What I Remember:
John Stewart experiences a series of dreams of his childhood on Earth and has a vision of fallen Green Lantern Ch’p who died in an earlier issue of this series
Green Lantern: Mosaic #11 “I am Myself Mosaic”
Writer: Gerard Jones with Even Greater Thanks to Joe Filice
Penciller: Mitch Byrd
Inkers: John Floyd
Letterer: Albert De Guzman
Colorist: Steve Mattson
Assistant Editor: Eddie Berganza
Editor: Kevin Dooley
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: April 1993
Cover Price: $1.25
Re-Collection Price: $13 for the entire series!
John Stewart awakens in his childhood bed, as an adult, wearing his Green Lantern uniform. He heads downstairs to find his father in the kitchen having coffee and reading the paper. He's not happy to see his son. John tries to impress his father with the uniform. His father goes into a speech how he needs to work hard and make the white man need him.
John moves to the bedroom where his mother sits in a wheelchair dying of cancer and calling it God’s plan for her. The conversation is interrupted with his father wacking John with a book and telling him to get to school.
John leaves the house and walks with some other kids through a white neighborhood filled with Tudor houses that John’s dad always pointed to as the goal.
Suddenly, John is in a much seedier part of town, surrounded by liquor stores, pool halls and chicken shacks. He walks up a crowed stoop into an old tenement where he finds his grandmother praying and crying over her long deceased husband.
John asks about how his Grandpa Roy died and why she still mourns him despite that they were separated for decades and how he always had girlfriends. As his grandmother goes on about how this is a world of suffering, Grandpa Roy enters, with a kitchen knife still stuck in his chest.
He takes John to see his new apartment in the projects.
As his grandfather once again succumbs to the knife wound, he’s interrupted by Ch’p who’s in a tree. Ch'p invites John up. Ch’p tells him that he’s in his better place and and offers him some of the Soul-Nuts, but John is unable to crack them. John insists that Ch’p should be mad with him since he thinks that he let him die, despite being under Sinestro’s control. Ch’p tells John that he’s gone as high as he can go in the green until he leaves the red behind. John protests but Ch’p shows him:
A Guardian meets John and takes him up a stairway to a large building that John recognizes as being from his wife, Katma’s world. They come to a door, the Guardian tells John that he must open the door himself but he is unable.
He wakes in his bed, on Mosaic, surrounded by the pictures of those in in his dream and a vision of Ch’p guiding him.
Continued After Ad:
I’m surprised that I liked this book so much as a 10 year-old. It’s a dense story about a black man from Detroit trying to move past his family’s hardship and pain. Something that I, as a white kid from the Bronx, couldn't relate to. It’s written well enough that it could make a mark on a 10 year-old that couldn’t really comprehend all of the issues addressed. This book is well worth a look.
This book was a tough nut to crack. (Pardon the pun.) John has a lot of baggage and had a hard family life. His dad pushed his son hard towards what he saw as success so that he would have a better life for his son. Everyone around John in one way or another accepts suffering as a big part of life. John carries guilt and suffering in him too
Once John meets Ch’p he finally finds someone at peace, who’s actually in a better place. He and the guardian encourage John to move away from the suffering, even quoting an old George Gershwin song about building a stairway away from suffering and towards happiness. By the end of the book, John isn’t yet at peace with his past, but at knows that one step at a time he can move beyond his pain, which spans generations.
I enjoyed how architecture is used to tell the story. John denotes each stage in his journey by the type of house he’s in, from his parents’ post-war suburban house, to his grandmother’s rundown tenement, his grandfather’s housing project and even the structure from his wife's home world. John uses the structural differences to the different stages in his life. It’s the perfect way for John, an architect by trade, to classify things. It also makes sense that he designs buildings since his father denoted success by what kind of house or neighborhood, he lived it.
We take a look at a Peter David and Todd McFarlane Hulk story! It's my signed copy of The Incredible Hulk #258! See you in seven!