dude watching the scene from Man of Steel where Superman flies for the first time. If you haven’t watched it, here it is:


As I watched that video, I got so excited for that little kid. Seeing him so happy about such an iconic moment for, arguably, comics greatest superhero made me smile so big. But then, almost as quickly as I got excited, I got angry Not at the kid mind you. I’m not a monster. I started getting mad at all the nerd-elitists who ravage every superhero movie, and really any piece of entertainment-art that’s presented to the public. I got mad at a culture that spits at something it considers inferior to it’s perception. I’m not saying it isn’t OK to be disappointed with something. I’m just saying you don’t have to be such an a–hole about it.


I get it. You don’t like Zack Snyder, or his style of film-making. In your “opinion” it doesn’t have enough depth or maturity. I don’t really f—ing care and neither does Zack “multimillionaire” Snyder. That’s MY opinion. Oh Superman would never kill and that’s unrealistic for the character and what he represents? Guess what? HE’S NOT F—ING REAL. He’s the most unreal thing ever. Aliens are not coming to Earth to have a massive battle in a city that ALSO does not exist, which would cause an astronomically high amount of hypothetical destruction. “The character has a lot of history  and sentimental value for us. You can’t just be OK with them changing him like that.” I am. I’m not immune to being bummed by the changing of a character, but here, I really don’t see enough change to make a big deal. The essentials of who Superman is are still in place. “How would you explain to your kid that Superman killed someone?” Like this, “Son, Zod wanted to destroy Earth. He wanted to completely annihilate all life as we know. Clark, Superman, didn’t want that to happen and in the heat of the moment he made the very hard decision to kill Zod. Also, none of this is real.”

Pictured: An Alien-man not actually flying.


Man of Steel is obviously the topical film here because of the video, but this is constantly happening. Green Lantern for example. Was it flawless? No. IN MY OPINION, the film probably could have benefited from a different director who was a little more familiar with the source material. But Ryan Reynolds was great, and really held the movie together. It was so cool getting to see THE GREEN F—ING LANTERN use his ring and create stuff and fight The Paralax. I mean, we got to see that! In (mostly) real life! Or how much s–t the Ghost Rider movies get. You all know what to expect from Nick Cage at this point. If you go into one of his flicks thinking that it’s going to scale back the lunacy, then you’re greatly kidding yourself and you should just stop watching movies all together. The second one, Spirit of Vengeance, is so balls-out ridiculous that if you took it seriously for one second and complained then you’re oblivous and you missed the point. It was supposed to be excessive and insane.

Not trying to win any Academy Awards here…


One of the all-time worst is when “celebrity” nerds annihilate something. I follow lots of comic book creators and comedians on Twitter and when one of them trashes a movie, or comic, or TV show it just bums me out so much. I feel like, you’re a creator. You make something from where once there was nothing, just like those people did, and yet completely forgetting how exhaustive and draining the creative process is, you just cruelly disassemble their art. Because, for whatever reason, you don’t deem it worthy enough. I don’t comprehend that. Knowing how much of yourself you give to and put into a project, how can you possibly justify criticizing someone else who’s doing the same thing? Simply being a fan, I feel like there’s something I missing, or ignorant to, that allows that behavior to be tolerated. Maybe it’s just a vicious cycle. Like, maybe one guy did it once and ever since celebrities just think it’s OK to criticize one another because they’re all in the same business. I still have a hard time understanding it though.

I recent heard Will Smith say that he tells his kids, “Your art is a gift to people to help their lives be better and be brighter.” I think that’s a great quote. But It’s also kind of sad. Knowing how cruel “fans” and audiences can be, it’s sad that artists are trying to do something to make our lives better, and in return they get ridiculed for not presenting something “better”. “Oh yeah, well, they also get millions of dollars”. Oh so, status merits condemnation? They have more money so they’re better equipped to handle mockery? You realize how ridiculous that sounds, right? Flip that around, and have a millionaire artist criticizing a starving artist, and you’d crucify that person for their arrogance and egotism.


There’s a line of thought out there that says criticism forces the best from a person. I call bulls–t on that. It’s not your goddamn job to be Mr Miyagi to the entire entertainment world. All you’re doing is making people afraid to create art. “Well if they’re not fearless then they won’t make good art.” That’s exactly what a bully would say. Oh I’m sorry, you’re wondering how you’re a bully. Well, you criticize with your words in the hope that you’ll sway the creative process in the direction that you want it to go. You’re trying to force what you want out of people. Sounds like a f–king bully to me.

“Why don’t you make like Back to the Future 2 and be better than Back to the Future 3.”


My good friend, and fellow 4LN writer, Cam Clark and I have spoken about this issue at great length, and I’d like to share some of his thoughts, which are FAR less aggressive than that of my own…

Nerd culture is becoming more and more synonymous with Popular culture.  We have seen evidence of this with the ever-increasing popularity of movies that find their origins in the pages of comics, and the breakout success of TV shows based on Fantasy novels and graphic novels.  Unfortunately this has also heralded the coming of something much more malevolent – NERD RAGE.

As nerds, we are fortunate to live in a time in which several niches of the nerd realm are being actively brought to the forefront of mainstream entertainment, and that is pretty damn exciting to me.

Our favorite heroes are shown in movie theaters worldwide several times a year and the production values are astonishing.  Does this mean that every superhero movie that comes out is amazing?

Not at all.

There have been some pretty mediocre nerd movies in the history of motion pictures, BUT I do think that the hate that is shown over decisions made for movies that are still over two years away is getting a little out of hand.

There is a pretty common notion floating around that since superhero movies are so prevalent now then we DEMAND that they meet every single one of are expectations. Whose expectations you ask?  Who knows!  That’s the problem.  How many fans have how many ideas about how these characters should be brought to life? We won’t all get what we want, even if they make the best movie in the history of mankind.

That’s why I suggest we try to have what I call the “I’m just happy to be here” mentality.

I didn’t get a chance to see Man of Steel when it first came out (having an infant will do that), and before I finally got to see it I read so many reviews saying it was awful, that it didn’t live up to the character.  When I finally got a chance to see it, I’ll admit I was a little nervous, but as I watched Superman take flight I loved it.  I was just really happy to be seeing one of my favorite icons come to life.

This isn’t to say that these movies were up there with the top films of all time, but there is still something neat about seeing a character in a different medium.

“So what you are saying is I shouldn’t have any standards?”

Not really, I am just saying maybe try just enjoying yourself instead of railing against the cruel fate that made Superman kill Zod instead of… uh… wait, what were the other available options in that scenario?

I think it’s important to realize that there will never be a movie that meets every single on of your individual expectations and for the myriad of nerds out there that demand a movie that does, they are doomed to be perennially disappointed.  Millions of dollars have been invested into these comic book characters, and recently they are actually attracting some of best talent Hollywood has to offer to portray them.  Superheroes, who used to be relegated to straight-to-TV movies, are now Summer Blockbusters, and I am so excited about it.”

Pictured: Cam being my hero.

Pictured: Cam being my hero.


Now, for some brief humility. I’m far from innocent of this pompous attitude. I’ve even written articles on this very website where I shredded movies for no real reason. Just because I wanted to, and because I thought it was funny (I present to previous Back to the Future caption as exhibit A). I used my opinion to criticize and degrade someone’s art. And I’m ashamed of that. Being able to see the joy on my son’s face when he sees Superman fly, or when he sees Wolverine go berserk, and seeing how emotional he was while watching Thor 2, reminds me of the child-like wonder that we lose when we become adults. We act like the $10 and 2 hours we spent on a movie somehow merits a bitter attack on it. And most of the time, we don’t even spend that much. If you watch a movie for free, or steal it, then piss and moan about it, f— you. If you illegally downloaded it, you’re not only a dick, you’re a thief too. (However if you illegally download a movie and aren’t a jerk about it, then we’re cool. I know, I’m kind of a hypocrite too. Aren’t the 3 of you who actually read this glad you did?)

I know, it’s ironic that I call you a bully but then I seemingly bully you in return. Fighting fire with fire, so to speak. I consider myself less of a bully, and more of a Robin Hood. I’m trying to address an injustice that I’m witnessing, and doing what’s within my ability to right it. But then again, I already admitted to being a hypocrite, so maybe I am just a bully. All I know for sure is, I never want my kids to treat anything with disrespect. That includes “stupid” superhero movies and comics. I refuse to let my children feel entitled to anything. None of us deserve to feel entitled. I want them to feel joy and wonder when they see Superman take flight, or Thor hammering a Frost Giant, or Iron Man suiting up. But I want to retain that too. I want to watch movies and TV shows, and read comics, with the same appreciation and wonder that I did when I was a kid. Because imagination is what propels us. Not cruelty. That’s why that little boy makes your, and my, opinion irrelevant. All he sees is the amazing feat of Superman taking flight. To him that’s the most incredible thing he’s ever seen. The older we get the less we see flight. All we see is CGI, because we’ve lost our imagination. We experience life through a cynical filter, and it only breeds more cynicism in the world.

Ultimately, we all have the right to say what we want, and that includes criticism, so it’s not like I expect this to change anything. We need to understand how lucky we are to live in a society and culture where we can freely read and watch what we want without persecution. We shouldn’t take that for granted by treating art like garbage. We should learn to just be happy to be here.

“Worst. Blog Article. Ever. Also, you already used this caption joke in a previous article. Way to be original…”


Man of Steel sequel: Wonder Woman’s origin?

So there’s a pretty interesting  theory that’s popped up, about the approach to Wonder Woman’s origin for the Man of Steel/Batman vs. Superman film…

To boil it down for you, basically what was speculated is that Wonder Woman, and all the the Amazonian’s, would be descendants of ancient Kryptonians who attempted to set up bases for Krypton all throughout the universe thousands of years ago and the one here on (or around) Earth would have eventually seen the Amazonians emerge after the Kryptonians mated with humans(?).

Source: The rumor about Wonder Woman’s movie debut will make your head explode

“Wait… Clark’s my what.?”


There is no proven truth to this whatsoever. It was merely a speculation of another writer. But… it’s pretty damn good to be honest. I really like that theory and think it makes a lot of sense for how to introduce the character into the DC Cinematic Universe in a very logical way. Some people are opposed to the alteration of an origin however, and would most certainly NOT approve of this change.

The first obvious issue here is that, for some people, this seems like too easy of an explanation of why Wonder Woman exists. “Why does this chick have superpowers? She’s Superman’s DISTANT relative. Oh OK, that’s good enough for me.” Another problem I foresee here is that many people will feel like it’s a chauvinistic direction. “How do we make Wonder Woman work on screen? Make her more like Superman? Oh OK, that’s good enough for me.” (Warner Bros executives aren’t very deep thinkers.)

I personally don’t feel that this will really damage the character’s impact anymore than it would other characters, because there are many factors that go into screwing up comic characters in movies. Jennifer Garner is a good actress, but Electra was not successful and just wasn’t good. Mainly because Jennifer Garner, as good as she is, is not a the right person for the role. It has nothing to do with the back story or the characters origin. In fact, the Daredevil and Electra films stayed fairly close to Electra’s true back story and still screwed things up. Electra was portrayed as a tough-as-nails girl with some minor revenge motivations, instead of as a cold, hard badass with no remorse and no hesitation to do what needs to be done. Electra is an unapologetic killer, and she was played like a hopelessly romantic martial arts enthusiast. Had the right actress been given that role, and played it closer to cannon, then those films would have gotten a little more respect.

Calm down Benny, I said “a LITTLE”.


Origin changes do have an effect on comic book films (Ang Lee’s HULK, Catwoman) but that’s never the only thing that’s wrong (Ang Lee’s HULK, Catwoman). Many comic book films suffer from poorly written scripts (Jonah Hex) and bad, lazy, or ignorant directing. By “ignorant” I mean that the director just isn’t very familiar with the source material and the resulting film reflects that (Green Lantern). I love the Green Lantern movie personally, but I feel like if they had brought in a director that had a passion for the character, the way Jon Favreau did for Iron Man, then the film would have turned out much less chaotic and more condensed. The character seems to get pulled in several different directions as a result the film is somewhat convoluted.



How about when an origin change goes right? Bane’s origin is COMPLETELY altered in The Dark Knight Rises and it worked great. It made sense for the character to not be a skinny twerp who bulked up due to a serum pumping into his veins from a thousand tubes in his body. The universe that they were functioning in, that Christopher Nolan created, couldn’t have hosted the original version of the character. It wouldn’t have made any sense.

Point. Made.


But how about that potentially chauvinistic issue? Why does Wonder Woman have to be more like Superman to be relevant? The correct answer is “She doesn’t”, but also I don’t think that’s what’s really going on here. The whole Greek mythology back story is cool and all, and it works in the comics, but in the cinematic universe that DC and WB are building I think they’re trying to avoid “deities”. I mean, you’re already in Thor-territory here (Thoritory?) with the whole Kryptonians-existing-thousands-of-years-before-humans thing so it’s already got the possibility of seeming unoriginal. Why try to cram mythology where it doesn’t belong? Gods don’t exist in this universe. These characters ARE the gods. It actually makes sense to alter the character’s back story to make her MORE relevant and powerful. You’re not *taking* her unique origin away from her… you’re giving her a reason to exist in THIS universe. You think “Aliens did it” is a cop-out? “Gods did it” is an even bigger cop-out. Rather than the scientific possibility of evolution and adaptation, you’d be saying, “Oh it was the Gods. They put the Amazonian’s here.” That doesn’t necessarily make less sense than Kryptonians being responsible for the Amazonians, but it doesn’t make more sense either.



One last example: The Amazing Spider-Man. Aside from people complaining that Peter was more emo than they would have liked (not me though, I love that movie) the character’s abilities are not less prevalent just because there was an alteration to his origin. Now, granted, we don’t know how significantly his origin has changed yet because they were very cryptic and left us with some questions that I hope the sequels will answer, but there seems to be this idea that there was something inside of Pete’s DNA that was mearly “activated” by the radioactive spider bite. And while people had their gripes with Peter, Spider-Man was… well, AMAZING in that movie.

I suppose my point here is that we don’t know enough yet to get anxious, and there are plenty of successes and failures for us to look back and asses that there’s truly no perfect formula for creating a comic book movie. I like Gal Gadot. She seems like a solid choice for Wonder Woman, regardless of what her origin is in the films. I feel like they chose her because she’ll capture the genuine strength and power of the character in a way that hasn’t been done before. Yes, the script needs to be right, and the directors vision for the character is crucial, but the performance that the artist gives is what we’ll remember most. I know that Gal hasn’t done a lot but inexperience doesn’t equate to incompetence.

If you had any doubts about her I’ll leave you with this which I believe will squash them…

From The Nerdery – Lando’s Patriarch, Eastwood’s Batman, and Parent/Child Civil Nerd-War

Welcome, once again, to another installment of The Nerdery. Here, we answer your questions with logic, reason, class and sometimes a complete disregard of of everything I just mentioned.

Our Nerd of the Week goes to Brooks Russel. Son, and nerd-in-training, to our very own Cody Russell.

This past week Brooks got to live out his Make-a-Wish by traveling to Disney World, and getting to meet and hang out with some of his favorite superheroes. Way to go Brooks! Stay Nerdy pal!

Now, on to the Nerdery…

Nathan – “Is Lando Calrissian the son of Captain Panaka (since Mace presumably never hooked up with anyone). If not, possible alternatives?”

That would make an interesting episode of whatever the Star Wars equivalent of Maury is – who is Lando’s father? Panaka is not shown to have had any children. Actually, after his service to Queen Amidala, he became extremely loyal to not-quite-yet-Emperor-Palpatine and led the Royal Security Forces. He even became a Moff (a provincial governor) of the Chommel Sector later in life, so it is unclear if he even had a child at all.

If we are going solely on race, another candidate would be Panaka’s nephew, Captain Typho (the guy with the eye patch), but he isn’t the father either.

The Star Wars extended universe has never stated who Lando’s father was, although in the non-canonical LEGO Star Wars: the Yoda Chronicles, his father is shown to be Lindo Calrissian, who modified the Millennium Falcon into a traveling nightclub (because why not?), and was voiced by Billy Dee Williams.

With the lack of possible candidates due to the majority of the characters being white (or teddy bears with spears), I have to assume that Lando was born in a laboratory, in which a mad scientist tried to fuse sexuality, self-indulgence, a love of silk capes, and desire together and a Barry White album fell into the mix causing the infamous Lando to step out of the test tube and immediately make eyes at all the females in the immediate vicinity.

– Cam


Nate – “If you could choose any actor from before 1980 to portray a superhero in today’s movies, who would it be and which hero? Not looking for just personal opinion, but an actor you feel would truly personify the hero like today’s counterpart has.”

I think Clint Eastwood would have made a killer Batman, especially in today’s climate. He is intimidating enough without the addition of the cowl. Throw that in with is gritty voice and piercing eyes, and you would have a physically imposing, dark, Batman. I don’t think he could pull off the billionaire playboy persona of Bruce Wayne like Christian Bale did, but he could definitely show the more somber, world-weary, Bruce, similar to what they are supposedly doing with Affleck. There were rumors a while back that he was set to play an aging Bruce Wayne in a Batman Beyond movie, but that never materialized. – Cam

I had originally thought about Mr. Eastwood myself, but I was thinking of him more as a Nick Fury. He’s always had that cold, I’m-the-man-in-charge-and-I-don’t-f**k-around attitude. That’s very old-school Nick Fury. But I also really wanna express how amazing a 70′ exploitation-style Heroes-for -Hire film would have been, with Jim Brown as Luke Cage/Power Man and Chuck Norris as Danny Rand/Iron Fist. OH. MY. GOD. I don’t even know if there wards to describe how BRILLIANT it would have been, watching those two toss dudes around like garbage bags full of old clothes. It’s would have been out-of-sight. A real funky flick. Ya dig? – Stephen

I think James Dean would make an awesome Hal Jordan. I think he would have been able to pull off the ladies man role. He would be awesome to watch struggle with the power and reason-ability of being a Lantern. Hal is an all around cool guy who doesn’t always think his actions out well enough when it comes to his love life, and for that I think James would make an awesome Green Lantern. Also, I think Vincent Price would be an AMAZING Sinestro. I think it would just be creepy as hell to see Vincent Price with a yellow ring. Fear is what the yellow rings run on, and who better to use fear then the classic master of it! Plus, he already had the glorious mustache. – Bill


Marie – “How do you think you’d handle it, if your kid grew up to be a different kind of nerd than you?”

I would let him know that he is his own person, and that he can choose his interests how he pleases. If he likes Star Trek more than Star Wars, or thinks that Aquaman is a legitimate choice when it comes to choosing your favorite superhero, then that is his choice and I respect that. Unless he decides that he wants to be a Juggalo, in which case I would immediately disown him, write him out of my will, and probably take up alcoholism. – Cam

It’s hard for me to answer a question about my kids being a different kind of nerd then me. I don’t have any, but if I had a son and he ended up actually liking Hulk and playing WoW, I would be a little concerned. I would ask myself “where did my wife and I go wrong?” “Can I pray the Hulk Away?” “Why did he pick Hulk over Captain America, I would even be fine with Iron Man, and I hate Iron Man…” My biggest fear though, is he’ll be a bronie. I don’t know what I’ll be if that happens. If my son ends up that guy at a card shop who is over weight at 32 wearing a My Little Ponies beanie and playing magic… we’ll, I’ll be playing against him. BUT when we go to Cracker Barrel after, we sit a separate tables. – Bill

I’m a comic book nerd. There’s no denying that. For  a while my oldest son, who’s 6, has been super into comic books with me. They’ve been very helpful in his reading comprehension and development. As of late he’s starting to claim that he’s not “into comic books anymore”. Now maybe he’s just saying that to be dramatic and get attention, or maybe he means it. Whatever the case, he’s his own person and he’ll eventually decided what outlet of nerdom, if any, is where he feels most comfortable. My dad, and his dad… not nerds. I have no idea where my nerdyness comes from, but both my brother and I are very much into comic books. Nerd is not hereditary. It’s like religion, or politics, any other system of opinion and belief. You either fall in line with what the “man of the house” is doing, or you rebel against it. Right now, my 6 year old claims to be doing the latter. But, luckily for me, there’s two more right behind him that may love comics as much as me. Who knows. If they all grow up to be nerdily obsessed with something else, that’s cool. As long as their nerd-obsession isn’t, and doesn’t become, something that’s mentally and or emotionally harmful to themselves or others, I’m just gonna be proud that they found something that makes them as happy as comics have made me. – Stephen