ACW #623 – Green Lantern

Action Comics Weekly #623 (Green Lantern)
Writer – James Owsley
Pencils – M.D. Bright
Inks – Jose Marzan
Colors – Tony Tollin
Letters – Albert DeGuzman
Assistant Editor – Dan Raspler
Editor – Denny O’Neil

Welcome back to Action Comics Daily, everybody!  It was a nice little week off from the ACW grind… but, it’s also nice to be back!  I always hate saying goodbye to Christmas… but, with Christmas on Infinite Earths… in July out of the way, it just means we’re inching that much closer to the real one!

It’s been a couple of weeks, so here’s a refresher.  Our man Hal started working for some flight outfit… and kept his Power Battery in his locker.  This one time, perhaps even his first day, the Battery exploded, taking half the locker room with it.  From the Oan shrapnel shot out a yellow beam… which Hal is now following into Sectors unknown, fully aware that his ring will rendered powerless within 24-hours without its daily charge.  We open this chapter ten-hours into his journey with our man arriving on a strange little planet.  After a little bit of recon work, he happens across a long-armed red alien in a gown.  Their initial meeting doesn’t go all that well.

The red alien manages to catch the Hal’s ring-slung emerald energy… and uses it to drag Green Lantern off the planet, and to a sort of synthetic planetoid.  The alien deposits Hal into a sort of tunnel.

Jordan is approached by a sentry robot… which he blasts to pieces.  Then, a little orange alien heads over and gives Hal a great big hug.

Before he knows it, Hal’s surrounded by a whole lotta aliens of varying shapes and sizes.  Then, the red alien formally introduces himself as “Priest”.  Hmm… do I make the obvious reference here or later on?  Either way, Priest informs Green Lantern that he had been brought to this place in order to prevent a war.

Just then… wouldn’tcha know it, full-blown war seemingly breaks out!  Purple robots burst through the walls of the planetoid… lasers blazing!  The friendly aliens do their best to fight off the assault… but are unable to do so without casualty.

Hal lifts the corpse of the alien child who had hugged him earlier from the wreckage, and informs Priest that he will help them out.

This really isn’t my favorite arc… but it seems to be the kind of arc that happens fairly regularly in Green Lantern stories.  Hal (or John, or Kyle, or Guy, or whoever) gets stuck unwittingly playing peacemaker between some warring (or soon-to-be warring) factions or groups.  It’s pretty well-trodden, and it’s never particularly interesting… at least not to me.

There always seems to be undertones of political intrigue… but, most of the time it just falls flat.  That’s one of the problems I have with comics handling subjects like war.  I mean, rather than there just being a pair of groups having a disagreement, while never second-guessing that they’re in the right… it usually devolves into the righteous good against an actual super-villainous opponent.  Or, two super-villainous groups trying to out-super-villain one another.  I did read through this one not too long ago for the Podcast, and… this definitely goes more toward the latter… but, it’s still not going to be terribly interesting though.  At least the Freak Show aren’t going to show up!

Now, for the obvious reference of the day!  Our alien’s name is “Priest”… and the story is being written by a fella who will soon go by the name Priest.  Not sure if there’s any rhyme or reason for the character having this name… though, I suppose if I were really interested, I probably could find out.  Until I learn otherwise, I’ll just assume it’s a coincidence.  We’ll be talking much more about Priest (the alien) in the coming weeks.

As for the brutal scene inside the planetoid… it was quite well done.  I suppose it could be argued that it was “rushed”… I mean, the little hugging alien kid dies like two pages after he first appears, but you still feel a little something.  Not like I wanted Hal to forge a friendship with the little bugger before he bit it, but this just felt a bit quick.  It served its purpose though… Hal’s on board, and willing to help shut down the war.  Fair enough. 

Tomorrow: We say the word.

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