Green Lantern (vol.2) #188 (May, 1985)
“Mogo Doesn’t Socialize”
Writers – Steve Englehart & Alan Moore
Pencils – Joe Staton & Dave Gibbons
Inks – Bruce Patterson
Letters – Helen Vesik
Colors – Tony Tollin
Edits – Andy Helfer & Len Wein
Cover Price: $0.75
Here’s one I’ve wanted to talk about for a while now. It’s an issue with a pretty important “back-up feature”… one that has grown in legend in the several decades since.
When a story is of a certain “status”, I become a bit trepadacious about covering it here. First, I mean… what more can I say that hasn’t already been said. Second, I feel like I put additional pressure on myself… like I’m “rising to the occasion” or something. It kinda takes me out of my comfort zone.
That said… let’s try and look at this as a regular issue… and not a seminal episode in Green Lantern lore.
We open with reporter, Tawny Young spilling the beans on John Stewart being the secret identity of the “new” Green Lantern! What follows are testimonies from folks in John’s old neighborhood (including his mother), and even from members of the Justice League, Superman and Green Arrow! Well, very brief testimony from the Leaguers… almost like they might not be in the right context for the story.
Anyhoo, retired-Hal and Carol are watching this unfold from their Malibu beach house. Tawny makes a to-do about how it’s only lately that this new-Green Lantern has bothered to wear a mask. Hal thinks that’s kinda weird too. Just then, Ollie calls… and tells Hal that he and Superman had no idea that Young was going to let the cat out of the bag. After hanging up, Ollie blames everything on “that damned Carol Ferris”.
Hal and Carol decide not to worry about the Green Lantern situation, and instead focus on the identity of… the Predator! Elsewhere, Tawny Young is getting chatted up by her old “out of style” boss, Mr. Linders. He tells her that, thanks to her big story, she’s the new West Coast Correspondent.
We shift scenes to John and Katma heading to Marina Del Ray. It’s here that we learn why John decided to start wearing the mask… he figured that since he’s no longer a “fill-in” Green Lantern, he might as well wear the whole outfit.
They head into John’s apartment… and he makes a halfhearted attempt at sounding like he’s going to have a lotta ladies in and out of the joint. He eventually comes clean and cops to being a “square”. At this point, Katma has decided to shade-shift her skin… shedding the red for a tone like John’s. He’s a bit bamboozled… and can’t hide his attraction.
Meanwhile, in Encinal Canyon… the Universe’s most dangerous Marching Band Leader, Sonar… the Master of Sound, vows to destroy this new Green Lantern.
We jump to the next day, and Tom Kalamaku is arriving for work at Ferris Aircraft. He and Hal have had a bit of a falling out since Jordan decided to “hang up the ring”. Ya see, Tom and Carol were the only two civilians to know his secret. Tom gives Hal the silent treatment… and, Hal thinks to himself “he’ll get over it”.
Just then, John and Katma arrive on site. They are swarmed by Ferris employees who never realized their staff-architect was actually the Green Lantern. Who’da thunk that any Green Lantern worked for Ferris?! Anyhoo, Carol beelines over to John… and fires him! She’s outta the GL business, ya see.
She does reveal that he was given the job initially because of a recommendation from Hal Jordan. Now, it’s worth mentioning, John doesn’t even know that Hal was his predecessor. In fact, they don’t even really know each other all that well. Before Carol can get her foot any deeper in her mouth, Hal interjects… but, before he can “talk too much”, Katma shoves her tongue down his throat. Alrighty then.
Carol… is ticked, as you might imagine. John introduces Katma as “Katarina”, from Nigeria. That doesn’t cool Ms. Ferris’ jet though. When Hal explains who “Katarina” really is… well, that doesn’t help much either. “That damned” Carol Ferris… she’s a tough nut to crack.
We join John, as he is emptying his desk… just then, he’s attacked… by Sonar! John suits up and heads into action… but gets “PLOWed” pretty quick.
They continue to fight, with John trying to figure out an “angle” he can use to take out the Marching Band Leader. Hal looks on from the ground… and tries to convince himself that this is no longer “his problem”.
Then, John figures it out! It’s all about the sound-waves. He and Katma sandwich Sonar between some construct-waves… which proves to be too much for the baddie to properly absorb!
We wrap up with Sonar “UMPing” to the ground… and Tawny Young showing up looking for another interview. She calls out to “John”, but he corrects her… he’s “Green Lantern”.
That wraps up our “feature”, but we’re not done yet… what follows is one of the more famous Tales of the Green Lantern Corps. We open with Arisia flipping through the Green Lantern, uh, registry? She’s shocked to find so many Lanterns she’s never heard of… and one of the names that “sticks out”, is… Mogo.
Tomar Re tells the story of Mogo… and how he “doesn’t socialize”. His story begins with Bolphunga the Unrelenting descending upon an uninhabited planet to search out the elusive Lantern known as Mogo.
He calls out for Mogo to show himself… and gets no reply. And so, Bolphunga spends the next several weeks stomping ’round the vacant planet seeking Mogo out. It gets to the point where he starts checking insects for Power Rings!
There seems to be no intelligent life on this planet… however, the foliage appears to be very well “tended to”. Which, in Bolphunga’s mind, lends to the idea that there must be at least one “intelligent being” here.
The weeks turn to months, and our man is still at a loss. He reflects on his findings, and goes back to the maps he’d created of the planet… when he finds something… meaningful… about that foliage.
Bolphunga drops everything… and gets outta dodge. As he flies off, we get a good look at the planet… whose foliage is cut into a Green Lantern Power Ring! Ya see, Mogo… is the planet! Tomar Re wraps up his story, claiming that Mogo’s gravity field is so strong that if it were to come near Oa, it would pull it apart.
Okay, where to begin?
Let’s get Mogo out of the way. This is definitely a story you want to head into without already knowing the “twist”. It’s a neat story either way, but… man, I really feel like I missed out not “receiving” this one as it was intended. I mean, who doesn’t know about Mogo these days? Though, if, uh… I spoiled the reveal for you, I am very sorry. The Tales of the Green Lantern Corps stories are usually hit-or-miss for me (more often than not, a miss), but… I enjoyed this one quite a bit.
Our lead-off story… another good one! John’s secret identity being revealed is a pretty interesting wrinkle, and you’d almost think that this whole thing was going to lead to a romantic entanglement between John and Tawny. Since I find Tawny to be a tremendous pain in the butt, I’m glad they zigged instead of zagged.
I dig how we can feel that Hal might have a bit of regret about retiring the mantle. He sticks around for the Sonar battle… and has to convince himself that it’s no longer his fight. As though, if he had to, he’d get involved even without a ring…
I feel like many of us have been there. Like, you quit or leave a job or something… and as the days wind down, you find yourself with a sort of dissonance. You kinda want to be involved… and you have so much experience in dealing with work-specific situations… yet, at the same time… those situations are no longer your concern.
It’s like you enter this weird “eye of the storm” or something. There’s a calm about you, and everything that stressed you out about your job, no longer does… it would almost be… I dunno, fun, to get back into the thick of it. Ehh, maybe I’m projecting.
Gotta wonder how much of Hal’s regret has to do with him being stuck with “That damned” Carol Ferris. I mean, eesh… she’s not
someone I’d care to be stuck in an elevator with.
Overall, excellent issue… it’s a must-read for the Mogo story alone. It’s a good thing the feature story ain’t no slouch either! Both stories have been collected, and this issue is available digitally.