A Tribute to the of
Behold, the Sage cometh.
Greetings again to those who appreciate the grand Silver Age of DC Comics! We bid you welcome and hope you'll enjoy your stay.
This is long overdue, but I am at last going to review the featured character of this wondrous website. The one and only Green Lantern. I suppose by all rights I should review his first appearance in Showcase #22 as I have a reprint of that milestone issue, but I have selected instead issue #43, the March 1966 edition of GL's own book as the subject of this installment. It's entitled "The Catastropic Crimes of Major Disaster!", written by Gardner Fox and illustrated by Gil Kane and Sid Greene. It's another new acquisition thanks to our kind webmaster (thanks again, buddy!) and it's a very good example of what made this era magical. To wit:
I've alluded to it before and shall do so again. These jewels of comic art are enhanced immeasurably by a good cover rendered by Gil Kane & Murphy Anderson to set the tone. Get a load of this one. You couldn't help but be tempted by this offering at your favorite rack or newstand. What do you have but two of our favorite heroes preparing to do battle with a malefactor and...what's this?! They seem to have switched abilities! Green Lantern, the emerald warrior is grounded and is running at super speed. The Flash, our own Crimson Comet, is bathed in a familiar green glow and is swooping down from the sky toward the somewhat campily named Major Disaster. How? Why? Well, let's go check it out.
Things begin with a bang in the first few panels when both our heroes, in their secret identities of Hal Jordan and Barry Allen are concurrently fingered as Green Lantern and The Flash by the women they love in their home towns of Coast City and Central City. Carol Ferris tells Hal to change into his Green Lantern uniform and to charge up his ring with his power battery. She even knows his oath! Meanwhile, an equally baffled Barry Allen is being subjected to the same treatment at the hands of Iris West, who knows precisely how to deploy his uniform from it's ring enclosure. Both couples then meet for a "double-date" where the women promptly notify each other of their momentous news. Soon, a series of natural disasters begin to strike, calling our heroes into hasty action. As the tumult continues, Green Lantern spies some suspicious characters in uniforms helping themselves to the bank's wares as the carnage ensues around them, avoiding them altogether. To GL and Flash's great surprise, they, too, are averted from apprehending the suspects. Stranger yet, their abilities are abruptly gone! Curioser and curioser.
In the next few pages, we meet the man responsible for all this. Major Disaster. He begins to explain to his henchmen (and you, gentle reader) that he was able to not only reveal the identities of the JLA members to their girlfriends, but to cause the disasters and to pull the ol' switcheroo on the guys. Flash now has his "aura" charged with the properties of Green Lantern's ring, while GL has the Flash's high speed capability. The catch is, they don't know it...yet.
As we rejoin our heroes, they decide to continue to act, well, heroically by doing what they can with their well-honed combat skills to fight the criminals and protect the innocent bystanders. Afterward, they head back to the power battery to try and recharge GL's suddenly powerless ring. As he begins the familiar "In brightest day, in blackest night..." ritual, he sees no change in his ring, but Barry Allen suddenly begins to glow powerfully. As Green Lantern finishes up, The Flash is now fully charged with the power granted by the Guardians of Oa. Moments later, they confirm a hastily contrived theory that perhaps Hal Jordan has been transformed into the Fastest Man Alive. Sure enough, it's true. They now go to do some detective work with their newfound knowledge.
Using the powers of the Green Lantern Corps influenced aura, Flash discovers the fingerprints of the suspect who tapped into the secret journal of Green Lantern's confidant, Pieface. They quickly locate the perpatrator, who used the data from the journal to become Major Disaster, and to tamper with the heroes lives.
Utilizing one another's powers, they make short work of the latest set of disasters set into motion. Major Disaster himself, in an effort to destroy them once and for all, has his device backfire and destroys himself. As a strange and fortuitous side-effect, the memories of everyone in the surrounding areas. The powers of Flash and Green Lantern are also put back into their proper hosts. Green Lantern uses his marvelous ring to restore the populace's memory, but conveniently leaves out the knowledge of their identities in the minds of Carol Ferris and Iris West. Thus all is well again in Coast and Central Cities.
How's that for a whiz-bang story and team-up? This was, by the way, the first alliance of Green Lantern and The Flash in three years. You're probably thinking by now that I have only one rating, but I think this one is a well-deserved 10. I'm a sucker for team-ups and I thought this one was done seamlessly and well, with the well-known teamwork of these important Justice Leaguers used to maximum effect.
I once again extend the invitation to you to tell me what's on your mind at email@example.com. Thanks for reading and keep those cards and letters coming. I'll be back in a couple of weeks with another look at this terrific era.
Long Live the Silver Age!
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