BHOC: GREEN LANTERN #98

I picked up this issue of GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW at some non-typical convenience or candy store that my Mom happened to go to (or near) in her daily travels. That was one of the benefits of going out to do whatever errands there might be for the household on any given day–the possibility that I’d come into contact with different outlets for comics and be able t convince my Mom to let me buy one. In this particular instance, Green Lantern seems almost like an afterthought on the cover of his own magazine–you could erase his figure and not even louse up the composition.

This was the third part of a four-issue epic that I remember really enjoying–though, looking back on it now, it does feel as though certain elements of it are being made up on the fly. It’s got that ragged, haphazard quality to it, for all that the central plot does eventually come together and make some sense. One gets the feeling that writer Denny O’Neil’s attention was a bit fractured during this time, for whatever reason.

At the end of the previous issue, Green lantern found himself strangely zapped back to his home on Earth. Disoriented by this, his friend Green Arrow tells Hal that there was an altercation with some would-be terrorists, and that Katma Tui, the alien Green lantern left in their care, has gone wandering off. Before they and Black Canary can give pursuit, the three are psychically attacked, with Dinah seeing the image of her dead husband Larry, as on the cover. Green Arrow has to knock her unconscious to keep her from touching the fatal apparition.

The apparition coalesces into the image of FFA’RZZ, the alien mocker that Green Lantern had been contending with. Arrow and Lantern are able to drive him of, and bring Black Canary around. meanwhile, the absurd would-be terrorists have come across Katma Tui wandering around and snatch her up, intending to hold her for ransom. For whatever reason, while Katma comes from a more advanced civilization, O’Neil treats her her as something of a naif–but she’s able to dope out that the car’s steering wheel controls its direction, and she grabs it, causing the vehicle they are all in to drive off of the bridge they’re on–bad plan, Katma!

Fortunately, at this moment Lantern and Arrow show up, and Hal is able to catch the falling car. They ascertain that Katma is all right–and are suddenly attacked once again by FFa’rrz. It’s a bit of a nonsense attack, not really accomplishing anything apart from letting the pseudo-terrorists get away, and Hal swiftly drives FFa’rrz off. Green Arrow has noticed that the mocker seems to draw energy from the nearest power source, and so he has Hal destroy the terrorists’ car as a precaution as well. But Arrow also points out that FFa’rrz has only showed up so far where Hal and Katma have been, so they are somehow transporting him with them in some way.

For the good of humanity, Hal and Katma have to leave the Earth–but not before recharging their Power Rings. The ritual of the Green Lantern oath used to be a standard in every GL story, even the short 8-page ones, but these days you can go a year or more without seeing this recharging take place. Anyway, Arrow decides to go with the two Lanterns into space, as they intend to investigate that strange spaceship Hal saw near Oa an issue or two ago, thinking it may be related to this mess.

As the trio approaches the ship, FFa’rrz appears once again, using some nearby space-matter to transform himself into a golden canary. That’s bad news for the Lanterns, as their rings are powerless against yellow, so Green Arrow needs to put an end to the menace. Hal and Katma help out by using their rings to enlarge the size of Ollie’s shaft, making it into a deadly lance which destroys the homicidal canary. Landing on the alien craft, Katma translates the inscription above the airlock: it says that they are on the edge of the ultimate ending. And on that quasi-profound note, we are once again To Be Continued!

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