A Tribute to the of

Welcome readers! This is a big month for us at the Silver Lantern. In fact, it’s a fabled two-fer. Not only is it the 20th anniversary of the Silver Age Sage, the little document that you’re perusing this very moment, which still blows my mind. Twenty Years! Two-Zero. Two decades, but this month also marks the 80th anniversary of the debut of Alan Scott, the original, Golden Age Green Lantern! Alan Scott came to us courtesy of writer Bill Finger, who you may have heard a little about when he was working on another character with Bob Kane, and artist Martin Nodell, working under the pseudonym “Mart Dellon”.

Alan first came to an adoring public in the pages of All-American comics #16 with a cover date of July 1940, but it hit the stands in May of that year with an on-sale date of 17 May 1940. We actually reviewed that issue [Sage #162], sporting a great Shelly Moldoff cover, for Alan’s 75th anniversary here at the Silver Lantern and over the years, we’ve visited Alan pretty frequently, whether in reviews of All-Star comics, Showcase (clear back in Sage #5), at least one other All-American Comics review, which I seem to recall was the last of that run, the fabled JLA/JSA crossovers, his turn in Kingdom Come or other crossovers with his Silver Age counterpart, Hal Jordan in the pages of Green Lantern.

Before I get started on the issue being reviewed this time around, I have a special treat. I reached out to the wonderful Jacque Nodell, Mart’s granddaughter and a respected comic book historian. Jacque is one of the foremost experts on the romance comic genre and if you’ve not visited her blog, Sequential Crush, or read her wonderful book, How to go Steady: Timeless Dating Advice, Wisdom, and Lessons from Vintage Romance Comics, well, you need to get on board. Jacque is a delightful writer and I’m proud to call her my friend. I first became acquainted with her when I discovered the lovely Liz Berube was available to be interviewed [Sage #281] and Jacque and I were a couple of the first in line for that privilege.

Anyway, Jacque was kind enough to provide a short tribute to both her grandfather and his timeless creation, Green Lantern, for this special edition of the Silver Age Sage:

My grandfather could never have anticipated the popularity of the Green Lantern when he stood waiting for a train, and the idea of Alan Scott's mythos flooded over him. The Green Lantern in all its incarnations has demonstrated its staying power, and this year, as we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the character, I hope that fans new and old alike will revel in the magic that is the Green Lantern. My grandfather and his creation brought light to so many. Though he is no longer with us, it is my wish to see him remembered for his creativity and passion, as well as his generosity with his time and knowledge. He adored his fans and was genuinely moved by their love for him and the Green Lantern. Here's to another 80+ years!

I love that Jacque notes the many incarnations of the character, Green Lantern. Obviously, he’s been a big deal to us here from day one at the Silver Lantern. If you’ve not taken the time, check out that beautiful commission by Joe Giella at the bottom of the home page here, “The Oath.”

Hal was actually one of the earliest characters to be reintroduced by Julie Schwartz and company and he proved immensely popular, very soon getting his own title. We go back now to that fabled run with issue #45 with a publication date of June 1966 and an on-sale date of 12 April 1966. Julie Schwartz was still in the editor’s chair and the Go-go checked cover credits belong to Gil Kane with lettering by Ira Schnapp. Interiors are also penciled by Gil with an inking assist by Sid Greene under a John Broome script and lettering by our old friend Gaspar Saladino. It’s another great Green Lantern/Green Lantern crossover as we delve into “Prince Peril’s Power Play!

Matters begin on Myrg, a world in Galaxy 882 where things seem to be an interesting mix of medieval and futuristic. The characters exist in a monarchy and the ruler, Princess Ramia, must, by law, choose a husband. Well, she’s not much into arranged marriages and bluntly says so to the member of the Council of Six who has informed her of such and also stated that they’ve chosen Prince Peril as her partner. (Sorry, but I couldn’t resist all that alliteration.)

Well, Ramia has rejected the whole notion, telling her aide, Petia, that she’s looked all over Myrg and hasn’t found anyone that interests her, so she’s off to look on other worlds. She boards a spaceship and heads off into the cosmos.

A scene shift finds us on Earth-Two where Alan (Green Lantern) Scott is riding in fabled cab Goitrude, being driven by Alan’s pal, the derby sporting Doiby Dickles. Alan is currently the president of Gotham Broadcasting and they are on their way to Spaceland, described as a new, giant amusement center. Among the sophisticated exhibits is a huge radio transmitter, sending signals on a special wavelength in the endless pursuit of intelligent life on other worlds.

As it happens, the beam has caught the attention of at least one otherworldly craft and soon Princess Ramia has landed right by Goitrude, who is being polished up a bit by Doiby. He is dumbstruck at the sight of her, but Ramia is able to read Doiby’s thoughts and quickly introduces herself and reassures him that she’s simply there to find love.

Doiby quickly suggests, both through his thoughts and words, that his best friend, Alan Scott, would be a great match for the Princess. Before things can progress, however, another craft lands and out comes Prince Peril of Myrg. He’s decked out a bit like a poor man’s Thor with the wing-like helmet, flowing cape and body armor. To Doiby, however, he’s nothing but a “crum!” Doiby, in fact, is all set to tear into the Prince on Ramia’s behalf when Peril draws his sword. The Princess then takes action, using a thought beam to reach out to Alan Scott.

Scott quickly excuses himself from the proceedings and before you can say “Goitrude,” has changed into his Green Lantern uniform and is quickly on the scene. Alan uses the power ring (always on the left hand of the Earth-Two GL) to extricate Doiby and then Prince Peril attacks, using his blade, which can fire energy bursts.

The combatants are pretty evenly matched as the battle rages and GL is finally able to disarm Peril, but the latest burst from the sword has paralyzed the Lantern’s ring hand, so it’s down to old-fashioned fisticuffs. They trade a few blows until Peril manages to regain his blade and then knocks our hero into unconsciousness with another energy blast.

Meanwhile, aboard Goitrude, Princess Ramia has activated her dimension changer to whisk she, Doiby and his beloved cab into the next dimension. That would be Earth-One and this marks the end of Part I.

Part II has Goitrude flying high courtesy of Ramia’s Q-energy. Doiby recognizes Earth-One. Just then, Peril arrives and uses a radiation ray to force the cab to terra firma. Doiby has a plan, though, and utilizes his rocket signal to summon Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern of Earth One. It seems to shoot a green ray with the GL insignia, sort of like a bat-signal. Hal, flying a jet, as you would expect a test pilot to be doing, sees the signal and realizes it’s Doiby. He wonders what Dickles is doing there, but only briefly. He swiftly sets the controls for auto-pilot and directly afterward, a familiar figure is flying through the skies.

Hal soon arrives at Paragon Pictures’ movie lot where Prince Peril is again insisting that the Princess go back with him to their home world for their marriage. Doiby objects and informs the Prince that another Green Lantern is on his way. Just then, Jordan lands and it’s time for another power-ring/Q-energy powered sword duel.

Hal is a bit more imaginative, using a quickly conjured green stone wall, but then he comes to the awful realization that his ring’s power is about to expire. Just in case anyone out there doesn’t already know, the famed power ring must be recharged every 24 hours and the current charge is nearly gone. With one last, superhuman effort of willpower, Jordan uses the last of his ring’s power to destroy the sword, but once again, it’s down to hand to hand combat between the towering Prince and another Green Lantern. Each combatant gives as good as he gets and they even find themselves trading blows on the set of an old west saloon when Peril KO’s GL, ending Part II.

Part III finds us back on Myrg, where Peril has decided to amuse himself at Doiby’s expense, putting him in the garb of a court jester and robbing him of any dignity while putting him through some figurative hoops. Doiby is determined, though, to keep an eye on the Princess until help comes.

On page 20 of our story, we get a rare treat when our artist, Gil Kane, breaks down the fourth wall and we get to see him working on a page of this story at his drawing board. The white-maned Kane addresses us: “Well, anxious readers, what do you think? Will Prince Peril actually get to marry the lovely “Princeress” who detests him?! He’s quite an operator, and he might actually swing it—except for a couple of things that he knows nothing about! First off…he is unaware that Hal Jordan’s power ring, bestowed on him by the Guardians of the Universe, automatically protects him from mortal harm even when there’s no juice left in it! So that Earth-One’s Green Lantern was knocked unconscious—not killed—by his foe’s vicious attack—and soon recovered!

Hal Jordan is in a familiar place, back at the Ferris Aircraft hangar where he keeps his power battery and the oath is uttered, giving a fresh 24-hour charge to the power ring he wears on his right hand: “In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight! Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power—Green Lantern’s light!

GL’s first order of business is to check on his friend, Alan Scott, so he uses the power ring to open the dimensional barrier and the two GL’s open a green-powered line to communicate. Alan Scott assures Hal that he’s okay and they swiftly lay plans to pounce on Prince Peril.

Back on Myrg, the appointed day has arrived and Peril has arranged for a full military parade, but his festivities are interrupted with the arrival of two Green Lantern’s. He orders their destruction and the massive weaponry begins a barrage at the skies around our heroes, but their two-pronged attack soon overwhelms the military might of Myrg, ending the threat of Prince Peril for good.

Now to the epilogue pages, where we see Prince Peril being offered a special dinner to honor the marriage of Princess Ramia. Then it’s off again to the drawing board of Gil Kane: “So the princess is getting married? But, you’re wondering, whom did she choose? Well, before we go into that—let’s take a look at a couple of gallant possibilities whom she did not choose…

We then visit Earth-One where Hal Jordan is working away on a jet aircraft with the aid of his good friend Tom Kalmaku, so it can’t be him. Then, a segue to Earth-Two where Alan Scott is spotted in his office at Gotham Broadcasting, so Alan remains a bachelor, too.

Gil returns to narrate further in the next panel. “So she didn’t choose either of the Green Lanterns? Then who--?! Well, brace yourself, reader, and remember that anywhere in the universe, a woman is the least predictable of creatures! In fact…the one she chose was none other than…Doiby!

Princess Ramia explains to us that her telepathy allowed her to see that Dickles’ love for her was truly boundless and that won her heart.

In the final panels, the Princess vows not to use her abilities to probe his thoughts and asks Doiby what he’s thinking. He comments that he’s happy to have replaced his beloved derby with a crown and that he’ll miss his friend Alan and of course Goitrude, but he’s “…not complainin’, y’ unnerstan’—because after all now I got youse—da most bee-yoo-tiful Princeress in da whole universe! An’ what man could ask for more?

And that wraps it up, readers, in a story that seemed to have it all. Not one but two Green Lanterns, a great cameo by artist Gil Kane and another intergalactic adventure in the annals of Green Lantern! A solid, maximum 10-point rating for this satisfying crossover tale, even though Prince Peril was not the most imaginative antagonist I’ve ever seen. Kudos to our creative team and most of all, happy 80th anniversary to the endless and timeless appeal of that wonderful creation, Green Lantern!

Thanks, as always, for your patronage, readers. I am still pinching myself as I consider the long and wonderful journey we’ve had here at the Silver Lantern. Highest, endless thanks to my lifelong best friend, our webmaster, who is the heart and soul of the site and who suggested, twenty(!) years ago that maybe I could join him with my little contributions. It’s been grand and led to so many other tremendous opportunities that I can scarcely believe how it has unfolded.

A toast to all those fabulous creators I got to interview and become acquainted with over the years. I find it a bit ironic that those I wish I’d managed include Gil Kane, Julie Schwartz, John Broome and of course Mart Nodell. The legacy they left us is a great treasure and I’m grateful to be but one recipient of their talent and vision.

Finally, your feedback is always welcome and you know how to reach me. Send those e-mails to: professor_the@hotmail.com. Keep reading, keep writing and, until next time…

Long live the Silver Age and !

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