Monday, August 29, 2011

What's "New"- Retro-Active Green Lantern, 1970'S One -Shot

As DC Prepares to roll out their "New 52", they've decided to promote the sweeping changes to their line up with a nostalgic look back at the DCU as it was. This being a blog about Green Arrow, and DC not releasing a Retro-Active Green Arrow comic, you may wonder why I mention this. You may even be wondering why I'm starting off my Green Arrow Blog with a Green Lantern comic. No, I'm not suffering from "green hero confusion". This one-shot by Veterans Denny O'Neil and Mike Grell captures the Green Lantern of the 1970's right down to one of the best things about the whole series:

From his debut in 1941 (in More Fun Comics #73- the same issue that featured the debut of Aquaman) Green Arrow was strictly a back-up feature. He was featured in the team book Seven Soldiers of Victory and was the first "new" member nominated to the JLA (not counting Snapper Carr). He was featured quite a bit in The Brave and the Bold. Green Arrow did not rate his own title. Until the 1980's, the closest GA ever came was sharing a title with Green Lantern. Thus, this 70's throwback written by 70's GL/GA scribe Denny O'Neill and drawn by the second GL/GA artist Mike Grell features Green Arrow as more of a co-star than a guest star.

The story in the first feature of this nifty one-shot features parallel story lines for our green goodguys. While Green Lantern tries to rescue a crash-landed alien who seems hauntingly familiar (he's the brother of Abin Sur) Green Arrow has to figure out who keeps shooting people he knows full of arrows.

I'm not entirely sure how 1970's this all feels. Although it has some of the anti-establishment feel of the 1970's Green Lantern/Green Arrow comics, both the government paranoia of the Green Lantern story and the serial killer plot of the Green Arrow story seem more reminiscent to me of Mike Grell's tenure as writer/artist on Green Arrow in the late 1980's. Still, it was fun to see O'Neill and Grell do a GL/GA yarn.

The second feature in the comic is a reprint of Green Lantern #76 (April, 1970) by Denny O'Neill and Neal Adams.

Green Lantern attempts to stop a fight and ends up picking the wrong side. Not legally, but morally. Green Arrow shows up and reads his pal the riot act:

After a few arguments (in which-I have to say- Green Lantern is kind of a straw man to Green Arrow's moral outrage) and an adventure where Green Lantern learns that businessmen are inherently evil, Green Arrow, Green Lantern and one of the Guardians of the Universe decide the best way to understand right and wrong is to get in a pick-up truck and go on a road trip to find America or something.

Thereby kicking off a landmark series in the history of comics and giving Green Arrow some much-needed face time.

Tomorrow: Trick Arrow Tuesday!


  1. Growing up, GA was one of my top 4 fav characters (Aquaman, Batman, and Plastic Man being the other three).

    If DC had put out a book with just those guys every issue, it would have been my all-time favorite comic in short order.

    Good luck with the blog!

  2. rob!: They could have called it "Detective Adventures Comics". Woulda sold like hotcakes!

  3. Yep--an anthology book, with each of them in solo stories, and then one story with all of them. I woulda bought ten copies of every issue.

    Heck, I still would!