Green Lantern (vol.2) #178 (1984)

Green Lantern (vol.2) #178 (July, 1984)
“A Bad Case of the D.T.s!”
Writer/Editor – Len Wein
Artist/Letterer – Dave Gibbons
Colorist – Anthony Tollin
Cover Price: $0.75

I thought we’d found our next #VartoxWeek with our pal The Predator.  Figured we could go “all in” on this character… and take a look at all of their appearances.

And then I realized that we won’t be able to check out some of their earlier post-Crisis appearances… for reasons I won’t elaborate on.  It’s easy enough to Google.  There is a bit of (alleged) irony there… which I also won’t elaborate on.  Again, easy enough to Google if you are so inclined.

Anyhoo, we’ll still be taking a look at The Predator… just not those issues.  Haven’t decided if this will be a dedicated “thing” like #VartoxWeek or #BrightestMay were… we’ll just play it by ear for now.

Today though… we’re taking a look at the Predator’s first appearance!

We open with Congressman (would-be Congressman?  wannabe Congressman?  It’s one’a those), Jason Bloch meeting with a group of hired “associates”… the Demolition Team!  Hoo boy.  He’s wanting them to destroy Ferris Aircraft… and after a brief introductory scene, Rosie (the Riveter) agrees to do just that.

Elsewhere, Hal Jordan is chasing down a runaway armored car.  He makes rather the spectacle on the streets, and manages to nab the would-be robbers with ease (and flair, naturally).

Then back at Ferris Aircraft, he (and we) join Tom Kalamaku and Bruce “Eclipso” Gordon in a hangar where they are working on a solar jet.  Hal greets the gang, and we see that Richard Davis is currently in the cockpit… where he intends to stay.  Ya see, he isn’t keen on Hal coming in and nabbing all of the glory… and, ya know… he might just have a point.

Later, Eclipso gets a phone call from… Steve Holt, maybe?  Judging from the pose, it’s almost gotta be.  Anyhoo, Bruce is taunted by the mystery caller… nearly bullied off the project.

Elsewhere, we check in with a few more Ferris associates, Clay Kendall, April O’Rourke, and Jake Ramirez.  After a jog they return to the field to take a look at Kendall’s “Psi-Chair”… if you’ve been following the blog, you already know how this turns out.

In Washington, D.C., Congressman Bloch is handed a copy of the newspaper.  In it, he learns that Green Lantern wasn’t in the vegetative state he thought he was.  Ya see, it looked as though Hal fell into a coma not too long ago… but, that wasn’t exactly the case.

Panicked, Bloch makes a phone call… to a certain satellite… of a certain Monitor!  Yeah, that Monitor.  After sharing his “tale of woe”, the Monitor responds with a pretty basic “sucks to be you, pal”.

Worse still, Bloch doesn’t know the half of it!  He’s currently being surveilled by some well-dressed men in a windowless van!

Back at Ferris, Hal and Carol flirt a little bit.  Suddenly… the ground starts shaking… the Demolition Team has arrived!

Hal rushes into the locker room to change into his emerald duds… however, before he can take it to the D.T.s, he is visited by… one of the Guardians of the Universe.  Ya see, there’s trouble elsewhere which requires Hal’s immediate attention.  This dinky Airfield is just going to have to survive their present crisis on their own!  Hal begrudgingly agrees… he did give the Guardians his word, after all.

Meanwhile, the Demolition Team are just wrecking stuff left and right.  Some of our Ferris-favorites attempt to intervene… but, that goes about as well as you might imagine.  Looks like nothing is going to stop this group of geeks.

Then, in space… Hal arrives on Omnicron Ceti IV, a peaceful-looking planet.  As he sets down, he can’t figure out just why he’d been sent here.  Then… he realizes that Omnicron Ceti IV has an unstable radioactive core… and looks to be heading for the same sorta doom as Krypton!  Worth noting, we do get a mention about how fellow-Lantern, Tomar-Re was unable to save Krypton from it’s splody doom.

Back on Earth, the Ferris staff decides to stand their ground and have a unified front against the Demolition Team… which, while noble… is just a little bit precious, don’tcha think?  It’s all a moot point, however, as this is when… he arrives!  Ladies and Gentlemen, I give to you… The Predator!

Well, there ya have it… the first appearance of The Predator.  I think, had this character “taken off” this would one would be listed in Wizard Magazine as a “first appearance cameo”, with the next issue being regarded as the true “first appearance”.  Get to inflate the values of more issues that way!

What immediately struck me about this one… and this might sound weird, but it’s… the title of the story!  “A bad case of the D.T.s”.  If you don’t know, “The D.T.s” or Delirium Tremens is a withdrawal symptom when heavy drinkers are trying to kick the alcohol habit.  From all accounts, it sounds like a really bad time… as with most withdrawal effects, I suppose.  I don’t think such a title would be used today.  Either way, that just struck me as a bit odd.

Heading into the story… we’ve got Hal called off planet, just when Carol needs him the most.  Since we have read ahead, we already know that this is leading to Hal taking a “break” from the Corps… and this serves as a pretty great set-up for that.

Speaking of Hal being off-planet.  I love the throwback to Tomar-Re’s attempt to save Krypton.  I was always a fan of linking the Green Lantern Corps (tangentially) into Superman’s origin story… such a cool way of interlocking their lores… also, because… c’mon, if Krypton was about to pop… the Green Lantern of that sector would probably at least attempt to get involved, right?

The Demolition Team.  Ehh.  They’re one-note and weird… but they get the job done.  If I didn’t know any better I’d bet that Peter David created them.  He didn’t, of course… but, c’mon… that feels like a group of PAD baddies, right?

Then we get a cameo from… the Monitor!  I always say this, so I apologize for repeating myself… anytime we see the Monitor during the pre-Crisis, I always feel like we’re seeing something we shouldn’t.  It’s such an uncomfortable feeling… but, it works.

It’s like that weird “kayfabe-line” that is sometimes crossed in professional wrestling.  You see something that feels “off script” and real, and you think to yourself “Sure… everything else that happened here was scripted… but that was real.”  Not sure why, but that’s how I feel when I see the Monitor.  Not that the Monitor is “real” in the character sense, but as an editorial tool… he most definitely was!

Overall… not a bad little issue.  Congressman Bloch’s plan is going into motion, we’re sowing the seeds of (yet another) Hal quarreling with the Corps, we see the Monitor, and we meet… The Predator.  This one ain’t lacking for content, I’ll tell ya that much!  The Wein and Gibbons team… man, I can’t call them “underrated” because we all know how great they are… but, I wish they had more time on the book.  This issue is available digitally.

Letters Page (featuring Beau Smith and The Mad Maple!):

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