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Sodam Yat

Green Lantern Classics
by yo go re

Once, in a discussion of comic characters with pun names (you know, like Telford Porter or E. Nigma), the British participants all agreed that Sodam Yat was a prime example. Leaving everyone else no choice but to conclude that apparently in England, "so damn yat" is a phrase?

Sodam Yat was already determined to leave his xenophobic homeworld of Daxam when a Green Lantern Ring invited him to join the Green Lantern Corps he soon learned a prophecy foretold his rise in the Corps and death in the Corps' final battle. Burdened by everyone's fears and expectations, Sodam still managed to become a top-notch Green Lantern. He may be the most powerful Green Lantern ever.

What that bio fails to mention is why he's the most powerful Green Lantern ever. Sodam Yet is a Daxamite, one of the many alien races that populate the DC Universe. What makes him better than, say, the fishbird or the frog? Daxamites are an evolutionary offshoot of Kryptonians, so just like them, he gains superpowers under a yellow sun. Flight, strength, invulnerability, heat vision... everything. So basically, imagine a character with all the powers of Superman, who's also wearing a ring that will do absolutely anything he imagines. That's twice the dull invulnerabilty! Oh, that DC: always finding new ways to be boring!

Sodam (who actually goes by "Ion," but that's either not copyrightable enough for a toy, or someone else was already using it) uses one of the thinner DCUC bodies, and in the tradition of the other Green Lanterns, all his costume details are painted on, rather than sculpted. His costume has no white on it: the body of the suit is green, as are the wristbands, leaving the boots, gloves and arms to be black. There's also a black section on his chest and back, to break up the huge swath of green and to offset his unique logo (which is lighter than the rest of the suit).

In his first appearance, Sodam Yat was muscled like an Image character, wore a cape and had a mohawk. Thankfully, he's much less hideous now, but you have to wonder if the fauxhawk he has now is a small reference to that ghastly old design. His eyes are black with green pupils, suggesting (like John Stewart) that he's absolutely brimming with emerald energy. The back of his head has an airbrushed patch to suggest short, buzzed hair.

Ion has one accessory, but it's a damn clever one. You can pull off his right hand (it's a ball-and-socket connector, but not a balljoint - the hand butts up flat against the arm) and replace it with a second hand that has a beam of translucent green energy shooting out of the ring. Seriously? How did it take anyone this long to come up with such a simple, effective idea! It's just a bit brilliant, honestly. In this case, the beam is just a 3D version of the Green Lantern logo, but this idea could be adapted to lots of different shapes in the future. It's much more natural-looking than the snap-on pieces.

The build-a-figure for this series is Stel, the robot GL, and Sodam gets the head and crotch. Yeah! Big ol' robo-groin! It even has a separate crotch-plate and a shiny metal ass, which would make Bender proud. Lots of detail on the head, too, so this is gonna be a great-looking BAF.

Despite having the powers of Superman and a Green Lantern combined, Sodam Yat is actually a fairly interesting character. Instead of being vulnerable to kryptonite, Daxamites are allergic to lead; simple lead. Prevalent everywhere on Earth. And while Superman can recover from exposure if the source is taken away, lead poisoning is 100% fatal for Sodam - even an ounce of it is a death sentence. And since he had a knock-down, drag-out fight with Superboy Prime that took place partially inside the lead-lined core of a nuclear reactor, Sodam's living on borrowed time. His GL ring is the only thing keeping the poison at bay, so if he ever takes it off or runs out of power? Bye-bye, dude. That's basically the same dilemma Tony Stark faced with his chest-shrapnel, and it's a lot more interesting than "green rocks" or "the color yellow."

-- 06/12/11

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