Green Lantern underwent some significant changes towards the end of the period 1964 – 1967: The New Look, and I will look at those issue separately towards the end of this article. But even for the first few years the series did not have the same focus at it had in the previous period. Then, there had been many stories about the Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians of the Universe, with Hal Jordan repeatedly pitted against Sinestro and the Weaponers of Qward. While it is true that this period included the story that revealed the origin of the Guardians, as well as the very multiverse, on the whole the focus was on creating new villains, including Black Hand, Goldface, Evil Star, and Major Disaster. Gardner Fox and John Broome were the main writers for the hero, while Gil Kane set the bar on the art.
It’s not so much that Green Lantern was given a new origin during this period, as that the Guardians of the Universe had their backstory explored, and it was a backstory that reshaped and explained the nature of the DC multiverse. Unlike the first team-up of the Flashes, Alan Scott and Hal Jordan had met and worked together already in the pages of Justice League of America. But in some way this had to equal, or top, the first meeting of the Flashes, and it succeeded. The story in Green Lantern 40 opens on Earth 2, and we get to see Alan Scott in his everyday life, running the Gotham Broadcasting Company. Doiby Dickles and his cab, Giotrude, make their first appearances since the 1940s. They see an odd meteor, and Green Lantern tries to intercept it, but it passes through him. Afterwards, he discovers his ring is no longer vulnerable to wood. As the meteor seems to have come from Earth-1, Alan heads there and seeks out Hal Jordan. When they meet, Alan is surprised to find his ring's weakness has returned. They ask the ring about the situation, and are treated to a big story. This is where we find out that the Guardians, the Oans, are the oldest species in the universe. They had evolved to a race of perfect giants, in an extremely advanced civilization, although one has to note the absence of women.
Krona was a scientist who was intent on viewing the creation of the universe, despite this being forbidden. He sees the image that would come to define it for DC, a giant hand holding a swirling mass of cosmic stuff, but then a huge explosion tears through the machine, and the universe, as evil gets released, and the anti-matter universe of Qward is born (although that's not fully explained here.) The Oans devote their energies to battling evil, eventually creating the Green Lantern Corps and the Central Power Battery, though over time their mental efforts waste their bodies away. Krona, being immortal, is still around, and went to Earth-2, appearing as the meteor. He has been manipulating the situation from the start. Krona takes control of Alan Scott's body, and later that of one of the Guardians, trying to defeat him. Krona wants Alan Scott's ring, as it does not have the vulnerability to yellow, so he can shield himself from Green Lantern. Krona takes control of the Guardians as well, paralyzing them as he tries to open the view to the creation of the universe again. Hal manages to distract him enough that the Guardians can break free, and together they overcome Krona and send him back into space.
The Green Lantern Corps members would play small roles in a number of stories during these years, but two tales stand out. Tomar-Re, Hal’s best friend in the Corps, is given the focus in Green Lantern 38. Tomar-Re comes to Earth, hot on the trail of a deadly shape changer. Tomar-Re informs Hal Jordan about the creature, and makes Hal take the precaution of ordering his ring to prevent anyone duplicating his appearance. Visually, this story is great. Always dynamic and interesting. It's fairly simple to follow the shape changer, as he leaves a trail of injured people in his wake. Hal pulls a complicated trick to resolve the story, creating an illusion with his ring, and making it vanish as the shape changer tries to take on its form, which leaves it a paralyzed mushroom cloud.
Katma Tui makes her debut in Green Lantern 30. Green Lantern gets summoned by the Guardians of the Universe, and informed that they picked an emergency replacement for Sinestro, and now want to confirm her as the permanent Green Lantern for her sector. But Katma Tui has decided she does not want to be a Green Lantern. The Guardians order Hal Jordan to do whatever it takes to see that she stays with the position. They neglect to mention to Hal that Katma Tui is a woman, and he is shocked to find out that she is. Katma Tui has fallen in love, and feels that she can devote her time to either being a wife or a Green Lantern, but not both. The guy she likes does not want her to quit being a Lantern, but is content to let her make her own decision.
Hal plays a couple of really evil mind games with Katma, first creating a big amoeba, and having it attack him and her boyfriend, to make her choose between the Corps and love. Later, he does the same thing with a machine, altering it's reading so that it tells Katma that the Corps is more important to her than her fiancee. Katma takes this at face value and breaks up with her guy, choosing to remain with the Corps. The story ends as Hal makes his report to the Guardians, explaining the deceptions that he used. They approve wholeheartedly, and Hal is thrilled just to get praise from these guys. It's really a terrifying tale, so twisted and evil, and the first indication that the Guardians are not the benevolent overseers that they claim to be.
Alan Scott returns in Green Lantern 45. The whole first part of the story takes place in the Earth-2 universe, although it opens on the planet Myrg. Princess Ramia is being forced to marry Prince Peril, and heads to Earth searching for a hero who will come to her aid. She meets Doiby Dickles, and is quite taken with the little guy. He advises that the person she needs is Alan Scott, as Green Lantern. Prince Peril shows up, having followed Ramia, and attacks Doiby. Ramia has telepathic powers, and calls for Alan'a aid. Alan gets taken down by Prince Peril, so Ramia uses a device she has to transport her and Doiby to another dimension. They arrive on Earth-1, travelling in his cab, Goitrude. Doiby tells Ramia about Hal Jordan, and they seek out his aid.
Jordan goes up against Prince Peril, in a fight scene that shows the horrible influence of the Batman tv series on sound effects. Each Green Lantern gets defeated individually by Peril, who heads back to Myrg with Ramia and Doiby. Alan and Hal compare notes, and then team up and head to Myrg. Taking Prince Peril and his men down lasts only one panel, but it's a full pager, and a good one. In the end, it's Doiby that Ramia has fallen in love with. Although it means leaving Goitrude behind on Earth (why doesn't Alan use his ring to bring it to Myrg?), Doiby agrees to marry Ramia and stay on Myrg.
Just as Green Lantern made guest shots in the Flash’s book, Barry Allen returned the favour in Green Lantern 43, which introduces a new villain, Major Disaster. The story opens as Carol Ferris and Iris West receive letters informing them that their boyfriends are, in reality, Green Lantern and the Flash, respectively. This doesn't alter things much for Iris (who I believe had figured it out by this point anyway), but makes a huge difference for Carol, who is thrilled that the guy who likes her is now the guy she likes, rather than being in the middle of a triangle. As the couples meet to discuss this all, a massive earthquake breaks out. Flash and Green Lantern go into action to deal with the devastation. Both have problems with their powers, and both wind up injured and out of action. The villain behind all of this is Major Disaster. In this story, Paul Booker has invented machines to cause the disasters, it is not an innate power. He also happened to break into Tom Kalmaku's place, where he read his journal, and learned the secret identities of the heroes.
He wrote the letters to the women, intending to draw the heroes together, where his machines would have the side effect of causing them to transfer some of their abilities. It's not really that their powers do not work, it's that Green Lantern now has the Flash's super speed aura, and the Flash has Green Lantern's protective energy. The men learn this when Green Lantern charges his ring, which makes the Flash glow green. They learn the identity of Paul Booker when they have Tom's journal dusted for fingerprints, figuring it to be the source of the information on their identities. Major Disaster has a deadly new weapon ready, but in a really lame conclusion winds up killing himself accidentally when trying to use it. Or at least, that's what we are told in this story. Major Disaster's machines also give everyone short term amnesia, and Green Lantern restores everyone's memories, except for Iris and Carol, removing their knowledge of the men's identities. Major Disaster is not really dead, of course, and would return.
The Justice League get a supporting role in Green Lantern 29. The story opens at the end of a Justice League meeting. Snapper Carr is surprised to see Green Lantern there, as he is also out fighting crime at the same time. The other Leaguers watch on monitors as Green Lantern goes out to face his impostor. The fake Green Lantern is at a fair, where Carol Ferris is as well. The force animated a Green Lantern statue she had set up, and when the hero shows, the force switches to animate a big yellow belt containing a topaz. Green Lantern goads the entity into trying to burn him up, knowing that the heated topaz will change colour, which allows him to use his ring against the entity and finally defeat it.
Zatanna also made an appearance in Green Lantern during this period, part of her quest for her missing father. Green Lantern 42 opens as Tom Kalmaku makes an excuse so that Hal Jordan is able to get away from Carol Ferris, and deal with a pirate running wild in Coast City. But when Hal changes to Green Lantern and charges up his ring, he recites his oath backwards. Green Lantern heads out to fight the pirate, who is using magic, and finds that his ring is now able to affect things that are yellow. Green Lantern follows the pirate as he enters the magical dimension of Ys. There, he meets Zatanna, who explains that she was the one who caused his ring to act differently, magically. Zatanna has tracked her father to Ys, but needs Green Lantern's help against the ruler of the magical world, the Warlock of Ys. There are a lot of great visuals in this story, and the heroes have a hard time of things.
Both Zatanna and Green Lantern find their powers do not work properly in Ys. The Warlock decides that he wants Green Lantern's ring, and offers to trade information about Zatara for it. Green Lantern agrees, and cues Zatanna to use her magic to make the ring not function for the Warlock. They find out that Zatara had arrived in Ys after being sent their by the Druid, but escaped from the realm, taking the Warlock's crystal ball with him. When the Warlock tries to use the ring he ends up paralyzing himself. Green Lantern and Zatanna leave him there, but the Warlock of Ys will return in the pages of Justice League of America in 1978.
Green Lantern would also team up twice with Batman in the pages of Brave and the Bold during these years. In fact, his first partnership with Batman, in Brave and the Bold 59, was also Batman’s first team up in what would eventually become his book. Bored, Bruce Wayne goes to attend a talk by John Starr, a wanted felon, who makes a damn good case that he is innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. John Starr then shows up at Wayne Manor. He reveals that he knows Bruce is really Batman, and that he has a time altering hourglass, with which he can travel or send things into the past or the future. He enlists Batman's help in clearing his name, and Batman agrees, even though the guy basically just showed him how he was able to alter the evidence used to convict him! Then the story jumps over to deal with Green Lantern, who gets a message from Batman, asking for his aid. Batman has abruptly been paralyzed, and needs a charge from the Green Lantern ring to regain his mobility. Green Lantern obliges.
Then we discover this was really the Time Commander, who had knocked out Bruce Wayne. Once again, you have to wonder why John Starr revealed everything to Batman when he was just planning on knocking him out anyway? Anyway, the heroes eventually figure out what is going on, and try to attack the Time Commander, but have little success, and the villain sends Batman into the future and Green Lantern into the past. Green Lantern is able to use his ring to communicate with Batman, and together they set a trap for the Time Commander. The guy has been making really dumb choices throughout this story, so even though he could have outwitted the heroes, it's not surprising that they get the better of him.
The Time Commander returns in Brave and the Bold 69 for a second round against Batman and Green Lantern. Sadly, this is another weak issue. The story opens with Batman wandering around, trapped in an "iron bat." He has no idea how he wound up in it, and cannot get it off. Eventually, Green Lantern uses his ring to remove it. And then runs into the real Batman. Green Lantern had been tricked once again into giving the Time Commander a charge with his ring. D'Oh! The Time Commander is no longer using his hourglass weapon, so there is nothing particularly "time" oriented about his scheme in this story. He uses Green Lantern's energies to power a device that brings back to Earth and artificial being, created, and then shot into space, by a scientist who promptly had a nervous breakdown afterwards. The Time Commander thinks he can control this monster, named Cosmo. But of course he can't, and he escapes into an alternate dimension. When it seems the heroes are getting a grip on Cosmo, the Time Commander returns, still wanting to get control of the monster. This almost messes up Batman and Green Lantern's plans, which involve having Batman impersonate the scientist. Fortunately, the real scientist overcomes his breakdown and shows up just in time to calm down Cosmo, allowing Green Lantern to dispose of him.
The Jordan Brothers would pop up a couple of times in back-up tales during this period, and the stories were reliably entertaining. Green Lantern 31 sees the wedding between Jim Jordan and Sue Williams, which of course Hal Jordan attends, along with elder brother Jack, and uncle Jeremiah. How did Hal ever wind up with a name not starting with J in that family? The tale is just great. There is plenty of menace, when a worker at a nuclear power plant starts to blackmail the city the day of the wedding. Sue is furious at the potential disruption. And you gotta love Sue's mother, who cannot tell the Jordan brothers apart. Wanting to get this whole atomic threat over and done with so she can get on with her wedding, Sue drives Jim Jordan out to the plant, and demands that he go into action as Green Lantern. Jim has no idea what he is supposed to do, and Sue just will not listen when he says he is not Green Lantern. He wanders off, and right into a secret entrance to the villain's lair. Jim has come to suspect that he has some mental powers after his last outing, and once again Hal is on the scene to use his ring to bring about Jim's wishes.
When Jim returns to the car dragging the bad guy, who insists he was defeated by Green Lantern, Sue has all the proof she needs. So the wedding happens, and Sue is certain she is marrying Green Lantern. Even when Jim shows her pictures of Green Lantern in action in cities other than the one he is in, Sue dismisses this, saying he can use his ring to create fake Green Lanterns. So now they are married, and Jim still cannot convince his wife that he is not a superhero.
The Jordan Brothers are back in Green Lantern 44. These one gag tales, about how Sue Jordan is convinced that her husband Jim, Hal's younger brother, is really Green Lantern, ought to be getting old by now. But some nice twists are added for this one. Jim has started work doing public relations, and a cranky old uncle, with a reputation for public outbursts of rage, hires him to improve his image. He invites Jim and Sue, as well as Jack and Hal, over for dinner. Jim does not realize that the uncle agrees with Sue, that Jim is really Green Lantern, and is preparing a "trap" for him. The uncle enlists Hal in dressing up as a costumed villain, the Bottler. This puzzles Hal, as he fought a man actually dressed as the Bottler, and calling himself that, the day before. Yet the uncle claims he just made the guy up. But Hal doesn't spend long in the Bottler costume, as the criminal version shows up and knocks him out. The Bottler takes down Jim, while Hal changes to Green Lantern. Hal defeats the villain and exposes him as the chauffeur, but all Sue pays attention to is Jim's injuries, which just confirm her suspicions that Jim is the Green Lantern.
Although a few of Green Lantern’s old enemies would return during these years, he would gain some new villains who would make more frequent appearances.
Green Lantern 29 introduces Black Hand, a villain with a small hand held device that gathers up residual Green Lantern energy left behind after he uses the ring. He has been doing this for a while, and as the story begins has charged his device enough to be able to start using it. Some effort is made to make the character interesting, but the choices made are poor ones. For example, Black Hand keeps quoting cliches. All that really does, in the long run, is make him sound unoriginal. Black Hand has also written out a book of criminal wisdom, and memorized it. When a blackout occurs during one of his robberies, he is able to recall the page on which he wrote to insert a penny into the fuse to fix it. He needed to write that in a book, and memorize it. He didn't just know it. And that is somehow impressive? To be fair, Green Lantern has a heck of time dealing with Black Hand. The villain has gained enough energy to split Green Lantern in half, sending part of his body into another realm where Black Hand can continue to draw from it. His primary goal seems to be to humiliate his wealthy family, as he has no actual need of money. Green Lantern defeats him by tricking him, using his ring to make it look like he got his entire body back, which distracts Black Hand, letting the hero triumph.
Black Hand returns in Green Lantern 39 for another round of cliches. Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris head to an art gallery, and Hal is puzzled by the fact that Carol and everyone else is able to see a famous painting and statue, but to him there is nothing there at all. Hal returns that evening as Green Lantern. By that point, the reader has already been informed that Black Hand is the villain, and that he stole the missing works of art. He used his stolen Green Lantern energy to make people think there were seeing the two pieces, but of course this did not work on Hal, because it was his own energy. Black Hand's goal is to commit the perfect crime. He uses the ring energy to make everyone see Green Lantern as Black Hand, and the hero winds up getting arrested. Tom Kalmaku gets to play hero, bringing the power battery to the prison, even though its invisible, so that Hal can recharge the ring. The conclusion gets a bit muddled, as the effect wears off, and Green Lantern and Black Hand both wind up losing their weapons in the final fight. Green Lantern is by far the better hand to hand combatant, and he wins.
Evil Star made his debut in the second story in Green Lantern 37, which is loosely tied to the first. Hal Jordan falls victim to a spy, working as Carol Ferris' secretary, and get hypnotized in the opening tale. The second story begins as he heads to Oa and winds up getting drawn to a planet which is inhabited by Evil Star, and his tiny Starlings. Evil Star shares the name, and starface mask, of an Earth-2 villain who battled the Justice Society, but otherwise the characters are entirely different. Evil Star has his "star bands," which can project powerful force blasts, send out helix type things that can become deadly opponents, and even change his form. The Starlings are his creations, totally subservient to him. Evil Star leaves Green Lantern caged, and impersonates him, heading to Oa and hoping to defeat the Guardians and drain their power. Hal manages to hypnotize the Starlings, using the same pendant that was used on him in the first story. He then speeds off to Oa, confronting and exposing Evil Star before he can attack the Guardians. Evil Star always takes a few seconds to recover after using his star bands, and Hal has picked up on that, attacking and defeating the villain in the instant he is vulnerable.
Green Lantern 44 brings Evil Star to Earth. As even Green Lantern concedes that Evil Star's star bands are more powerful than his ring, I was hoping for a lot from this story. And it's not bad, at least at the start. Green Lantern has trouble with the ring and the battery, briefly, and then Evil Star appears. Tom Kalmaku notes that the battery is suddenly working again, and Green Lantern is able to charge his ring and pursue the villain. It turns out that Evil Star is really still in captivity on Oa. It was an illusion that faced off against Green Lantern, and lured him to Oa. Evil Star has one again taken dominance over the Guardians of the Universe, although this time around he doesn't have his Starlings. He removes and destroys Green Lantern's ring. But then a whole bunch of seemingly impossible turnarounds take place. The story ends with panels of explanation, of how Green Lantern made all sorts of preparations for Evil Star. It just doesn't quite work.
Keith Kenyon is introduced in Green Lantern 38 and though the name is not bestowed on him in this story, the character would become Goldface. There are some great visuals as Hal Jordan goes deep sea diving, finding some lost gold treasure, but then having to fight off Kenyon's goons. Keith Kenyon has been accumulating gold, and makes himself an elixir of gold, which he believes will endow him with great powers, including immortality. Green Lantern uses his ring to make aqua regia, which will dissolve gold, and sprays Kenyon with it. There is no clear visible effect, like Kenyon does not burn up or melt, but he does collapse in pain as his powers fade. It's an odd story, not a great one.
Keith Kenyon returns in Green Lantern 48 and becomes Goldface. I really enjoy this story, much more than many Green Lantern stories from this era. Keith Kenyon has escaped from prison, and improved on his gold elixir serum. He even has an all yellow costume, and is now calling himself Goldface. Itching for a rematch with Green Lantern, he turns a guard into gold, and leaves a taunting note. Green Lantern gets a subplot involving Carol Ferris, and a movie being made about her grandmother, an early aviatrix. The film stars Zu Zu Lamar, and from the name, appearance, and way of speaking, it's clearly meant to be Zsa Zsa Gabor. To Carol's dismay, Green Lantern spends his time with Zu Zu instead of her. Goldface sends out his message to Green Lantern, who hasn't heard about the note or the guard, by transmitting through the gold fillings of everyone in the city, which is kind of cool. Poor Tom Kalmaku endures this while in the dentist's chair. Goldface is less than impressive when Green Lantern shows up to accept his challenge. Goldface's men deal with the hero, while Goldface gets knocked out and left behind a fallen wall. Neither Green Lantern nor his men have any idea what happened to him.
Goldface manages to not get crushed by scenery in the next outing against Green Lantern. He tries the aqua regia on Goldface, but he has improved his serum to withstand that. Goldface now has the power to turn anything he touches into gold, as he showed with the guard, and uses it to turn Green Lantern into gold. Or so he thinks. Green Lantern solidified the air around him as Goldface attacked, so he is able to break out of the golden shell. He rips parts of Goldface's costume off, and the villain's power winds up turning Kenyon himself into gold, although it doesn't kill him. He is last scene in a golden cell, and we find out the police are making huge amounts of money off the things he touches and turns to gold. That's probably why he doesn't manage to get out of prison again until 1981. The story ends with Carol all pissed off and jealous with Green Lantern, dancing with Tom as the hero dances with Zu Zu. Green Lantern is sure that by making Carol lose interest in him, she will then go for Hal. He is so very wrong.
The Headmen make their first appearance in Green Lantern 36. Hal is spending a weekend in the country, visiting with the parents of a dead army buddy. They have another guest there as well, Dorine Clay. Hal is quite taken with Dorine, at least partly because she is very remote and aloof, and shows no interest in him at all. Hal definitely has a type. Dorine turns out to be an alien, Onu Murtu, who has fled her homeworld, which has fallen under the control of the Headmen. These guys look a bit like Hector Hammond, and also possess mental powers, keeping the population of their world subservient. Dorine has come to Earth to work on a way to free her people. The Headmen come looking for Dorine, and Green Lantern gets into the middle of everything, rescuing the woman and stopping the Headmen. But when Green Lantern offers to take care of the situation on her homeworld as well, Dorine refuses, wanting to free her world without outside help. So she is also intelligent, strong willed and independent. All traits that Carol Ferris has as well. Dorine leaves for her home planet, but we will see her, and the Headmen, again in the revival of the series, in 1983.
Dr. Light, who had taken on Green Lantern in the pages of Justice League of America, goes after Hal solo in Green Lantern 33. Dr. Light fares pretty well during this outing, better than he usually does. He has a bunch of light based weapons, and has figured out that Green Lantern's ring does not work on yellow. But therein lies the problem. We get into one of those outrageously complicated explanations for how Green Lantern altered the colour off the yellow light constructs, while at the same time making them appear to be yellow, so that Dr. Light would think that he was mistaken, that Green Lantern's ring is not vulnerable to yellow. Still, some very good visuals along the way, and one of Dr. Light's more impressive attacks. The fact that Green Lantern only won by conning the villain says a lot.
As for Green Lantern’s earlier enemies, Hector Hammond returns in Green Lantern 34. While still confined to his cell and trapped in his immortal but immobile body, Hector Hammond sends his mind out to connect with Green Lantern and spy on him. Because of this, his consciousness follows Green Lantern to Oa, and Hammond learns about the Guardians of the Universe. This is another story in which Hal Jordan never does clue in that Hector Hammond is involved. Hammond uses his mental powers to create a fake Guardian, and makes Green Lantern think the Guardian has gone rogue, and is attacking him. Because Green Lantern believes that he is not as powerful as the Guardians, he does not fare too well as Hammond, through the fake Guardian, attacks Hal with plants, globes of energy, giant iguanas and such. Green Lantern escapes by travelling through the dimensional barrier to Earth-2, and then sends his power ring to Hector Hammond! He figures that, being immortal as well, with his vast mental powers, Hammond would be the one person the Guardian could not defeat. Ironically, this means Hammond has to defeat his own mental creation. Once the fake Guardian is gone, Hal's ring automatically returns to him. At the end of the story, Hal reports on the rogue Guardian to the assembled Guardians, but they have no idea what he is talking about.
Star Sapphire makes her return in Green Lantern 41. Carol Ferris gets mildly injured while trying out a flying disc. Green Lantern comes to her aid, but her feelings of needing to be able to protect herself drive her from her hospital bed, and make Carol grab the Star Sapphire again, turning into the marriage-minded villainess again. In this story Carol has to deal with a second Star Sapphire, Dela Pharon. The two women are identical. The Zamarons explain to Green Lantern how their queens always look exactly the same. After Carol proved to be a bad match for the Sapphire persona, the Zamarons recruited Dela Pharon. She also has the hots for Green Lantern, so the fight between the Stars Sapphire is actually over a guy, which is kind of sad.
Dela Pharon actually wins the fight, but manages to pass herself off as Carol Ferris, and almost ropes Green Lantern into marriage. Green Lantern figures out that Carol is not the Star Sapphire he is dealing with when she makes a reference to Ferris Aircraft. Hal's logic is that Star Sapphire does not know she is Carol, so the woman must be Dela Pharon. But that's not entirely true. We have seen that Carol does not ever recall being Star Sapphire, but have had no indication that Star Sapphire does not have access to Carol's memories.
Myrwhydden also made his return in issue 41, although his involvement is not revealed until late in the piece. An ex-con finds that some old coins he had stashed away before he went to prison were, apparently, enchanted by the magician Simon Magus, and come to life, aiding him in his thefts. Green Lantern is not able to stop the animated coin creatures, so he uses his ring to move his consciousness into one. The coin creatures have actually been brought to life by Myrwhydden, using a pipe organ type instrument to duplicate the sound of his voice. It's a mediocre story, except for the extreme ending, in which Green Lantern uses his ring to wipe Myrwhydden mind of his identity, and even his awareness that he is inside the ring! Gotta feel sorry for the guy, no matter what he has done.
Dr Polaris would return for a complex two part tale, which began in Green Lantern 46. Katma Tui makes her second appearance in this story, alongside Tomar-Re and Stel, all carrying a dead Hal Jordan to his grave, as the Guardians of the Universe look on. How did this come to be, you may wonder. Well, the story delves into a flashback to tell you. It had been mentioned in a story a couple months earlier that the Green Lantern ring maintains a reserve of energy to protect the wearer, even when it runs out of power. Hal explains all of this to the ever-curious Tom Kalmaku. It's a touchy point, and would lead to arguments and interpretations by writers and readers over the years.
In this case, the fact becomes central to the plans of Dr. Polaris. His evil side has taken over, so he has a more evil costume! He kidnaps Tom, who vanishes right in front of Hal's eyes, and learns from him about the power battery and the reserve of energy. Polaris creates an energy barrier around the battery, so that Green Lantern can not recharge it, and then has Lantern find Tom near death, so that he uses his reserve to save his friend's life. Then Polaris heads in for his attack, and kills the powerless Green Lantern.
The story concludes in Green Lantern 47. Hal Jordan’s body disappears right in front of Katma Tui. It has been brought to 58th century, where the people are dealing with a deadly red plague. Chairman Dasor and Iona Vane are both very upset to see that Hal is dead, though for slightly different reasons. But they use their advanced technology to find and re-ignite the spark of life within him. Although they re-brainwash him into thinking he is Solar Director Pol Manning, they repeatedly call him Green Lantern in this story. Green Lantern investigates the source of the red plague, and find that it is a sentient virus, constructing a giant being, drawing energy off of all those it affects, and plans to take over the world. Green Lantern is unable to defeat the almost endless reserves of energy the creature has, but when the red plague starts to infect him, he is able to use his ring to draw it out of his body.
In that form it is vulnerable, and he pulls the plague out of everyone's bodies, and then kills all the bits of it. Green Lantern then gets returned to his own time period, where he freaks poor Katma Tui out by rising up as if he was never dead at all. Hal rushes off to save Tom Kalmaku, still in the hands of Dr. Polaris. It's a fun two parter, the way it links together the Corps, Polaris and 5700 AD. Hal and the Guardians of the Universe come up with a sort of explanation as to how Hal came back to life, but Tom is sure they are missing part of the story. Tom also finds a small gemstone on Hal's costume. It came from Iona Vane's necklace. Hal places it into the drawer with the sliver of metal from his last 5700 AD adventure.
Big changes take place in Green Lantern 49. As the story opens, Green Lantern returns to Earth from a mission in space. Tom Kalmaku gives him a letter, which contains an invitation to Barry Allen's wedding. But the wedding has already taken place, and Hal missed it. Still, this spurs him on, and he decides it's time to marry Carol Ferris. But when he goes to talk to her, he discovers that, while he was away, Carol wound up on a whirlwind romance with a guy named Jason Belmore, and they are now engaged. Hal is very mature and polite with Carol, but it's clear his heart is broken.
The villain of the story hardly seems to matter. It's a teleporting acrobatic guy, the Dazzler, who looks and acts and sounds exactly like a tv actor. But the guy performs on live tv, at the same time Green Lantern is fighting the Dazzler. Green Lantern does have a great breakdown scene, getting angry at the job and the Corps for costing him Carol. Tom cites Hal's own actions with Katma Tui, and reminds him that once a Green Lantern, always a Green Lantern. Surprisingly, this actually cheers Hal up. The Dazzler's backstory involves an alien who comes to Earth, wanting to be an actor, and who meets the one from the tv show, and winds up training him to perform his neat alien tricks. Such as the creation of multiple bodies.
One Dazzler was performing on tv, while another was fighting Green Lantern. Green Lantern determines which is the real one, knocks him out, and the others vanish. As the story ends, Green Lantern decides to quit Ferris Aircraft and leave Coast City. He bids farewell to Tom Kalmaku, and begins a few issues of pointless wandering.
Green Lantern returns to the world of the 58th century in issue 51. The story opens with Hal Jordan now living in hotel rooms. With not much space, he finds himself looking at the mysterious sliver of metal and gemstone that he collected after his forgotten outings to the future. Using his ring to try to learn more about the objects, he discovers they are from the year 5707 AD, and heads there. Turns out Hal picked a good time to go. An actual Pol Manning has shown up, and is creating problems for Chairman Dasor and the others. This Pol Manning was brought to life, unintentionally, by Green Lantern, while using his ring in this time period. The effort it took to make him believe he was Pol Manning caused the ring to actually create one, although this Pol is evil. When Green Lantern shows up, Dasor and Iona Vane explain the entire situation to him, how they brainwashed him into becoming Pol Manning, and how this wound up creating one. Manning has created "neomen" who function as his brute slaves. He sends them out to kidnap Iona, who he has fallen in love with, part of the whole fake Pol Manning identity.
Manning intends to use Iona in some scary but unspecified way to create more creatures like himself. Green Lantern puts an end to that. He explains that, because Pol Manning was created as part of a deception, the "real" one turned out evil. Hal uses his ring to drain that from Pol, turning him into the ideal leader that Dasor had wanted in the first place. An epilogue explains why there was no Green Lantern on Earth at this time. It's a bit of a tortured explanation, involving the Guardians of the Universe knowing what Dasor would do, and so not having a Green Lantern around so that Dasor would bring Hal to the future. Later on, in the pages of Legion of Super-Heroes, there would be a much tidier reason given for their being no Green Lanterns on Earth in the future. Although this story really feels like it brings the 5700 AD stuff to an end, we do return to this future era later on.
Sinestro makes a return for a strange outing in Green Lantern 52. The story is all told as a letter that Hal Jordan sent to Tom Kalmaku, which he shares with his wife, Terga. A very tidy way to keep these characters in the book, rather than just forgetting about them completely. The story picks up on Doiby Dickles missing his cab, Goitrude. Alan Scott has decided to bring Giotrude to Myrg, but finds that the cab has apparently been stolen. In fact, it has come to life, and headed out on its own, picking up criminals and acting as their getaway car. Hal Jordan had been the one taking care of the cab, so both Green Lanterns get on the case of the missing taxi. The yellow beams coming from the cab's lights are able to drain the rings of both of the Green Lanterns, and Alan sends a message to Myrg, needing Doiby's help to catch his cab.
It turns out that the cab has been possessed by Sinestro, who transferred his mind from the green cube in which Hal was keeping him prisoner, into the cab. Sinestro heads to Oa and manages to steal the Central Power Battery. The Guardians of the Universe send out an alert to the Green Lantern Corps about Sinestro, and we see Tomar-Re and Katma Tui responding to the message. Sinestro uses the battery to create an army of Sinestros, the first incarnation, one might say, of the later Sinestro Corps. But though there are a lot of them, they have neither the power rings, nor the cunning, of the real Sinestro, and the two Green Lanterns are able to take them all down, as well as the original. Because Goitrude would not really fit in on Myrg, Alan uses his ring to create a perfect miniature of Goitrude for Doiby to bring back to Myrg with him.
Green Lantern 53 features cameos of Tom Kalmaku and Carol Ferris. Hal Jordan has been keeping in touch with Tom, so he is able to fill in Carol on the fact that Hal has landed a job as an insurance investigator in Evergreen City. Despite having a fiancee, Carol looks sort of miserable. We also meet Hal's new boss in this story, Mr. Lawford. Hal gets sent out to check on a meteor landing spot, see if there was any damage the company needs to deal with. There isn't, but Hal has to go into action as Green Lantern to fight an alien giant. The creature is trying to inhale all of Earth's oxygen to take back to his own world, and winds up inhaling Green Lantern as well. That's how Green Lantern winds up briefly trapped in the giant's eyeball, as seen on the cover. Hal uses his ring to make himself a giant, and battles the alien one on one, taking him down and sending him away. The story is kind of blah.
I'm also not too keen on the back-up, despite it being a Jordan Brothers tale. Hal is invited to dinner with his brother Jim and wife Sue. They now have a baby, Howard. Jim and Sue have theatre tickets, and Hal is going to babysit his nephew. Jim calls home during the intermission, and Hal has already had to get into his Green Lantern gear to entertain the infant. The theatre winds up getting robbed, and Hal zips over as Green Lantern to stop the thieves. Jim gets a black eye from the bad guys, which of course Sue takes as more proof that Jim is really Green Lantern. For the first time, a Jordan brothers story fails to make me laugh.
This period comes to a weak conclusion with the introduction of one of Green Lantern’s lamest enemies, Baron Tyrano, in issue 54. Confined to an iron lung, this villain does mastermind a scheme to take control of Green Lantern's body, but by and large fails to be very impressive. Tyrano lures Green Lantern to his place by putting in an insurance claim, stating that Green Lantern had trashed his estate. Conveniently, Hal Jordan gets put on the case to check it out. As Green Lantern flies there, the Baron has a human-like missile fired at him. The missile hits Green Lantern so hard it splits off his Hal Jordan persona. This has never happened before from being hit, nor would it ever happen again. Neither Hal nor Green Lantern realize they are only half of a person, and the Baron sends out men to take down both, as if one gets knocked out, the other will lose consciousness as well.
The Baron has no interest in Hal, and has him left behind, while his men bring Green Lantern back to the estate. But Hal is not completely without resources. He grabs his battery, and uses it to track the ring, finding the other half of himself. Once the ring is charged, he merges and is able to take out the Baron's men. Being in an iron lung and all means the Baron himself doesn't even need to be fought in order to defeat him. Once his men are down, he is helpless. Although the final panel insists that this new villain will make a grand return shortly, in fact we do not see Baron Tyrano again until 1986.
Green Lantern continues in the next period, 1967 – 1969: It’s a Happening!
Green Lantern: Green Lantern 29 – 54 (June 1964 - July 1967)
Brave and the Bold 59, 69 (Apr/May 1965, Dec/Jan 66/67)
Next up – the Atom!