Action Comics Weekly #631 (Green Lantern)
Writer – James Owsley
Pencils – M.D. Bright
Inks – Romeo Tanghal
Letters – Albert DeGuzman
Colors – Anthony Tollin
Assistant Editor – Dan Raspler
Editor – Denny O’Neil
It’s a new week… and we’re finally up to the last chapter for this Green Lantern/Captain Atom team-up. Man, it feels like we’ve been talking about this one for months now!
Let’s not delay! Want this one in our rear-view ASAP as possible!
We open with a shivering Hal touching down in the Nevada desert. A confused Captain Atom arrives soon after. He expresses concern, even if he can’t help but rub in the fact that he bested Green Lantern in that fight last chapter. To this, Hal informs him that the only reason he was able to beat him was due to his Power Ring being outta juice. But then, get this, each of these goofballs has come around to the other’s position on the Bethel Traveler! Hal feels like he’s a dangerous threat, while Atom admits he overreacted! What a difference, seven-hundred and thirty-two weeks make!
Cap gives Hal a lift to the rooftop where he left his Power Battery a few chapters back, only to find that it’s… gone?! Waitasec, Hal was able to just make the battery “appear” on the roof… but, now he actually has to physically go to it? Guess he’s super-duper-outta-juice. Hal decides to… get this… hunt the streets of Los Angeles in search of his Lantern. A half-hour later (L.A.’s a surprisingly small town), he spies it in the window of the Broome & Fox Pawn Shop! As he enters the shop, it turns out he’s interrupting an attempted robbery. Ho’boy… our man just can’t catch a break today!
As this is going down, Captain Atom is checking in with “Military Intelligence”, where they reveal that the Bethel Shrine has been located on their radar… Nate’s gotta act now to neutralize the threat. At the Pawn Shop, Hal attempts to employ a little bit of psychology into the situation… which doesn’t manage to win him any friends.
Moving on a bit, Atom is still chasing the Shrine… but is having one heckuva time keeping up. Hal fights off the would-be robbers, who are kind of a paradox onto themselves. One kicks Hal square in the jewels to gain an advantage… and yet, they still only engage him one at a time. Who says there’s no honor among thieves?
Hal tosses his ring over to that Lan-tern in the window (arf, arf,)… mutters the oath, and bada-bing, he’s back in bidness.
We wrap up (finally!) with Captain Atom returning to Hal to apologize. He reveals that the Bethel Traveler got away… and he now has a better understanding of how difficult Hal’s job is. Wait… I thought the Traveler decided he/she/it wanted to stay on Earth? First opportunity it gets, and it leaves? Okay then. A fittingly weak ending to a weak (and overlong) arc.
Oh man, what a winding and endless road this arc was! It almost made me miss the Freak Show. Almost.
This entire arc (well, much of this entire run in Action Comics Weekly) was much ado about nothing. I wanna say this Bethel Traveler storyline was probably going to be revisited in whatever Green Lantern ongoing was planned to follow… but, the prevailing rumors claim that there was an editorial shift around this time, and all of the Priest/David stuff (minus the death of Katma-Tui) was buried. Unfortunately, that extends to a certain gentleman we’re going to meet next time. We’ll probably do a point-by-point look at this overall run toward the end.
So, for this chapter? Hal loses his Lantern… the Lantern he always seems to be able to just make “appear”. I mean, his recent run-in with Priest showed him that he didn’t really need the thing in the first place. Seems kind of counter-intuitive to have him seek it out here. Unless… the original plan was for him to realize he didn’t need it, and the editorial shift decreed otherwise? That would actually make some sense.
Really, this entire chapter was kind of a mess. While the previous GL/Captain Atom chapters were dull and plodding, at least we felt a bit of plot progression. Here though? It feels like there might’ve been a few too many plates spinning in a few too many offices at the DC compound. Just wildly unsatisfying… and leaves a bad taste.
It’s not all doom and gloom round here though… because, in exactly one week:
Boy, I hope I’m not overselling this one!
Tomorrow: Dinah overdoes it on the speed lines