Hal Jordan’s hottest secrets in this post.

*Far and away the most awesome bits of The Brave and the Bold issue #2 were the ‘flirtatious’ comments tossed in Green Lantern’s direction by Supergirl (they’re this issue’s official team-up), mainly because they’re about on par with what you might hear at the beginning of a pornographic video on the internet:

It’s just… a little chilly out here, is all. Maybe we can… share your aura…?

Mark Waid may be able to entertain me with superhero lines like “He doesn’t know Ventura is continually patrolled by the Hounds of Chaos” since I’m a huge, awful nerd, but his teenage girl lines? Not so hot. And his ‘flirtatious’ teenage girl lines? “So, Green Lanterntell me… what does a man like you do for fun when the mask comes off? It does come off... right?” Actually, that kind of stuff predates the internet by a good while, I think.

So, why is it awesome? Easy! Because after all the snuggling in deep space, pornography does not, in fact, ensue - actually, Hal continually reminds himself that Supergirl is only 17, and they go have their exciting superhero mission, albeit one that offers various opportunities for Supergirl’s arguably underage figure to be viewed through a decidedly non-neutral gaze. I like to think that this is really Hal’s gaze; Mark Waid is his mouth, but George Pérez is his eyes. And gosh Hal, you can’t escape how you truly feel!

All the better for all the readers of the comic, by the way, since that means that we get not only cheesecake, but muscular reinforcement as to the rugged heroism of not having sex! Wow! This is really a superb psychosexual funnybook trick - not only is the reader invited to leer at the pretty girl(s) on the page, but they’re also congratulated for being put into the position of looking but never touching, the perfect way to assuage any lingering bad vibes that might be flittering around! It’s perfect! Kind of cynical and pandering, so perfect!

Oh wait. Hey now. I know what you’re saying (because I am conducting surveillance on your home): “Jog, you bum, Hal Jordan would never, ever act in that way. And are you saying older superhero men should be having sex with teenage superhero girls? I am pretty sure that stuff is prohibited by an apocryphal verse of the Green Lantern Oath!” And that’s perfectly fair. Hey, I don’t have anything against cheesecake either.

No, it’s that special combination of cheesecake and harrumphing about sexual mores that kind of scratches at me, like Hal delivering a speech to Supergirl about how she ought to stop flirting with him and perhaps look for a boyfriend from a different galaxy because all the guys who know her fear her power or something, which naturally prompts Supergirl to dress in a porno-pink ensemble, no doubt rented from a local Barely Legal Outfitters retail location, and save the day whilst allowing Pérez to dish out the upskirts (and on a side note, it certainly was fortunate that all of the gamblers at the biggest-stakes game around on a planet devoted entirely to gambling had apparently never seen a gladiatorial contestant play the ‘looks small, actually very strong’ card before). It’s awash with prurience, yet presumes guilt or anxiety over such things, so it also argues staunchly against what it so clearly wants to present.

Sort of old-fashioned in that way. Kind of happily old-fashioned when compared with THE HIGHER MARY MARVEL’S HEMLINE THE BLACKER HER HEART. God, this is an old-fashioned book, isn’t it?

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