Action Comics Weekly comes to an end with issue 642, a full-length crossover story. Superman, Green Lantern, Nightwing and Deadman are all involved, as well as Guy Gardner.
Elliot S Maggin scripts this tale, which opens with a flashback to the death of Abin Sur, and his selection of Hal Jordan as successor. In this version, we learn that Clark Kent was brought as a possible Lantern, but declined.
The art changes from chapter to chapter. The various creative teams are: Gil Kane, Steve Ditko and Art Thibert, Jim Aparo and John Nyberg, Curt Swan and Ty Templeton, Jim Mooney with Ian Akin and Keith Garvey, and Carmine Infantino and Kevin Nowlan.
Green Lantern is investigating an unusual military installation. The man in charge wants no spying eyes, and shoots Hal right in the chest. Hal lays dying, and his ring summons potential successors. It might summon a doctor as well, but apparently has given up on Hal.
Most of those chosen are not characters we know, have ever seen before, or will ever see again. Clark Kent is brought again, as is Nightwing.
Guy Gardner is selected as well, completely nonsensically. He has removed his ring temporarily, and the story treats this as if it means he is no longer a Green Lantern the second he takes off the ring, despite the mental connection between the ring and its wearer.
Deadman comes to see what all the fuss is about. This is all taking place in a millisecond. Deadman is able to converse somewhat with Hal, which makes sense. Superman can also communicate with Deadman, because he can sense this all happening at great speed. That really doesn’t explain why he can see Deadman at this event, but not in normal situations.
You can tell from the way I am picking at it that I did not enjoy this story. There was no likelihood that Hal was going to die, so the story was just pointless. That might have been ok if it were a lot of fun on the road, but it’s not. And so these weird errors, just sloppy writing by someone who can, and has done, better, annoy me.
After a lot of “what if this guy became Green Lantern?” Hal revives, and everyone is returned to what they were doing before.
About the only touch I like is the theatre marquee being changed in the final panel, reading Action – closed for renovations.
Action Comics returns in a few months, with an second annual to launch its return to a regular format.
And there is still just enough room on this blog that I can do an entry on the Neil Gaiman Action Comics Weekly story that never was.