Posts tagged ‘Hal Jordan’

alternate Action 642 – Green Lantern/Superman – Legend of the Green Flame


I made an error earlier, I said this was intended for Action 635.  In fact, it was for 642.  I had assumed it was the earlier of the two crossover issues, simply based on the line-up that appears in the story – none of the post-635 series are included.  But the ending makes it clear that it was for the latter issue.

Neil Gaiman’s script was rejected by John Byrne.  At the time, it was a hard and fast rule that no one knew Superman’s identity, and Gaiman insisted on the characters meeting as Clark and Hal.  Neither would budge, and the script got set aside.  The story was finally published in 2001.

This special also has a large art team, divided chapter by chapter.  Eddie Campbell, Mark Buckingham, John Totleben, Jim Aparo, Kevin Nowlan, Jaosn Little, Michael Allred, Eric Shanower, Terry Austin and Arthur Adams.


The story begins with a prologue in Berlin, shortly after the end of World War II.  Blackhawks Janos Prohaska and Weng Chan go rooting through rubble, searching for a lost weapon.  They come across the remains of the Justice Society of America, although they do not realize who these people are.  We see Sandman, and the remains of Hawkman’s wings, but it’s Alan Scott’s lantern that grabs Weng’s interest, and he takes it with him.


Jumping to the present day, Hal is feeling lost and alone, and turns to Clark for a shoulder to cry on.  Lois Lane wrangles the two into attending a gallery opening that night.


Catwoman makes a cameo, running into Hal.  But the catkin emerald she was interested in is not there, so Selina leaves.  Exploring the gallery, Hal comes across the lantern, on display.  He is fascinated.  It’s a Green Lantern lantern, but not one he recognizes.  He uses his ring to scan it.


Bad idea.


Deadman comes across the confused heroes, and tells them they are dead.  They aren’t.  Not quite.  But they have been pulled into the magical, somewhat sentient flame that powers Alan Scott’s lantern, and are between being alive and dead.


The Flame’s burst of energy draws the attention of the Phantom Stranger.


He convinces Hal that he does have the willpower to tame the wild magic of the flame, and get it back into its battery, dormant.


The final page makes it clear that this was intended for issue 642.  The story printed there uses a similar marquee in its background.


Action 642 – Action Comics Weekly ends


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.

Action 635 – Superman, Green Lantern, Black Canary and Blackhawk fight a dictator with too much power, and Green Lantern ends


Action 635 features a big crossover story, as well as the final chapter of the Green Lantern series, and another two pages of Superman.  Neil Gaiman had written a story for this issue, but a disagreement with John Byrne lead to it being set aside, and this one, by Mark Verheiden, with art by Eduardo Barreto and John Nyberg.

The story by Gaiman was printed, many years later, as a Green Lantern/Superman Special.  But it is very much an Action Comics Weekly story, with a number of cameos.  I’m sooo close to the end of my media library, and also of Action Comics Weekly.  And I debated writing about the Gaiman story here, or at its publication date.

So I am letting the media library decide.  If I reach the end of Action Comics Weekly and have space, I will make my final entry on this blog about Gaiman’s version.


The story they printed is servicable, but nothing special.  Weng Chan is flying Blackhawk Express, the delivery company the Blackhawks became.  On the flight is Clay, Hal’s old friend from his days at Ferris Aircraft, along with an experimental engine.  A south Asian dictator has shot down the plane, and taken them prisoner.


Hal is having dinner with Dinah Lance, and discussing their lives and problems, when he hears from Clay’s wife.


Here’s the dictator.  Nasty looking man.


Hal decides to set out as Green Lantern to rescue him, and Dinah comes along as Black Canary.


Using the engine, the dictator takes control of a giant purple energy monster.  News of this reaches Superman, who comes flying to investigate.  He and Green Lantern battle the monster and keep it busy.


Black Canary rescues Weng, and they get to the computer controls.


It’s Weng who figures out the solution.  Unplug the machine.


Owsley, Bright and Tanghal end Green Lantern’s run as they have produced it all along, with great art and dangling plot threads.

Malvolio has a long fight with Green Lantern, but the end reveals that nothing we have seen is real, so perhaps nothing Malvolio said is true.  Who is this mysterious man?

No one knows.  We never see him again.  The Green Lantern series that launches shortly leaves all this in the astral dust.


Action 632 – Green Lantern meets Lord Malvolio, the Phantom Stranger chases Tannarak, Black Canary in live theatre, Nightwing finally shows up, and a suspicious change of mood


Nightwing joins Speedy not only on the cover, but even in their story in Action 632.


Owsley, Bright and Tanghal start this Green Lantern story as he pursues the alien, but he gets pulled off course, and this plot thread is left behind as we meet a new villain.


Lord Malvolio has a Green Lantern ring, in a period when very few did.  He seems unaware of the Guardians of the Universe, and, indeed, his costume shares similarities with that of Alan Scott, whose Green Lantern was also independent of the Guardians.

He demands that Hal serve him.  Hal, of course says no.  Malvolio gets mad.


Tannarak threatens the Phantom Stranger, and then leads him on a merry chase in this chapter, by Kupperberg and Carillo.


Cassandra Craft and Dr. Thirteen are right behind them, as Tannarak heads to the big cats section of the zoo, drawing the beasts to him.


Oh no!  It’s super-cat!


Wright, DuBurke and Marcos reveal that the killer actress has the heroin hooker as her prisoner in this Black Canary chapter, and that her motive has to do with her dead daughter.


She is clearly losing it, and attacks Black Canary from the stage in the middle of a performance.


Lots of double agents, bombing, and general misery in Northern Ireland in this Nightwing and Speedy story, by Wilkerson, Giarrano and Mandrake.


Nightwing finally shows up, which is nice.  But he still manages to stay enough in the background that this is solidly a Speedy story.


The Blackhawks are about to take a flight into madness in this chapter, by Pasko and Burchett.


The Nazis kill Constance Darabont, replacing her with their own operative.


When Janos comes to meet her that night, he finds a far more friendly woman than the one the team had dealt with the previous day.  As they fly off in the morning, she makes the team coffee.  Only Fredrikson is suspicious, and with good reason.  She has spiked it with LSD.

Action 627- Green Lantern and Captain Atom, Mockingbird unmasks, Black Canary gets arrested, and Nightwing and Speedy begin


Nightwing gets the cover, as he (and Speedy) return to Action with two chapters in issue 627.


Owsley, Bright and Tanghal’s story becomes a team-up with Captain Atom, with the previous issue serving as a prologue.  Captain Atom comes across the alien, who has taken the form of an action movie hero.


It doesn’t go smoothly, and Captain Atom figures an attack means he is hostile.  Their battle draws Green Lantern, who suspects that this creature is related to the spaceship nearby.


Hal’s attempt to reach a peaceable conclusion are interpreted by Captain Atom as a diversion, and he blows up the alien’s ship.  Lantern is furious.  With his ship destroyed, the alien has nowhere to go.


Pasko, Springer and McLauhglin unmask Mockingbird, in a way, in this Secret Six chapter.  Mockingbird unmasks on front of Rafael, to prove that he could never harm the boy.  Of the six possible people who could be Mockingbird, this scene only makes sense if it is Carlo, his magician father.


But the rest of the story has the new Secret Six find proof that August Durant created the team.


Yeah, once again, Wright, DuBurke and Marcos have a problem with undynamic opening pages on the Black Canary series.


But the chapter is a good one.  Canary goes to hang with the street girls, and learns what there is to learn about the suspected killer, nicknamed the Deb, and her heroin addiction.  Canary helps the girls fight off some wanna be pimps, but gets picked up by the cops.


Michele Wolfman and Cherie Wilkerson have two chapters to start off the Nightwing and Speedy story in this issue, with art by Tom Mandrake.  Both heroes are billed this time, but it’s still more a Speedy story.


Dick is travelling with Roy as he heads to Ireland,his ancestral homeland, with Lian.  Roy uncovered some information about drug smuggling to Ireland, and was promptly fired by the CBI.  Nightwing and Speedy also run into drug smuggling on the ferry they take, and wind up in the Irish Sea.


They make it to land, and the story lets us know that “the troubles” will be a big part of this as well.

Action 626 – the dangers of duplication, Captain Marvel ends, Rafael gets free, Deadman ends, and Black Canary on the hunt


Green Lantern returns to Earth in Action 626, and one can actually perceive this cover as related to his story.  Loosely.


Owsley and Bright are joined by Romeo Tanghal as Hal heads back to Earth, and comes across an apparently hollow ship heading there as well.


But inside the ship was an energy being, which duplicates what is sees.  So it emerges from the ship in Green Lantern’s form.


The narration helps immensely.  The creature sees an explosive action film, and destroys everyone around him.  But there is no malice in this at all.  Simply mindless duplication.


Captain Marvel’s series comes to a close in this chapter, by Roy and Dann Thomas, Stasi and Magyar.

Captain Nazi proves not terribly inclined to follow the orders of the ones who created him, and is eager to join the poisoning of the reservoir.


There, he comes across Billy.  Recognizing him, he thinks Billy has been bound and gagged by his own enemies, and frees him.  Bad move.  Billy says the magic word, transforms into Captain Marvel, and then drops a hill on top of Captain Nazi. Poor guy doesn’t even make it to the end of the story.


An ending that announces an upcoming Shazam comic.  Which never came.  Captain Marvel would continue to appear sporadically, but would not get a series until the Power of Shazam reboot, which changed his origin, and removed this Billy Batson, and Captain Nazi, from continuity.


The action moves to Washington DC as Pasko, Springer and McLaughlin begin winding up the Secret Six.  The team has learned about the agency attacking them, and realize this is the same group Durant has been fighting, and that they brought down the plane with the original team.


Mockingbird is glad they no longer think he killed them.  Rafael manages to break out of his room.  he confronts Mockingbird, who is simply disappointed that he took so long to escape, being the son of a magician.


Deadman’s series also comes to a close in this issue, by Baron, Jones and DeZuniga.


It’s a body-hopping, knock-down drag out fight with Deadman, Madame Waxahachie and the evil voodoo twins.  With all possible bodies lost to them, they are reduced to living in rats.

Deadman returns, very shortly, in the Spectre crossover at the start of Invasion!


The body gets discovered as Wright, DuBurke and Marcos open this Black Canary installment.


We see the actress rejoicing in the news that the hooker is suspected, clarifying the guilty party.


And Dinah is certainly stylish as she goes out to look for the false lead.

Action 625 – Hal unites enemies, Billy gets caught twice, the Secret Six tie it together, Deadman pulls her out, and who spikes the drink?


While I like this image of Deadman, none of the supporting characters shown are in this story, or anywhere in his run in Action Comics Weekly.  And despite saying that he “wraps it all up,” issue 625 is not the resolution to his storyline.


Owsley, Bright and Marzan have Hal end the war in outer space, as his Green Lantern ring is a far more powerful weapon than either side has.


Of course, the result is that the two sides ally together against him.  This subplot is not resolved in these pages, but does get a follow-up in a Green Lantern Special in 1989.


Billy Batson falls right into Captain Nazi’s arms at the opening of this story, by the Thomases, Stasi and Magyar.  Billy is presumed to just be a rambunctious boy, but otherwise good little white racist.


But later, as they all go on an outing, Billy gets recognized by one of the other campers, and instead of taking part in arson, he becomes the kindling.


Some degree of explanation is given in this Secret Six chapter, by Pasko, Springer and McLaughlin.  August Durant had all the background and motivation to form the original Secret Six, as he worked to stop the people who had created the virus he was infected with.  Technodyne had been working with it, as well as the meat processing – it was what contaminated the pork.


The Six have pretty much put this together, as has Washington.  But why did Durant kill the rest of the team?


Baron, Jones and DeZuniga’s zombie-laden voodoo queen story is an awful lot of fun, and probably deserves better coverage than I am giving it.


Deadman manages to scare of the twins out of the girl she is inhabiting, and can hold onto her, preventing her from entering anyone else.  He uses this to get the other sister to leave the other sister.  But the ghostly girls then enter the bodies of Madame Waxahachie and her handyman.


Wright, DuBurke and Marcos give Dinah some workout time as Black Canary, because the bulk of this chapter follows the killer and her victim.


The hooker accompanies a man, Sarno, up to his room, then leaves shortly after.  We see that he is dead.  But was it really the hooker, or the actress dressed up as her?


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