Wednesday, April 29, 2015

GREEN LANTERN #46 - October 1993


Death City
Credits:  Gerard Jones (writer), M. D. Bright (penciler), Romeo Tanghal (inker), Albert de Guzman (letterer), Anthony Tollin (colorist)

Summary:  Green Lantern, enraged at the destruction of Coast City, fights his way into Engine City.  He faces Mongul in battle, but is unable to destroy the engine room when he discovers its kryptonite power source, knowing that Superman is nearby.  Mongul takes advantage of Green Lantern’s inability to affect yellow and breaks his arm and knee.  Green Lantern finds Steel’s hammer and uses his ring to build armor around his body.  With the hammer, he beats Mongul into unconsciousness.

Irrelevant Continuity:
  • Steel left his hammer behind after he flew Cyborg Superman’s metal form into the engine room’s gears in the previous chapter.  Where he is now is not revealed.
  • Mongul is still referring to Cyborg Superman as “the leader” even though Mongul’s turned against him by this point.
  • Green Lantern’s title was going through an awkward stage during this crossover.  This is the gray-at-the-temples, drunk driving, renegade Hal Jordan from what I’ve been able to glean from online articles.

Total N00B:  Green Lantern’s ring is still powerless against yellow at this point in continuity.  I was surprised to see that bizarre old rule was still in place in 1993, but then I remembered Ron Marz stating in Wizard that Hal’s replacement wouldn’t have that absurd restriction, so this must be one of the final stories to feature it.  

Production Note:  The Return of Superman trade only reprints sixteen pages of this issue.  Presumably, the rest of the issue deals with storylines that don’t directly relate to the GL/Mongul fight.

Review:  Green Lantern was thrown a bone and allowed to participate in the “Return of Superman” event, although it’s debatable if this really helped the title in the long run.  Within a few issues, the destruction of Coast City will become the basis for Hal Jordan turning rogue, an idiotic decision that DC stubbornly stuck to for a surprising number of years.  (Never tear down the existing hero in order to build up your replacement hero.) This issue is mostly dedicated to Green Lantern screaming at Mongul and futilely punching him.  Gerard Jones does exploit the basic flaw in the fight’s premise -- Mongul is yellow -- and gets a few entertaining pages out of it.  Green Lantern knows he can’t directly hurt Mongul, so he has to use his ring to destroy everything around Mongul, using Engine City as a weapon against him.  The action’s staged rather well, and M. D. Bright keeps the fight energetic, but it’s hard to ignore that almost every other page is either a splash page or double-page spread.  It’s a quick read, and what passes for “depth” are some melodramatic narrative captions from Green Lantern about his hate fueling his power.  It’s not pleasant.  

5 comments:

m!ke said...

i seem to recall original printings of the collected edition had even few pages from this issue reprinted... it wasn't until the omnibuses came out that we got the 16 page version.

Mela said...

So does this make the odds of you tackling the short-but-unpleasant Emerald Twilight higher or lower? It's kind of an unavoidable pot hole when discussing DC Comics' crossovers in this era.

wwk5d said...

I didn't mind Hal being replaced as GL. Granted, the way they did it was arguable, but still.

G. Kendall said...

It seems like Emerald Twilight only lasted a few issues, so I'm not sure if it's even worth reviewing.

I don't necessarily think a replacement GL is a bad idea. I can understand why people dismissed Hal as dull at the time, but the way DC handled the switch was needlessly...is "provocative" the word? It reeks of the "We don't need YOU" attitude towards existing readers that's annoyed me so much since the new millennium began.

Matt said...

As a kid who never actually read DC comics but knew the characters from other media like SUPER FRIENDS, I never understood the outcry against Hal Jordan's white temples. I just figured it meant he was a decade or two older than the rest of the heroes, sort of their elder statesman -- which was kind of cool.

Of course I know these days that he actually wasn't supposed to be any older, so that was probably the source of the outrage, and I have no problem with it being explained and undone -- but I still think it's a good visual.