The fourth and final chapter of this seemingly-epic storyline turned up next. I remember being quite into it–even though, looking back at it after all of these years, it’s a bit of an ill-plotted mess. I liked the fact that, on this cover, the vignettes of Hal and Ollie were ready to throw down just as the main image suggested. That was the sort of attention to detail that made these comics fun.
The issue opens where the last one left off, with Green Lantern, alien Lantern Katma Tui and green Arrow about to pursue the mystery of the Mocker by venturing inside the huge space station that’s been floating around the past few issues–and whose doorway is adorned with words stating “We Are On The Edge Of The Ultimate Ending!” But before they go in, Green Arrow blows his top, flicking GL’s alien pet Itty away and accosting Katma Tui before Hal can intercede. When he does, Ollie suggests that the two of them settle their differences wit their fists, as they did years before on the planet Ploy Four.
While this is clearly a ruse (not to mention an excuse to justify the cover image) Green lantern and Green Arrow go all-out with it, creating a power ringed boxing arena and smacking the shit out of each other for several minutes. While this is going on, we make a segue back to Earth for a strange fan-service sequence where an exercising Black Canary is accosted by a truck driver delivering a rig to Carol Ferris. This is all a set-up for Hal’s new job, where he’s going to be a trucker with a CB radio. Hey, it was the 1970s, leave me alone!
Meanwhile, back in space, Lantern and Arrow have finished up their ridiculous bout and are ready to make their way into the Mocker’s space station. Katma Tui’s power ring provides them with an entrance, but they’re stymied by a defensive system–until Green Arrow simply shoots it with an arrow, destroying it. They journey to the center of the station, where they find an odd menagerie of absurd creatures and objects–and the voice of the Mocker challenges them.
But Green Arrow is wise to the Mocker now. He makes it clear that he knows that the Mocker has been hitching a ride with them all along, hiding in Itty. Called out, the Mocker manifests himself in person, abandoning even his clownish visage to appear as his real self, a Mike Grell alien. He reveals that he’s been traveling across the galaxy for 12,000 years making mischief, but the ship’s energy source is nearly depleted, which is why he projected himself to Oa in the first place.
Green Arrow hurls himself at the Mocker, but the ship is programmed to automatically protect him, and even Hal and Katma’s power rings seem ineffective against it. The trio find themselves trapped in energy sacs extruded from the bottom of the ship into the void of space, where they will freeze into a state of suspended animation, but aware all the while, to ponder the senselessness of the universe. The Mocker tells them his story, how he is the last survivor of a mighty and civilized alien race that was wiped out by a plague. This fate inspired him to quest across the universe, proving that it is a senseless, pointless and brutal place.
But we’re only two pages from the end of the issue at this point, so suddenly Green Lantern shows up and entraps the Mocker. The Green Lantern who had been with them all this time was a ring-conjured decoy set up while GL and GA sparred. And that’s the ballgame–Katma Tui will escort the Mocker back to Oa for sentencing, and Green lantern and Green Arrow will return to Earth. It’s a tremendous anti-climax, especially for a storyline that had been running for four issues. But, hey, the next issue is a big double-sized 100th issue special, so maybe that one will be better!
3 thoughts on “BHOC: GREEN LANTERN #99”
I know that you’re younger than I am, but…well, how are you choosing the subjects for these in-depth analyses? (I mean, FF #1-3 is a gimme…!) Some of your time might be spent elsewhere than on GREEN LANTERN #99. (That was a compliment, by the way, not a criticism). I know that Kurt asserts (and resists) the notion that one can learn by reading bad—or, let’s phrase it—mediocre comics as well or better than by reading great comics. I don’t see it myself (which probably accounts for my making the same mistakes over and over again…but at least they’re mine).
Richard, the Brevoort History of Comics is just what the name says, a chronological examination of the early comics I read in the order that I read them, best as I can work out. I do other stuff here as well, such as the recent Lee & Kirby series, the weekly Star Blazers review and other odds and ends as I feel driven to. But every week there’s likely to be one or two pieces on random 1970s comics because I read them back in the day.
I remember when this title was revived I was excited to see how O’Neil would address the issues of the day, but in a more sci-fi context than the original GL/GA book. That wasn’t what I got, but I was a big fan of Itty. 🙂