Monday, August 27, 2012


With the Beyond: Origins Warkhawk story running as a 2-parter (with the concluding chapter this issue), and this being a month where Justice League Beyond would only have ten pages of story, it turned into one of those odd issues where JLB wasn't featured…even though technically Beyond: Origins falls under the JLB banner.

Anyways here's the rest of my thoughts as this first origin story wrapped up…

As a creative person, I think it's only natural to look back on your work and see the flaws. To see the missed opportunities. I know even as an artist, I usually hate everything as soon as I'm done. And usually only the current work you might be happy with until it's put to bed and forgotten. So I look back on Warhawk's origin many many many months after it was written, and see things I wish I could've fleshed out better.

There definitely needed to be more explanation given to Carter Hall and how he ended  up back on Thanagaria. 

In the show, he sort of ventured out on his own. He'd pop up here or there to maybe assist the League. But he was definitely on his own path.

I always saw him eventually going back to Egypt, unearthing the spaceship that Kator Hol had originally crashed, and using that to pilot back to the Thanagarian homeworld. Even though he was human, his past life would still be drawn back to his people and wanting to reunite with them. His return might even be seen as a vision to his people, that the spirit of Kator Hol had come back to help lead them to retake their world from the Gordanians. But when the Shadow Thief resurfaced, his guilt would make him step forward. To make matters worse, they would see that he wasn't born of them (not true wings but those he made himself). They would destroy those wings and kill him after that trial.

So yeah, we arrive at the same conclusion in the story. But there were a few missing pieces there that would've made it a little more clear. Better planning on my part could've fixed that, but it is what it is.

Without real wings, Carter would need to keep up appearances, wearing them all the time, even when he slept. Plus I think it would just help make him feel more like his people anyways.

The way things were resolved in the show, with Shadow Thief reabsorbed back into Carter's body along with coming to terms with his destiny not being with Shayera and he'd leave her alone…I always felt that was a ticking time bomb. That it's only human nature for past feelings and jealousy to resurface, and no matter how Carter would try to keep his dark desires in check, that the Shadow Thief would eventually break his hold and become free again.

A few thoughts when it comes to the Green Lanterns in the animated universe. This was before Lantern was given his own series, so I was trying to keep things consistent with what was set up in the DC Timm/Dini animated continuity. At this point, aside from Sinestro, we had never seen any of the other colored ring corps in the show. So I did want to hint with John's eyes turning red, the hate and anger starting to surface. Not that he would fully become a Red Lantern. But that the possibilities were there for the other colors across the emotional spectrum. And in the comics, there have always been times where the Guardians released the safeguards to allow the rings to be used to kill in times of war and other extreme measures. But keeping to the Lanterns established in the show, that wouldn't fit here. I wanted to show repercussions for John's act of killing his enemy, even if it wasn't specifically by his ring. The idea was, it still was his frame of mind at the time, and something the Guardians weren't comfortable with him continuing representing the Green Lanterns (it didn't help that his eyes glowed red also…as they'd fear where that was headed).

I think there was some confusion or mixed feelings towards Vixen's funeral. That it was seen as callous that the village chieftain would basically give his blessing to John and Shayera to "get it on". But that was never my intent. What he says to them is actually based on burial rites and the outlook and meaning of death in the African culture. He said it as a blessing both to Vixen as she journeys into the afterlife, as well as her loved ones that were left behind.  I didn't want them to just hop in the sack immediately. Even with their past history, they would take some time to reflect on everything that had happened to them while they stayed in Africa. And would eventually see it as a place to start a new life together, and retire away from the League.

I think that about wraps it up for the first Origin story in the book, with more still to come. And of course, those that are new to the characters or shows, should track down a couple episodes that tied in with this issue...

Watch List:   Justice League Unlimited "Shadow Of The Hawk" and "Ancient History"


  1. The only thing I can really say is that crucification of Carter was intense. I'm used to grim and grittiness by now but that image really blew me away.

    I wasn't offended mind you, and I wasn't shocked by gore(it was tastefully done) but the image was powerful none the less. Striking would be the word I'm searching for, I guess, especially coupled with the story behind it as the sacrifice was for naught which totally subverts the image of the crucification.


    PS. I hope this hasn't been posted a million times as I've tried to leave this comment nearly that many times now and it says published every time only to not show up.

    1. Yeah the scene was definitely not cartoon worthy. But hopefully we'll achieve some balance between some dark stories as well as some light hearted fun. This just happened to be the former.

      And no worries...your post only appeared once

    2. I'm totally okay with it not being cartoon worthy as you put it, while I do enjoy the lengths you've gone to in order to preserve the tone from the animated universe there is definitely room for that world to grow beyond that. I think that's part of why the scene worked for me, it was beyond the scope of the show and that was surprising.

      And I'm glad I didn't spam up the place earlier, I really have no idea why it didn't want to publish what I posted.

  2. On the subject of the cartoon, I feel that the only REAL reason a scene like this wouldn't have appeared is by order of the Board of Standards and Practices. So, I think it fits rather well with the tone and feel of the show. If McDuffie and Timm COULD have done something like this, I believe they would have. I was also impressed with how you were able to reconcile the fact that Kai-Ro is a pre-teen when we're introduced to him (since John would have to be in his mid-80's by the time Kai-ro received his ring). It makes his role as a GL more poignant, rather than having a Green Lantern serve between them. Although, I do find it interesting that the Guardians would find Earthlings so disappointing, considering that Kyle Rayner serves them on Oa. Has he upset them too?

    1. While I'm not as versed in the Lanterns long history, I've always seen and found the Guardians to sometimes be as abruptly emotional as the Lanterns that they admonish. Not all the time obviously, but I can see them jumping to a quick conclusion. Maybe even out of fear of what this introduction to the red color spectrum might bring out of humans.

      Plus I always thought it would be interesting, out of all the sectors in the galaxy, if they decided that one sector didn't need to be represented for any number of reasons. This idea will actually carry over in a future story, which I won't get into just yet.

      Kyle Rayner who if I'm not mistaken, was only seen in that one episode of Superman:TAS, hasn't been addressed yet. It's possible he's not a Lantern anymore, before this incident took place.

    2. He serves them on Oa. He was mentioned in "Hearts and Minds" of JL and seen in JLU's "The Return" on Oa. In that episode, John asked the Guardians if they could switch places, as he hopes to get away from Shayera and Kyle hasn't seen home since "In Brightest Day."

    3. Good catch! I lost track of that appearance and mention in the JL and JLU. I still think after the ring was taken from John, I could see Kyle finally getting an extended leave to come home. Doesn't mean he can't be called back into service once the Guardians lift their ban and reconsider Sector 2814.