In which Mike was too lazy to scan all these himself.

§ March 11th, 2013 § Filed under gil kane, green lantern § 8 Comments

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.

8 Responses to “In which Mike was too lazy to scan all these himself.”

  • Gil Kane was only rivaled by Steve Ditko when it came to giant, floating heads.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Gil Kane covers ”

    AWESOME!!!

    “Aside from this issue, which also featured Kane interiors,”

    and that one in particular does what a cover is supposed to: it makes me want to read the story! :D

    “this fantastically tasteless cover, ”

    at least they didn’t do that shot a few seconds later!

    “SPLAT!!”

  • Mike Loughlin says:

    Alex Toth interiors? I’m going to have to track that down.

    Those covers are fabulous. Anyone know if we ever had a Gil Kane Green Arrow story? I love how he drew him here.

  • Old Bull Lee says:

    Odd that those stories didn’t go over well. I’ve always felt like GL belonged in space.

  • Harvey Jerkwater says:

    GL 167, the “floating Papa Smurf heads” cover, holds a prize space in my collection as one of the few funnybooks I still have that I bought off of a spinner rack as a young’un, back before “collecting” was a thing. Most comics I bought in them thar days were torn up, as you’d expect. That Gil Kane cover made it a keeper.

    Many years later, I even bought 168 just to see what happened in the story. Back issue bins serve no finer, more noble purpose than helping Us Nerds find out what happened in multi-part comic stories that we could only read parts of as wee bairns. (“How does Captain America defeat Dr. Faustus after he falls off that biplane that Daredevil’s piloting? HOW? I’ve wondered for thirty goddamned years!”) Back issue bins do the Lord’s work.

    For certain values of “the Lord’s work.”

  • Matt Jeske says:

    Any excuse to put up good Gil Kane covers is a good one!

  • You can’t go wrong with Kane covers. He was a master at design and dynamic figures. A true craftsman.

    I remember as a young collector/comic reader in the 1970′s, ALL those covers that Kane did for Marvel. As a young artist as well I recall thinking how productive he was and thinking that he must really LOVE drawing comics.

    I’m sure he enjoyed drawing but when I found out years later that the reason he drew so many covers (despite his obvious talent) was to pay his alimony, well, that kind of brought me back to reality.

  • TIP says:

    Some of the earliest GL comics were right around this time. Really enjoyed the interior art by Keith Pollard and, yes, I vividly recall the kid exploding/imploding in the vacuum of space.