Monday, February 26, 2018

I was going to blog an issue of Green Lantern Corps the other day, but realized I had already blogged panel, at least. I was going to ask why Kilowog isn't breaking Sinestro's neck every time he sees him, but we'll have to let that go. Instead, we've got what may well have been my first issue of Green Lantern, and it's technically a last issue! From 1986, Green Lantern #200, "Five Billion Years" Written by Steve Englehart, pencils by Joe Staton, inks by Bruce Patterson. (With a Walt Simonson cover!)

I had been a Green Lantern fan since Challenge of the Super-Friends, but I didn't read his comic back then! It wasn't until reruns of Challenge started on cable that I thought about trying one, and I started here. It's the conclusion of several months of plotlines and a few loose ends from Crisis, and very much the end of an era; even though this writer and artist would be on the next issue.

The Guardians of the Universe were, unbeknownst to their Green Lanterns, preparing to wrap up their tenure protecting the universe. Fourteen of them had died facing the Anti-Monitor, and the remainder felt their best days were behind them, and wanted to finish before they were no longer able to. In that vein, GL's were gathering some of the universe's worst criminals for incarceration in the Sciencells, like Sinestro. John Stewart and Katma Tui were bringing home the Guardians' mortal brother, Appa Ali Apsa; while Hal Jordan and others were bringing in Goldface and more. Meanwhile, Guy Gardner was meeting up with Star Sapphire, Queen of the Zamorans. Guy isn't that impressed, pointing out that the Zamarons only choose a queen as it suits them. Star and Guy fight for a bit, before they're interrupted by Hector Hammond--or a mental projection of him--who proposes teaming up as "the triumvirate of terror!" Nerd.

Speaking with Appa, who recounts some of the Guardians' failures, John and Katma guess the Guardians are going to end their...guardianship, and wonder what that would mean for them. Meanwhile, Hal, only recently reinstated, was pleased as punch to have his ring again: he tells Arisia "My crisis is over! And to me, it was bigger than the one the universe faced!" Um, a lot of people died, Hal. Flying off alone to enjoy himself, Hal passes a deserted moon, and finds...the Flash?

Barry disappears in short order, then Hal is visited by the recently deceased Tomar Re, then Carol Ferris. She wasn't currently dead, though; which may have warned Hal just enough; as Star Sapphire knees him in the face! Guy and Hammond pile on, but Hal's will is at its peak strength. Hammond is knocked out, back on earth; and Guy and Star are captured. Meanwhile, Sinestro's plan goes into motion, as his Weaponers of Qward attack John and Katma. Faced with death, Appa bluffs them into believing he was still a Guardian, until the GL's finish the fight. And on Oa, after dropping off their prisoners, Ch'p looks where he shouldn't, and is dragged into a purple light!

As the GL's start to gather, Guy and Star act like they're too cool for that, but even they're impressed by the rare sight of two thousand, eight hundred Green Lanterns! That may be undercut by the Guardians' arrival, for a history lesson of ten billion years. Thankfully, they just hit the high notes. Among them, three billion years ago, the creation of the GLC and the departure of the future Controllers; two-and-a-half billion years ago, the departure of the Guardians' women--the Zamorans! They aged so much better than the Guardians did, since they look like hot Amazons. A Guardian and a Zamoran duel, to see if they should reunite, and they agree to...which means the Guardians would be leaving the Green Lanterns. The Guardians and Zamorans would be leaving the universe, but they say the power battery would continue to charge their rings. Appa Ali Apsa would remain, for the rest of his mortal life, as an advisor, albeit from his adopted homeworld Maltus. And Guy Gardner would have to serve there, to show he had earned his ring. (He wouldn't be there long...)

Star Sapphire was furious, over having finally become the Zamorans' queen, only for them to up and split on her. Finally, the Guardians tell Hal and John, to protect earth, since it could be on the verge of as big of an evolutionary leap as they themselves had made, perhaps within a Millennium. Before the Guardians leave, one last bit of business: dealing with an impostor in their midst, Sinestro! He's put back in his Sciencell, permanently. (Not even a year!!) The Guardians of the Universe and the Zamorans leave this universe, "...and then five billion years--as infinitesimal in the scheme of time as one fleeting moment--are over and done!"

Is it weird there was a matching number of Zamorans and Guardians? I mean, the Guardians had just lost fourteen members. Unless fourteen Zamorans just burst into flames, like the Dark Crystal. This issue builds off years of continuity, but still reads remarkably well as a single issue. Next month would be the first issue of Green Lantern Corps, although the numbering would continue with #201. (Per the GCD it would be a little bit before the indica made it official.) And that next issue would be the first appearance of Kilowog! It's weird to remember he's a relatively new addition to the GL mythos, since he would be retconned in as Hal's trainer within a few years. Honestly, I half expected to see him here...

1 comment:

SallyP said...

Oh god, this was...and still of my favorites. So much craziness is happening, and i adore Joe Staton and Englehaet. Hal was at his most arrogant, and Fuy was at his craziest, and Katma wasn't was a joyful time.