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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GREEN LANTERN ARCHIVES, v5 (#30-38): This is another all-Kane/Broome/Fox volume. It is not my intention to review every issue from #1-75 in this thread, but rather only the ones I find remarkable (for one reason of another). First up...

ISSUE 30: My wife loves to ridicule Jim Jordan (Hal's brother) and Sue Wilson (his girlfriend). Unfortunately, she feels that, if she had been a young girl reading Green Lantern in the '60s, she would have dropped it because sue was such a stereotype. (To be fair, Jim is not the sharpest tool in the shed, either.) for those of you who don't know, Sue is the "Lois Lane" to Jim Jordan's "Superman"... although Jim Jordan is not Superman, or even Green Lantern; Sue just thinks he is. Jim is so stupid that he thinks he himself might be Green Lantern, but just not know it. But Sue and Jim don't even appear in #30.

I didn't even tell  Tracy about Katma Tui, the Green Lantern of the planet Korugar, Sinestro's planet. Hal Jordan has a way to go before he becomes the universe's greatest Green Lantern, and one of the stories in issue #30 proves it. In this story, the Guardians assign Green Lantern to convince a the provisional GL to remain in place after a trial period. When he eventually meets the GL of the secor, he is "startled" to discover that "Somehow the Guardians neglected to mention that the battery possessor of Korugar was a female!," thus revealing his provincial attitude. 

But this is not the worst of his offences. No, the worst (so far) came in issue #10. )"The Origin of Green Lantern's Oath"), in which he couldn't have been more  condescending to "Pieface' Kalmaku (wich was actually writer John Broome being condescending to his [perceived] readership, which is just as bad (if not worse). Granted, Hal Jordan and Katma Tui shared a laugh over his provincial attitude yars later (in issue #194), but Green Lantern still has a way to go before he becomes the greatest GL of all time.

GREEN LANTERN #31 - "Power Rings for Sale"

One of the things editor Julius Schwartz was known for are his imaginative cover ideas, usually chosen before the story was even plotted. Writers were assigned to create a story which matched the cover. After Schwartz's death in 2004, DC released a series of "DC Comics Presents" one-shots which utilized many of these old cover concepts and turned them over to a batch a current writers and artists.

The story behind the cover of Green Lantern #31 was origiginally written and drawn by John Broome, Gil Kane & Sid Greene, but in 2004, the teams of Brian Azarello, Norm Breyfogle & Sal Buscema, and Martin Pasko, Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens were given a crack at it. Back in 2004, I had the idea to launch a discussion comparing the original stories with the new ones, but I didn't have a complete set of the originals. Now, 16 years later, I don't think I have any more of the originals than I did then.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

One of the things editor Julius Schwartz was known for are his imaginative cover ideas, usually chosen before the story was even plotted. Writers were assigned to create a story which matched the cover. 

I was well aware of this even at a young age. I'm pretty sure that Mort Weisinger did the same thing. Has anybody heard of a cover that had to be abandoned because it was too "out there?" Maybe there weren't any because of the deadlines, unless the editor produced two ideas and one was abandoned.

Maybe not quite your question but these two issues of The Flash used the same cover to generate stories.



The first one (#159) was written by Gardner Fox, and the second by Robert Kanigher (#161).  The cover of #161 references “last issue”, but the last issue (#160) was an 80 page giant—so maybe the “last non-reprint issue” is more accurate.



Richard Willis said:

Jeff of Earth-J said:

One of the things editor Julius Schwartz was known for are his imaginative cover ideas, usually chosen before the story was even plotted. Writers were assigned to create a story which matched the cover. 

I was well aware of this even at a young age. I'm pretty sure that Mort Weisinger did the same thing. Has anybody heard of a cover that had to be abandoned because it was too "out there?" Maybe there weren't any because of the deadlines, unless the editor produced two ideas and one was abandoned.

...I'm on clef with Jeff now, as I have been reading Vol. 3 of the CHRONICLES collection.

In issue #32, Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris marry, but it is the Hal and Carol of another reality. (This other reality is not specifically identified, but I like to think of it as "Earth 1.5".) Our Green Lantern is also involved, and helps one of the the lamest groups of super-heroes I have ever seen (Energiman, Golden Blade, Magicko and Strong Girl) to defeat Vant Orl.

Dr. Light (the "Retcon Rapist") makes his third appearance (following Justice League of America and The Atom) in issue #33. Also, Pieface Kalmaku relates another in a series of "zero hour" stories in which Green Lantern's power ring runs out of juice at a critical time. (That journal he keeps of Green Lantern's exploits is going to come back to bite him in the arse one day.) 

A few odds and ends. Read in succession, it becomes obvious how formulaic these stories are, yet they are nevertheless highly imaginative. In more recent (late '90s, early 2K) stories, it has become a conceit that Hal Jordan does not wear his ring while test piloting. (I suppose the thinking is that he is never in any real danger, and might even be encourage to take more risks than he might otherwise, if he knows his ring protects him from any real danger.) That is obviously not the case in these stories; he is frequently shown using his ring while on the job. 

When I mentioned "The Strange World Named Green Lantern" (#24) I should have also mentioned "Mogo Doesn't Socialize" (the Alan Moore story from #188). I don't know if these planets are intended to be one and the same (I like to think they are), but the source of Moore's inspiration is obvious. Similarly, I should have mentioned the Golden Age Star Sapphire when Carol Ferris was transformed. the original was a flash villain and her first appearance was reprinted in the 1963 Giant Flash Annual (and more recently in the 2001 replica edition).

They brought back the Golden Age Star Sapphire in Flash & Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold #6 (Ma'00) and immediately tied her into the backstory of the Silver Age Star Sapphire!

Jeff of Earth-J said:

When I mentioned "The Strange World Named Green Lantern" (#24) I should have also mentioned "Mogo Doesn't Socialize" (the Alan Moore story from #188). I don't know if these planets are intended to be one and the same (I like to think they are), but the source of Moore's inspiration is obvious.

I picked that story to comment on in response to Detective 445's 2014 "The Definitive...Green Lantern?" discussion:

Peter Wrexham said on February 17, 2014 at 9:51pm:

What is the greatest or definitive GL storyline? Definitive GL moment?

I'd commend the Silver Age tale "The Strange World Named Green Lantern" from GL #24 (October 1963), in which Hal, on a space mission, encounters and makes friends with a sentient planet!  It's wonderfully bizarre piece of SF told in about 8 pages. Strangely enough, although it's illustrated on the cover, it takes second place in the issue.  The lead story is "The Shark that Hunted Human Prey", which is the first appearance of Hal's foe the Shark.

This tale could also be seen as prefiguring (or being the origin of) Mogo, who is a planet-sized member of the GL Corps introduced in Alan Moore's story "Mogo Doesn't Socialize" from GL #188 (May 1985). 

I read that "recent" Brave & Bold series (but not more than once) and did not recall the Golden age Star Sapphire's appearance. i may have to dig that one out.

Thanks for the link to that old discussion, Peter. I just re-read the whole thing. I see that I weighed in, but didn't elaborate. I'll be getting to my favorite story any issue now.

With Green Lantern #36, I have moved from the "archive" series to the "omnibus" series (v2, #36-75). Those remain exclusively Broome/Fox/Kane through #60 and, although they remain after that, some exceptions do creep in. (I will point them out as I get to them.) 

I was very excited when Green Lantern Omnibus v2 shipped (in 2018) because I had not read the majority of the stories that volume comprises. However, even though two years have passed, I have not read the volume in its entirety... until now. 

Mogo's appearance (unnamed?) in  Green Lantern #24(OCT63) predates the introduction of Ego the Living Planet in Thor #132(SEP66). Do you think that Jack Kirby was "inspired by" the earlier comic?

"Do you think that Jack Kirby was "inspired by" the earlier comic?"

I don't know. 

I tend not to think so, as (from what I have read) Kirby didn't read too many comic books (although he was a voracious reader otherwise). Was Stan Lee aware of "Mogo" though? That's my question. I suspect he may have simply suggested "Have thor fight a Living Planet" and let Kirby run with it. (we're back to "Who did what?") For many years I thought the X-Men's Cyclops was inspired by Stan Lee's awareness of Gold Key's Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom.  whereas I stil think that's partially true, I cannot discount what I learned from Tom Scioli's recent Kirby graphic biography. (Read it!) 

#37: This is the issue in which Gil Kane subtly altered Green Lantern's costume (shoulders). It is also the issue in which (unrelated) Green Lantern's power ring was destroyed and replaced with a duplicate. 

#38: the second appearance of Tomar Re. Oddly, his oath is the same as Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott's. (I don't know if the reason for this has ever been explained.) Because the GA oath begins with an ellipses, I think the GA and SA GL's respective oaths comprise two halves of a definitive overall oath:

In brightest day, in blackest night

No evil shall escapr my sight,

Let those who worship evil's might

Beware my power: Green Lantern's light!

...And I shall spread my light over dark evil

For dark things cannot stand the light...

The light of the Green Lantern!

We were talking about  Alan Moore's possible inspiration for Mogo. I have little that Grant Morrison's inspiration for one of his new GLs (for those of you reading Green Lantern: Season Two) can be found in Green Lantern #38. 

The Golden Age Comet might be a source of inspiration for Cyclops

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