Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Why No G'Nortest Green Lantern Stories?

Green Lantern: The Greatest Stories Ever Told is coming in August from DC:
The greatest adventures of the Emerald Gladiator, collected in one volume! Thrill to the exploits of several Green Lanterns in stories from GREEN LANTERN ('40s) #1; ALL-AMERICAN COMICS #89; GREEN LANTERN ('60s-70s) #1, 9, 87, 172; SUPERMAN #257, TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS ANNUAL #3, GREEN LANTERN ('90s) #3, 0; GREEN LANTERN: MOSAIC #5; GREEN LANTERN GALLERY and GREEN LANTERN SECRET FILES 2005.

It looks like there are at least two Alan Scott Golden Age stories, a couple of John Broome/Gil Kane tales of Hal Jordan, the O'Neil/Adams introduction of John Stewart, Elliott S! Maggin's "Greatest Green Lantern Of Them All," and fights between Hal and Guy Gardner, Hal and Kyle Rayner, and Hal and John. I think the Alan Moore story, just from eyeballing, is a Katma Tui tale about a GL who can only use sound, but I could be wrong.

Anyway, not a bad selection, given the format. A bigger book (or maybe a GL in the [Decade] volume) could offer classics like the Steve Englehart/Dick Dillin JLA vs. Manhunters two-parter from Justice League of America #s 140-41 (March-April 1977), which was as much a GL story as a JLA story. I also have fond memories of the 3-part Marv Wolfman/Joe Staton Dr. Polaris arc from Green Lantern #s 133-35 (October-December 1980), the "secret origin" of Alan Scott's battery from Green Lantern #19 (December 1991), and the Lord Malvolio arc from Action Comics Weekly #s 632-34 (1989) and Green Lantern Special #2 (1989).

Still, the more I think about it, the more I'd like to see a G'Nort paperback. Start, of course, with Justice League International #10 (February 1988), which introduced G'Nort Esplanade Gneesmacher; and maybe include JLI #s 14-15 (June-July 1988), his first real adventure with the League. From there, unfortunately, things start to get a little too silly, but the introduction of JL Antarctica in Justice League America Annual #4 (1990) and the four-part "A Guy And His G'Nort" in Green Lantern #s 9-12 (February-May 1991) might make a respectable collection.

Now, I may be showing some bias by listing more "favorite" G'Nort stories than, say, Kyle Rayner stories; and it is also true that I could more easily put together Guy Gardner or John Stewart collections before getting to Kyle. I like Kyle fine -- I think it is just that I haven't spent the time with his stories that I have with the others. Besides, for me many of Kyle's brightest days (ha ha) have come with the JLA, so it's been harder for me to see arcs in his own book that have been better than JLA adventures. That Manhunter arc early in Judd Winick's tenure wasn't so bad, and the Effigy introduction was decent enough. I also liked the Kyle/Connor Hawke team-ups, and of course Kyle's banter with Wally West (although I don't think Wally was in Green Lantern a whole lot).

Besides, Kyle's got his own paperbacks. Time for G'Nort's!


gus said...

Man, you forgot one of the best G'nort stories! The, now-legendary, fight between G'Nort & The Scarlet Skier! JLA #36.

Tom Bondurant said...

D'oh! Yeah, I like the Scarlet Skier, but I couldn't remember if that was in JLA or a JLI Quarterly.

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