Wednesday, March 15, 2006

White Heroes with Black Faces

What I'm about to tell you is not commonly known. The Green Lantern Corp (in cooperation with HEAT) covered it up (along with that little Parallax incident). But before Hal Jordan met his friend John "Square John" Stewart, he had a touch of the racial insensitivity, don't you know.

Got milk, John?
Since I've never heard anyone call him "Square John", I can only assume John has no friends. Of course, John's the kind of guy who lets Hal Jordan buy him a vanilla milkshake at a Malt Shoppe and who listens to Abba on his ring. Which, I suppose, explains why he's called "Square John". And why he has no friends.

Yes, truth be told, Hal Jordan used to put on blackface and put on a little show at the El Faro Verde Cafe in Coast City. Eventually, however, Pieface got fed up and sent one of his homies from Eskimotown to put a stop to it:

Didn't even get the chance to spit out a full "UNMNGA". Well, it is a solid steel wrench; even Hal might feel that.


naladahc said...

Ya know... I don't think Alan Scott ever got knocked out by wood as much as the Corps most treasured member.

Anonymous said...

I'm becoming more and more sure that Hal getting hit on the head is an intentional, canon part of his character. Which is hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Scipio, I have a Hal's Head reference but I have no idea how to send you the jpeg. Any guidance?


Scipio said...

send it to

and thanks!

Anonymous said...

And yet Guy is the one they'll *admit* to having suffered brain damage...

Anonymous said...

I don't know who the guy with the wrench is, but he's the REAL hero.

Ragnell said...


Say it ain't so, John! I thought you were a Beatles fan!

Scipio said...

No, in one issue of GL, John specifically mentions having a ringful of Abba songs....

Yes, if I were whizzing through space at (I assume) translight speeds, taking in the majesty of all creation and protecting my sector, I definitely want Abba ringing in my ears to complete the effect...

Anonymous said...

I have to believe that Jonn Jonzz listens to "DANCING QUEEN" when he is alone in the watchtower.

Anonymous said...

There was something in the air that night/the stars were bright/Amazo

Dave said...

"A ringful of ABBA songs?" O'Neil said Hal listened to Dixieland jazz. They're not antithetical, I suppose, but still . . .

This is exactly the sort of thing Infinite Crisis will straighten out, I hope.

Anonymous said...

Erm, from Green Lantern something or other (by Winick)

JOHN: ... "Take on Me."


JOHN: What? The black man can't like A-Ha?

I don't know where the ABBA thing came from, but I believe it (about John and J'onn).

Anonymous said...


GL 129!

Anonymous said...

There was something in the air that night/the stars were bright/Amazo

I choked on what I was eating and narrowly escaped death thanks to this joke. From here on out, food and the Absorbacon don't mix.

It's a wonder Geoff Johns even bothered to set up that elaborate retcon to excuse Hal from being evil. The guy gets conked on the head so many times... is that not explanation enough? It's the Fred Flinstone effect.

Captain Infinity said...

I take this panel at face value. Hal's been bludgeoned so many times that, much like a cartoon character, he continues talking for several seconds before the blow to the head even registers.

Scipio said...

He also runs in place in the air for several seconds before taking off...

Diamondrock said...

Hmm... The lack of a period makes me think that he's not indicating that he's know as "Square" John. If he was saying that his friends call him "Square" John it would be:

My mama named me John Stewart. "Square" John to my friends.

What we get is:

My mama named me John Stewart, "Square" John to my friends.

This leads me to believe that it's supposed to be:

My mama named me John Stewart, "Square." John to my friends.

Which would mean he's calling *Hal* a "square".

And that is totally accurate.

Devon Sanders said...

There was a line in Green Lantern: Mosaic where someone asked John if he like James Brown and his answer was something to the effect of "Naw, makes me too hyper."

J'onn J'onzz, Martian Manhunter said...

Off-topic: The long awaited Tooth: The Fanfiction chapter seven is up at

Anonymous said...

John's love of Abba is cannon to.

He mentions having them all napsterized in his ring.

JLA: Rules of engagement (trade) page 10.

John's a man who loves him some Palindromes.

Scipio said...



The man's gayer than I am.

Or at least whiter.

Ragnell said...

It's one thing to have stereotypical musical tastes.

It's another thing entirely to have crappy music tastes.

John's favorites song should be retconned to the Mosaic file. The Beatles and old-style love songs. ("My sweet embrace-able you...")

Anonymous said...

"The man's gayer than I am.

Or at least whiter."

It's entirely possible it's both.

But we'd truely have to get in his head to find out.

I demand a mini-series!

Anonymous said...

There's nothing wrong with somebody liking Abba, or A-Ha for that matter. 'Sun Always Shines on TV' is a work of genius, and 'The Winner Takes It All' is one of the greatest songs of all time. Excu-u-u-u-u-use me if they're not KEWL enough for you HEP CATS.

Anyway, when you insist on superheroes having 'good' (ie SOCIALLY MANDATED, you muso-fascists) music tastes, all you get is Babe And The Children Of The Night. It's a dark road that leads nowhere, you Fernando-fearing fools! I applaud 'Square' John and his refreshing taste in illegal downloads.

Anonymous said...

John needs theme music. Maybe they can get the rights to "Mama Mia" for the JLU cartoon.

It's funny when artists or writers put their own tastes onto their characters. I remember reading a Hulk comic in which Rick Jones sported a Black Flag t-shirt. Uh-huh, sure. Bet he was playing "T.V.
Party" on that harmonica the day the gamma bomb went off.

Anonymous said...

I can see it ... John and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps flying into a big space battle with Sinestro and the Khunds, to the tune of "Gimme, gimme, gimme a man after midnight."

It makes "Ride of the Valkyries" sound like dog poop.

Anonymous said...

Abba is great! You have something for all occasions, even if you just stick to one Greatest Hits collection.

The JLU Shayera relationship: "Why, why did I ever let you go..."

followed by

"Take a Chance on Me" (take a chan, take a chan, take a take a chan chan)

followed by
"I do, I do, I do, I do"

Breaking the news to Vixen: "Knowing Me, Knowing you ..."

More generally:

Got in a jam and need backup? "S.O.S."

... and they send Vibe? "Dancing Queen".

Of course, his arrival might drive you to tears, in which case he might ask you: "Chiquitita, tell me what's wrong?"

The help was too late; you're defeated by the bad guy? "Waterloo! I was defeated, you won the war..."

It was Brainiac and he used his shrinking ray on you? "The winner takes it all/The loser's standing small..."

It's the only group a GL needs!

Scipio said...

"illegal downloads."

No, no; I'm certain he owns all the albums...

on vinyl.

Anonymous said...

Black people really love it when white people discuss who's 'black enough' based on their extensive experience. Can't you see how brainless and one dimensional it is to define taste along color lines? So if John Stewart had Malcolm X MP3s on his ring would that make him more 'realistic'? You idiots!

The Falcon