I decided to move these posts over from "What Comics Have You Read Today?" and make a discussion out of it.

GREEN LANTERN: I started re-reading Archive volume one today (August 23), which comprises Showcase #22-24 and Green Lantern #1-5.

GREEN LANTERN ARCHIVES, v2 (#6-13): I have already mentioned elsewhere that Tracy finds that Hal Jordan's parents did not give him an alliterative name as they did their other two boys to be completely unbelievable. Political correctness aside, "Pieface" is a stupid nickname. (I rank it right up there with "King Faraday" and "Tom, Dick & Harriet.) Personally, I find the term "little Eskimo grease monkey" (which Broome uses at least once each issue) to be even more offensive. The covers of each of these issues stands out in my memory, but the splash pages are quite distinctive and memorable as well. I have learned to skip all of the footnotes (as well as the oath) in order to avoid repetition.

GREEN LANTERN ARCHIVES v3 (#14-21): Up until this point, all stories had been by John Broome and Gil Kane, but in this volume, Gardner Fox writes one story (of two in each issue) in #16, 17 and #21. Also, in #18, Mike Sekowsky pencils six pages (over Gil Kane layouts). The Gardner Fox story in #16, "Earth's First Green Lantern," is remarkable in that it answers the question, given that a Green Lantern can fly through space via his or her power ring alone, why was Abin Sur travelling in a spaceship in Showcase #22? Fox provides a convoluted explanation regarding energy creatures called Larifars and the theft of "I-factors" from victim races.

What makes this story remarkable is that Alan Moore provided a completely different explanation in Tales of the Green Lantern Corps #2 (1986). As I recalled these two contradictory stories, I preferred the one by Alan Moore... until I re-read them both in the course of this project. Whereas both stories use the explanation that Abin Sur is using a spaceship because he's worried about his ring losing its charge, in the Fox story, he does so as a ruse so (for convoluted reasons, as I mentioned) Larifars do not see him recharge his ring' "Earth's First Green Lantern" knows his ring will remain charged until the time limit is up. Alan Moore's story, as entertaining as it is otherwise, does not account for this fact, so I must change my favorite to the earlier Gardner Fox story.

GREEN LANTERN ARCHIVES v4 (#22-29): Within these eight issues, John Broome wrote five stories, Gardner Fox wrote ten. The comics themselves were published without credits, but that information is provided in the table of contents. It's fun to guess which stories were written by witch writer. [HINT: The distinctive way Fox uses nouns as verbs is a dead giveaway, as is his use of the term "star-sun." He also tends to throw in more theoretical physics.) Also this volume includes: the third appearance of Hector Hammond (#22), the first appearance of the Tattooed Man (#23), the first two appearances of the Shark (#24 & #28), [arguably] the first appearance of Mogo (#24), the return of Sonar (#25), the return of Star Sapphire (#26), the first appearance of Black Hand (#29), a cameo appearance by the Justice League of America, and more. The first solo Green Lantern story I ever read ("The House that Fought Green Lantern" reprinted in a 100-Pager in 1974) originally appeared in #28. Tracy finds it even more implausible that Hal wasn't given an alliterative name after the introduction of Judge Jeremiah Jordan. No "weenie-ization" of Hal Jordan yet. 

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Jeff of Earth-J said:

He was called to deal with a super-virus, which turns victims' skin red, causes them to grow little horns, and makes them evil. the virus itself looks eerily similar to the Coronavirus, but Green Lantern is able to cure it with his power ring.

If you google the common cold viruses and check the images you'll see that there are many corona viruses (named for the resemblance to a crown). Covid-19 is a new corona virus, not the only one.

It's not as if Green Lantern forgot how he defeated them before; it's that that way won't work again.

If you can beat the bad guy the same way next time, it's a stupid bad guy. I don't think any of the Schwartz-edited bad guys were stupid.

Dave Palmer said:

JLA was one of my favorite comics. I even talked my parents into getting me a subscription as a birthday present so I wouldn’t miss any.

In the 60s I subscribed to a few DC comics. They were mailed folded in half. I wasn't happy, and stopped subscribing. Since the comics were only 12 cents I bought replacements off the rack. When you had the subscription were they still folding them?

I subscribed to JLA, Metal Men, and Adventure around 1965-1967.  They were mailed folded but I didn’t miss any.  This became more of an issue when we moved to the suburbs in 1966.  In the city I passed newsstands on the way to school.  I remember having bought World’s Finest #157 (May 1966, so that would be second grade) because I remember the Editors’ Roundtable reprint, “The Secret of Cell Sixteen.”  In the suburbs I took a bus to school.

I subscribed to Avengers in 1970 after I couldn’t find #73.  I think I also had a subscription to Fantastic Four and Conan.  I had the same problem with Conan #3 that the Captain mentioned on page 3.  Luckily a friend of my Grandmother found a copy for me on a business trip.  How he knew I needed it, I’ll never know.  They were sent folded.

Then in 1973 I had a subscription to E-Man.  I didn’t want to miss any, especially given Charlton’s spotty distribution, and they were mailed flat. The subscription was finished out with Doomsday+1 when E-Man was cancelled.



Richard Willis said:

Dave Palmer said:

JLA was one of my favorite comics. I even talked my parents into getting me a subscription as a birthday present so I wouldn’t miss any.

In the 60s I subscribed to a few DC comics. They were mailed folded in half. I wasn't happy, and stopped subscribing. Since the comics were only 12 cents I bought replacements off the rack. When you had the subscription were they still folding them?

I guess I didn't appreciate how good distribution was where I lived. DC, Marvel, Charlton, Tower, you name it. I don't remember missing issues.

"Gil Kane was one of my favorite artists"

My first exposure to Gil Kane was Tales to Astonish #88 (as reprinted in Marvel Super-Heroes #43), and it came as a shock after Bill everett and John Buscema. I hated it... at first. but by the time of the two-part "Abomination" story (MSH #45-46) I was completey won over by Gil "Sugar" Kane (as I'm sure no one but Stan Lee ever called him). I didn't think he drew a good President Nixon at the time, but a few months later (thanks to Kellogg's Pop-Tart President Picture Cards) I came to realize he was actually drawing President Johnson.

"[Green Lantern] never had an 80 page giant."

At least not until 1999. (Pictured below is a "replica edition" of the never-published 1963 annual.) Oddly, the Golden Age GL story chosen for the annual, out of the dozens and dozens of GA GL stories I had never read (i.e., most of them), was one of the few I had read, reprinted in a 100-Page Super-Spectacular. Marvel pulled that, too, reprinting several of the same stories reprinted in the '60s in tpb collections in the '90s.

"Covid-19 is a new corona virus, not the only one."

Yes, I know that. I should have typed "COVID-19."

"When you had the subscription were they still folding them?"

By the time I subscribed to comics in the mid- to late-70s, Marvel's comics were not only mailed flat, but they used that as a selling point in their ads. i don't know how that worked, but it did. [DIGRESSION] The "policy" of my local post office today is to fold the largest piece of mail around the smallest piece of mail. and they not only fold it, but crease it. I've complained multiple times to no avail. Consequently, I've let my magazine subscriptions expire (except for Entertainment "Weekly" which we don't pay for an I don't care about). [END DIGRESSION

#49:

First of all, has anyone every done a cover mash-up of Green Lantern #49 and Marvel's Dazzler? 

Inspired by Barry Allen's wedding and marriage to Iris West, Hal Jordan decides to pop the question to Carol Ferris. A footnote tells us this happened in "The November 1966 issue of The Flash.[Note to Julius Schwartz: "Flash #165" would have been more helpful.] She informs him that she has had a "whirlwind romance" and has accepted a marriage proposal from someone else. More on this later.

Green Lantern is immediately swept up in the case of the issue (I don't know how to say that in French or I would). The villain of a new television show is apparently committing crimes. Obviously (loosely) based on the "Batmania" craze, the TV show features a villain, the Dazzler, and is broadcast live, five days a week,  in "the new camp style." Each week ends with the villain's capture, and each week begins with him on the loose again.

For fun, I like to draw comparisons between Marvel and DC charters. I see the Dazzler as a cross between Mysterio and the Wingless Wizard. (An alien special effects man grants powers to the show's star.).

The romance sub-plot plays a very small part in the overall story itself. It is introduced in the opening pages, then returned to only at the very end, in which Hal Jordan surprises Tom Kalmaku by resigning his job and leaving Ferris Aircraft. I don't find anything out-of-character in this arc so far

First of all, Carol Ferris (being president of a company notwithstanding) has always been a bit of a flake. I can easily see her jilting "both"  of her longtime boyfriends in favor of a man she just met, especially in light of events last issue, when Green Lantern seemingly expressed his preference for the starlet Zuzu Lamar. Even if the weight of the ctiricism is directed at Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan, I don't really see a problem with that, either. One might expect him to fight for the woman he loves or, at the very least, reveal his secret identity to her, BUT... if you've ever been on the receiving end of a particularly nasty breakup (and Hal was just about to propose, remember), I don't have to explain to you that you might not be thinking clearly or make the best decisions. 

The first thing that anyone would want to do in such a situation is to break all ties and never see the other person again.

This mash-up will have to tide us over for now.

“Why oh why, when someone mentions Dazzler, do I never come to mind?”

I figured you knew that, but wasn't sure if you had seen the spikey images of the other viruses.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"Covid-19 is a new corona virus, not the only one."

Yes, I know that. I should have typed "COVID-19."

I am five issues into the "wenie arc" but so far haven't seen any evidence of "wenie-ization" of Hal Jordan. If anything, he's gotten more manly, using his fists rather than his ring to solve his problems. Earlier in this discussion someone pointed out that Gil Kane liked to draw scenes of physical action. I can believe that; he certainly excels at it. Kane's depictions of fisticuffs don't pack the raw power of, say, Jack Kirby's, but I sure wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of one of Green Lantern's punches! One of my favorite comic books is Nexus, and Hal's reliance on his fists and wits reminds me of the time(s) the Merk took away Nexus' powers, forcing him to carry out executions on his own.

#50: Hal Jordan's state of mind is described as "shell shock" and, as I indicated yesterday, I can certainly relate to that.  Hal's life (not to mention the stories) had fallen into something of a rut. Who can blame him for taking a "vacation" and beginning a new phase of his life, one which emphasizes "Hal Jordan" over "Green Lantern"? In this story, Hal Jordan becomes an itinerant flyer, certainly a romantic vocation heralded in story and song. In this story, he takes on two ex-Nazis. No wenie-ization there. The first story this issue was written by John Broome (set in in Idaho); the second by Gardner Fox (set in Montana). This is the last we'll see of fox until #57.

#51: This is the fourth "Pol Manning" story, in which Green Lantern travels to the future under his own power and therefore retains his memories. I don't like the ramifications of this story, that Green Lantern's subconscious created a life form (the uninspiringly named "Dr. Strangehate"), an ability expressly discounted in earlier stories.

#52: This issue features both the return of Sinestro as well as the Golden Age Green Lantern. The story is a flashback to his Ferris Aircraft days and includes, as many Green Lantern stories do, the breaking of the fourth wall by one or more characters. It was inspired by the then-current TV show My Mother, the Car and is best left forgotten. 

#53: In this issue, Hal backtracks a bit to north Washington state, where he has taken a job as an insurance claims adjuster (not as "sexy" as test pilot or itinerant flyer, but a necessary vocation nonetheless). A scene set at Ferris Aircraft shows Carol regretting her action which drove Hal away. The villain this issue is pure Broome: Thotan, a "scientist-warrior" of the planet Nabgor. The second story is drawn by Carmine Infantino and features Hal's brother and sister-in-law, Jim & Sue. They have a baby by this time, but becomeing parents hasn't made either one of them any smarter. 

#54: One of the stories in the previous issue features a thug named "Rhino." If I like to think of him as "DC's version of Marvel's Rhino" (and I do), then I like to think of this issue's "Baron Tyrano" as "DC's Baron Struker." I also like to think of it as the worst story since #10. In a nutshell, the villain hits Green Lantern so hard that Hal Jordan is "knocked out of him." Later, Green Lantern admits that, although the power ring wouldn't have been able to separate "Hal Jordan" from "Green Lantern" in the first place, it is capable of "reuniting" them. the only redeeming aspect of this stupid premise is Kane's inventive page layouts, in which Hal Jordan and Green Lantern's stories are told simultaneously, side-by-side, an innovation truly ahead of its time.

I have long maintained that, around 1966 or 1967, there was a push at DC editorial to mimic Marvel storytelling and style. I first noticed this about a decade ago when reading the annual JLA/JSA team-up "crisis" in Justice League of America #46-47 (Aug & Sep 1966). Coincidentally, I mentioned Stan Lee's nickname for Gil Kane ("Sugar" or Sugar-Lips"), but in Green Lantern #51-52 (Jan & Mar 1967), Kane is referrer to as "Good-Looking" and "Pussycat" (respectively), whereas John Broome is called "Big John" and "Tiger." 

I will also take this opportunity to mention that, in the series so far, the Guardians have played a very small role, not nearly so intrusive as it was to become. Also, since the change in direction, Green Lantern's use of his power ring as become a whole lot less inventive (which is to be expected, I suppose, given his new reliance on his fists). 

I guess the idea was to not have to see Carol every day. Does flying jets make him think of his lost love? This incredibly valuable skill could have been employed for other companies, including commercial airlines. Becoming an airline pilot would have taken him to other cities and other countries, opening up lots of story possibilities. A guy like Hal would go crazy working in insurance or (soon) toy sales. I gather that they were trying anything, including lame attempts to copy Marvel) to save his title. 

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