ACW #613 – Green Lantern

Action Comics Weekly #613 (Green Lantern)
“Head Trip”
Writer – Peter David
Art – Tod Smith
Letters – Albert DeGuzman
Colors – Anthony Tollin
Assistant Editor – Dan Raspler
Editor – Denny O’Neil

It’s a New Day… er, Week, yes it is!  This week gives us a very different line-up than the one we started with back in Action Comics Weekly #601!  Only two of our original six features are in this one… so, if you’re worried about stagnation setting in here at the Infinite Earths, well… I mean, it’s still me, so we’re not completely in the clear of that.  There’ll just be new things for me to talk about, is all.

Let’s kick it off with ol’ reliable Hal!

If you recall, last week’s chapter ended with Hal getting zapped pretty good by Mind Games.  This time out, we’re going to open inside Hal’s head… and see just what this zappin’ did to his noodle!  We’re going to go through some very strong emotions with our man, starting with HATRED.  Hal finds himself surrounded by some baddies… who he, well… kills.  Hatred soon turns to GUILT, wherein Hal finds himself surrounded by… dead baddies.  He attempts to resuscitate Sinestro, but it’s to no avail.

Next emotion, JEALOUS RAGE.  Hal is surrounded by… fellow Lanterns, and they’re reading him the riot act for his trespass in killing the villains.  He lashes out, claiming that the Lanterns have no right to judge him.  Quite why this is being referred to as “jealous” in any way, I’m not entirely sure.  In fact, he accuses the other Lanterns of being jealous of him!  I guess we’ll roll with it, though.

Next… is kind of the one we’ve been uncomfortably edging up to for awhile now.  This emotion is PASSION… and it has to do with his underage girlfriend.  Arisia enters the frame wearing some very revealing undergarments… she and Hal make out for a bit, before our man comes to the revelation that, ya know… Arisia’s just a kid!  She breaks the news to him that… she always has been!  Uh-oh.

Star Sapphire then shows up, and asks Hal to “Take a Seat”… okay, no she doesn’t.  She is there to explore Hal’s FEAR.  Below Carol is the corpse of Katma Tui.  This almost works…

… but, lest we forget, Hal is completely without Fear, so this is just the trick to break him out of Mind Games’ trance!  Hal wakes up, kayos the baddie, and takes him into custody.

After dropping Mind Games off with the Chicago P.D., Hal heads back to the Hotel.  He’s surprised to find that Arisia isn’t there waiting for him.  Turns out, she’s still out with that Modelling Agent… and what’s more, she’s agreed to become a model!

We close out with Hal asking his Power Ring how he can be completely without fear.  The Ring informs him that he is “fearless as per instructions”… whatever that means.  Hal asks for clarification… and finds himself sucked into his own ring!

Now, this is more like it!  This is the “meat” that we’ve been working our way towards ever since the first Oprah issue.

We hop inside the mind of Hal Jordan… and find out it’s quite the strange and creepy place.  He appears to have a great deal of pent up frustration… with his friends, his enemies, his lover… and with himself.

Let’s get the most uncomfortable one out of the way first.  Arisia… is a kid.  Sure, they kinda swept it under the rug with some half-hearted explanation that her teen-agery form is actually that of a grown (and assumedly, legal) adult in her race… but, the fact remains that Hal Jordan, Earthman… is sexually attracted to a woman who has the appearance of a young teen.  What’s more… with this chapter, he appears to come to that realization himself… and it freaks him out.

Now… here’s the thing… Hal is disturbed by this, but why?  Is it because he knows it’s wrong?  Is it because he fears he’ll be punished?  Hmm… fear.

Let’s keep tugging at that thread a bit.  Hal lashes out at villains early on in the chapter, killing them.  Was any part of that rooted in fear?  Once dead, he frantically tries to revive them… again, could that be rooted in fear?  Fear of doing something wrong?  Fear of reprisal and punishment?  Maybe…

I mean, this is all going to make more sense in the coming weeks, so I’ll stifle it with the analysis for now.  Fact is, this was a pretty good installment, one of the best yet… and it’s leading to a revelation that, if it were allowed to remain in continuity, would have led to some very interesting encounters to come.  We’ll talk more about that next time.

Tomorrow: Welcome to the rotation, Dick Grayson!

0 thoughts on “ACW #613 – Green Lantern

  • Jeremiah

    Every since the podcast I've been very curious to see what this chapter looked like on the page, glad to finally see it played out in your post.


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