Action Comics Weekly #621 (Green Lantern)
Writer/Co-Plots – James Owsley
Pencils/Co-Plots – M.D. Bright
Inks – Jose Marzan, Jr.
Letters – Albert DeGuzman
Colors – Tony Tollin
Assistant Editor – Dan Raspler
Editor – Denny O’Neil
Welcome to the sorta-kinda official “halfway point” of our Action Comics Daily endeavor! This format was in place for 42 issues… and here we are at 21! We’re really tearing through this aren’t we?
Worth noting, today is where we would be covering Green Lantern Special #1. That story fits between the Freak Show arc, and the one we’re kicking off right now… but, this is a very busy few weeks for me. The wife and I are out of town on our anniversary vacation, and I’ve got a big research assignment that’s just about due. I don’t have the time to cover an entire 48-pager. We will get to it though!
Before hopping in: I had a couple of ideas where to take the blog once this wraps up (if my math’s right… ACW will end in October).
First Thought: A daily look at each story in New Talent Showcase from the late-80’s. These stories really have nothing to do with the DC Universe, and are basically “try-out” stories for new writers and artists. There were 19 issues of NTS, and each one has four-ish features.
Second Thought: Bonus Books. A daily look at DC’s 16-page Insert Previews/Bonus Books from the 1980’s. I think there is only 20 or so of these… so, they’ll be quick. We’ve already looked at an Insert Preview here on the site… for Masters of the Universe.
We’ve still got plenty of time to mull this over… I figure we’ll probably get the chance to explore both.
Anyhoo… let’s welcome Priest and Bright back to GL!
We open with Hal Jordan answering a call in Sol, wherein a spacecraft transporting a crew of 600 had been damaged… and is currently being drawn toward the Sun. Hal struggles for a bit, reminding us all that his ring has that weakness against anything yellow, but is eventually able to get the job done. With this all behind him, he high-tails it back to Los Angeles, as he is about to be late for his new job… as a freelance pilot for Elite Design Consultants (aka. the Gremlins… heyyy, that’s the title of this story!).
Upon arrival in the Gremlin locker room, Hal decides to up the ante and do something really dumb. He removes his power ring, and leaves it in his locker. Ya see, he’s in it for the challenge, maaaan… and, after all… what’s the worst thing that could happen while test-flying a jet? It’s almost as if we can stop reading right here, innit?
Ehh, we’ll press on. Hal’s in the air, when… whattayaknow… one of the engines conks out. While the rest of the Gremlins look on in horror, Hal calls himself out as an idjit for leaving his ring behind. Then… interestingly, he questions if he even has any right risking his life in non-Lantern situations. As we know, he’s been appointed as a guardian of Earth… and with that great power comes… well, you know.
Either way, Hal actually manages to land the bird without much incident. Hopefully, he’s learned a lesson or two, though. The Gremlins rush over to congratulate him, and to get a better look at the jet.
We close out this chapter with Hal, back in the locker room, “Lanterning up”. Unfortunately, just as he finishes reciting the oath, his power battery explodes! From it, a yellow beam shoots into space!
Well, this is certainly tonally different than what we’ve had over the past few weeks, ain’t it? This actually feels more like a Green Lantern story than any of that silly Freak Show mess.
I’m glad that we’re kind of just “dropped” into this new arc… no wasted panels of Hal lamenting the end of his relationship with a teen-ager… no pining over which Hawkes sister he’d rather make time with… just a routine Green Lantern outing, wherein he gets the opportunity to give a quick-and-dirty on his mission and powers. It’s a nice clean break… which, I kind of feel like we needed. Though, as I mentioned in the pre-ramble, GL Special #1 fits in right around here.
Hal working for the “Gremlins” is a nice touch, as he certainly wouldn’t be able to go back to work for Ferris at this time. It’s a familiar trapping for him… but just “new” enough.
Not sure what buddy was thinking taking his ring off. That never works out, does it? Oh well, as a way of pressing the plot forward, I suppose there are worse things. Then again, what would have happened if he was wearing his ring? Would the Gremlins find out that he’s Green Lantern? Who knows?
Something I really appreciated was Hal’s internal monologue as he was just about to crash. He wondered about his responsibilities… and whether or not he had any right risking his life, when he’s supposed to be watching over the Earth. That’s pretty deep stuff… I really dug it.
Let’s briefly touch on the art. Doc Bright is just fantastic… and is probably in my Top-5 of Green Lantern artists. This just feels “right” to me. A true return to form… especially after the… uh, less traditional stylings of Richard Howell.
Overall… a good start to a new arc, with a whopper of a cliffhanger.
Tomorrow: Finally… the Night Slasher!