The recent announcement of Geoff Johns leaving the Green Lantern title sparked two lines of thought in my head: First, while fans will miss his work, the new-and-different take that he brought to the tales of Hal Jordan and his alien blue masters now comprises nearly a decade of stories, and successfully brought the character of Green Lantern back to prominence.  (Heck, he even managed to amicably settle the Hal/Kyle fan wars by making EACH of them the most important Green Lantern, albeit for different timeframes.)  The second thing that occurred to me was, I admit, steeped in cynicism and snide fanboyism:  “How long before they destroy/depower/retcon away the other various Corps?”  The idea that there was a spectrum of 7 different power ring colors, each with its own “emotion” (quotes because some of them aren’t really emotions at all) was an interesting take, but it opened MANY cans of worms, not all of which were of equal quality.  I hope I don’t offend fans of the Red Lanterns title when I say that there’s nothing in that book that couldn’t be easily handled as a sub-plot in a Green Lantern or GLC title and do characters like Atrocitus and Bleez justice.  In Atrocitus case, being a recurring antagonist with mysterious goals worked much better than having him front his own title, something which makes it hard to keep him sufficiently menacing, in my mind.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced “See-Nest-Roh”) swears, “From ragged book to mint-pristine, to those with perfect cover sheen, and all the comics in between, I’ll grade them all, I’m a Comics Machine!”, asking: Do you think that, in the long run, the Seven-Colored Corps concept is workable, or has it run its course?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Frank
    February 17, 2013 at 11:38 am — Reply

    I think they are starting to wind down. The Blue and Indigo corps seem to be diminishing while the Orange seems to be more for comic relief than anything else. Soo.. 2-3 years and they will fade away, to be brought back in an annual or event like Zur-En-Arrh Batman 10-15 years down the line.

  2. Praion
    February 17, 2013 at 11:48 am — Reply

    I never got the problems people had with it (besides it beeing a bit silly but this is comics).

    I like them and i think they will continue on.

  3. February 17, 2013 at 12:17 pm — Reply

    I like the concept of the different colors, but not all of them work for me on close inspection. I wouldn’t mind seeing a diminished presence of blue and indigo. Maybe the Greens could absorb the Blues and the Violets could absorb the Indigos. They could be back up troops or whatever.

    I give it six months if Dc hasn’t already decided to wipe them out.

  4. February 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm — Reply

    I like the concept of the “emotional spectrum”, and it’s pretty interwoven with GL lore now, but I can see it taking a back seat and the books going back to focusing on the GLC (with the likes of Sinestro or Atrocitus showing up occasionally.)

  5. Arbor Day
    February 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm — Reply

    I dunno, the idea of an organized body going along with the primordial personification of willpower makes sense. But Hope and Rage? I can see the other color corps breaking down into groups more in line with the source of their power. Like how Avarice’s corps is really just Larfeeze.

  6. Armaan
    February 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm — Reply

    I’m in love with the idea of the seven corps. I always will be. I just wish they were handled a bit better. Nobody seems to know what to do with them now that they’re here.

  7. February 17, 2013 at 2:17 pm — Reply

    I think DC just needs to let some new talent tell some stories that take place within the various corps, maybe a series dedicated to short arcs that take place in all the corps outside of Green. There is a lot of potential there for some really great story telling, I just do not think anyone has truly capitalized on it.

    • February 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm — Reply

      I’m surprised they haven’t revived the anthology idea of the old GL Quarterly comic that told stories as if it were being told/read from the Book of Oa. Something like that would be perfect to tell stories of the various Corps, as individuals or small groupings.

  8. B.V.K.
    February 17, 2013 at 3:23 pm — Reply

    Just about everything in comics seems cyclical so I am sure at some point it will go away through the use of a 12 issue event and multiple tie in books. Then about 5-10 years from that point it will return in some form, then go away again….then return….then go away….

    then return….

  9. Scott
    February 17, 2013 at 4:51 pm — Reply

    Never liked the idea, outside the Star Sapphires and the Sinestro Corps. Have the Sapphires go back to using their Star Sapphires instead of power rings, and keep the Sinestros around, but get rid of all the other Corps.

  10. February 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm — Reply

    I think it’s time the seven corps were de-emphasized. Nearly a decade has gone by with the machinations of these organizations on center stage. And for much of that, I’ve had the feeling it couldn’t last. Because really, after fighting each other, death itself, a renegade guardian, and then the remainder of the guardians, everything else is a step down.

    Heck, I thought Krona was a step down from Blackest Night, at least so far as scope is concerned.

    So as much as I love the whole mythos Johns built around the seven corps, I think it’s time to focus on other things. You can still have these other guys, but they shouldn’t be the entire focus of the books. And recent developments have done a lot to curb them, what with the Sinestro Corps being dismantled save for Arkillo, the Blue Lanterns scattered and without a home planet, etc. Even the Blue Lanterns could be considered to have been just the right size before: a small core group that represented the color.

    Bottom line, we need some other space stuff to see, other than people in bright colorful uniforms and light rings. It gets old after a while.

    Now what I’d like to see is some kind of rival galactic force to come in and shake things up, and I mean one that doesn’t wear power rings. Like the Darkstars. I admit I read only a scant few issues of that old series, but the idea of a miniature force of space cops (kind of like Marvel’s Nova Corps in terms of aesthetic) would go a long way to shake things up. Or maybe a new space empire, one that does questionable things but isn’t openly bad enough to warrant the Green Lanterns to outright fight. Create some drama and intrigue.

    As for the Red Lanterns, them getting an ongoing series was a bad idea from the start. There’s potential in the idea, but it should have been a miniseries of some kind. The reason I dropped the book was because it never had enough substance to fill its time, so it spun its wheels. It could have done much better in a six or twelve issue run.

  11. comicfan1974
    February 17, 2013 at 8:04 pm — Reply

    Interesting idea, but unless Johns ties everything together in some symbolic way as he departs (so that it becomes the working metaphor behind his run) then I don’t see the point of it all. And I don’t know if I missed something, but has he ever explained Larfleeze’s origin (after hinting at it continually?)

  12. February 17, 2013 at 9:12 pm — Reply

    I’d hate to see the concept abandoned. There is still a lot of potential for good stories, it has just been a bit oversaturated because almost every story involving them was trying to be an epic event.

    Put the other Corps in the background with the other heroes/villains that are similar to other characters in the DCUO and bring them out once in a while. Or maybe try something similar to when Guy Gardner was booted out of the GLC and stole Sinestro’s ring (back before the whole powered-by-fear thing). They can still contribute to the DCU story without having to be involved in a huge event.

  13. AllenBT
    February 18, 2013 at 8:25 am — Reply

    It was a brilliant idea, although there were some problems in its execution. But the reality is this plot idea, like all even mildly successful plot ideas in comics, will eventually be swept away through ret-con or ill conceived event, then make its cyclical return, like the Swallows of Capistrano.

    That’s the fate of all good plot ideas in the world of serialized fiction, whether Comic Books, Soap Operas, Mack Bolan novels, or WWE events. The producers want to reuse the plots to expose them to new readers/consumers, and old fans generally like the nostalgic returns, even if they tend to bitch about them.

    The only major plot point in mainstream comics that comes to mind that ever really avoided this had been the death of the Waynes.

  14. February 18, 2013 at 7:59 pm — Reply

    I think they should all be ret-conned to be Willpower based. Or go back to not be Corps at all and just be individuals with different color force manipulation rings.

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