Friday, December 19, 2014

Hanging The Green #8 - Nattering Nabobs!

The eighty-third issue of Green Lantern and Green Arrow is the only issue of the run I actually bought and read during the original run. I don't know what prompted me to pick up this issue by Denny O'Neil, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano, but I doubt it was the unmistakable mug of Spiro Agnew on the cover.

In this one Carol Ferris, longtime romantic interest of Hal Jordan falls victim to a weird little girl named Sybil and her evil mentor Grandy (the guy who looks like Agnew). For the record, Sybil reminds one of Richard Nixon himself, an odd choice indeed. Sybil paralyzes Ferris for some momentary slight to Grandy.

The story picks up some weeks later as Dinah Drake is headed to a job at a private school. She is chaperoned by Green Lantern and Green Arrow and the trio immediately come under attack by a flock of birds. A portly postman gives the hint where the inspiration for this attack came from. At the school Lantern and Arrow are given short shrift while Canary remains behind.

Later Hal Jordan finds Ferris in her wheelchair and his old feelings surface. The new trio come under attack when their car falls apart sending them over a cliff and only Lantern's ring saves the day.

Meanwhile Canary becomes suspicious of the all-too quiet children and offends Grandy who sicks his mentally-slaved minions to attack her. Sybil subdues the Canary who is thrown into a room with wasps. Lantern and Arrow arrive to save the day but fall victim to Sybil themselves before Arrow manages to send off an arrow which distracts her. Quickly they save Canary as Sybil revolts against the pernicious demands of the evil Grandy. In a desperate act of defiance she brings the school down on their heads while everyone else escapes.

Green Lantern then finds his feelings for Carol remain and the story ends a bit openly as the pair walk away into the rain.

This story has always been a most memorable one for me, it's so completely weird. I can only assume that the use of Agnew and Nixon suggests some broader implications for the metaphor of mind control in the story, but I don't really parse exactly the point being made. Their use might simply be playfulness on the part of O'Neil and/or Adams.

More to come.

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  1. Nice art samples here, especially the 2 pages with scenes in the rain. Unusual story with a bit of everything. I've heard this series criticized more in recent years for being too direct about the political/social issues it addresses. Here though, the message is open to interpretation, despite the use of these politicians' faces.

    Good cover--makes you want to know what that shadow is!

    1. As I said, this is one issue of this run I bought when it came out, and it's always lingered in my memory. There's a subtle resonance which, as you say is not too on the nose with its criticism.

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