ACW #620 – Green Lantern

Action Comics Weekly #620 (Green Lantern)
“Last Gasp!”
Writer/Co-Plotter – Peter David
Pencils/Co-Plotter – Richard Howell
Inks – Arne Starr
Letters – Albert DeGuzman
Colors – Anthony Tollin
Assistant Editor – Dan Raspler
Editor – Denny O’Neil

Welcome friends, to Week Twenty of our little Action Comics Daily endeavor.  Where do the days go?

More than that, welcome to the Final Chapter of the “Freak Show” arc here on Green Lantern day.  I’ll be happy to be moving on from this one!

Without any further ado… let’s put this arc in the rear view!

We open with the members of the Freak Show rushing toward a Hal Jordan-shaped slab of flaming candied ham.  Castle is overjoyed that they managed to kill Green Lantern… I tell ya what, if I were any other GL villain right now, I’d be hanging my head in shame… because these goofs are pah-thetic.  It’s a moot point, however… because ham-Hal was just a Hal-made projection… which, I didn’t realize was a power he even had?

Whatever the case, he manages to knock the Freaks down and even get a bit of intel from Siphon.  Turns out… he believes that Castle is the mastermind of the whole magilla.  Dem Hawkes sisters are nothing more than pawns in his diabolical plan.  Castle denies any such thing, however, before long… the rest of the Freak Show are pointing fingers and ratting him out as well!

Castle pulls himself up to his feet and rushes into the office of the shadowy sister.  You remember “Plan Omega” from last week?  Well, ya see… Plan Omega wasn’t really a plan at all.  It was just a set-up, wherein if things went toes-up… Castle would take 100% of the blame.  He ain’t cool with any of that… but gets shot in the chest before he can really protest all that much.

And, folks… I hope you’re all sitting down, because it’s here where we learn that… sweet, demure, innocent Lillian was the Shadowy Sister all along!  *Gasp*  Just then, Hal flies by and sees Castle lying dead before Lil.  She claims she shot him in self-defense and, since she’s cute, Hal doesn’t need much convincing.

We head down to the lobby where Veronica is talking to some police officers.  She takes a time out to flirt with Hal a little bit, which hopefully doesn’t make it into the Police Report.  Ultimately, Lillian gets away with it… so, I guess, “Plan Omega” was a rousing success!

We wrap up this chapter, this arc, and this creative-run with Hal returning to his hotel room.  There, he finds Arisia decked out in her grown-up clothes preparing to leave.  She offers to stay, just to see how Hal might respond… but he agrees that it’s probably for the best… after all, she is kinda looking like a Durlan right now… also, she’s a child.  He kisses her on the forehead… and she out.

So, that was the Peter David run!  From an appearance on Oprah, to the revelation of a sorta-kinda lobotomy, to the returning of Hal Jordan’s “fear sector”, to… well, the Freak Show, there was a precipitous decline in quality and fun almost by the week!

All of that to get us to a… pretty anticlimactic end, no?  I mean, Lillian just gets away with it, and hints (with her glance) that she’s going to keep up the nefariousness in order to usurp control of the company from Veronica?  Ooh, sign me up for this sequel!  I can’t wait to see how it plays out… 

Okay, so where are we now?  Well, the Freak Show is done… never to darken a comic book panel again… the Hawkes Sisters are back to business as usual, also never to darken a panel again… and the illegal Hal and Arisia relationship is over.  I suppose we might look at that, at least, as a net-positive?  After all, it’s the only thing we get to keep!  Everything else has been swept under the rug.

Art here isn’t as off-putting as it has been, though Howell’s Arisia does come across as rather grotesque.  That’s one character he never really came around on.  I guess it’s too bad they’re both making their exit here.  Next week, Mark Bright will slip into the artist’s chair… and we’ll all be better off for it.

Overall… the PAD run… well, I’m repeating myself here (which should tell ya how much I really have to say in the first place), but it started off pretty strong… and had a lot of fun possibilities.  The “Oprah” arc was mostly satisfying, and had Hal have to deal with a lot of things he hadn’t really thought about before.  The revelation of the “non-lobotomy” was brave, even if they didn’t necessarily stick the landing… or, ya know… even mention it again.

If David left after the first arc, I’d like to think his run would be better remembered.  The Freak Show arc, though?  It’s just not very good.  Add to that, the left-of-center art and some forgettable characters, and it’s a recipe for disinterest.  It was a slog when I went through this arc for the Cosmic Treadmill, and it was a slog going through it now.

Tomorrow: Wild Dog Has it His Way

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