365 Reasons to Love Comics #78
It’s time for a bit of a palate cleanser after so much crazy awesome. In the wake of the greenest gorram* day of the year, it’s only fitting to do Green Lantern Week! Naturally, we’ll be starting with the greatest Green Lantern of them all, and my very favorite. I doubt it’s one you’ll expect.
The Green Lantern concept is a great one: someone gifted with a “magic ring” that will do whatever they want so long as they’ve got the willpower. However, the Green Lantern concept is only as good as the character wearing the ring and how they’re portrayed by the creators. This week, I’m going to look at my favorite characters to wield the ring.
G’Nort (sometimes spelled without the apostrophe, and pronounced “Nort” rather than the more fun “Guh-Nort”) is the best Green Lantern of all time. He may seem like a complete idiot (and he is), but he’s got a heart of gold. He’s man’s best friend, dude!
Our ol’ doggie pal, full name G’Nort Esplanade G’neeschmacher, was born and raised on the dog-filled planet G’newt. They like their silent g’s, these guys. G’Nort was a patsy of an alien race in league with the Weaponeers of Qward, gifted with a fake power ring in a plan to discredit and bring down the Green Lantern Corps or something. Of course, he ended up accidentally becoming a decent superhero anyway, and became a full-fledged member of the GLC.
G’Nort was a heavy favorite of the early Gerard Jones GL run, as well as the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League International. After all, G’Nort was a member of the best JL of all, Justice League Antarctica, along with the Injustice Gang and the Scarlet Skier.
Joe Staton drew G’Nort wonderfully as a cool anthropomorphic dog creature. In his appearances in Justice League, he took on a stranger, more human shape. You can see Kevin Maguire’s take in the following panels, which also showcase G’Nort’s dimwitticism:
That wasn’t too bad, though. In the JLAntarctica annual, Mike McKone drew him more like a squirrel than a dog.
G’Nort had his own solo feature in Green Lantern Corps Quarterly, teamed with a young Earth woman nicknamed Sax Girl. ’cause… she played the sax. Together, they had a few adventures across the cosmos. There was the time G’Nort was turned into a human (he looked like Jughead with worse hair), and G’Nort’s Obedience School reunion, where he bit off more than he could chew with an evil flea-ridden fellow.
After Hal Jordan crushed the GLC, G’Nort, one of the survivors, ended up a member of the Darkstars. Still incompetent, he appeared in Formerly Known as the Justice League, and an alternate reality version of Godzilla-like proportions showed up in the sequel, I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Justice League. They’re fun stories. Check them out if you’re a fan of the original JLI run.
Has G’Nort appeared recently? I heard something about Geoff Johns killing off his entire race, but that could’ve been sarcasm. I honestly couldn’t tell.
Me, I love good ol’ G’Nort. He works as lovely comic relief, of course, but I think he’s a great character that’s relentlessly charming. Maybe he’s dumb, but by God, he cares so deeply about what he does. He puts all of his spirit and will into being a Green Lantern. He doesn’t have much will, I’m sure, but he gives it his all. But then, I’m a dog person. (And a cat person. I’m an animal person, really.) I’d rather have a G’Nort series than a Hal Jordan or even Kyle Rayner series.
Here’s a link to G’Nort’s entire history up till the late 90’s or so. Everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask.
Come back tomorrow for the second-coolest GL.
*Yes, I watched all of Firefly, again, over the weekend.** Plus the movie. I am perfectly comfortable with my nerdality.
**Well, except “Safe.” It’s my least favorite and I didn’t feel like it. Don’t judge me, fanpeople!