Green Lantern (vol.3) #129 (2000)

Green Lantern (vol.3) #129 (October, 2000)
“Something Old, Something New”
Writer – Judd Winick
Penciller – Darryl Banks
Inker – Andy Smith
Colors & Separations – Rod Schwiger
Letterer – Chris Eliopoulos
Assistant Editor – Frank Berrios
Editor – Bob Schreck
Cover Price: $2.25

Happy St. Patricks Day, everybody!

Figured we’d have to cover something GREEN today… lest we get pinched… and I do so hate being pinched on the only day of the year I willingly eat raisins.

Also worth noting… this marks our “lucky” 777th Daily Discussion… which, by the luck of the Irish falls on this fine day.  Er, I mean… I planned it all along!  Yeah, that’s it!

We open with Kyle recounting the time in his life he was most scared.  He was on his father’s boat, and fell off with a flat-back splash, which knocked the wind out of him.  He claims that’s the most scared he’d ever been… until today!  He is currently floating through space, suit fairly well torn, and tangled in… some sort of mechanical tentacles.

We watch as Kyle attempts to wrestle himself free from the steely space squid for perhaps a few too many pages, before he attempts to “will up” a communication device with which he could call for help.  His efforts are futile.

We jump back to two weeks earlier… Kyle is at his drawing board, and screening calls.  One of the calls he is planning to screen turns out to be Feast Magazine… a trendy new rag, which he’d very much like to work for.  He excitedly answers and is immediately offered a job.  Yes folks, it’s just that easy.

Next we know, Kyle’s visiting with the Art Director/Fashion Nazi Andre Choi.  Andre is… yikes… a bit eccentric.  I mean, I can’t say that I’ve ever hung around with any “fashion” types, but… I’m hoping they’re not this forward.  Who knows, maybe they are?  Speaking of “fashion” stick around to the bottom of this post for something… er, special?

No sooner do they step out of Andre’s office than he compliments Kyle’s butt.  Now I feel bad… my butt’s usually like the fourth or fifth thing to come up during a job interview… what’s Kyle got that I don’t?

He is escorted to the office of Rena Stone… who, judging from Kyle’s reaction is a pretty big deal.  She takes one look, calls Kyle “gorgeous” and gives him a gig.

We jump to Kyle sharing the news with John Stewart… they make a few… Winickian music jokes, that I guess are kind of cute… overall though, John doesn’t seem to grasp the magnitude of Kyle’s new job.

Then… Kyle hears a strange voice… maybe?  The lettering could have made this clearer… it kinda looks like a shaky narrative caption, but could be something he’s actually hearing.  Had to flip back and forth a couple of times… that might be more due to our “special insert” (see below) than anything though.  Anyhoo, Kyle’s visibly shaken, and John asks what’s up.  Kyle admits that he’s just scared of screwing everything up.  The pair toast to the future with their coffee mugs… both of which, I really want.

A Radu’s Mug… AND a Warrior’s Mug?!  I’ve gotta find some clean logos and have these bad boys made!

Two days later, Kyle is visited by his new assistant Terry Berg.  Terry will become pretty important later on, and even have a widely (relatively speaking) known arc dedicated to him.  Our first impression?  Well he’s… uh, kind of catty.  He immediately sets to insulting Kyle’s furniture and sense of style.  No snide comment about his They Might be Giant Monkeys t-shirt though…

We jump ahead again… and Kyle’s getting ready to submit his first strip for Feast Magazine.  Just then, he is attacked by the tentacle cluster from earlier.

Then… five (mostly wordless) pages of Kyle wrestling the tentacles.  Wonder what Winick’s page rate was for this issue, because dude made the most of it.  We wrap up with Kyle being deposited right in front of…………. the Manhunters.  Kyle’s reaction is pretty non-plussed… more annoyed than anything.  Pretty fitting reaction.

Really not the story one might expect from a book with a cover that features Alan Scott, Superman and Wonder Woman, is it?  Well, a non-representative cover is only one of the turn-of-the-century comic tropes we can attribute to this issue.  The other?  Deeeeeeecoooommmmpprrreeeessssiiiiooooon.  Nearly half of this book is a (mostly wordless) fight scene.

Before I start in… I want to make it clear that I did enjoy this.  Heck, I enjoyed most of Judd Winick’s run.  For the most part, I feel as though he was able to curb his soapbox-style… though, in fairness, he was pretty new to the game at this point… maybe he just didn’t wanna cause waves.

Let’s start with the dialogue.  It’s… cute.  A bit too cute at times.  Ya know when you’re at the office or with family… and you make a funny observation that really knocks everyone’s socks off?  Then you might think to yourself that those witty observations are universally funny?  Only… they’re not, because they’re only funny in the context of the current conversation?  I get the feeling that happens a lot with Winick.  The “jokes” really aren’t funny… and they’re written in that purposefully “banterish” kinda way?

It’s like the Kevin Smith/Gilmore Girls thing, where it became fashionable to snark at each other rather than actually speak?  I mean, clearly that kinda writing has its fans… but, I think you actually need to be funny to pull it off.  Very few people on this planet are actually funny… and I’m not at all convinced that Winick is one of them!

The depiction of the fashion folks… er… I dunno.  Like I said, I haven’t hung around “fashion nazis” before, and the only thing I actually know about fashion is what was written in the included four-page insert (see below).  I’d like to think they aren’t all hormones n’ snark… perhaps Winick knows ’em better than I do.  Maybe ol’ Kyle just put on a double dose of his Axe bodyspray before heading in for the interview?

As mentioned, the decompression is strong in this one.  If I were reading it in trade, I doubt I’d even notice… however, since I’m not… and back in 2000 wasn’t really expected to, I kind of feel ripped off.  I don’t remember how I felt back then… though, in fairness, I was probably dropping $100 a week on comics back then… and likely didn’t give this a second thought before jumping into the next book on my pile.

Overall… an enjoyable enough read, sadly one which will only last about five minutes.

Letters Page:

Fashion Insert:

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