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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The way these people are posed makes me think this is a parody of an image from somewhere, but I can't put my finger on it.

The Baron said:

I'm fairly sure this is a parody of some Green Lantern drawing or other.   (Sorry, I couldn't find a better image.)  It's set in 1972, and depicts Bleeding Heart and Radioactive Man meeting the Black Partridge.

Richard Willis said:

In-story, did other worlds have back-up GLs?

Until this story, no space sector had a back-up Green Lantern, not even Earth's.   Denny O'Neil made up the idea out of whole cloth, creating the factoid (in the true meaning of the word) that Guy Gardner was Hal Jordan's understudy.

"Earth's Other Green Lantern", from G.L.  # 59 (Mar., 1968), introduced Guy Gardner, but the story was explicit on the point that Gardner's only connexion to the Green Lantern Corps was that he was one of the two possible candidates located by Abin Sur's power ring to replace the stricken alien after he died.  (Hal Jordan was closer, so the ring snatched him up.)

At the end of the story, Jordan strikes up an acquaintance with Gardner, and they get along famously.  But at no time does Gardner become aware of Hal's identity as Green Lantern.  In fact, Hal specifically thinks, "I wish I could tell Guy how close he became to becoming Green Lantern---but I can't!"  So, Guy was not established as Hal's back-up G.L.

Mr. O'Neil either misremembered the events of G.L. # 59, or didn't care about them.  And, yes, I know there are a number of "Well, maybes" that could cover that circumstance, but it was sloppy of O'Neil not to include one in "Beware My Power".

Mr. O'Neil either misremembered the events of G.L. # 59, or didn't care about them.  

He had a NEAT IDEA. 

ClarkKent_DC said:

The way these people are posed makes me think this is a parody of an image from somewhere, but I can't put my finger on it.

Same here. Especially the posture of Bleeding Heart reminds me of a Neal Adams cover but I haven't been able to find it.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Green Lantern #86, page 5!

No... that's not it ...

"No... that's not it ..."

It certainly contains a significant element of it.

"Mr. O'Neil either misremembered the events of G.L. # 59, or didn't care about them."

I've been thinking about this and I disagree. I think he (or editor Julius Schwartz) did care. else why bother to include Guy Gardner at all? Here's the way I see it: Denny O'Neil wanted to write a story which included a black, back-up Green Lantern. Then somebody thought, "What about Guy Gardner? If anyone were to be a back-up GL it would be Guy Gardner." So the scene of Guy Gardner being injured was inserted, out of a respect for continuity as I see it, to explain why it's not Guy Gardner. 

There is a scene in one of the earliest of John Byrne's "Superman" stories in which Lois Lane's internal monologue reveals that her father ifs a general (apparently something that had not been established pre-Crisis). I read that thought balloon and it registered as" "Lois Lane's father is a general." Shortly thereafter, however, a fan wrote in to say, very condescendingly, "John, you've got to tell us these things!" (I don't recall if that was a printed letter, or if it was an anecdote Byrne related in a letter to "Oh, So?" or one of his "A Flame About This High" columns.) My point, is, that thought balloon was his way of telling the audience that Lois Lane's father was a general. Similarly, Green Lantern #87 was Denny O'Neil's way  of telling readers that there was a back-up Green Lantern.

For me, that concept had been "grandsoned in" (to coin a phrase), anyway. As I mentioned, I read JLA #110 first; years later I read Green Lantern #87; later still I read Green Lantern #59. Had there been other appearances of Guy Gardner between #59 and #87? I didn't know at the time and it really didn't make any difference to me. As it turned out, there had not, but it really didn't matter; #87 told me all I needed to know. there are innumerable examples in the comic book medium in which readers are required to fill in the blanks. that's just the nature of the beast. Don't fight it. Embrace it. YMMV.

I read both GL #59 (introducing Guy Gardner) and GL #87 (introducing John Stewart) at about the times that they first came out.  It seemed to make sense that there should be a backup GL, so I was quite happy to go along with the idea that Guy's injury made it necessary to replace him with John.  I did wonder why Guy had never (as far as I knew - I hadn't read every intervening issue) been told about his role, whereas John was told straight away, and immediately put into training.  I probably decided that the Guardians must have updated their procedures in the interim.

Looks a lot like this one.



ClarkKent_DC said:

The way these people are posed makes me think this is a parody of an image from somewhere, but I can't put my finger on it.

The Baron said:

I'm fairly sure this is a parody of some Green Lantern drawing or other.   (Sorry, I couldn't find a better image.)  It's set in 1972, and depicts Bleeding Heart and Radioactive Man meeting the Black Partridge.

I read GL #59 when it first came out. At this point I only have the GL Archives, which end at #57. I remember that Guy Gardner not only had no idea that he was considered for the role of Green Lantern, but (in story) he wasn't an arrogant jerk. The cover of #59 (below) presents him as an arrogant jerk, which probably inspired the writers when they fleshed out his character. As for training, the only training IIRC that Hal Jordan had was a recording from Abin Sur and whatever the ring itself had to tell him. When he finally got a ring, did Gardner get any training?

Peter Wrexham said:

I read both GL #59 (introducing Guy Gardner) and GL #87 (introducing John Stewart) at about the times that they first came out.  It seemed to make sense that there should be a backup GL, so I was quite happy to go along with the idea that Guy's injury made it necessary to replace him with John.  I did wonder why Guy had never (as far as I knew - I hadn't read every intervening issue) been told about his role, whereas John was told straight away, and immediately put into training.  I probably decided that the Guardians must have updated their procedures in the interim.

Yes, the cover of GL #59 is seriously misleading.  Guy only becomes GL in a projected alternate history where Abin Sur picks him instead of Hal.  When Hal meets the real-world Guy, they like each other and become friends.  Despite that, I don't think Guy appears again until GL #87, when he gets injured to make way for John Stewart.

After that, he disappears again until GL #116, in which he's recovered from his injury.  In that issue, he, rather than John, actually acts as Hal's backup.  Presumably this means that he's finally been told about his status, and maybe even given some training!  With his usual luck, things go horribly wrong on Guy's mission, and he gets put into a coma.

In the next issue, Hal meets Kari Limbo, a psychic who is Guy's fiancée.  There is a whirlwind romance, and she proposes to him in GL #121.  They don't hang about, and the wedding is set for the next issue, but it is called off when Kari gets a vision of Guy in what turns out to be the Phantom Zone.

When Guy eventually returns as a regular character with his own power ring, in GL #195, he has his new "jerk" personality. His change of character may be put down at least in part to brain damage from the coma. However, it can't have been helped by Hal's romancing of Kari.



The Baron said:

I'm fairly sure this is a parody of some Green Lantern drawing or other.   (Sorry, I couldn't find a better image.)  It's set in 1972, and depicts Bleeding Heart and Radioactive Man meeting the Black Partridge.

I agree, Baron -- I remember those poses and that blocking, but I can't put my finger on where. The closest I can find is this:

I don't think that's actually it, but Thor is doing a good impression.It may be an internal drawing instead of a cover, maybe with the central figure being Lorelei or Polaris (X-Men), Black Canary (GA/GL) or perhaps someone who glows, since the figure on the left could be shielding their eyes.

As to the effects around the central character, everyone's already brought up the "Hey! A Steranko Effect!" bit that Adams did, that was subsequently homaged a few times. But there's also the lighting effect, which comes from Green Lantern #87, as someone has mentioned. Here's the scene: 

It's like a Roy Lichtenstein, swiping elements from a variety of sources and combining them to create something "new."

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