Sunday, February 7, 2016

Green Lantern (vol.3) #37 (1993)


Green Lantern (vol.3) #37 (March, 1993)

"The Final Game"
Gerard Jones - Friscophile
Mark Badger - Clevelandista
Romeo Tanghal - Voorheesian
Albert De Guzman - Edisonite
Anthony Tollin - Fairfielder
Eddie Berganza - Babylonian
Kevin Dooley - Cosmopolitan
Cover Price: $1.25

I was so excited to begin reading Green Lantern.  Back in the early 1990's, I was a Marvel kid.  I did not read any DC Comics (barring the Death of Superman story line), and I had decided that Green Lantern would be "my" DC title.  My comic-reading friends, also Marvelites, had all broadened their four-color horizons to include DC books... one picked up the various Lobo books, another got into the Legion of Super-Heroes, yet another stuck with the Superman titles following the Death and Return story line.  I was determined to also get into a DC book, and Green Lantern was my pick.  The first issue I was to grab was #37...

Imagine my disappointment when, upon arrival after waiting a couple of weeks (which may as well have been forever) to finally start my GL journey, I find this comic.  Hal Jordan looks positively ancient on the cover... and he's fighting demons... on a football field.  This is the kind of cover that would adorn an inventory/fill-in issue of Web of Spider-Man.  I picked it up, flipped through it, and... yeah... he's fighting demons on a football field.  I sheepishly placed the comic back on the shelf, and did not revisit Green Lantern until around the turn of the century.  By then Hal Jordan was a distant, yet persistent memory, and the book was starring he who would become "my" Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner.

In the years that followed, I have attempted to fill holes in my Green Lantern library.  I am a back-issue bin junkie, especially those of the 25 and 50 cent variety.  Often in those cheap-o bins, you come across a concentrated cache of a certain title.  Last Summer (2015), while scouring a... I wanna say 40 cent (yeah, forty) bin, I came across a few dozen GL issues from this era... including the one that I had thrown back those many years before.

Was it as awful as the cover would suggest?  Was I a fool to have dismissed it by its cover alone?

Let's find out.

--

We open on Hal Jordan discussing his relationship with Carol Ferris with his mechanic... Pie.  It's still odd seeing a character referred to as "Pie" (short for "Pie Face", natch... the Silver Age was a different time).  Whenever I reread Green Lantern from the Gerard Jones era, I find myself enjoying the more mature Hal Jordan.  He is no longer a "Hard Traveling Hero", he is now a "Hard Traveled Hero".  Hal is torn on whether or not to accept Carol's marriage proposal.  He has left her hanging for over a month, and is both scared of losing her... and committing to her.  This is a fun side of Hal to behold.  It seems post-Rebirth Hal is almost too cool, seeing him sweat humanizes him.

He invites Pie to accompany him to the SuperBowl, where his favorite team the Bay City Gold-Miners are playing against the Mudville Maroons (who just so happen to be Guy Gardner's favorite).  The book never outright says "Super"bowl, instead referring to it as "The 'Bowl".  It's makes some of the dialogue seem unnatural and stilted, however, its obvious why they had to do it.  The more I type the word "bowl" the stranger it looks... like it shouldn't be a word.

Upon arrival, Hal and Pie are unpleasantly surprised to find themselves accompanied by Guy Gardner and his date, runway model Lacey Lovitz... though Pie says he's never seen her on Hal's runway.  A demon called Sapolu requires immense power in order to break through dimensional walls and invade Earth.  This demon decides that the power created by the excitement created when the fan-fave Gold-Miners win the 'Bowl would suffice.  As Hal sees it, he needs to make sure his favorite football team does not win the Big Game.

Before he can put a plan into action, the Miners score a touchdown.  The excitement generated from the TD is enough for Sapolu to break on through.  Guy Gardner rings up some football gear (this was during Guy's time wielding a yellow power ring), and charges at the demon.  He spears the demon out of the stadium, where the excitement "energy trail" wanes.  Fearing it will ultimately become chained to this Earth without its power, Sapolu high-tails it back through a dimensional breach.  Ultimately the day is saved, and for the first time ever, the 'Bowl ends... in a tie.

--

This was a much better issue than its cover would suggest.  Nothing amazing, nor anything offensively bad... just another issue of Green Lantern.  Not really worth seeking out, unless you're a Green Lantern completionist, or if you can nab it on the super-cheap.  Hal's characterization is novel in comparison to how he has been depicted post-rebirth, there is no emotional spectrum, and the story takes place on Earth.  I always preferred a more grounded Green Lantern.  The cosmic stories are fine, however, after so many of them, I find them harder to truly care about.  I am glad that I put this one back on the shelf 20 odd years back, I would not have appreciated any of the character beats, and would have found the action to be far lacking when compared to my regular Marvel fare.

This era of Green Lantern has never, to my knowledge, been collected.  The first story line of this volume has been (along with the Emerald Dawn miniseries'), however the trades had not continued on to include this issue.

--

Interesting Ads:

Fairly disappointing ads this time out... a few 16-bit video games and some trading cards.  A few neat house ads, however...

How to Draw: Lobo
(Hope yer takin' notes!)
Imagine getting a year's worth of your favorite DC titles for $15!
Imagine a time when you could subscribe to books like Eclipso , Peter Cannon, and Black Condor!

--

Quotes:

Hal: "Hey, ask any superhero you want if he'll go up against Sinestro or Entropy and he'll say 'Lemme at 'im!'  Then ask him about marriage and see if he sounds so brave!"

Sapolu: "No, Green Lantern!  You've been called for pass interference--by the great referee Sapolu!  HaHaHaHaHa"

Sapolu (to Hal): "No, You are not Green Lantern.  You are like Green Lantern, but your hair isn't cut in a bowl!"

Chubby: "Hey, Skeeter!  You want to go spit off the bridge?"
Skeeter: "Gee, Chubby, only if we don't get in trouble!"

--

Enjoy the Super'Bowl!

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