Day 6 of 28 Days of Black Super Heroes, today’s hero is the DC Comics’ character Green Lantern John Stewart.
WHO IS HE?
Well, most of us know the mainstay Green Lantern Hal Jordan, if only as that guy from “The Superfriends”.
Hal Jordan is essentially a space cop, belonging to a vast corps of other Green Lanterns.
John Stewart is Hal Jordan’s backup cop, should anything happen to him.
Actually, that’s not quite true. John Stewart is the backup backup cop. Green Lantern Guy Gardner was the primary backup to Hal Jordan. John was really only brought in when Guy was injured and out of action.
So it’s not a very inspiring start, but it does get better.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE?
To be a Green Lantern, the Guardians of the Universe have to determine that you’re the one person on your entire world (sometimes in your whole star system) that is the most completely without fear, has the strongest will and the strongest sense of justice.
So John Stewart ain’t afraid of nothin’! They don’t hand out rings that can do anything to just anybody.
The only problem was, John Stewart was kind of an angry kid with a chip on his shoulder who resented authority.
I wasn’t reading about J .Stewart then (I would’ve just been born around that time), by the time I became aware of the character, he’d been around for many years and had become the Green Lantern of Earth full time.
I’ve mentioned before that I wasn’t a huge DC comics fan, so I never kept up with the monthly goings on over there. I totally missed it when Hal Jordan resigned, leaving Stewart to take over the role permanently.
But I didn’t live in a hole in the ground. I couldn’t help but pick up the huge DC crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths.
He didn’t play a major role in the series, but as Earth’s Green Lantern, he was right in the thick of things. It was explained to those who were just tuning in (like me) that the first guy had quit.
I stuck around with DC for quite awhile after the Crisis, and read a lot more about John Stewart in the various comics I picked up. He was no longer an angry kid when I was reading him, but the problem was he was kind of boring. It’s unfortunate, but he was the lackluster Green Lantern that I didn’t want to read about.
John went through a rough time (most of which I missed). His wife, fellow Green Lantern Katma Tui was murdered, and John spent a long time trying to pick up the pieces of his life.
When I caught back up with him, he was starring in his own comic Green Lantern: Mosaic, in which he was tasked with regulating the interactions of wildly disparate alien lifeforms and civilizations that had been forcibly relocated to a distant planet.
Again, it didn’t seem very interesting so I only read a couple before I dropped it.
A lot of new people are now aware of John Stewart because of the Justice League Unlimited
Honestly I only watched a few of these. I need to pick up the dvd sets and check this out. From the ones I watched John seemed kind of like a gruff drill-seargent type of character. A bad-ass but maybe not the most friendly?
The Wrap Up
Well, I have to say that John Stewart was never the most interesting character to me. He’s just not the Green Lantern that I want to read about. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad character by any means, though.
You can easily see that Stewart has the respect of the other heroes and is extremely competent. Of course, you’d expect that when you’re given the responsibility of being a Green Lantern.
It just seems that he’s always overshadowed by Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner, who I prefer to John. I would even say the character that I consider to be the worst Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner is a bigger marquee name in the comics than John is.
As it stands now, even with me being a huge sci-fi buff, I don’t care for the current Green Lantern stories, so I probably won’t be checking in on this character until a major even happens or he crosses over into another DC comic I’m picking up at the time, like R.E.B.E.L.S..
So with that said, I’ll leave it with a look at the raw pencil art I drew for John Stewart. See you guys tomorrow for the next hero!