The Green Lantern Archives Volume 4

The Green Lantern Archives Volume 4
The Green Lantern Archives Volume 4 review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: DC - 1-5638-9811-X
  • Volume No.: 4
  • Release date: 2002
  • UPC: 9781563898112
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

Writer Jack C. Harris provides an introduction to the Emerald Crusader’s exploits in 1963 and 1964. Gardner Fox now writes more stories than series co-creator John Broome, but thankfully everything is still drawn by the peerless Gil Kane as it was in Volume 3.

Fox scripts the return of diabolical futurist villain Hector Hammond in ‘Master of the Power Ring!’, whilst Broome turns his hand to a human-interest story with ‘Dual Masquerade of the Jordan Brothers!’. It has GL playing matchmaker, trying to convince his future sister-in-law that her intended is in fact Green Lantern! Inked by Murphy Anderson, it was his final contribution, with Joe Giella becoming sole inker thereafter.

‘Threat of the Tattooed Man!’ has the Ring-Slinger tackle a common thief who lucks into the eerie power to animate his skin-ink and ‘The Green Lantern Disasters’ takes the hero off-world to rescue missing comrade Xax of Xaos, an insect member of the GL Corps. Another recurring villain and star of the second Suicide Squad film is introduced in ‘The Shark that Hunted Human Prey!’ (Broome), wherein an atomic accident evolves the ocean’s deadliest predator into a psychic fear-feeder. ‘The Strange World Named Green Lantern!’ (Broome again) finds the Emerald Crusader trapped on a sentient and lonely planet that craves his constant presence.

Fox’s full-length thriller is ‘War of the Weapon Wizards!‘ as GL falls foul of the lethally persistent Sonar and his silent partner-in-crime Hector Hammond, whilst Hal Jordan’s girlfriend Carol Ferris once more transformed into an alien queen determined to beat him into marital submission in ‘Star Sapphire unmasks Green Lantern!’. It’s a witty cracker from Fox who also scripts the superb ‘World Within the Power Ring!’ as our hero battles an extraterrestrial sorcerer imprisoned within his ring by his deceased predecessor!

Fox’s super-scientific crime thriller ‘Mystery of the Deserted City!’ is followed by Broome’s charming and alarming ‘The Amazing Transformation of Horace Tolliver!’, as Hal learns a lesson in who to help – and how. No prizes for guessing who – or what – menace returns in ‘The Shark Goes on the Prowl Again!’, but big applause if you can solve the puzzle of ‘The House that Fought Green Lantern’, both engaging romps courtesy of writer Fox. Broome adds to his tally of memorable villain creations with Black Hand who misappropriates a portion of GL’s power in ‘Half a Green Lantern is Better than None!’ as well as scripting a brilliant alien invader tale in ‘This World is Mine!’ It’s doubly memorable as not only does it feature a rare – for the times – Justice League cameo (soon to be inevitable – if not interminable) but also because the incredibly talented Sid Greene became the regular inker.

The increasingly vast scope of these tales would become a cornerstone of the greater DC Universe and Kane’s incredibly animated, dynamic art transformed how action comics were drawn. These stories changed comics storytelling forever and they’re still some of the most entertaining and mesmerising reads in all superhero fiction. What more do you need to know…?

Perhaps that they’re also available in black and white in the second Showcase Presents Green Lantern,  or spread across then the bulkier paperbacks The Silver Age Volume Two and Volume Three. along with much of Volume 5.