BHOC: GREEN LANTERN #96

This issue of GREEN LANTERN began a four-part storyline that I recall really liking and being into at the time, though I find I can’t recall any of the specifics of the story today. Bought it at my usual 7-11, which was becoming a regular hangout for me.

The issue opens with an alien Green Lantern falling through space. But not just any Green Lantern. This was Katma Tui, a lantern I recognized from at least one prior appearance I read, in which Hal Jordan convinced her to remain a Lantern rather than retiring to marry the man she loved. (Apparently, you couldn’t do both in the Corps.) The art for this issue was by Mike Grell, a regular on the series, and inked here by Vince Colletta. It’s one of the better jobs that Colletta produced.

Anyway, Katma falls to Earth, guided to Carol Ferris’s home where Hal Jordan is presently by her Power Ring. Outside, Green Arrow and Black Canary see her body falling from the sky, and Ollie saves her with a net-arrow. But she’s scooped up again by a strange, winged creature. Green Arrow tries to fight this monster–only to discover that the intruder is wearing a Green Lantern uniform himself. Before Ollie can process this, the alien hits him with a Power Ring blast and takes off without the unconscious Katma as Hal appears.

Leaving Katma in the hands of Ollie and Dinah, Hal scoops up Itty, charges his Power Ring just in case, and heads into space towards Oa. Unfortunately for him, once he’s gone, a barely-conscious Katma tries to warn him NOT to go to Oa! D’oh! Nearing Oa, Hal discovers a massive spaceship hovering above the planet, right before he’s attacked by the monster Green lantern, whom he assumes is another renegade like Sinestro. 

Using cunning, Hal is able to get the better of the renegade, and he and his prisoner descend to Oa, Hal intending to turn the malefactor over to the Guardians. On Oa, Hal is surprised to find dozens of his fellow Green Lanterns planetside, rather than on patrol in their home sectors–and when he goes about exchanging pleasantries, he’s attacked by all of them. Back on Earth, Katma Tui has woken up, and tells Green Arrow and Black Canary that she had come to Earth to warn Hal–a malevolent outsider has taken over the minds of the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps.

Back on Oa, Hal takes advantage of the fact that his fellow Lanterns are a bit sluggish in their mesmerized state to run like hell. He makes his way to the Guardians’ central chamber, phasing in to ask his bosses for help. They say that they’re on top of it, and ask Hal to give them his Power Ring. The big dummy follows orders–and the Guardians immediately jump his non-powered self and a big brawl ensues.

As the issue reaches its wrap-up, the mesmerized Lanterns arrive within the citadel, and a Guardian orders them to cremate Hal. In a defensive move, Hal grabs up the nearest Guardian and hurls him into the barrage–which promptly kills him. Which ought to be impossible, as the Guardians are immortal. But this snaps the other Guardians and the Lanterns out of their trance, and Hal fills them in on what’s been going on. And then, as they study the body of the fallen Guardian, a mysterious mocking laughter echoes through the citadel. And we are To Be Continued!

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