Shipping this week:
MAR110266 Green Lantern Movie Prequel Hal Jordan #1 2.99
Originally due: May 25th

So a Green Lantern Movie Prequel is shipping this week, a full month late and 3 weeks after the Green Lantern Movie opened. The fifth and final Green Lantern Movie Prequel book won’t be out until August. As a retailer I’m pretty worried about this. Not just because of a late book, because hey, sometimes books are late. But because of the creative team, and because of how Capital “I” Important this book is. This was DC’s major tie-in to the Green Lantern film, written by Green Lantern writer, Chief Creative Officer, and Green Lantern movie Executive Producer Geoff Johns. Apparently at no point was it a priority to get their major movie tie-in out in time for the movie, that’s a little distressing. But worse than that, this is nothing new. Johns has been at least a month late on Green Lantern for most of the title’s run, with frequent skip-months to get the book back on track.

And getting worse, GL isn’t the first problematic work of Johns’. Johns really sunk his teeth into Flash before he moved to GL, and that series has frankly been a mess for years now. There’ve been 4 relaunches of that title in 2.5 years:

Flash: Rebirth #1 (April 2009) (6 issues, 11 months)

Blackest Night: The Flash #1 (December 2009) (Came out before the 6th and final issue of Flash: Rebirth)

Flash #1 (Brightest Day) (April 2010) (10 issues, 13 months)

Flash #1 (September 2011)

Frequent delays, content changes, having the end of the arc ruined, all sorts of relaunches… It hasn’t been a great time to be a Flash fan. Sure, the content is generally very well regarded when it arrives, but for fans who are used to getting their comic every month, Flash has been about the most disappointing title that DC publishes in that regard for 3 years.

But making things ever worse  is a non-Geoff Johns-written comic being released this week:

APR110099 Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #11 (War Of GL) 2.99

You see, this book is an aftermath book to Geoff Johns’ “War Of The Green Lanterns” crossover that’s been running for the past few months. It takes place after the War is over–an epilogue to the series. Have you guessed why this is distressing? It’s because the last issue of War Of The Green Lanterns hasn’t ended yet. The last part is Green Lantern #67, written by Geoff Johns, and which has been moved from it’s original ship date of June 15th to… July 13th.

Now, frankly, I don’t personally give a fuck. I don’t really read these books, but I do pay attention. This isn’t the first time DC or Marvel have spoiled the ending of one of their own major crossovers because of lateness, editorial incompetence, or just not really giving a fuck themselves. I feel like while it’s my job to sell these books to people (and I enjoy my job) anyone who’s buying them knows what they’re getting into by now. It’s admittedly one of the crappier parts of my job, but it’s not all sunshine and roses here in the comic book trenches.

No, why I’m even bothering to write this blog entry, is this guy, Geoff Johns, is the guy in charge of relaunching the entire DC Universe in September. 52 brand new comics, all hinging on Geoff Johns and Jim Lee (another fine creator not known for being timely) and their Justice League ongoing series, and that’s kinda fucked up right there. DC has chosen to make Geoff Johns the public face of this relaunch, Johns has seemingly willingly stepped into the role, and every book he’s involved with right now has massive scheduling and timeliness problems.

I don’t say any of this to be cruel, to take a shot at DC when they’re trying something exciting and new, to rain on their parade. But it’s been rattling around in the back of my head since the announcement, and the release of two fairly major fuckups within the DCU this Wednesday, both directly tied to Johns? Well, I felt like it was at least worth noting.

- Chris

18 Comments on “Green Lantern Prequels shipping this week… and in August.”

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  1. The Importance of Timing Comic Releases » Comics Worth Reading says:

    [...] Butcher looks at the release schedule of the Green Lantern movie prequel comics, pointing out that although the movie opened June 17, one of the comics (Hal Jordan) ships this [...]

  2. Comics A.M. | Why Marvel spoils stories in the media, Green Lantern lateness | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment says:

    [...] Retailing | Toronto retailer Chris Butcher worries about how well the two late Green Lantern movie prequel comics — one shipping this week, one shipping in August — will sell so long after the film’s release. He also discusses the lateness of the final issue of the War of the Green Lanterns crossover, which won’t come out until after the epilogue story in this week’s Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #11. [Comics616] [...]

  3. Rich says:

    I imagine that the GL film prequel comics also would have sold better before the movie release due to the film’s poor quality. If I had loved the film, I might be inclined to explore its world a lot more. Now, no interest in that.

  4. Poser says:

    While I agree at the stupidity of this scheduling, it should also be noted that on DC’s little truck tour across the nation they have specifically stated that lateness will no longer be tolerated. And that goes for EVERYONE, including Jim Lee and Geoff Johns.

    Chris Stepping in here: What does that MEAN though? Does that mean their flagship book loses its creative team after 3 issues? 5 issues? Are Lee and Johns on Justice League for the long haul, or just enough for a trade paperback? If I’m going to invest massive ammounts of money and marketing effort into this stuff, it’d help to know we’re going to get a similar product for at least… I dunno, a year? Is that crazy?

  5. cub_grylls says:

    AMEN! ‘Nuf said!

  6. Gerry says:

    Dan Didio has said multiple times that he will not tolerate lateness as part of the relaunch. Is he willing to come down on his own CCO?

  7. I_Captain Blanco says:

    I agree with you. I thought it was moderately amusing that while Jim Lee publicly promised (albeit tongue-in-cheek) that he wasn’t going to fuck this up, there’s been neither a similar promise from Johns nor any acknowledgement that his lateness is ever even a problem. I mean, at least Lee knows enough to be able to joke about it.

    In all fairness, though, of the Flash relaunches you mentioned, one (The Flash Rebirth) was a mini-series, never intended to be an ongoing, and one (Blackest Night Flash) was a Blackest Night tie-in mini-series, also not meant to be an ongoing. But your point is well-taken.

  8. Dan Coyle says:

    It’s funny how seven or eight years ago I thought Johns was an okay writer and you were awfully mean to him sometimes. Now I consider him the Aerys Targaryen of comics.

  9. Dan Coyle says:

    Gerry: as Jim Shooter recently revealed, DiDio doesn’t really give a fuck if his golden boy can’t keep a schedule, he’ll just work around it.

  10. Chris says:

    Dan: Alan was meaner. I just thought his basic understanding of what superhero comics are and why they work was flawed. I haven’t really read anything to reverse that decision.

  11. Poser says:

    My understanding is that they all have about 3 months worth of comics ready to go, with fill-in artists (AND writers) on standby if they can’t make a schedule for the following issues. What I do not know is whether these fill-ins would continue the main storyarcs, or do those crazy one-shot stories that completely interupt the flow to allow creators the time to catch up. My LCS felt like DC was saying late creators would lose their jobs if they couldn’t keep schedule. Whether they can live up to THAT promise, well… I won’t be holding my breath.

  12. Atomic Kommie Comics says:

    I remember when a writer/artist team could do 70-100 issues in a row without a “fill-in” or “skip-month”, with consistently-good, occasionally-GREAT, and once in a while CLASSIC, results.

    I miss those days. ;-(

  13. Jon says:

    The main reason why I am not sampling a single title on DC’s relaunch is because of Johns and Lee. DC says ‘Trust us’ on everything connected to these guys and they screw us each and every time. Jim Lee abandons projects (Wildcats #1… still waiting for #2 and ASB&R was coming out 1 issue a year for a while before, he abandoned that project too) and Geoff Johns doesn’t know how to tell time.

    Yeah, I’m going to invest in anything by these guys. They are running around telling everyone its a new beginnning but how is it a new beginning if the same old people who ruined DC before are the same ones in charge of the relaunch. It’s like asking the same team who sunk the Titanic to come and steer a new ship.

    DCnU: Where everything has changed but the staff.

  14. T Boy says:

    Can anyone tell me in what world it is a good idea to have a 2 month gap in a comic series at the same time as the movie comes out? I liked in the blackest night superboy prime trashed the dc office and was gonna kill geoff and everyone. Where is he now to get our geoff?

    I am seriously ticked off that the epilogue has come out before the ending to the war of the green lanyterns. Once part 10 comes out i may switch to a different comic or just go back to anime alone.

  15. Talmerian says:

    Two things:

    Fortunately Geoff Johns fans are not used to their comics coming out on a monthly schedule.

    Also, I guess its a good thing that our shipment of GL:EW #11 was delayed today. Maybe we won’t get it until the 13th!

  16. Chris says:

    I cannot see your logic here. Comic shipping has been very steady for all of John’s titles. But who knows what they were thinking with the movie prequels. I couldn’t sell a fucking one in my store before the movie, and I’ll assume the same nobodies will buy the ones shipping next week.

    Flash has NOT been relaunched in 2.5 years. Obviously you don’t read these comics. Rebirth was a mini-series to set up Flash #1. Blackest Night: Flash was a mini spinning off Blackest Night. To say that was a relaunch is to say Blackest Night: Batman was a relaunch of Batman. The 2011 Flash relaunch falls in line with the other 51, so no complacency there. Flash and Green Lantern have ALWAYS shipped timely, this is not Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis here. Geoff John’s is about as solid as they come.

    The final War of the Green Lanterns appears to be the only point you have, and it’s a shame I even came across your post and wasted my time responding.

    If there is to be concerns about the leadership at DC with the new 52 it’s in Didio, whose mediocrity has led to DC stale titles, and Jim Lee who is notoriously a slack.

    Giving Lee and one minion the job of redesigning all of the DC characters, well, that type of autocracy is unheard of these days. That’s trouble.

    As a fellow retailer, if you’re bitching about DC giving you the chance to make more money, your lazy. And DC has said with conviction that the burden to sell these titles ultimately rests on YOU. Sounds to me, like you’ll be complaing that DC screwed your business when instead of preparing for it you’re writing fantasy blogs about Flash relaunches that never happened.

  17. Miscellaneous things, in brief. says:

    [...] rise on June 17?” Not reading a complete set of the prequel comics! Christopher Butcher notes the shipping issues the GL prequels have been having, and how it might bode ill for the coming DC September [...]

  18. Chris says:

    To the Chris who isn’t me:

    I invite you to go back and check the differences between the solicitation dates and the in-store dates for Johns’ work over the past 4 years. I think you’ll be surprised. The shipping on his work has been anything but steady, and the main Green Lantern and Flash series are currently both on hiatus, going into the relaunch, because Johns is behind.

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