As I continue my never-ending trek through the comics of yesteryear (in other words, Hardcovers and Trades published in 2010 and 2011), I am finally getting around to reading some of the bigger crossovers I had decided to skip over.
Case in point: DC’s Blackest Night (which, for some reason, I decided to nickname Brackish Night in my head about mid-way through).
There I sat, nursing a damaged shoulder with a heating pad placed on high– as I slogged through slow, decompressed Lantern story after slow, decompressed Lantern story. I was initially very excited by the quality of the narrative… But my early joy was quickly replaced by exasperation over the innumerable, needless one and two page art splashes plugged into almost every issue of each comic to purposely drag the story out.
On a side note, I can happily confirm that IMJ’s very own exclusive feature– the Green Lantern Blackest Night Reading Order Guide — (concocted many moons ago by none other than Jose Melendez) is the very best way to read this series of stories in collected form. It must be the best– because every single day this ancient column still receives at least 25 to 60 hits… As readers across the globe continue to struggle to make sense of all the various plot lines in the various Blackest Night collections. I know I would have been lost without it. Amazing that DC actually has a story worthy of an omnibus that could place all these comics in proper reading order– but nobody has actually decided to print one.
Anyway, I’m really not here for any of that… And I am certainly not here to critique a story that’s at least two years old… And, I guess, doesn’t even count as canon anymore– with the advent of DC’s New 52.
No, I’m here to discuss the wording found in a single Chapter Break between issues in the Blackest Night Green Lantern Hardcover… Specifically, the Chapter Break designated as Parallax Rebirth Part Two.
It’s weird, because while the other Blackest Night Hardcovers also have Chapter Breaks designating the different issues collected… No other BN hardcover– other than this Green Lantern book– feature short story synopses as part of their Chapter Break pages.
I don’t know about you– but I find mistakes in hardcover and graphic novel collections particularly abhorrent. I mean, how many people does a mistake have to slip by before it sees print in a hard or softcover book? Let’s see: There’s (at least) the writer, the letterer, the assistant editor, the editor, the group editor and the proofreader– plus anybody else who reads the mock-ups before the files are sent off to the printer. That’s a minimum of seven people.
So, given all these professionals– how in the bloody hell does the following sentence see publication as part of a Chapter Break in the Blackest Night Green Lantern hardcover?
“The battle rages on as all the colored Lanterns converge on Earth to battle the Black Lanterns.”
Now, part of me is really happy the word “colored” has drifted so far down in our lexicon that some 20-year-old copywriter might not understand how unbelievably derogatory it still reads to anyone, say, over 25 years of age. But that blissful ignorance doesn’t excuse the gaffe… When you remember how many people (whom I presume to all be much older than 25) must have looked over this book before it saw print.
The first time I read the sentence, I shook my head in disbelief. I actually had to read it three times before I was even willing to believe it existed. (In retrospect, I guess we should all be very happy the writer of the synopsis didn’t decide to capitalize the “c” in “colored Lanterns” like they did the “B” in “Black Lanterns” too.)
Hey, I understand mistakes happen. I also understand that no one at DC meant for this to offend or even come off as some sort of sick joke. But Jesus Christ on a Pogo Stick– how am I the only person in the world to catch this… Two years after the book sees print? There are mistakes– and then there are mistakes… And this is an insanely stupid one… Especially when you realize all somebody had to do was type the word “different” in front of the word “colored”… And this column would not exist.
I guess this is what happens when you hire college grads willing to work for Top Ramen and Free Comics.