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.
While the look in that dude’s eyes is particularly creepy, for some reason his hands are terrifying
image from The Atom #15 (Dec. ’64/Jan. ’65) by Gardner Fox, Gil Kane & Sid Greene
Mmm boy, just get a load of those shapely gams…oh, and I guess Zatanna’s legs ain’t half-bad either. Also, GL’s dialogue seems a bit humorously redundant: “This magic is stronger than my ring! My ring is helpless against this magic! I can’t overpower the magic with my ring! My ring, normally very powerful, is powerless against…” ZATANNA: “Enough already, I get it! Geez.”
image from Green Lantern #42 (January 1966) by Gardner Fox, Gil Kane and Sid Greene
How evil is Green Lantern’s arch nemesis Sinestro? Why, he’s so evil, he’s coming in a very solid second, just behind Gypo-Bax, in the Most Evil Citizen of Qward popularity contest:
I do have to admit that the very idea of Sinestro desperately trying to win a popularity contest tickles me. I can just picture Sinestro handpainting a bunch of “VOTE SIN” construction paper signs and hanging them around the school. But then again, the very idea of Sinestro fretting about a contest like this, while appearing a bit silly to adults, would probably resonate with the school-age children this comic was aimed at.
But seriously, This Guy:
…he’s like the Qward Dimension Evil Anti-Matter Duplicate of Doiby Dickles
And that he’s Sinestro’s “campaign manager” is a hoot, too. You know Sinestro didn’t hire the guy, that he just kinda declared himself Sinestro’s campaign manager, and Sinestro simply can’t shake him off.
Oh, speaking of Green Lantern, I guess there’s a trailer out for the movie.
images from Green Lantern #15 (Sept 1962) by John Broome, Gil Kane and Joe Giella
DOG IN SCUBA GEAR:
DOG IN SCUBA GEAR VERSUS SHARK:
DOG IN SCUBA GEAR TRACKS HIS MAN:
I bet you’re right, Rex. I bet you’re right.
images from Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog #27 (May/June 1956)
by Robert Kanigher, Gil Kane & Bernard Sachs
from Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog #27 (May/June 1956)
by John Broome, Gil Kane & Bernard Sachs
I mean, that seems like an awfully
long distance for Rex to be thrown, especially after being yanked out of quicksand.
So Ray Palmer, in his superhero identity of the Atom, has acquired a mynah bird (by the name of Major Mynah, which makes me want to slap someone…or give someone one of those Gil Kane-patented head-over-heels roundhouse punches) who has an unfortunate habit of repeating things other people say. Oh, and the bird also has artificial Thanagarian wings provided by Hawkman, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, after the day’s adventure is concluded, Ray and the Major show up at Jean’s for dinner, and the bird goes and flaps his big mouth…er, beak:
from The Atom #37 (June/July 1968) by Gardner Fox, Gil Kane & Sid Greene
Ray’s big excuse:
“I have an explanation as far as I’m concerned — but Atom will have to do his own explaining!
“Major Mynah must have been watching the Five Star Final newscast on television — the show that dramatizes the news of the day — even to using the same words the participants used!”
And Ray’s explanation of “oh, it’s just a big conincidence that both the Atom and I now have pet mynah birds” gets this response from Jean:
What th–she bought
that? And dig Ray’s solution to avoiding this problem in the future…in the great tradition of Ace the Bat-hound
(under Jan. 14th) and Krypto the Superdog, AKA Skippy
, Major Mynah will have to wear a disguise.
Quite frankly, I think Jean and Ray are both nuts. The bird’s the only sane one.