Review by Win Wiacek
This third chronological selection of Hal Jordan’s appearances as Green Lantern supplies the continuity from mid-1963 to early 1965. The narrative here is of Gardner Fox gradually usurping series co-creator John Broome as writer, and while Fox’s run continues into The Silver Age Volume Four, from 1966 Broome is again the primary writer. The importance is a shift of emphasis, as Fox favours SF-based stories with clever gimmicks, and there are fewer of the human stories seen in Volume One and Two.
The opening story is notable for Fox’s introduction of recurring villain the Tattooed Man, and the start of Joe Giella’s run as the sole inker of Gil Kane’s incredibly animated, dynamic art. This lasts until midway, when the talented Sid Greene becomes the regular inker (sample art).
Fox is more likely to favour villains. His contributions return Sonar, teamed with Hector Hammond, and Star Sapphire, the latter in a tale of Hal learning the powerful villain is actually his boss and would-be girlfriend Carol Ferris, although with no memory of her transformations. It’s notable that the once ubiquitous Sinsestro’s only presence is as an illusion. New long-lasting villains, though, are down to Broome. He introduces the Shark via an atomic accident evolving the ocean’s deadliest predator into a psychic fear-feeder, and adds to his tally of memorable creations with the debut of Black Hand. William Hand siphons a portion of GL’s power to send the left half of his body to another dimension, and Broome is seen in-story, the writer inexplicably sitting at a drawing board.
Highlighting from among the best of each writer supplies Fox’s ‘World Within the Power Ring!’ and ‘This World is Mine!’ by Broome, neither featuring a villain, and both the back-up strips from the days when each comic featured two stories. Fox’s superb thriller has the hero battle an extraterrestrial sorcerer imprisoned within his ring by his deceased predecessor! Broome’s winner is a brilliant alien invader tale in which GL battles a giant version of himself. It’s doubly memorable for featuring a rare – for the times – Justice League cameo. Their former villain Dr. Light later shows up having decided to pick off his enemies one by one after his earlier defeat. The back-up yarn gives Kane another excuse to show his love of and facility with movie gangster caricatures.
An abundance of thrills, chills and spills characterise these entertaining and mesmerising reads. They can also be found in black and white in Showcase Presents Green Lantern Vol. 2, or spread over Green Lantern Archives Volume 4 and Volume 5.