The first adventures of one of DC’s mightiest heroes – The Green Lantern.
The first adventures of one of DC’s mightiest heroes GRAPHIC COMIC BOOK REVIEW – THE GREEN LANTERN CHRONICLES VOLUME 0NE 1959-1960 – DC 2009 Compilation edition. Reading through this compilation of the earliest adventures of the second Green Lantern, produced by DC books. The predecessor, Alan Scott, had made his Lantern ring of power from magical metal he had found. It had worked on everything except wood. The second Lantern, as featured in this collection, was a test pilot, Hal Jordan, who got his ring from a dying alien, vowing to take his place as a Guardian Of The Universe, and proves to be a general purpose Superman like goodie-goodie busybody. His weakness was not wood, but anything yellow. Yes, that’s all we need, a hero who can be defeated by a bowl of custard. He also has to recharge the ring every 24 hours, though he can conveniently fly to other planets and galaxies in minutes. When it runs out while helping his Eskimo friend Pieface, that the ring runs out on him, exposing his secret identity to the rudely nicknamed Eskimo, but the young man vows to help Jordan keep his secret from the rest of us. His poetic Universe Defender’s Hippocratic Oath vow to do justice right and smite evil becomes deeply irritating when seen several issues in a row as he dons is hero suit and flies off to do his duty. Modelled loosely on actor Paul Newman, Jordan has a would be girlfriend, Carol Ferris as his Lois Lane, a spoilt brat society girl, his boss, and resentful when the Lantern dumps her in mid-kiss to save us from some looming catastrophe or other. He faces some fun villains, such as The Invisible Destroyer, generated for no apparent reason from the mind of a decent, honest scientist who knew nothing of his evil alter ego. He might be invisible, but his clothes are easy to see and conveniently not yellow. Usually when something is yellow, something not yellow is usually at hand for the Lantern to manipulate and bash it with. GL, as he is often abbreviated, gets drawn to Venus in his duties as Guardian, to help cavemen like humans defeat big yellow pterodactyls that have decided to exterminate them. Not only does GL translate their alien tongue by pointing his green beam sat them, he is able to make a big frightening illusionary green hawk out of light to frighten the prehistoric birds into a cave where he blocks them in with an avalanche. Faced with the Puppet Master, (able to hypnotise people into committing crimes for him) a clichéd villain most heroes seem to meet sooner or later, GL traps the villain in a series of ropes to turn him into a marionette and walk him, puppet like, to the police station. A great under-used creation in the series is the parallel World Qward, where evil is good & vice versa. Their enforcers, The Weaponers hurl thunderbolts and behave like Zeus. GL conveniently turns invisible to overthrow them. Faced with an attack by one dressed in yellow, he does what any hero would do, and hits the man from behind. The beings from this World are the first to know of the Lantern battery cells and consciously seek to control them. They steal the Lantern’s battery cell, but of course, he stops them. They are his first recurring bad guys. They are the first to consciously know he has problems with yellow, but fail to paint every surface on their planet yellow accordingly. His early adventures seem very plain and simplistic to a modern reader. Finding that secret aircraft plans he was guarding in his human guise have been picked from his pocket, Jordan hits himself in the face with the green rays to help remember the face of the man who took them, so he can go after him. It has the stilted dialogue and straight-faced melodrama of a bad B Movie. He catches the thief with the use of microphone bugs made from the lantern light which increasingly generates pretty well anything Jordan can imagine. The collection obviously has some historic value and deserves a good forward or afterward on why he is so important in the history of DC – he would go on to be the founder member of the Justice League Of America. The closing story in this quaint and often silly set is a real gem though. In The Leap Year Menace, the Lantern himself creates the monster, so he can get away from his fan club, and from Carol Ferris, who wants to propose to the hero (not to his human half, Jordan). Unfortunately, the decoy monster he makes proves harder to vanquish than he imagined. Somehow, Superman never got into a scrape like that over Lois Lane. There are some daft touches in the comic, kept over for the collection, pages often end with the words, “story continued on the following page” as if readers were stupid enough to stop reading at the end of a page half way through the comic. A film based on the Hal Jordan Lantern came out in Summer 2011. Ryan Reynolds is the star.