The Green Lantern Archives Volume 3

The Green Lantern Archives Volume 3
The Green Lantern Archives Volume 3 review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: DC - 1-5638-9713-X
  • Volume No.: 3
  • Release date: 2001
  • UPC: 9781563897139
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

Another year of Hal Jordan’s earliest exploits continue from Volume 2, this selection opening with an introduction from Bob Schreck and covering mid-1962 to mid-1963

‘The Man Who Conquered Sound!’ introduces another recurring villain, the fourth if you’re counting, in Balkan ultra-nationalist Sonar. It’s a traditional fist-fest followed by the return of Jim Jordan and snoopy girl reporter Sue Williams. In the frothy romp ‘My Brother, Green Lantern!’ it’s revealed that she’s now romantically involved with the youngest Jordan sibling and, due to a slight mishap with the boy’s fraternity rings more certain than ever that her intended is the Emerald Gladiator. Both are by the regular creative team of John Broome and Gil Kane, responsible for all stories unless otherwise noted.

Sinestro once more escapes the justice of the Guardians to return in ‘Peril of the Yellow World!’ a cosmic duel testing GL’s bravery as much as the Space Race thriller ‘Zero Hour at Rocket City!’ tests his wits. Then the Hal Jordan/Green Lantern/Carol Ferris romantic triangle is taken to a new level. ‘The Secret Life of Star Sapphire!’ introduces the alien women of Zamaron. A Brainwashed Carol becomes their new queen and is given a gem as versatile as a power ring. Programmed to destroy the man she loves, Star Sapphire becomes another recurring foe. The following story solves a puzzle that had baffled readers since the very first appearance of the Emerald Crusader: Why had Abin Sur arrived on Earth in a spacecraft? Gardner Fox contributes the answer in ‘Earth’s First Green Lantern’. A stirring tale of triumph and tragedy, this short yarn is one of Fox and Kane’s very best. Fox sticks around for ‘The Spy-Eye that Doomed Green Lantern!’, set around test pilot Jordan’s personal involvement in the US/Soviet race to the stars.

It’s not forgotten that Green Lantern is also a cop: a lawman working for the biggest police force in the entire universe. That’s exemplified in another cracking, fast paced thriller featuring the renegade GL Sinestro, ‘The World of Perilous Traps!’, whilst Mike Sekowsky pencils Kane’s layouts for the intriguing ‘Green Lantern vs. Power Ring’ as hobo Bill Baggett takes control of the Green Ring, necessitating a literal battle of wills.

Sonar returns in ‘The Defeat of Green Lantern!’, a high-energy cosmic duel nicely counterpointed by the whimsical crime-caper ‘The Trail of the Horse-and-Buggy Bandits!’ wherein a little old lady’s crossed phone line leads the Emerald Gladiator into conflict with canny crooks. ‘Parasite Planet Peril!’ reunites GL with the Flash to foil a plot to kidnap human geniuses.

One of the DCU’s greatest menaces debuts in ‘The Man who Mastered Magnetism’. Broome created a world-beater in the duel-personality villain Doctor Polaris, whilst ‘Hal Jordan Betrays Green Lantern!’ is the kind of action-packed, clever puzzle-yarn Fox always excels at, especially with Anderson’s stellar inks to lift the art to a delightful high.

It’s notable that in those long ago days costumed villains are always third choice of foe. Clever bad guys and aliens seemed more believable to creators back then. If you were doing something naughty would you want to call attention to yourself? Nowadays the visual impact of buff men in tights dictates the type of foe more than the crimes committed. It’s why these glorious adventures of simpler yet somehow better days are such an unalloyed delight. They’re also spread over the first and second volumes of Showcase Presents Green Lantern, and found in the second Green Lantern: The Silver Age Volume Two. More thrills follow in Archives Volume 4.