Green Lantern (vol.2) #191 (1985)

Green Lantern (vol.2) #191 (August, 1985)
Writer – Steve Englehart
Pencils – Joe Staton
Inks – Bruce Patterson
Letters – L. Lois Buhalis
Colors – Anthony Tollin
Editor – Andy Helfer
Cover Price: $0.75

Well, we’ve tap-danced around it for a little while now.  Every time we discuss an issue of Green Lantern from this era, that name comes up… The Predator.

Today, what say we get to the bottom of it, once and for all?  Which is to say, howsabout we find out his identity, without any of the explanation and/or context?

Sound good?  Let’s go!

We open with Hal searching a room trying to find evidence as to the identity of… the Predator.  The Predator has been taunting he and Carol Ferris for a little while now, and he’d very much like for it to stop.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t currently have all of the powers and abilities his Green Lantern ring would’ve afforded him… that had been ceded to former GL-backup, John Stewart.  He did manage to shoot the Predator (in the head, even!) but the bullet just bounced off of his helmet.  In the room, he finds some perfume and a videotape.  On the tape, Tawny Young is interviewing… him!  And it’s an interview he does not remember being a part of!

Hal wants answers… and so, he makes a call to Ms. Young.  She’s not available.  He then decides to call Ollie and Dinah, who were also on the tape.  They ain’t answering either.  Finally he tries contacting the current Green Lantern, John Stewart.  Only problem there is, Stewart doesn’t know that Hal was his predecessor and has no reason to take his call!

And so, Hal decides “screw it”, and heads over to John’s apartment for a “pop-in”.  Unfortunately for him… John ain’t home.  Heck, he ain’t even on planet!  Worth noting, in space, it looks like John and Katma are about to start a beautiful friendship.

Later, we rejoin Hal back at Carol’s place.  He tells her about his day… shooting the Predator in the head, and all that.  After making out on the deck for awhile, he takes her inside to watch the video he’d found.  Carol doesn’t recall that ever happening either!  She heads into her datebook archives and deduces that someone out there is most definitely messing with their memories!  Gee, I wonder who that could be…?

Just then… the Predator bursts through the window!  He backhands Carol, and Hal goes right for his pistol.  After some smack talk, Pred grabs Carol and snatches her away.  He tells Hal where he’s taking her… and suggests he follow, whenever he’s ready… to die!

After a brief chat with Ollie, during which he insists that “Hal Jordan still matters”, and a peek back into space with John and Katma… Hal is ready to pursue his stolen girlfriend, and he does so dressed like the world’s lamest G.I. Joe action figure… sorta like a baseball catcher.  Anyhoo, he finds Carol, tied up to Captain America’s shield.

The Predator… strikes!  And the pair exchange blows (and barbs) for the next several pages.  When Hal has the upper hand, the Predator flees toward his… organ?  Like a literal musical organ… no euphemisms here.  At this, Carol absolutely freaks out… whatever happens, Pred must not reach the organ!

Unfortunately, Hal’s heavy padding has slowed him down severely… and he is unable to cut the Predator off at the pass.  Pred hits the organ… and tells Carol Ferris that he loves her as himself.  To which, Carol… now free of Cap’s shield… replies that, yes… she loves him too!

Then, the Predator and Carol come together… and merge… into the Star Sapphire!  Aw, sonuvagun.  We wrap up with Sapphire laughing… a most macho laugh.

So… the Predator was really Carol Ferris all along?!  Well, yes and no… I don’t want to go too deep into the how’s and “what the’s” in case we discuss the issue where that’s all explained… just know that the Predator entity (there’s that word…) embodies love, and is sort of a parasite.  Somebody get Cosmic Chris Hansen up in here.

What sticks out most to me this issue, is Hal Jordan’s sorta-kinda crisis-of-self.  That’s always my takeaway when we look at issues from this era.  Hal has given up the ring… and in so doing, kinda gave up how he defined himself as a man… to others, and more importantly, to himself.

We’ve got a Hal Jordan plagued by regret… during a time before the name “Hal Jordan” was almost entirely defined by it!  Hal doesn’t have his Green Lantern powers… what’s more, he no longer has his Green Lantern legitimacy.  This is something he clearly regrets.

Possibly a case of the grass always being (if you’ll pardon the pun) greener on the other side.  While he was a Lantern, he viewed himself as trapped under the thumb of the Guardians… and as missing out on parts of his “normal” life.  Here, on the other side… he’s got the girl (kinda), but that’s really about it!  Heck, he can’t even get his replacement to take his phone calls!

The Predator reveal… in a vacuum, makes absolutely no sense.  It’s insanely silly, and makes for one heckuva cliffhanger, but… really, I gotta assume this was a pretty deflating reveal back in the long ago.  After building up this mystery for several months… revealing the Predator as Carol Ferris feels kind of like a cop out.  I’m pretty sure this wasn’t the original intention when Len Wein introduced the concept.  I could be mistaken… but, I have a sneaking suspicion this was meant to go another way.

Overall, a fun enough issue.  Outside of the reveal, there isn’t a whole lot of meat on the bone, but what we get is pretty enjoyable.  This issue is available digitally.

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