A Tribute to the of

The art of the cover was key to the success of many Silver Age comics. Many times that hook was the requirement for the curious to drop their coins on the counter and walk out with a book and weíve got literally hundreds of great examples here in the cover gallery of the Silver Lantern. Iíll freely admit as I was pondering what to feature this time out that it was a cover that piqued my interest. Take a gander at the Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson rendered cover to Green Lantern #32 (the last to sport the original flaming background logo) from October of 1964 to see what I mean.

Who could resist finding out what was sucking our hero into his own power battery? Not I. Before getting into ďPower Battery Peril!Ē letís finish off the credits, shall we? Editing this issue is the immortal Julie Schwartz. The script is by the great Gardner Fox with Gil again on pencils and inks by Sid Greene with superlative lettering by Gaspar Saladino. This is actually the second of two stories within the book and while ďGreen Lanternís Wedding Day!Ē has its appeals, Iím sticking with the cover feature, which starts with a splash page showing our hero in mid-air and getting clobbered by a huge oxygen atom.

The next page features a familiar vignette with GL in the hanger of his employer, Ferris Aircraft, touching his emerald ring to the power battery and reciting that familiar oath: ďIn brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight, let those who worship evilís might, beware my power, Green Lanternís light!Ē Halís friend and co-worker, Thomas Kalmaku is looking on when suddenly Green Lanternís right hand is being drawn into the power battery and soon the rest of his body follows suit in a direct copy of the cover. In the next incredible moment we see a green beam with a distorted and stretched out Green Lantern within, beaming toward the heavens.

It isnít long before our hero finds himself at an artificial satellite in orbit around a planet named Thronn. A crash landing against a large, opaque prism (not quite an obelisk like 2001: A Space Odyssey, but close) and GL notices his ring is glowing. Someone has tapped into it and is sending a telepathic message to Hal Jordan.

It turns out to be Energiman, a hero of that space sector and that he and a few comrades are incarcerated on the prison moon Memal. Energiman possesses the ability to change his body into different types of energy. His colleagues, Golden Blade, Strong Girl and Magicko are also there. (Gardner Fox must have been having an off day with these inspired hero names). It seems the heroes had been defeated and imprisoned by Vant Orl and placed in a type of suspended animation.

One day, however, Energiman was brought to consciousness by a burst of high-frequency power that was on the same wave length as his own. He was able to determine it came from the charging ritual of Hal Jordan and he estimated after 100 such charges, he could be strengthened enough to summon Green Lantern. Obviously, this had been the 100th time, but it cost Energiman dearly. He sacrificed all his remaining energy and therefore his life to bring GL to this place to help his fellow heroes.

Green Lantern wastes no time and after making certain he can survive on the planet, he enters the atmosphere, only to discover that Vant Orl has the ability to tap into the power ring, bogging it down and putting our hero in jeopardy. After overcoming a number of obstacles despite the diminished reaction time, he puts the old noggin to use, reasoning that the alien cannot read his thoughts, which will work to his advantage.

Surreptitiously, Hal lands in some foliage and scoops up a yellow leaf, which he uses to act as a barrier to the power ring from Vant Orlís insidious willpower. Apprehending the fiend, our Emerald Warrior is soon on his way to the prison moon with Van Orl in tow. Using every bit of his famous iron will, Hal Jordan breaches the prison and frees Energimanís teammates and then places Vant Orl into the prism prison. Before leaving he vows to the other heroes that he will consult with the Guardians of the Universe to ensure a Green Lantern will be assigned to this sector.

So, a pretty good little 12-pager that nicely illustrates some of what I consider the major strengths in a Green Lantern tale, namely the science fiction angle and the fact that his area of heroic responsibility goes far beyond earth and the solar system he calls home.

Iíll rate this one a 7 on the 10-point scale. I enjoy the shorter stories, but it sometimes didnít allow for a lot of character development. Stil and all, a Silver Age Green Lantern adventure is always hard to beat.

With that, I bid you farewell for now, but invite you to return for the next review, which will be right at this very URL on the 1st of December when weíll explore yet another adventure from this terrific era. If you have a question, comment or suggestion, feel free to drop me a line at: professor_the@hotmail.com.

See you next time andÖ

Long live the Silver Age!

© 2000-2016 by B.D.S.

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