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:

"When I first spoke those words, I had no notion of the kinds of evil there are... I was very young then... very innocent! I wish I could be like that again!" Second, there's this speech to the Guardians: "One more thing... I suddenly find I've lost my respect for you! I'm not sure I want to keep this ring! I think maybe you should be high and mighty without my help! I'm not resigning... yet! But I'm considering it... believe it, Guardians!" 

Richard Willis said:

He couldn’t have been that young and innocent. He was a test pilot and IIRC had previously been in the Air Force and possibly the Korean War.

The New Frontier presented Hal Jordan as a young and innocent fighter pilot in the Korean War who went out of his way to never kill anybody, which was the most fantastic thing in the whole series.

Yeah, it's "kill or be killed" for fighter pilots, isn't it?

ClarkKent_DC said:

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"When I first spoke those words, I had no notion of the kinds of evil there are... I was very young then... very innocent! I wish I could be like that again!" Second, there's this speech to the Guardians: "One more thing... I suddenly find I've lost my respect for you! I'm not sure I want to keep this ring! I think maybe you should be high and mighty without my help! I'm not resigning... yet! But I'm considering it... believe it, Guardians!" 

Richard Willis said:

He couldn’t have been that young and innocent. He was a test pilot and IIRC had previously been in the Air Force and possibly the Korean War.

The New Frontier presented Hal Jordan as a young and innocent fighter pilot in the Korean War who went out of his way to never kill anybody, which was the most fantastic thing in the whole series.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"And the 'odd-looking mutant girl named Sybil' is Richard Nixon!"

Oh, fer--! [headslap emoji] Of course I see it... now. (Now I can't unsee it.)

Me neither, once it was pointed out to me.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Anyway, Piper's dell is a synthetic town... meaning not only it it the town's only industry, but that it's made almost entirely of plastic. One of the things manufactured there is a little device called a "Kaluta" (which makes me wonder if that's a sly reference to the comic book artist of the same name.).

I have no doubt it is.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

COVER  NOTE: The photo of "Wilbur Hand" is actually Carmine Infantino.

I always wondered who that was. I kind of thought it was Mike Wallace, but I couldn't figure why he would be singled out that way. But Carmine Infantino? That makes perfect sense.

Also, is it me, but does the lady with red hair who is manipulated into thinking "that rotten Lantern is a bad one!" resemble Lucille Ball?

Quick notes about Speedy's drug habit:

  • It's never brought up in Teen Titans during this same period!
  • It is brought up by Green Arrow in Brave & Bold #100 (Ma'72)!
  • It was very odd to portray Black Canary as a "mother" figure since she was also a reason for why Ollie wasn't paying attention to him.
  • Apparently they wanted to deal with drug abuse earlier but were told no then Stan put out his anti-drug story in Amazing Spider-Man.
  • Earlier Timber Wolf would have his "drug addiction" due to an alien fruit in Action Comics #378 (Jl'69).

"Cover parodied many years later..."

I laughed out loud when i saw that.

"The New Frontier presented Hal Jordan as a young and innocent fighter pilot in the Korean War who went out of his way to never kill anybody, which was the most fantastic thing in the whole series."

That aspect completely soured Commander Benson on this series (I remember from our discussion at the time). That's too bad, because otherwise New Frontier is one of the few new series I would recommed to him. (Actually, I still would, but I might suggest he skip the Hal Jordan/Green Lantern pages).

"I have no doubt it is."

Yes, I have since read the piece you linked. I wasbn't quite sure whether or not Kaluta was a contemporary of O'Neil and adams, bur tyhe random use of "KAL-OOOO-TA!" would be a huge coincidence.

"Also, is it me, but does the lady ... resemble Lucille Ball?"

Yeah, I think that's just you. ;)

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"The New Frontier presented Hal Jordan as a young and innocent fighter pilot in the Korean War who went out of his way to never kill anybody, which was the most fantastic thing in the whole series."

That aspect completely soured Commander Benson on this series (I remember from our discussion at the time). That's too bad, because otherwise New Frontier is one of the few new series I would recommed to him. (Actually, I still would, but I might suggest he skip the Hal Jordan/Green Lantern pages).

I loved all of Darwyn Cooke’s work. The New Frontier is one of many TPBs I have in my to-be-read pile.

I can’t vouch for what they did in the time of the Korean War, but when the Army “joined me” in early 1968 we were given written tests in Basic Training. The first one was to determine how intelligent I was.

Those of us with higher than average intelligence were given a second test to determine whether we were officer material. IIRC, one of the questions involved shooting enemy soldiers if their backs were turned. I answered that I couldn’t see doing that and nothing was said again about becoming an officer.

It’s hard to believe that the Air Force at the time of the Korean War wouldn’t have weeded out Hal Jordan, who was training to be an officer and a fighter pilot. Like a friend of mine who found himself training to be a artillery officer, he would have found himself an enlisted man in the same service, maybe refueling jets instead of flying them.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"The New Frontier presented Hal Jordan as a young and innocent fighter pilot in the Korean War who went out of his way to never kill anybody, which was the most fantastic thing in the whole series."

That aspect completely soured Commander Benson on this series (I remember from our discussion at the time). That's too bad, because otherwise New Frontier is one of the few new series I would recommend to him. (Actually, I still would, but I might suggest he skip the Hal Jordan/Green Lantern pages).

I remember railing about it pretty long and loud myself back then. I went looking for the points I made then so I could link to them today (as I often tend to do), but couldn't find that discussion. I suppose it was on a past incarnation of the board.

The Radioactive Man series did some good parodies of comics from various eras.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"Cover parodied many years later..."

I laughed out loud when i saw that.

"IIRC, one of the questions involved shooting enemy soldiers if their backs were turned."

I remember John Kerry's run for President when his political opponents were aghast that he shot an enemy soldier in the back!

"(as I often tend to do)"

You? No! (Really?)

"I suppose it was on a past incarnation of the board."

Yeah, it was.

#86:

Green Lantern finally comes off better than Green Arrow as he comes to realize (an issue later): "Something about Speedy is bothering me... can't quite put my finger on it! Something about the way he looked when he was explaining why some youngsters turn to drugs!' Meanwhile, GA  thinks: "Was it me? Did I somehow fail the kid? I haven't paid him much attention lately! But he shouldn't need attention--at his age! No, I'm innocent of blame--I've always taught him to be strong... Independent! --to hang tough!"

That's realistic. Unrealistically, Speedy manages to kick the habit in a mere six pages. I don't really hold Denny O'Neil too much to blame for this depiction. It was a gutsy move to even tackle this subject at the time... in a comic book no less! He presented a more realistic depiction of recovery (from alcohol) years later in Iron Man

"Also, is it me, but does the lady ... resemble Lucille Ball?"

Now that I take a second look, that does look like Lucy!

And Saloman Hooper (#86) looks like Peter O'Toole.

Actually, in this one panel D.A. Tine looks to me like Barack Obama.  Of course, that's impossible, since he was only nine in 1970.  

Dave Palmer said:

I reread #76 a few days ago.  I hope I can free up some time soon to comment further.  But I do have enough time to add this— that does appear to be a somewhat creative construct Hal has come up with.  Or has he used it before?

Even though the Code had been loosened (due to Stan Lee's forcing the issue), it was probably harder for DC to do it because there were more suits that could slow it down or stop it. Stan was the writer and his own editor. Martin Goodman likely only cared about sales and in 1971 no one was really noticing the shrinking CCA seal on a comic before buying it.

Over the weekend I flew to Indiana.  I took some grading with me, and usually on a trip I take a book or two.  I didn't expect to have much reading time but, just to play it safe I grabbed something because you never know.  It was Alter Ego #165 (I am literally years behind in reading Alter Ego).

In this issue in the section Mr. Monster's Comic Crypt by Michael Gilbert was Part 7 of the PAM Papers.  PAM was Pete Morisi best known as an artist at Charlton and the creator of Peter Cannon ... Thunderbolt!  Morisi worked full-time as a New York City police officer, and moonlighted drawing comics.

How is this germane to a discussion of Green Lantern and especially GL/GA?

Gilbert reprints some letters that Morisi sent to Glen D. Johnson, referred to as a fan-friend.

In a letter dated September 25, 1970, Morisi wrote [note: Dick Giordano had been Morisis's editor at Charlton and was now at DC and was encouraging Morisi's to seek assignments from DC]:

"I have Green Lantern #80 and Daredevil #70, but I didn't read them.  In any event, I'm against any use of comics for social involvement -- either pro or con, or left or right.  Comics, to me, should be pure fun, drama, action, but always entertainment.

"I know that National is on a social involvement kick, hoping that enough people will relate to their characters and buy their books but in a single phrase -- I'm against it. 

"Back to the social involvement bit -- Dick Giordano mentioned that the G.L. book wasn't dead, but that the few remaining issues would push in that direction.  All of which, to me, means that DC is getting involved with problems of our times, and they'll stay involved ... if there's a buck to be made out of all the misery and confusion that exists.

"If there isn't a buck to be made, then to hell with the war problem, black problem, student problem, etc.  DC is involved alright, in bettering their bank account!

"That's one of the reasons why I'll stay with Charlton.  As much as I knock them -- they're still putting out comics -- real comics.  Of course, story and art could be better (a lot better), but well ... enough said.  End of speech."

From a letter dated May 5, 1971

"Did you notice the NY Times section (Sunday May 2, I think) regarding the new ‘relevant look’ in comics, featuring a full color Sgt. Rock cover for openers?  It mentions Stan, Carmine, Dick, Neal, Roy Thomas, Kirby, O’Neil, and how comics are combatting the race problem, Agnew, the War, the administration, etc. etc. etc. -- it all made me a little sick.  I’m against any small select group speaking for the whole comics scene -- but somebody in the above mentioned group has an ‘in’ with a NY (Liberal) Times reporter -- and the rest of us will have to live with their words -- dammit.  I meant to save the Times section and mail it to you -- but Lou [his wife] threw it out -- which didn’t exactly make me angry."

Not everyone it seems was pleased with the new direction GL had taken.

This issue of Alter Ego also has excerpts from John Broome’s memoir (1998).  It’s Part XII.  I remember attending the panel at the 1998 San Diego Comic-Con with John Broome. 

Here is the cover to Daredevil #70 that PAM mentions for reference:

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