Saturday, April 20, 2024

Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #4 (March 1990)

The Green Lantern Corps allows hazing.

At the end of the last issue, Hal Jordan stuck a remote control bomb up the massive yellow space kitten's butt and he and the kitten died as one. Although based on this cover, Hal didn't die. And based on the cover of Issue #5, neither did the massive yellow space kitten. So while it was a dramatic ending to the issue, it didn't have any lasting consequences. Except maybe getting rid of the evidence that an alien visited Earth while also giving everyone in a sixty mile radius slow growing cancer. But that's the way Hal Jordan does things! Tall on action, short on thinking through the lasting consequences of his actions.

This series was drawn by M.D. Brigth who passed away between the time I wrote the review for Issue #3 and this review. Keith Giffen also died while I was writing my reviews of Justice League America and Justice League Europe. My reviews might have some kind of Ringu-like curse associated with them. Crossing my fingers that when I begin the reviews for the regular Green Lantern series from the 90s that the curse continues doing its work. I'm not at all happy that the curse brought down Keith Giffen and M.D. Bright, if that's your terrible interpretation of the previous factual statements about a paranormal phenomenon I've noticed. But I guess we'll just have to see what emotion I wind up feeling if the curse strikes down child sex pest Gerard Jones.

Oh, I should also acknowledge that Keith Giffen did the plotting of this series and Gerard Jones did the scripting. Romeo Tanghal, who is currently 76, did the inking. Maybe I shouldn't even have mentioned Romeo's name. I'm so sorry for bringing you into this, Romeo!

People who use their brains more regularly than Hal Jordan would then ask, "Did the massive yellow space pussycat also survive?"

Oh wait. He does ask that question.

I guess I was wrong about Hal arrogantly jumping to the conclusion that only he could have survived.

Nope. I was right the first time. Never mind.

I don't want to hear any of you Hal Jordan stans defending his arrogance by pointing out Hal's ignorance of this whole ring technology thing. We go by the evidence presented to us in the comic book on this blog and, as you can see, the theory I've come up with based on the evidence of reading Hal Jordan comic books played out precisely as I thought it would. I didn't know what Hal's reaction would be after reading the first page where he's surprised he's alive. Yes, that's big points to Hal being heroic. He was planning on sacrificing his own life to save people from the massive yellow space pussycat. But my theory has nothing to do with whether or not Hal's heroic! My theory, plainly stated, is that Hal acts before he thinks and also that he never thinks. Based on the evidence I've gathered over four decades of reading comic books, I could probably promote this theory to a law by now!

Somehow, the massive yellow space pussycat winds up on the moon. It's all, "I've come to the moon where we can fight without any property damage or death to innocent humans! No Green Lantern could resist fighting me here!" So it's not that smart either. It and Green Lantern just fought to the death in a place without property or any innocent humans. Why did it leave? What happened when it was blown up in the nuclear blast? Why would it suddenly go to the moon and think Green Lantern would follow it, especially if its reason for thinking Hal would follow it was because of the new battlefield which was exactly like the previous battlefield? I know the actual reason is that Giffen and Jones needed to give Hal a free moment so he could head to Oa, enabling the massive yellow space pussycat to follow him there. Maybe the main problem is that I shouldn't be trying to understand the reasons behind a massive yellow space pussycat's actions. Why do normal cats knock shit off tables? If an alien were reading a comic book whose plot relied on a cat knocking something off of a table, the alien might be all, "Why the fuck would it even do that? What's the point? It had no motivation to do that and yet the plot relied on the cat doing that? So stupid!" But a human reading that story would be all, "Oh, yes! Of course the cat would do that!" So maybe any massive yellow space pussycats reading this would see the massive yellow space pussycat flee to the moon and think, "Oh ho! Good one! Exactly what I would have done in this situation!"

I guess "Legion" means the same thing in massive yellow space pussycat as it means in English.

Hal flies past the moon because he told the ring he wants to meet other Green Lanterns. So now he's off to Oa! I'm going to assume the ring uses some kind of wormhole technology or else Hal is going to arrive as a mummy. Hal flies through one meteor storm and winds up on Oa so I'm going to assume the ring uses natural wormholes to navigate the universe. Why else would it take Hal through a meteor storm if it could just open a wormhole on its own? Also, don't yell at me for using the term "meteor storm" incorrectly. I'm using Hal's own words and I've already established that he's a dolt.

Upon landing on Oa, Hal meets his first Green Lantern that isn't about to die (I mean "immediately" about to die).

Even if Tomar-re identifies every Green Lantern via their ring's signature, you'd think he'd at least remember that Abin Sur was bald. And red.

Here I go making assumptions about how aliens act based on human behavior! Maybe Tomar-re only sees things in a vague blur. And he's colorblind. And also, being blind, his other senses weren't heightened as a species so he couldn't smell or hear a difference between Abin Sur and Hal. I'm probably being ableist thinking Tomar-re should have realized Hal wasn't Abin Sur immediately! I'm so ashamed.

Are those slug creatures in the first panel the native race of Oa? Are they sentient? Do they taste delicious?

It turns out this isn't Oa which is more evidence for the reader theory that I don't pay attention and make a lot of shit up and jump to more conclusions than the characters I complain about when they assume something stupid. Good thing I can make myself feel better with the theory that the people who read my blog are smarter than to come up with a shit theory about me.

Hal has landed on a planet in Tomar-re's sector. The ring was simply asked to take Hal to meet another Green Lantern and not to meet all the other Green Lanterns. Luckily Hal doesn't begin his conversation with Tomar-re by saying, "You look like a punk rock chicken-elf." But then, with all my criticisms of Hal, he's definitely a better person than I am. Because, yes, I would have led with "You look like a punk rock chicken-elf."

Tomar-re immediately recruits Hal to help him deal with some ambulatory carnivorous grass elsewhere on the planet. Hal does what Hal does best by reacting using Jordan's Law: always act without thinking or asking questions or knowing anything at all about the situation what-so-ever.

"Wait! They're the sentient race of this planet!"

Luckily for Hal, he didn't just commit mass murder against an alien race. Tomar-re was yelling "Wait!" because every time you kill one of these voracious meat eating plants, two spring up in its place. That's a better mistake for Hal's first time working with another Green Lantern even if it's less dramatic. Imagine if Hal had actually committed genocide on his first official Green Lantern job?! Then he'd either have to convince Tomar-re to carry that deep, dark secret around with him or murder Tomar-re as well. Obviously the first option would be better and fraught with more drama for the reader. Every time you'd see a panel with Tomar-re and Hal interacting, you'd be thinking about their dark connection.

I'll admit that, having grown up in California myself, I actually thought Hal's solution was going to be to make a huge bong and smoke the poor aliens to death.

Tomar-re learning early about Jordan's Law.

Tomar-re receives a signal from his ring about an emergency on Oa involving Legion. He opens a warp to travel there so that answers one question. But it just causes another one: Hal didn't warp to Tomar-re's Sector so how far or fast can a Green Lantern travel without needing to warp?

Hmm. Yellow buildings. Shows how much the Guardians trust their soldiers.

Salaak greets the new arrivals with news that Legion has now killed four Green Lanterns and he's off rampaging some more. I thought Legion followed Hal but I guess he smelled a trap and decided to go murder a Green Lantern in a different sector.

To learn about Legion, the Green Lanterns consult The Book of Oa. It tells them an old tale of a race of expansionist and aggressive creatures whom the Green Lanterns sealed on their planet by erecting a shield around it. But that's all the book has to say and Hal is all, "But those aliens didn't look anything like Legion!" And Tomar-re just responds that the Book tells them what they need to know. But none of them even consider what the Book just told them. I mean, obviously, the hive creatures of the planet Tchk-Tchk realized they could easily leave their planet in a yellow suit spaceship. And apparently their engineers loved humanoid cats which seems weird being that they're an ant-like species. Also, the Book didn't show scale in the story so I'm assuming the massive yellow space pussycat is chock full of little alien ant guys.

Tomar-re sets Hal up with an apartment because Hal's going to be trained on Oa for a few weeks. Nobody gives another thought to Legion or the Book's message to them. They just go back about their daily lives. Hal meets Kilowog who calls him a poozer several times before, after a week, Legion attacks Oa. I guess Legion finally found a Green Lantern weak enough to spill the beans about where Oa was located. Or it just took Legion that long to follow Hal's path through space. It's not like a race of alien ants could possibly develop the same kind of warp technology as the Green Lantern rings!

Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #4 Rating: B+. I'm starting to believe that the way I view Hal Jordan all these years has been due to the way he was portrayed by Gerard Jones (and Priest for one issue!) in this series. But that's not my fault. I was too young to read about Hal in the '70s. Most of my Hal Jordan knowledge was from the Superfriends cartoon! And I didn't get into reading comic books until Crisis on Infinite Earths so most of my knowledge of DC's characters come from the post-Crisis versions of them. It's a good thing I like this version of Hal Jordan. I think his flaws are always played well. How can you really fault Hal when he's doing the heroic thing even if he's fucking up a bunch of other shit because he hasn't thought his actions through or taken time to learn about the situation he's wading into fists first? There's something noble about that. Also, he's shown he's willing to die to save other people, especially if he thinks he's at fault for the harm caused. Or maybe he was just willing to die at the end of the last issue because he was feeling suicidal after being responsible for the death of his best friend? No, no. Hal's more heroic than suicidal. Or do those two things simply go hand in hand?

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