Thursday, December 25, 2014

Hanging The Green #14 - Last Rites!


The eighty-ninth issue of Green Lantern and Green Arrow ends the run of the series for the time being. In this finale  for the venerable Silver Age comic written by Denny O'Neil and drawn by the regular team of Neal Adams and Dick Giordano, we get a plea for the environment.

Green Arrow is much amused by reports of vandalism by an eco-terrorist named Isaac. An investigation indicates that his target is Ferris Industries which is testing a new jet which is somehow impacting the surrounding forests in severe ways.

Green Arrow runs afoul of some security guards while Green Lanter goes to Carol Ferris and investigates there. Eventually Arrow meets Isaac and finds out that he is a former scientist who now battles to preserve the natural world in the face of civilization. GL and GA meet and argue about what to do and fight with Arrow winning the day with a gas arrow. But Isaac rejects Arrow saying the gas is harmful too. Green Arrow is confused,  but then both heroes again fall victim to the security guards who also capture Isaac.


The trio are chained to the wings of jet airplanes and left. Arrow using strength derived from years of working with his bow is able to finally free himself and Green Lantern, but is too late to save Isaac who dies rather than compromise his ideals, a martyr to his cause. Later aghast, Green Lantern uses his ring to destroy the prototype aircraft.

This one is a bit of mindflip, as Isaac is truly a fanatic but who has goals which seem necessary and even in their essence admirable. But his methods are so extreme that his zealotry overshadows his message. I'm not sure O'Neil meant for that to be the case, but that's how I read it. It's asking too much of a comic to nuance a conversation between economic development and environmental awareness, but that seems needed here as the extremes as presented seem to undermine the message.


And that's a wrap for the series, at least as a stand-a-lone. The heroes will join The Flash comic as back ups for several issues. The O'Neil and Adams team will produce four of those stories.

More to come still.


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4 comments:

  1. Maybe this last issue was O'Neil's way of separating himself from the "relevance" storytelling, by making Isaac so extreme that the heroes disagree with him. Did O'Neil write more topical stories after this?
    Merry Christmas, Rip! I've really enjoyed these reviews. Looking forward to the rest!

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    1. Thanks. They were fun to do. I'm not sure about O'Neil. He went on to of course writer a leaner meaner Batman with Neal Adams on the art and they did give him a bit of a real world infusion I guess.

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  2. The cover blurb reading "An Epic Of OUR Time!" is interesting. Just one year earlier, New Gods #1 featured a cover blurb reading "An Epic For Our Times" -- very crudely lettered, as if it was done at the last minute. Apparently someone at DC was keen on trying make that phrase happen.

    Seconding Garett's comment, this has been another winning feature here, and I'm glad it isn't over yet.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words. Like so many words these days which get overused, "epic" here is pure bravado, but on the New Gods issue I think it fits. Most lettering alas seems to have to be done at the last minute, making the high quality most of the time even more remarkable.

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