Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hanging The Green #2 - Desolation!

Green Lantern and Green Arrow begin their odyssey across America in the remote town of Desolation. The trio (the heroes plus the slumming Guardian of the Universe) enter the isolated mining town and immediately come under attack by locals who fear they are more muscle for the local boss Slapper Soames who has already imported former Nazis to work for him and to oppress the population. But the emerald heroes disabuse of that misunderstanding and join forces to stand up to the repressive Soames and his black-shirted thugs

The story is set in no particular place, though it feels like Appalachia where the mountains created pockets of isolation in which this kind of tinpot dictatorship is imaginable. Slapper Soames is something of a cliche and his Nazi minions are almost laughable vile and stupid in that they constantly refer to him as "Furher" which he rejects, but the point is sledge-hammered home when it happens for the fourth or fifth time.

Rejected Alternate Cover
Despite the histrionics in this story company towns are all too real a phenomenon, and I personally see them returning in full force in modern days as corporations are empowered and individual citizens are increasingly limited by financial opportunities. Wal-Mart in many ways resembles the vintage company town, though not necessarily with the geographical isolation. As the canyon between the rich and poor widens in this country the commonplace depredations will inevitably increase until a new balance is struck.

While the messages in these stories can be overtly hyperbolic at times, sadly they have a lasting universality which still makes them resonate even in the modern day. 

More to come.

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  1. Nice review Rip, and good to hear your connection of this story with modern day life. Interesting to see the unused Adams cover-- sometimes I wonder how they decided to create a new cover. Green Arrow's pose is maybe awkward here?

    1. Thanks. These stories I found have an interesting resonance still to the world, though obviously they are a product of their time.

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