GREEN LANTERN (Co-Starring Green Arrow) was a series whose move into the DC Explosion I really liked–mainly because I had a real love for the Golden Age heroes of DC’s past. So having a regular back-up spot dedicated to Alan Scott, the Original Green lantern, was very welcome in my eyes. I also really liked the character of Hal Jordan, though I wasn’t so in love with the GL/GA format. I liked Green Arrow and Black Canary well enough, but they had a way of walking away with many of the stories–it felt as though writer Denny O’Neil definitely preferred them to the ostensible main character. But I had first encountered Green lantern as a solo back-up strip in THE FLASH, and so I wanted to see him dealing with those sorts of space cop situations.
The semi-regular artist on GREEN LANTERN during this period was Mike Grell, whose work I enjoyed and associated with the feature (as well as with Legion of Super Heroes). Unfortunately, he was now being inked by Vince Colletta, who had been hired up at DC as an art director, and this was doing Grell’s work no great favors. Grell on Green Lantern was an obvious fit, as his work was very much influenced by Neal Adams, who had worked on the series some years prior. But Grell’s touch ws different from Neal’s–he seemed somehow more comfortable with the more outlandish elements of the strip than Adams had been, and so he felt a better fit for the book.
This month’s story picked up from the preceding issue, in which we saw a disembodied alien being transformed by circumstance into Replikon, an amalgam of Batman, Wonder Woman and the Flash. Arriving on Earth and battling our heroes, Replikon also adopted the secret identity of Andre, who became Carol Ferris’ new boyfriend. As this issue begins, we learn that Replikon is doing everything that he’s been doing for his unborn children, who could not be birthed without the correct environment. Accordingly, the alien has begun taking action to impact the climate of the planet, transforming it into a world conducive to Replikon’s offspring.
Hal Jordan, meanwhile, is stewing over the fact that Carol has thrown him over in favor of the slick and seemingly wealthy Andre. But there’s no time fr moping when a crisis call comes in–Replikon has attacked a chemical factor, releasing certain gasses into the atmosphere. Becoming Green Lantern, Hal uses his power ring to chase Replikon off–and pursuing him, he discovers that Andre and Replikon are one and the same. Things are looking up for the ring-slinger. of course, Carol is pretty upset when Hal informs her of this fact and wants to use her to set a trap for Replikon. But what are you gonna do?
Carol is able to meet Andre in a deserted slum, where Green Lantern, Green Arrow and Black Canary are waiting to jump him. Outnumbered three to one, Replikon gives a decent accounting of himself in an extended fight sequence, but the three heroes prevail–and trapped in an energy construct created by the Lantern, Replikon is taken back into space to where his offsprings’ eggs lay in wait. After lecturing the creature about putting its own desires ahead of all the people on Earth who would have been killed by Replikon’s actions, Hal returns homeward. But carol Ferris is still pissed at him, whether Andre was a human being or not, and she storms off, leaving Hal to stew in his own juices after having done pretty much the only thing he could have. So it’s a downer ending.
The back-up story featuring Alan Scott is by Cary Burkett and Juan Ortiz, and like the lead feature, it too continues from the previous issue. Having been clobbered by a bunch of Chinatown thugs, we pick up this time out with one of GL’s assailants attempting to swipe his power ring for his own. But that’s a bad move, it turns out, as the man has evil in his heart, and they mystic power ring strikes him down when he dons it, its flames literally burning him down to a skeleton. It’s pretty gruesome, and not something that really ever happened again when people tried to use Alan Scott’s ring.
It turns out that the person who is behind GL’s recent troubles is Chang, the ancient figure who had originally carved a fallen space rock into the lantern that would eventually become Alan Scott’s. Legend says that he was the first victim of the green flame, but here we discover that was not the case. What’s more, he still had possession of a chunk of the original meteorite which has prolonged his life and which empowers him. Chang and his daughter set a trap for Alan that Green Lantern walks straight into, and then Chang, with his greater piece of the meteorite and his will strengthened by his longevity, proves to be even more powerful than the beleaguered Alan. As the chapter concludes, Green Lantern is stripped of his ring and then cast into a pit filled with the green flame. To Be Continued! The story is trying to be noteworthy by tying the antagonist into Alan’s origin, but as a reader, I didn’t love it. It messed up the central concept of that origin too badly: first the green flame brings death, then life, then power. With that first death annulled, the whole thing became meaningless, at least to my eye.
6 thoughts on “BHOC: GREEN LANTERN #109”
It’s amazing to look back at young buying habits. I bought this because I bought everything super-hero from the Big Two with only a few outliers like Man thing and the occasional things like Claw, Atari Force, etc. I know I already hated the character of Green Arrow, the writing, and disliked Grell’s art. I kept buying this too long because I had always bought it, only realizing I didn’t even care for Hal until we got Kyle as a long-term replacement.
When I discovered this issue several years ago my immediate reaction upon seeing Replikon was “It’s AzBats!”
Okay, yeah, Azrael becoming Batman was two decades in the future, but it is a pretty interesting resemblance. I guess with both characters deliberately emulating Batman it’s not too surprising that they ended up looking so similar.
I have never cared for Vince Colletta’s inking over Mike Grell… and I know Grell felt exactly the same, especially on The Warlord, which was a very personal project for him. Also a shame that Colletta inked Grell on that Legion tabloid featuring the wedding of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl.
If I was in charge of Discovery Time Warner I’d pay Mr. Grell to reink all the stuff that of his that Mr. Colletta inked back in the day.
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I just read about Grell’s time on the strip in Richard Gray’s “Moving Target.” Apparently the hook for him was getting to work on Green Arrow rather than GL.
I enjoyed the Alan Scott backup but you have a point about rewriting the origin.
I SO wanted to read Green Lantern back then. Hated Colletta inks on anything. He ruined so many Grell jobs! I would skip anything with his inks! Argh! Flashbacks!
Lo-Lanke was actually Chang’s wife nor daughter.