A Tribute to the of

I’m in a Green Lantern kind of mood. Possibly because I recently had a great chat with the wonderful Jack C. Harris, [Sage #235] who is a genuine GL aficionado, former editor of the title and just all-around good guy.

There must be a million Green Lantern stories, so it’s always kind of tough to settle on one, but I think I found a decent little 12-pager from issue #30 with a July 1964 publication date and an on-sale date of May 28, 1964. Julie Schwartz is, of course, the editor, with art by Gil Kane, both cover and interiors and Murphy Anderson cover inks and Sid Greene interior inks. Rounding out the credits is the great Gaspar Saladino on both cover and interior, all under a John Broome script titled, “Once a Green Lantern—Always a Green Lantern!

Things kick off quickly with Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan being summoned to an emergency mission by the Guardians of the Universe on OA. Jordan immediately heads off into space to the planet Korugar, as ordered. Then, he feels a familiar sensation and realizes his astral self has been summoned before the Guardians to give him further instantaneous instruction.

Shifting scenes, the Guardians explain that after renegade GL Sinestro was banished from Korugar (back in issue #7), they appointed a new Lantern for that sector named Katma Tui. Inexplicably, she has announced that following her probationary period, she will be resigning as a Green Lantern. Hal’s job is to find out why and to hopefully persuade her to alter her course.

Soon, on Korugar, Hal sends out a summons via his power ring that can only be received by another wielder. The next thing you know, he’s in the presence of the scarlet-skinned Katma Tui and is a bit surprised to find she’s a woman. Once Jordan explains he’s there at the behest of the Guardians, Katma explains her brief history in the Corps and what is leading to her decision.

Interestingly, the phrasing the Guardians use when entrusting her with the power battery and ring sound awfully familiar: “You have great powers now, Katma Tui—but also great responsibilities!

She eagerly undertook her duties and succeeded in several missions, including destruction of a giant, menacing amoeba. So, what is derailing her career? Katma Tui reveals she’d fallen in love with one of Korugar’s most brilliant scientists, Imi Kann, who’d worked with her in defeating the amoeba. She even went so far as to fashion a measuring meter that confirmed her genuine love for the man. Feeling she cannot be both a wife and mother and a Green Lantern, she is preparing to tender her resignation.

Later, Hal Jordan seeks out Imi Kann, who acknowledges his love for Katma Tui, but assures our hero that he’s not tried to sway her decision. Soon, Katma Tui herself arrives and then, in a strange twist of fate, the giant amoeba appears and grabs hold of both Hal and Imi Kann. Instinctively, Katma Tui first rushes to Hal’s aid, confirming his suspicions that she has more loyalty toward the GL Corps than her fiancée.

She then splits her beam from her power ring, freeing Imi Kann while simultaneously blasting the nucleus of the amoeba and neutralizing the threat. Hal then suggests that her true loyalties were on full display and to prove his point, he creates his own measuring device, similar to hers, but with the added feature of comparing her love with Imi Kann to her loyalty as a Green Lantern. The meter leaves no doubt that the latter is where her heart truly lies and a tearful Katma Tui acknowledges that she will stay as the Green Lantern of her space sector, one of 3600. The comrades then dually charge their power rings, reciting the well-known oath: “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!

In the final panels, the astral Green Lantern of Earth reports back to the Guardians on his mission. He acknowledges to them that he actually tricked Katma Tui by ginning up the amoeba to do the test of her loyalties. The Guardians respond that they knew what he’d done, but under the circumstances feel that it was justified, agreeing with Hal’s admonition to Katma Tui that many can be wives and mothers, but only a select few can wear the uniform and ring of the Green Lantern Corps.

Kind of a fun little S-F tale and it has some significance as the debut of Katma Tui, who would turn up again and again in the annals of the Green Lantern tales to follow. And, of course, they had to include the lovesick notions of Hal Jordan wondering if this means he can never be with Carol Ferris.

All in all, I liked it and give it a 7 on the 10-point scale. Green Lantern was, after all, one of the first of the Silver Age revival characters and he’ll always have a special place here at the sort of namesake Silver Lantern.

As per usual, we thank you for your patronage, dear reader and invite you to express yourself with any comments or questions or suggestions to: professor_the@hotmail.com.

We’ll keep digging out some of the best the Silver Age of DC Comics has to offer and the next effort will be right in this space on the first of October.

See you then and...

Long live the Silver Age!

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