Flashback Friday: Green Lantern #47

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Green Lantern #47

Writer – Gerard Jones
Penciller – Scott Kolins
Inker – Romeo Tanghal
Letterer – Albert Deguzman
Publisher – DC Comics (1993)

 

The super hero team-up is a staple in comic books. When sales lag, one of the most assured ways to get people back to the spinner racks is to mix it up with a popular villain or throw in another hero.

The pairing of Green Arrow and Green Lantern has a long history, one that reaches back to Justice League of America #4, published by DC in 1961. The pairing of Oliver Queen and Hal Jordan was so popular that they eventually had their own spin-off book penned by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams, which brought the pair into one of the most popular comics of all time, Green Lantern Green Arrow #5, “Snowbirds Don’t Fly” in which we find out that Speedy is a heroin addict. It is a classic run, and so ingrained the duo in our comic minds that even the next incarnations of the two characters, Kyle Rayner and Connor Hawke, teamed up themselves.

Green Lantern #47 is not quite so epic as that, but we see in this book a Hal Jordan on the cusp of becoming something else.

Here’s your history lesson. Sales of Green Lantern were not great in the early 90s, and writer Gerard Jones set about to change that. Coast City was destroyed during the Death of Superman storyline, and in his grief, Hal Jordan tries to resurrect the city. This leads to a fight with the Guardians and Jordan becoming Parallax, arguably the most powerful being in the universe.

Right now though (in 1993) Jordan is in the midst of a different sort of crisis. He’s just found out that his main squeeze, Carol Ferris, did not die in the destruction of Coast City. She has in fact, been involved in some kind of underhanded dealings with Green Lantern action figures. (Really.) Jordan is under attack from Flicker, a flame-headed bounty hunter who is trying to capture warriors for an intergalactic slaving ring. (Really.) For some reason, this guy is too much for the mentally fatigued Jordan to handle alone. Green Arrow, already contacted by Ferris, shows up to help out, and the two, finally, jump into battle together in the last third of the book.

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The story, I’ll admit, is not that good. The art is fine, it is typical 90s and thankfully, there are no super- mullets among the bunch like there were in other popular books of the era. It’s hard to reconcile what’s going on here with what was about to come in the ‘Emerald Twilight’ storyline.  This really feels like an expository issue, one that was thrown in to buy some time and fill in some gaps that readers may have missed along the way. And when you’re following guys like Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams, how can you possibly keep up?

I guess the heart of the matter is that any time I can see these two green-clad heroes in the same book I count myself lucky. Green Lantern #47 may have been a rack-filler, but at the same time I get to see the Emerald Archer and my Green Lantern hit a two-bit villain in the chops, and that’s worth it every time.

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