So the other day I noticed our Green Lantern back issue section was getting a tad thin, so I did a little restocking. As I did so, I was reminded of that particular storyline in the early 1980s where Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern of Earth, was ordered by that gang of little blue Angry Police Captains to keep an eye on the rest of his assigned space sector instead of just hanging around his home planet all the time.
Thus, starting in issue #151, Hal was exiled from his homeworld and embarked on a series of exciting space adventures that, if memory serves, readers didn’t much care for, and I think didn’t sell all that well (i.e. only achieved sales numbers that Marvel and DC would beg for today).
The “Hal in Space” story more or less wrapped up in issue #171 (Dec. ’83):
…which featured some swell Alex Toth interior art, a “goodbye” of sorts to supporting character Dorine (who featured heavily in this storyline), and a script that was mucked about so much that it got Alan Smithee’d with a pseudonymous credit of “Noel Naive.” (There’s a little about that in the Grand Comics Database entry for this issue.)
And then the next issue, #172, kicked off the new creative team of Len Wein and Dave Gibbons, and all was forgiven, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
I’m here to talk about some of those swell Gil Kane covers that popped up on this run. As I was processing some of these back issues for pricing, I was enjoying Kane’s imagery on many of these covers. Kane of course is the artist arguably most associated with the Silver Age version of the character, and ballyhooed as such on this issue early in the space-exile storyline:
Aside from this issue, which also featured Kane interiors, there were seven Kane covers altogether, bunched together at the very end of the run…here they are, all “borrowed” from the Grand Comics Database (except the already pictured #171, scanned from my own collection):
The couple of “generic-y” covers they used, which don’t refer at all to the stories within, have me wondering if they dipped into some inventory images due to deadline issues, budget, not knowing what was actually going to run in the issues, etc. Regardless, those are some great Kane images, making for some attractive-looking comics even if the series itself wasn’t all that well-received at the time. Kane would return with another probably-inventory cover for this deadline-doom reprint issue, and then he’d come back for covers and interiors for the last two issues of the series. (And I think there were some art jobs in annuals somewhere in there as well.)
Anyway, this post was just an entirely transparent attempt to enjoy these covers again, and hopefully some of you enjoyed them as well. Kane’s art definitely flips that nostalgia switch for me.
Also, that “exiled in space” storyline? Only lasted 21 issues. Seemed like it was around forever…but at least it was around long enough to generate this fantastically tasteless cover, which makes it all worth it.