Welcome back folks!!….or should I welcome myself back? Sorry for the lack of comic awesomeness in your life for the past week, but real life intervened with me and also inspired this post. A little more than a week ago, I made a mistake that cost me my job and a whole group of friends that I had come to respect and love. That loss caused me to plunge into despair. It’s not everyday you lose what took you a decade to build, but out of that despair came the realization that a lifetime of good can’t be erased by a single mistake. We are all imperfect and constantly learning from our mistakes and I know that with my friends and family standing by me, I won’t make the same mistake again. All of this got me to thinking about my favorite redemption stories in comics. There have been many comic characters who have failed EPICALLY and have risen from the ashes of their failure to regain their integrity and respect of their friends and family.
When I think of “fail”, I think first of the Dark Phoenix Saga. You would think that one of your team members gaining the abilities of one of the most powerful entities in the universe would work out pretty well right? WRONG!!! DEAD WRONG!! Cute lil Jean Grey gained the almost omnipotent abilities of The Phoenix force in an earlier story. It was pretty much working out well for the x-men until those abilities started to drive her insane. When I say insane, I mean fly to another solar system and causing that solar system’s sun to go super nova and kill billions of people insane! It took everything the X-Men had in them to finally bring this calamity to an end in one of the most bittersweet endings to a story in comics history!
Hank Pym calls himself Giant Man….that alone should make him comic’s ultimate douche bag! Hank, who’s pictured at the beginning of this post should call himself Fail Man. I want to list all of this guy’s failures, but this is only a blog and I can’t have you guys sitting here all day. Let’s go with his main failure. Good old Hank decided that he was going to create an artificial intelligence. He needed to do this because he was on a team that consisted of guys like Iron Man and Thor and he felt inadequate. The artificial intelligence he created was called Ultron and gained sentience. Yikes!! Ultron then decides that it wants to kill it’s “father” and becomes one of the Avenger’s most powerful enemies!! Hank and the rest of the Avengers managed to stop Ultron, but the damn thing has come back multiple times and has upgraded itself multiple times to become more powerful!! Well played Hank! Despite all of this Hank has somehow remained an Avenger in good standing and has helped save the world as many as times as he’s put it in danger and that makes him a hero.
So, imagine that 9/11 happened to your entire city. That’s the reality that Hal Jordan faced when a crazy alien came through and destroyed Coast City and everyone that he cared about. This caused him to go pretty much insane, which wouldn’t be that much of a problem if Hal was a regular guy…unfortunately for the universe, Hal Jordan also happens to wear a power ring and is part of an intergalactic police force called the Green Lanterns. Back in the 90’s DC Comics went on a killing spree. In a few years we saw Superman get killed; Batman’s back was broken and ultimately, Hal Jordan went from being a man who feared nothing and fought evil with the power of his will, to being so afraid of tomorrow that he turned against everything he stood for. He murdered other Green Lanterns; fought close friends like Green Arrow and basically turned into an all around evil prick! Like really evil!! Like trying to remake reality evil!! So it came as an even bigger surprise to me when the Earth was being threatened by a creature that wanted to….um….what was dude trying to do again?….oh yeah!!….EXTINGUISH THE SUN!! Hal Turned out to be the only person who could save the planet and he did and he paid the ultimate price for it!
I’ll never forget my recent mistake. It puts me in the unenviable position of starting over and reclaiming my good name. I’m up to the task though. The things that matter to me most haven’t changed. I consider today, day:1 in a new journey. Ride with me!!