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Saturday, 30 September 2017

Green Lantern 184 - a reprint

Green Lantern 184 (Jan 85) is a reprint of the story from the 1960s that introduced Guy Gardner. Despite showing Hal and Guy with John Stewart on the Gil Kane cover, John does not appear at all in this story.

Green Lantern 183 - Major Disaster vs Green Lantern, and Stel returns

John Stewart takes charge in the Wein, Gibbons and Farmer story from Green Lantern 183 (Dec 84).

Picking up from the end of the previous issue, John Stewart confronts Major Disaster atop the dam the villain is threatening to burst. Major Disaster wants to fight the Green Lantern he knows, and is not happy when John informs him that he is that man's successor. Major Disaster tells John to bring him the man who was Green Lantern before him, and makes the dam break. It's worth mentioning that Major Disaster long ago found out that Hal Jordan was Green Lantern, but is not able to vocalize this knowledge.

And as for Hal, he tries to talk to Tom Kalmaku again, and this time finds out why his friend is mad at him. When Hal went to get advice about dropping out of the Corps, he never turned to Tom to find out his point of view on it. Tom feels betrayed, and throws out his Green Lantern journal. At some point he must have gone back and pulled it out of the trash, as it will be seen in later stories.

Bruce Gordon has a meeting with Mr. Smith about the solar jet, and receives one of his threatening phone calls. Bruce keeps Mr. Smith in the dark about being Eclipso, but Smith has suspicions of his own.

John shows off his architecture training as he deals with the burst dam. There is too much water for him to simply hold it back, so he channels it, and diverts water along the way into pools and sewers, until it is no longer a danger.

Then he uses his ring to make everyone look like Green Lantern, diverting Major Disaster enough that he is able to take the villain by surprise and knock him out.

Major Disaster is not seen again until after Crisis on Infinite Earths. Not until he joins the Injustice League, I think, after Invasion!

Having succeeded at his first real case, John Stewart grants Tawny Young an interview, which has a romantic touch to it.

Cavalieri and O'Neill conclude the two part Green Lantern Corps story in this issue. The incompetent Green Lantern very quickly realizes that he is out of his depth.

But the story does not go at all as I expected. He winds up sacrificing himself to bring Stel back to life. Once the guy is dead, everyone is happy to bad mouth him and point out how poor a Green Lantern he was, but Stel comes to the man's defense, pointing out that he had realized that, and bravely sacrificed himself to revive Stel.

Green Lantern 182 - the new Green Lantern, and replacing Stel

The Wein, Gibbons and Farmer story in Green Lantern 182 (Nov 84) is quite a good story, though it's structure makes it difficult to summarize tidily. The whole piece is predicated on keeping the identity of the new Green Lantern a secret until the very end.

So we start off with Hal Jordan paying a visit to Abin Sur's grave, and recalling how he met the dying alien, and was given the Green Lantern ring in the first place. Hal is regretting his decision to leave the Corps, and asks Abin Sur for forgiveness for doing so.

Even the Guardians of the Universe thought Hal would regret his action, and had been waiting for him to change his mind. Since he does not do that, they decide to move on and pick a replacement.

We get quite a few scenes at Ferris Aircraft. John Stewart has started rebuilding the facility, with money supplied by Mr. Smith. Neither Stewart nor Rich Davis trust Smith, but have no say in the matter.

Major Disaster, last seen a couple of years earlier taking on Superman and Batman in World's Finest Comics, decides he should go after his old foe Green Lantern once more. He claims to have boosted his powers, and though his abilities are impressive, they look to be about the same, causing natural disasters.

Bruce Gordon receives another threatening letter, and shares it with Carol Ferris. Bruce had believed the letters were coming from Congressman Bloch, but now that Bloch is dead, Bruce fears that they are coming from Eclipso, his evil other self.

Hal Jordan tries to chat with Tom Kalmaku, but gets the cold shoulder. Hal does not understand why Tom is mad at him, but it also doesn't seem to bother him much, and he and John go for drinks.

It's at the bar that they see the news about Major Disaster attacking a dam, and where Hal realizes that John Stewart is now the real Green Lantern, not just the alternate. He shows up to confront Major Disaster, who insists that he wants the Green Lantern he knows, and will destroy the dam.

Joey Cavalieri and Kevin O'Neill share the first half of a two part Green Lantern Corps story in this issue. O'Neill's art is highly detailed, almost distracting. The tale is set on the planet that Stel, a member of the Green Lantern Corps who died in the Tales of the Green Lantern Corps miniseries, came from.

 A really obnoxious jerk from that world is demanding to become Stel's replacement. The Guardians of the Universe agree, apparently for lack of anyone else, and the guy gets his wish. But right from the start, he shows himself to be incompetent and ill-suited for the job.

Green Lantern 181 - Hal Jordan quits the Corps, and Ch'p takes on space pirates

Wein and Gibbons are joined by Mark Farmer as Hal Jordan leaves the Green Lantern Corps.

In the previous issue, Hal had mentioned John Stewart to Carol Ferris as an architect to rebuild her plant. In this issue, the two meet face to face. It is treated as if they have no idea who each other are, and yet back in 1977 John, as Hal's alternate, came to Carol's house during the dinner party that got interrupted by Katma Tui. While this seems like an error on Len Wein's part, a later story would put a new slant on all of this.

Mr. Smith, though perhaps not in person, has Congressman Bloch dealt with once and for all. As in, murdered. Bloch's dying words reveal that Green Lantern is Hal Jordan, but in a nice touch it is Diana Prince that he says this to, and she lies to Steve Trevor, saying that Bloch revealed nothing.

Hal flies out to Oa to officially resign, but gets confronted along the way by other members of the Corps: Katman Tui, Tomar-Re, Arkkis Chummuck, Arisia, and Xax. Hal does his best to explain his decision. Arisia is all upset, having fallen in love with Hal, but most of the others are sympathetic. Katma Tui is not. Hal had been the one to trick her into breaking up her relationship to stay with the core, way back in her first story. Now, for him to take the opposite action, is a complete betrayal in Katma's eyes.

The Guadians of the Universe are not happy about Hal's decision, either, but agree to it, take his ring back, and send him back to Earth.

Carl Ferris meets with his employees to give them the news about the Bloch subplot finally being over. Mr. Smith makes his deal to have Con-Trol start bankrolling the repairs at Ferris.

The story ends with Carol and Hal together beneath a really crazy night sky. While Carol is happy, and Hal pretends to be, he already is beginning to regret his choice.

Ch'p returns in the Green Lantern Corps story in this issue, by Paul Kupperberg and Don Newton. Newton's art is superb on this tale, which is otherwise fairly straightforward.

Ch'p starts off in disguise, hunting for some murderous space pirates, and finds them at a tavern. Then it's into action mode as the alien squirrel takes the bad guys down. As I said, not much plot, but great visuals.

Green Lantern 180 - Carol delivers her ultimatum, and more Green Magic

Carol Ferris puts Hal Jordan on the spot as DeCarlo joins Wein and Giibbons in the cover tale from Green Lantern 180 (Sept 84).

Green Lantern gives what help he can in the ruins of Ferris Aircraft. Clay Kendall's wounded body is discovered, and Lantern transports him to the hospital, but the prognosis is not good. His spine is damaged, and Clay will not be able to walk again.

The Demolition Team get carted off to prison, and Clay appears to be the only serious injury. The solar jet gets checked out by Bruce Gordon and Rich Davis, and it emerged unscathed. That is good news for Davis, who plans to be the one to test pilot it.

Once they are alone, Carol turns on Hal, demanding to know why he keeps putting the Guardians of the Universe ahead of her. They have a well written fight, not over the top or unreasonable. Hal more than sees Carol's side, but is not prepared when she gives him her ultimatum: the Corps, or her.

Hal really isn't sure what to decide, so he goes to get advice from some friends. He and Green Arrow are now back on good terms. Good enough that Hal agrees to eat his chili again. Green Arrow tells Hal to pick Carol. The Flash, who has recently given up his own identity and adopted a new one, while his trial goes on and on and on, feels that his own life is such a mess he is not one to give advice to anyone.

Superman both nudges Hal towards staying with the Corps, while at the same time making sure Hal knows the decision relies on him alone.

Although it is not an action packed story, the suspense over his decision does carry it well, and it is still a shocker at the end when he tells Carol he is choosing her, and resigning from the Green Lantern Corps.

Klein and Gibbons advance the Green Magic tale in Green Lantern Corps, as the father of the scientist boyfriend arrives on the island the kids are hiding out on.

The father has been exiled himself, and informs his son, and the others, that the scientists have been lying about the reasons for the war with the magicians. He also brings up the mystery about the death of Hollika's parents. But nothing gets fully explained. Once again I am left to wonder if this will return, or be left hanging. The Green Magic series must have been popular, or it wouldn't have had so many instalments, but it just never seems to hit high gear, despite its potential.

Green Lantern 179 - the Predator vs the Demolition Team, and Green Magic resumes

I commented a few issues ago about the Green Magic series in Tales of the Green Lantern Corps coming to an end. I was wrong. The series within a series resumes in Green Lantern 179 (Aug 84).

Wein and Gibbons continue with the Demolition Team in the lead story, as the Predator goes into action to save Ferris Aircraft. We see more of the facility in this story than we ever have before, as the members of the Team go around destroying it all. Predator takes them down one by one, and saves the lives of Bruce Gordon, Tom Kalmaku and Rich Davis while he is at it.

Clay Kendall does not fare as well. He tries to use his psionics chair to defend Ferris, but it gets shorted out by the Demolition Team, and Clay is caught in the resulting explosion.

Green Lantern succeeds in preventing the destruction of the planet, by gathering stellarium asteroids and using the metal to stabilize the core. The Guardians of the Universe are impressed with his solution, but Hal does not care. He is angry about being called away from Ferris, and lets the Guardians know it.

Of course, Hal is not needed the way he thinks he is. The Predator saves the day, even though there was a lot of damage done, and leaves Carol Ferris with a kiss.

Green Lantern gets back to Earth only on the final page, just in time to see the factory in flames.

Klein and Gibbons bring back Green Magic, as I said above, in the Green Lantern Corps back-up. We meet some of Hollika's friends in this story, as she and they wind up on an island, remote from the two warring sides.

When Hollika's scientist boyfriend shows up, her friends do not trust him, but she uses her powers to subdue her friends and force them to accept him.

It doesn't go smoothly, but by the end they think they will all be able to live happily on their island, not noticing the approaching submarine.

Green Lantern 178 - the Predator debuts

Hal Jordan's promise to the Guardians of the Universe comes back to bite him in the Wein and Gibbons tale from Green Lantern 178 (July 1984).

Congressman Bloch meets with the members of the Demolition Team, a group the Monitor put him together with, and the politician explains his desire to have them completely destroy the Ferris Aircraft plant. One of the members of the team is made the brother of a villain Superman fought the previous year, though nothing gets made of that.

Even before the Demolition Team begin their attack there are tensions at Ferris. While Clay Kendall and his fiancee April are having fun, Rich Davis is sulking over not being the one to test fly the solar jet, which Bruce Gordon and Tom Kalmaku are working on. Bruce continues to get threatening letters and phone calls, but believes these are from Bloch.

When Bloch sees the news that Green Lantern is no longer in his coma he is desperate to have the Demolition Team called off. They have seen him, and would be able to identify him. He contacts the Monitor yet again, but the Monitor washes his hands of it all. We see that Mr. Smith has been spying on all this.

But then, just as the Demolition Team go into action, and Hal switches to Green Lantern, the Guardians of the Universe contact him and insist he go deal with an planet about to explode. Hal does not want to, but the Guardians remind him that he promised to answer their calls no matter what. Hal reluctantly heads out, and finds that the world he has been sent to save is being torn apart much the same way Krypton was.

That's all well and good, but the Demolition Team are smashing the Ferris buildings to pieces. Carol cannot understand why Green Lantern has not shown up to help them. Then, out the blue, the Predator arrives.

The story continues in the next issue.