Green Lantern Corps #201 (1986)

Green Lantern Corps #201 (June, 1986)
“Setting Up Shop”
Writer – Steve Englehart
Pencils – Joe Staton
Inks – Mark Farmer
Letters – L. Lois Buhalis
Colors – Carl Gafford
Editor – Andy Helfer
Cover Price: $0.75

Starting work on a Hal Jordan focused project for an upcoming episode of the Cosmic Treadmill… and decided to give myself a bit of a refresher course to fill in any gaps in my memory.

We’re going to start with the first issue of Green Lantern Corps… which, of course continued from Green Lantern (vol.2) and ran until the end of this numbering a couple years later.

To set the table a bit… the Guardians of the Universe and the Zamarons have left to mate… leaving the Guardians’ charges the Green Lantern Corps to more or less fend for themselves and find their own way.  There’s also something about a “new race” emerging within the next millenn… er, thousand years.

This issue is also the first appearance of our friend Kilowog!

As you might be able to tell from the cover image above… my copy is a juuuuust a bit crumpled.  Oh well.

We open with Lanterns Ch’p and Salaak bumping into each other on their way from their respective sectors to Earth.  They’re both kinda surprised, considering they had planned to stay in their own home worlds after the Guardians split town and left Hal Jordan and John Stewart in charge.  The original plan was for Hal, Arisia, John, and Katma to operate from Earth… because “the next race” would evolve there sometime in the next thousand years… or, millennium, if you will… with the rest of the Lanterns sticking close to their home sectors.

Turns out though, when Ch’p arrived back to his home world, H’lven… he found himself attacked!  Finding this to be not quite right, he headed to his “nest”… only to find that his old squeeze M’nn’e is now married to Ch’p’s old pal D’ll.  It appears that this new post-Crisis H’lven is quite a bit different than the one he’d left.  Oh, also… their Ch’p is dead.  Did any of that make sense?  Anyhoo, Ch’p decides that his home is no longer his own, so it’s off to Earth with him.

Ch’p asks Salaak what brings him back Earth-way… but he doesn’t spill the beans.  Truth is, he just became used to being around teammates… poor dude was lonely back home.

And so, not too long after… Ch’p and Salaak arrive in Los Angeles and reconnoiter with their pals.  All but Hal are wearing new duds.  It’s pretty cute, John and Katma’s are matching.  It’s also here that we get another dig at just how young Arisia is.  Hal’s got “No Comment” on the subject… which miiiiight not hold up in court.

Then… Kilowog!  He, uh… just shows up.  This is, of course, his first appearance… and he… just shows up!  He introduces himself as, not a drill sergeant, but a genetics scientist.  When he heard what the Guardians had prophesized (that whole Millennium thing), he decided to head to Earth.

So, we’ve got seven Lanterns… howsabout we find ourselves just as many villains?  We shift scenes to United States Army base where Sonar, Throttle, and Blindside are trying to break in.  I know I’m shakin’ in my boots.  Once inside the vault (yeah, there’s a vault) they meet up with… Doctor Polaris, Whiteout, Dropded and… Polestar.  What, were the Crumbler, Lamplighter, and Javelin busy?

Looks like Polestar is being built into the “big bad” here… and mum’s the word on exactly what he’s all about.  Doctor Polaris wants to take the fight to the Lantern Corps… after surviving the assembly of heroes that came together during Crisis… he doesn’t want to see that many good guys together ever again.

Speaking of good guys, we join Guy Gardner… who is staying on Maltus with Appa Ali Apsa… and complaining about the size of his quarters.  As luck would have it, Maltus comes under attack… Guy takes care of business… then demands a larger suite.  Well, that was worth it.

On the planet Zamaron, the Queen of the Star Sapphires, Carol Ferris returns and is surprised to find her world deserted.  Of course, we know that the Zamarons and Guardians went off to bump uglies for awhile.  She ain’t pleased… and begins planning how she’s going to lash out at the universe.

Back on Earth, the Lanterns start building their new citadel.  Good thing John is an architect.  Here we learn the Arisia will go by the name Cindy Simpson… and we get our first look at Ch’p and Salaak’s new duds… one of which includes a bow tie.

Then… the Sinister Seven attack!  And hey, the Citadel went up pretty fast!

What follows is several (probably too many) pages of fighting… wherein the baddies get to demonstrate their powers before ultimately being overpowered by the Lanterns.

The villains bug out via a portal… and the Lanterns notice that the “guy with the funny earpieces” didn’t even act during the battle.  That guy is Polestar… and we’re not allowed to know his deal yet.  Anyhoo, the Lanterns realize that their time on Earth is likely to be anything but boring.

Pretty fun issue here… really enjoyed this take on the Green Lantern Corps!

Sometimes there feel like so many Lanterns we’re supposed to keep track of, that none of them really stand out.  I mean, how many tentacled, plant-looking Lanterns am I supposed to care about anyway?  Bringing this “team” down to a core seven members, really helps me to “invest” in each of them.

I’ve always been tickled by the strange friendship between Ch’p and Salaak.  These are two critters you’d never put together… they’re just so different… but, it works!  They’re so different that they kinda bring out the best in one another.  You can tell that Ch’p’s going to be ch’pping away at Salaak’s defenses and eventually win him over.

Keeping with Ch’p for a minute… I thought it was pretty interesting how they made it so his home world was affected by “reality setting in” after the Crisis.  I feel like we didn’t get enough scenes like this.  It’s not something I’d have wanted to see overdone… but, it’s pretty neat in this case.  I apologize for all of the apostrophes during the synopsis… but, whattayagonnado?

The “couples” are pretty neat.  John and Arisia are a great match… a doomed one, but great for now.  I like that they chose matching uniforms for their new “look”.  Hal and Arisia… it’s still a bit disturbing.  Kinda feels like the girlfriend a divorced dad would bring along for visitation just to “stick it” to the ex-wife.  Hal doesn’t seem to have much of an emotional attachment to her here… seems more like he’s just “putting up with” her.  I guess there’s only so many times a grown dude can help with his girlfriend’s pre-algebra homework before he gets bored.

Then there’s Kilowog!  Definitely a bit different than the post-Emerald Dawn ‘wog we’re all used to.  First time I read this back in the long ago, I thought maybe this was a different guy… who just looked like Kilowog.  I mean, how many nearly identical bird-faced Lanterns do we have?  Kilowog’s entire race could’ve all looked like that… right?  Ehh, maybe it’s just me.

Overall… had a good time with this one, though the fight scene did drag a bit… and even became somewhat repetitive, using the same gimmick a couple of times.  That said though, I think this is an important issue for Lantern-fans… and there’s definitely fun to be had here.  This issue is available digitally.

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