Retro Comics are Awesome

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andersonh1
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Re: Retro Comics are Awesome

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I love the explanation for why Clark Kent fails the army physical during WW2. He's a perfect physical specimen of course, but he's daydreaming while taking the vision test and accidentally reads the chart in the next room with his x-ray vision, leading the examination board to conclude that his vision is terrible. Nothing he can do will convince them to give him a second chance, so no Clark Kent, infantryman during World War 2.

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Re: Retro Comics are Awesome

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Batman #78
August-September 1953

The Manhunter from Mars!
Writer: Edmond Hamilton Pencils: Bob Kane, Lew Sayre Schwartz Inks: Charles Paris

So who knew there was a semi-prototype for J'onn J'onzz in Batman's series? I certainly didn't. The Manhunter from Mars is a green Martian police officer like J'onn, but he's not a shapeshifter and lacks the superpowers of the far more familiar Martian Manhunter. Still, either the same name and similar characteristics are an enormous coincidence, or someone took inspiration from this story and reworked the basic idea. This story manages to create a continuity snarl by completely contradicting "Batman, Interplanetary Policeman!" from Batman #41, June-July 1947. The Mars of this story bears no resemblance to the Mars of the earlier story, and no mention is made of the fact that Batman has already met Martians and helped them, even traveling to Mars himself. I guess the old "five years pass/assume a new audience" rule is in effect here and either the writers did not remember the earlier story, or they assumed no one currently reading would remember it or care.

In any case, a Martian criminal has fled to Earth, and Batman must team up with the pursuing Marian lawman, the "manhunter" of the story's title, to capture him. Even aliens recognize the value of taking Robin as a hostage, and the Martian criminal does. Batman is able to use what he's learned of Marian physiology to help his interplanetary counterpart capture the criminal. I think this story is more remarkable for the prototype Martian Manhunter than for the plot, which is serviceable but nothing that couldn't have been told with a standard human criminal.

The Sinister Stamps!
Writer: Bill Finger Pencils: Dick Sprang Inks: Charles Paris

This story is just packed to the brim with beautiful art by Dick Sprang, who takes the opportunity of a story about stamp collecting to presumably design and draw dozens of postage stamps in a number of panels. Batman and Robin visit a stamp-collector's convention. Batman's motivation is the number of rare and valuable stamps gathered under one roof, while Robin is just enthused about seeing the stamps. They're enjoying the tour when they run across a collection of stamps showing scenes of death, which belongs to a creepy looking man named Clement Marn. The fact that he's being set up as someone suspicious did not succeed in misdirecting me, I kept my eyes open for another suspect in the crimes that are inevitable in a Batman tale, particularly once Marn reveals that he is a member of the Stamp Collector's Club. Yes, it's another Bill Finger themed-club storyline. We've seen more than enough of those, but thankfully the art and the way this plot plays out make this one of the better examples that overcame my initial unhappiness about an overused formula.

So people in the club start dying, as they always do in these stories, and Marn is the obvious suspect with his love of death-themed stamps, particularly since the deaths resemble scenes from the stamps. But it's another man entirely, the seemingly friendly and almost certainly not the villain Captain Barton, who went so far as to deliberately nearly drown and need resuscitation in order to divert suspicion from himself. Formula or not, this story has great art and succeeded in hiding the real villain until the end even though the obvious culprit was far too obvious. I almost expected the twist to be that it really was him!

Batman of the Mounties!
Writer: David Vern Reed Pencils: Bob Kane, Lew Sayre Schwartz Inks: Stan Kaye

Batman pays a visit to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to demonstrate their crime fighting methods. While there, the news breaks that the notorious LeClerc brothers have broken jail. Trooper Bob Jason insists on going after them alone, saying he has a score to settle. Batman and Robin go on with their demonstrations and leave when they're done, only to spot a body in the snow from the Batplane. It's Trooper Jason, seriously wounded, so of course Batman offers to take his place and the head Mountie deputizes him to do so while Robin flies Jason to get medical help.

The story allows Batman to demonstrate his resourcefulness in navigating an entirely different environment than he's used to, and in avoiding death at the hands of some ruthless criminals. Robin rejoins him, they capture the LeClerc's, but the criminals have one more trick up their sleeves and nearly manage to escape after capturing and tying up Batman and Robin, but the badge given him by the Mounties lets Batman cut through his ropes and turn the tables on the crooks, successfully bringing them to justice.

Sometimes taking Batman out of Gotham doesn't work, but in this instance it does as he gets to fight for survival, and it's pretty enjoyable action all around. The criminals are portrayed seriously and come across as a decent threat, which is necessary for the story to work. All in all, better than I expected.

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Re: Retro Comics are Awesome

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Detective Comics #198
August 1953

The Lord of Batmanor!
Script: Leigh Brackett, Edmond Hamilton Pencils: Dick Sprang Inks: Charles Paris

Batman and Robin go to Scotland and wear kilts... over their costumes! Batman and Robin fight the Loch Ness Monster! The dying lord of McLaughlie Castle in Scotland, also known as "Batmanor" given all the bats that live in the area, wants a centuries-old mystery solved. An ancestor was given the king's gold to keep safe, but hid it too well, and when he died, no one could find it. The McLaughlies were accused of stealing the king's gold. When a detective fails to find it, the old man declares that Batman could solve the mystery. He bequeaths the castle to Batman as a motivation to come to Scotland and clear the family name, which of course Batman is willing to do. Some crooks are also after the gold, so Batman has some competition.

Batman and Robin adopt kilts, have to deal with the legend of the "iron ghost" that supposedly haunts the castle, explore a secret passage and otherwise turn over every stone Robin admires the claymores (and I've held one, they are indeed massive and heavy swords!) and wants to play the bagpipes. They tangle with a sea serpent which turns out to be mechanical. Ultimately both Batman and the crooks work out where the gold was hidden (and I won't spoil it), after which Batman turns the gold over to the government along with the castle.

Batman being shouted at with questions by the press makes him seem like more of a celebrity than a costumed vigilante and crime fighter, but of course I keep having to remind myself that he's not a vigilante at this point. He's been deputized and is essentially legal, high-profile Gotham law enforcement. The story is fun and light-hearted with some comic moments among the action, and it ends with Batman facepalming because Robin brought along a bagpipe to play in the Batcave, which gives you an idea of the tone. I think the kilts on top of the costumes are a bit silly, but like so many of these stories featuring non-Gotham locations, the writer and artist like to cram as much local culture as possible into the narrative, which is fair enough really. I was prepared to not like this one, but it's actually quite enjoyable.

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Detective Comics #199
September 1953

The Invisible Batman!
Script: William Woolfolk Pencils: Bob Kane, Lew Sayre Schwartz Inks: Ray Burnley, Stan Kaye

Crime boss Big Jack Baker is put in jail by Batman, and Baker assigns his lawyer, Verne Lever, to run his gang while he's in prison. It's a surprise to Batman that Baker's gang is still going strong without their leader, since he doesn't know about the lawyer taking over, While fighting the gang during an attempted theft of some radioactive dye samples(!), Batman is doused in the dye. The next morning he finds that he's become invisible! You'd think we've reached the 60s with radioactivity granting unusual powers like this.

Batman isn't happy about being invisible, but he and Robin are unable to reverse the effect. Invisibility proves to be a boon while fighting the gang, but Verne Lever, not wanting to go to jail if Baker reveals his role in the gang, hits on the idea of figuring out Batman's secret ID to shut him up. And he comes very close by reading all the books and articles written about Batman and narrowing his list of suspects down to five, with Bruce Wayne among them. Every now and then some crook has figured out that Bruce is likely to be Batman, and he has to deal with the problem, but I can't say I expected to see that in a story about Bruce dealing with having become invisible.

Long story short, being invisible makes it hard for Batman to testify in court, but he is able to prove his identity through multiple means. The lawyer loses it and takes Robin hostage, but the invisible Batman captures him, and through deduction and luck, Batman figures out that citric acid can reverse the invisibility effect, so he douses himself in orangeade from a hot dog vendor and reappears. And lest we think the invisibility dye could be a recurring problem, Batman learns that the formula for the dye has been lost, so no more can be manufactured.

Crooks captured, Batman normal again, threat averted. I like the way the story approaches being invisible as a condition that both benefits and causes problems for Bruce. I have to chuckle at radiation being the go-to explanation for random superpowers. It's not the first time we've seen that, and it certainly won't be the last. I didn't expect a subplot where another crook figures out that Bruce could be Batman, though it's done and over with in less than two pages, demonstrating how much plot can be packed into these short stories. I think we're starting to see the ideas for what to do with Batman run out, since the writers are having to resort to more "out there" incidents. I'm also sure we'll see more of these crazy experiences as we move towards the Silver Age.

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Re: Retro Comics are Awesome

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At one point I was reading and reviewing Silver Age Green Lantern in this thread. I've been reading with some of the old timers over on the collected editions board, so I'll pick up where I left off, which I think was with issue 19 at the link below.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1140&p=51462&hilit= ... ern#p51462

Green Lantern #20
April 1963

Parasite Planet Peril!
Script - John Broome Pencils - Gil Kane Inks - Joe Giella

The Flash/Green Lantern team-up must have gone over well with the readership, because Flash is back for a second go-round as a "vanishing plague" has struck Coast City. People turn pale, lose weight and then vanish entirely. Everyone is stepping up to combat the plague as best they can, including GL and Flash, as well as Carol Ferris, while Iris West is covering the story as a reporter. While Iris and Carol discuss the men in their lives, Flash and GL do what they can to help the victims, but then Hal begins showing signs of the plague. He gives his power ring to Flash so he can try and use it to keep him from fading, because his energy and will are going fast. Flash is unable to prevent GL from vanishing. Flash, Carol and Iris are all deeply affected by what they think is GL's death.

But Barry, ever the scientist, studies the plague and discovers the truth while using the Green Lantern ring to make an electron microscope a million times more powerful. He discovers evil creatures existing at microscopic size, so Barry uses the GL ring to reduce himself to microscopic size as well. He finds not just Hal, but all the people who have vanished in the world of the Mikrids, who leech human brain power for their energy needs. The vanishing plague is caused by people being shrunk to microscopic size. Once Flash appears with Hal's ring, the two of them are able to put a stop to this scheme, albeit not without a few hiccups related to the Mikrids threatening Carol and Iris. The issue ends with Barry (having written that he's coming from Central City when of course he's been in Coast City all along), Iris, Carol and Hal on a double date while the girls fill their dates in on their incredible adventure.

Even with the light characterization style of the era, I enjoy the friendship between everyone in this story. Hal and Barry are still good friends to this day, but I don't think Carol and Iris interact all that much. It's fun to watch Flash using GL's ring and doing a darn good job using it too. The story feels very much as if it fits in Flash's world, because as I remember that first Silver Age Flash omnibus, he's always discovering new civilizations in other dimensions and at various places around the planet, so the Mikrids are right up his alley. Hal would have been in serious trouble in the microworld without his ring, so Flash really saved him this time.

Green Lantern #21
June 1963

I'm not a big fan of the orange cover on this issue, or the purple and pink steel beams of the construction site. The color certainly stands out, I'll give it that.

The Man Who Mastered Magnetism!
Script - John Broome Pencils - Gil Kane Inks - Joe Giella

Dr. Polaris makes his debut, and this story opens with him unconscious in the hospital while Green Lantern probes his mind with the power ring. A news report fills us in on Polaris's past: a man who believed in the health benefits of magnetism and sold his message to a receptive audience. He became popular despite having critics, and donated his time to charity. But at a variety show where he was to speak, Polaris disappeared and a masked bandit in a red and white outfit with a purple mask/cowl and purple shorts (Polaris clearly designed the cover of this issue given his color choices) turned up to rob the box office recepits. GL captured him at Polaris's home and the bandit turned out to be Polaris himself, who GL took to the hospital, which is where the story opened.

GL discovers his past and shares it. As a medical student, he subjecting himself to magnetic currents and found that they filled him with energy. But over time it also turned him evil. Hey, it's not radiation this time. He had intended to ask for GL to help him remove the magnetic energy from his body at the charity ball, but the evil became dominant and he never did. He escapes the hospital and tries to kill Green Lantern when he searches for him. He "magnetizes" him and tries to crush him under some steel girders. Hal plays dead and then attempts to grab him when he gets close, only for Polaris to blind him with a flare and attempt escape, but Hal uses the ring to block the light and captures him with a football tackle construct.

Polaris is presented as a victim here, and a Jeckyl and Hyde personality due to his experiments. It's a good idea for a villain, a well-intentioned man who embarked on the study and use of a "health treatment" and became a popular public figure for it, only for that treatment to have disastrous effects in the long term. The use of magnetism is absurd, as is making a human body magnetic somehow, but it's no sillier than any other comic book "science" of the era. His costume reminds me of Zorro without the hat and cape, only brightly colored rather than black, and it's not all that good. It doesn't really fit the character either, I would expect a "mad doctor" type to have a more tech-looking costume, which is probably why it will change down the road.

Hal Jordan Betrays Green Lantern!
Script - Gardner Fox Pencils - Gil Kane Inks - Murphy Anderson

Two years have passed in-story since the events of Showcase #22 and "S.O.S. Green Lantern" when Hal got the ring from a dying Abin Sur. Carl Ferris (no longer named Willard) and his wife return from their round the world trip, and the first thing Carl asks Carol about is her love life. He reveals that Hal Jordan is Green Lantern! He discovered this while in Paris when he was kidnapped while attempting to buy a painting (which was a fake) and Hal went looking for him. He tracks the crooks to a sewer where they use a "fog bomb" on him. He rescues Carl Ferris, but has an allergic reaction to the chemicals that causes his face to break out everywhere except where his mask sits on his face, which Carl noticed later while talking to Hal.

Hal has to fake an allergy to some of the food Carol feeds him at dinner, claiming the same thing happened to him while in France. And it works, his secret identity is safe. But Carol, who was all ready to marry him when she (correctly of course) thought he was Green Lantern loses interest when she thinks he isn't.

And that's the end of Green Lantern omnibus volume 1. I did not replace these original omnibus volumes with the Silver Age GL omnibus because the quality is fine with me, and I like the design of the books, so why double-dip? I'm assuming the popularity of Geoff Johns as a GL writer is the reason these were printed, only for two volumes to appear before DC started over again with the Age omnibus line. It leaves me with a Green Lantern Omnibus #1 and 2, and a Green Lantern Silver Age Omnibus volume 2, with some overlap between the two volume 2s. But that's no big deal. I like the way volume 1 begins and ends with Carl Ferris as an important part of the plot, it feels like nice bookends even though the stories are barely related.

Next time, onwards to the second omnibus!

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Re: Retro Comics are Awesome

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Green Lantern Omnibus #2

Green Lantern #22
July 1963

Master of the Power Ring!
Script - Gardner Fox Pencils - Gil Kane Inks - Joe Giella

Great cover this issue, with a fist construct from the power ring punching GL in the face while a voice from the ring brags about controlling the ring. Inside, the splash page reveals that Hector Hammond has returned, this time with the giant brain that he's known for, though he's not the grotesque monster of the modern GL books. He has evolved himself rather than others this time, and has plans to become immortal using still more meteorites, which he tricks Green Lantern into retrieving for him. GL keeps having dates with Carol interrupted by these incidents that Hammond is creating (and the one with the moon wobbling is referenced in the 1990 GL series). Carol is back to doing nothing but daydreaming about how nice it would be to be married to Green Lantern, but she's surprisingly understanding every time he has to leave to deal with a crisis, comparing her situation to that of someone involved with a doctor, always on call for emergencies.

The story comes down to a struggle between Hal and Hammond for mastery of the power ring, but Hammond's superior mental abilities win out and he draws GL to him. When he attempts to steal the power ring, it falls lifeless to the floor. This bit of the story felt like it broke the rules that this series established by violating the 24 hour rule as Hal commanded it to instantly drain all power if it left his finger. It does so, and despite Hammond throwing debris at GL, Hal is able to slug him unconscious, leave to recharge his ring, then return Hammond to prison, after which he "deadens" Hammonds brain so he can't pull the same trick again.

Carol needs to do more than moon over GL, and as I mentioned it feels like Gardner Fox cheated with the established rules to allow Hal to win. But I enjoyed seeing Hammond again, and his plan is certainly reasonable. He plays by the 24 hour recharge rule and is surprised that it failed, as he should have been. I think the way the ring operated during Kyle Rayner's time makes more sense than the 24 hour limit, that each charge was finite and could be used a bit at a time or all at once, and if this ring operated that way, the resolution would have worked better for me.

Dual Masquerade of the Jordan Brothers!
Script - John Broome Pencils - Gil Kane Inks - Joe Giella

Here we have more superhero sitcom antics with Sue still trying to prove the wrong Jordan brother is Green Lantern. Red Peters, a crook captured by Green Lantern (who Sue of course believes is Jim Jordan), prosecuted by D.A. Jack Jordan and jailed by judge Jeremiah Jordan, comes looking for revenge times three at uncle Jeremiah's costume birthday party. Hal has to help his younger brother pretend to be Green Lantern as they deal with Peters. These Jordan brother stories are always fun, and it's still a novelty to see a superhero with siblings and extended family that he interacts with regularly. I sometimes wonder what would happen if Sue and Carol ever met and compared notes...

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Green Lantern #23
September 1963

Threat of the Tattooed Man!
Script - Gardner Fox Pencils - Gil Kane Inks - Frank Giacola, Joe Giella

Carol Ferris gets jealous when GL is having his portrait painted by his good looking friend Lee Kerr and tries to buy the painting, only to be told that it's a commission, not for sale. Carol leaves in tears. Man, she's got it bad. At the gallery where the portrait is being displayed there is trouble from a new villain, the Tattooed Man! This guy is a sailor who has apparently magical tattoos which turn from drawings to real objects, unaffected by the power ring. The Tattooed Man is Abel Tarrant, a sailor who constantly speaks and thinks in naval terms, and who gained his powers from a chemical spill during a robbery. Discovering chemicals that became objects that he drew, Tarrant drew objects on himself with the chemicals. His goal is rather low-key: to "own the great treasures of Baron Cranfield" which he's wanted since he was a child.

Hal loses the first fight, but figures out during the second that Tarrant can only control one object at a time. He's able to use this to get Tarrant to overextend himself so that GL can capture him. In the end, Carol the jealous stalker is given her Green Lantern painting. I'm sure she'll go home and practice kissing it or something. Get a grip, Carol!

So the Tattooed Man is a variation on the Green Lantern idea, in that the Tattooed Man can create various objects for various purposes just like Hal can, only Tarrant has to draw them and can't control more than one at a time. I like that he has to plan his "constructs" ahead of time. He's a refreshingly laid back and low key villain with limited ambitions, and really seems like a normal guy. He's not beyond redemption, and I can see why Gerard Jones wrote him as a reformed man in the 1990 series. I do have to wonder where the amazing chemicals came from and why there aren't other "tattooed men" using the same chemicals to do the same things. Perhaps a line about Tarrant's body chemistry allowing him to use the chemicals in a unique way would have explained this.

The Green Lantern Disasters!
Script - Gardner Fox Pencils - Gil Kane Inks - Joe Giella

You power battery possessors are a proud group - confident of solving your own difficulties and problems!

While charging his ring, Hal is summoned by the Guardians to investigate and help Xax, a fellow Green Lantern. Xax has not used his power ring or reported in for some time, and the Guardians want to quietly make sure he's not derelict in his duty. Hal has met Xax before and likes him, so he's hoping for the best. He has a quick mission to do on the way that takes up all of two panels, and then he heads to Xax's homeworld of Xaos, where intelligent insect-like aliens dominate. Turns out the crooks on that planet had set a nuclear bomb that would be triggered if Xax used his power ring, but he managed to contain the explosion and send it into space, where Hal encounters it. This interferes with Xax's plan to capture the crooks, so he ends up explaining the situation to Hal, and the two of them devise a plan to capture the crooks.

So I don't know about completely altering the seasons on Xaos, even temporarily, in order to capture the crooks. That seems a bit drastic, but in the end it seems no real harm is done. And the Guardians are pleased with the actions and results from their Green Lanterns. I love Hal charging his power ring on Xax's power battery, which is no larger than Hal's ring! And once again, it's good to see two Green Lanterns working together to solve a problem, and to see helpful, reasonable Guardians of the Universe.

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Re: Retro Comics are Awesome

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andersonh1 wrote:
Wed Feb 23, 2022 4:05 am
I love Hal charging his power ring on Xax's power battery, which is no larger than Hal's ring! And once again, it's good to see two Green Lanterns working together to solve a problem, and to see helpful, reasonable Guardians of the Universe.
One of the things I love most about GL is how many clearly non-humanoid aliens show up as members of the Corps.
Check it out, a honey bear! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinkajou

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Re: Retro Comics are Awesome

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Ursus mellifera wrote:
Thu Feb 24, 2022 8:13 am
andersonh1 wrote:
Wed Feb 23, 2022 4:05 am
I love Hal charging his power ring on Xax's power battery, which is no larger than Hal's ring! And once again, it's good to see two Green Lanterns working together to solve a problem, and to see helpful, reasonable Guardians of the Universe.
One of the things I love most about GL is how many clearly non-humanoid aliens show up as members of the Corps.
I agree, I think the stories with the Corps are often my favorites. Most of the Green Lantern stories in the 60s feel like standard super-hero fare of the time, but the Corps stories feel different, because Hal has peers and equals, and it's a whole different world than the super-hero fraternity of the JLA. It's fun to watch the concept develop as well with these early GLC stories.

Green Lantern #24
October 1963

The Shark that Hunted Human Prey!
Script - John Broome Pencils - Gil Kane Inks - Joe Giella

Atomic radiation creates a supervillain! A portion of an atomic pile at an experimental station explodes and flies out to sea, where the blast strikes and super-evolves a tiger shark. The shark changes from shark, to ape, to man, to man of the future! So the Shark is a variant on the same concept that gave us Hector Hammond, a super-evolved, futuristic human with incredible mental powers. But the Shark is no rational, thoughtful human, he's still influenced by his shark desire to hunt prey. He decides humans are weak and not worth his time, but his mental powers alert him to Hal Jordan and to his alternate identity as Green Lantern, and he decides that Hal is worthy prey.

The Shark is a villain who can do anything the plot requires... make the interior of a hangar yellow, grow to giant size, put an invisible yellow aura around himself (if it's invisible, wouldn't it be colorless?), encase the entirety of Coast City in a force field... the guy is nearly unstoppable. But Hal figures out that the only thing he can affect in the hangar is the air, and he twice is able to use it as a weapon and ultimately disable the Shark, after which he reads his mind and de-evolves him back into his original form as a shark. And then he dumps in the Coast City aquarium, under armed guard.

I don't mind the whole "radiation creates super powers" cliche, because villains have to come from somewhere. But what annoys me about this story is the no-rules, "villain who can do whatever the plot needs him to do" approach. The Shark is right on the cusp of working as a concept. I like that he's intelligent, but still needs to hunt prey, and I like the instinctive fear people have of him. Gil Kane's design is suitably creepy, at least when he's looking more human. But the whole thing just doesn't quite work for me.

The Strange World Named Green Lantern!
Script - John Broome Pencils - Gil Kane Inks - Frank Giacola, Joe Giella

Tell me, Green Lantern... can we be friends?
I... I never had a planet for a friend before... but I don't see why not!


Long before Mogo made his debut, we have this living planet, who names itself Green Lantern in Hal's honor. The whole story is a simple but charming plot about an inability for two life forms to communicate. The initial misunderstanding is a little contrived, but the story works in a way that the previous one with the Shark does not. After attempts to get his attention by creating replicas of Tom and of some of Hal's enemies, the planet is able to use contact with Hal's power beam to speak, and not only is it not hostile, it's lonely. Hal is able to save the planet from being destroyed by some kind of hostile alien fire creature at it's center, which Hal removes and sends into orbit, giving the planet a moon as the cold of space cools it down. I'm not quite sure if Hal killed the creature or if it was really alive. He mentions that it has "a kind of life", but the exact nature of the firely menace is never spelled out clearly. By the end of the story Hal has solved two problems for the planet, and promises to return one day. I don't know if any other writer prior to Grant Morrison revisited this planet. Regardless, I really enjoyed this story.

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Re: Retro Comics are Awesome

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Back to GA Batman volume 9. We're coming to the end of the World's Finest solo Batman stories, with only four more before Batman and Superman's features in the book were combined.

World's Finest Comics #66
September-October 1953

The Proving Ground for Crime!
Writer: Bill Finger? Pencils: Dick Sprang Inks: Charles Paris

I must play along for now - even though I'm obviously here by mistake.

Criminal Brass Hadley has heart pains and goes to see a doctor, who assures him that with proper care the malady need not be fatal. The doctor wants to know Hadley's routine in order to give him an activity regimen, but of course Hadley can't admit that he's a criminal. But a routine built on false information does him no good. Hadley has no idea how far he can go physically or what he can do, and he hits upon the idea of kidnapping the other four men with the same heart condition and using them as guinea pigs. He breaks into the doctor's office and copies information from the files, unaware that Bruce Wayne's chart was accidentally placed in the file. (As an aside, Bruce lives at 57 Gotham Blvd. according to Hadley's notes. In Detective Comics 185, Bruce's address was given as 224 Park Dr. Gotham City, USA, so we have an inconsistency here.)

Hadley and his gang kidnap all four men, including Bruce, and reveal their intentions to have them go through test runs of crimes that Hadley has planned to see if they survive. Bruce is able to sneak out as Batman to foil each test and contact Robin who brings the police to round up the gang. Hadley attempts to escape to a one-man submarine but while swimming out to where it's moored his heart gives out. Batman and Robin pull him from the water but can't save him. Batman declares it justice after what Hadley intended to do.

Great art, a vicious criminal with an interesting dilemma, and a good plot. Batman barely breaks a sweat stopping Hadley's plans and rounding up his gang. There's the necessary contrivance of having Bruce's chart in the wrong file that jumps out at me, but he has to become involved somehow, and I guess it works as well as anything.

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