Action Comics Weekly #604 (Green Lantern)
“I, the Jury”
Writer – James Owsley
Pencils – Gil Kane
Inks – Don Simpson
Letters – Albert DeGuzman
Colors – Anthony Tollin
Editor – Denny O’Neil
Welcome to Week Four of Action Comics Daily.
This chapter of Green Lantern is going to be a little different… for starters, Hal Jordan doesn’t get a whole lot of play here.
His ex-girlfriend sure does though…
We open with John Stewart stood at the Defendant’s table in a courtroom. If you’re not aware, during most of John’s time as Green Lantern, he didn’t wear a mask… and so, his civilian identity became public knowledge. That said, all of the craziness that’s gone down over the past few chapters (the F-16 crash, the Ferris penthouse curfuffle) is being attributed to him. John’s all “don’t look at me”, and informs the Court that the party responsible is actually the Star Sapphire… who’d come gunning for the other Green Lantern, ya know… the white guy!
Easy peasy, right? Well, the Senator sure thinks so… all’s John’s gotta do is tell him who the other Green Lantern is! In a funny bit, John reveals that he never found out his name… and that he just refers to him as “Yo”.
Just then, Hal’s ring appears and plops onto the stand where John is testifying… which is, at best, really poor timing. Speaking of “poor timing”, if we direct our attention to the entryway, we’ll find our next witness… Carol Ferris! She claims that her penthouse was destroyed by a Green Lantern… and, it was most definitely the “black one”.
John… kinda flips out! I mean, Carol Ferris did kill the poor dude’s wife just a week or so ago, so I can’t hold it against him. He slips Hal’s ring on his finger, and an emerald construct bubble forms over Carol’s head.
John’s lawyer tries to talk some sense into him, but it’s no use. Anyhow, John claims that he’s not cutting her oxygen off, so there’s no reason to worry. At that very moment, however, Carol slumps to the floor… dead! Uh-oh. John throws himself out a Courthouse window to escape.
Not being the sharpest fugitive in the wild, John heads directly back to… his apartment. He wonders what’s going on with Hal for him to now be in possession of the power ring (he assumes Jordan’s either kayoed or dead… and at this point, he doesn’t even care which). Suddenly, John can hear Star Sapphire’s voice in his head… she informs him that she killed Hal… and she’s going to kill him too. Before we know it, she levels the apartment building, killing several, including a young child.
We rejoin John at the morgue, where he slips passed a security guard to have a “chat” with Carol’s corpse. Naturally, she’s there waiting for him… alive and well. They share some contentious banter, before Carol cackles herself silly.
Later on, John is stood before Katma’s grave. He removes the Power Ring and chucks it… commanding it to return to Hal Jordan, wherever he is. Unfortunately, just as he does this, he finds himself surrounded by police. We wrap up by finding out just what Hal’s been up to. He’s not dead… nor is he kayoed. He’s actually been chained to a barren planetoid. We leave him just as he’s struck by a bolt of lightning!
Man, this is really heating up… and even though I just read this entire feature a few months ago, I’m having a great time taking another look at it here.
I’ve always dug the “connective tissue” to the prior volume here… John’s the only Green Lantern with a public identity, so it stands to reason, if ever a GL steps out of line, he’s going to be the one to answer for it. The Board doesn’t care if he’s the one responsible or not… at the end of the day, they just need someone to blame.
John’s nonchalant testimony always gets me too. “The white guy? Dunno man, I just call him ‘Yo’.”! Love that!
Carol sauntering in really changes the tone… and the fact that Hal’s ring appears at just the same time compounds the tension a great deal. John’s a good man, and even though he and Hal are at-odds at the moment, he still stops to think about what might have happened to him. He has to actually talk himself out of caring… which is cool.
We talked last week about Carol potentially being too evil to let live. Hal very nearly took her out… but couldn’t. There might have been something to that, as here, we have her leveling an entire apartment building… just to get under John’s skin.
The scene at the morgue was very well done… the idea that both Carol and John are nothing more than glorified “stand ins” is interesting… and seems to affect them both. It’s a bit of a sobering revelation… and John’s gotta wonder just what he’s been busting his hump for all this time… just to be the “other guy” in Green. The whole arrangement wound up costing him his wife, his home… and at the end of this chapter, his freedom!
This is a strong chapter… and, I tell ya what… I didn’t miss Hal one bit!
Tomorrow: A Wild Dog chapter… that actually features Wild Dog?! Say it ain’t so!