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Drawing Crazy Patterns – Green Lantern Head Trauma

Here is a new bit. Much like how I would post themed covers in the Cool Comic Cover Gallery, in this bit, I will post a themed group of five interior comic book scenes/moments. Click here to see the groups already featured so far.

We begin with five Silver Age panels featuring Hal Jordan getting whacked on the head!


One of the more interesting things about Hal Jordan during the Silver Age is that despite having this super-powerful Green Lantern ring, he still managed to get whacked on the head with some frequency. Here are five instances of this happening (and just from the first sixteen issues of his own title!)

From issue #5..

From #7…

From #12…

From #13…

From #16…

“My only weaknesses are the color yellow…and my own incompetence!”

If you’d like to see another group of themed panels, send me your ideas at bcronin@comicbookresourcs.com!


The trouble with the Dylan lyric for this feature is that I really did expect to see psychedelic patterns from Hal being hit on the head. Another fun idea for an ongoing bit, though!

Travis Pelkie

July 2, 2011 at 9:41 am

Wow. It’s not even yellow stuff, for chrissakes! At least the GA GL had the weakness against wood, so him hitting his head would make more sense.

DID the Golden Age GL hit HIS head a lot?

And I always love the titles of your features. I know they’re certain references, and I don’t always get THEM, but this one I did :)

What makes me giggle so much reading these panels is that it’s one thing if someone’s intentionally hitting him over the head–that’s just the hero biz for you–but Hal keeps knocking himself out by just randomly bumping his head on things. I don’t think even Awkwardman managed to do that as often as Hal did, and clumsiness was his whole shtick.

I was really sad that this aspect of the series was not present in the movie.

There’s just no way around it. Hal may be handsome, charismatic and heroic, but dang it…he’s a klutz. A HUGE klutz. He flies with this legs apart, he shows off his manly buttocks, and he gets hit in the head. A LOT.

It’s one of the things that makes him so endearing, really.

Hugo Sleestak

July 2, 2011 at 10:57 am

Hilarious stuff. It reminds me of the old 1960’s Birdman cartoon where some thug hits him over the head, and Birdman says, “He discovered my secret weakness!”

Too many whacks on the head; no wonder Hal later went crazy during “Emerald Twilight.”

Geez Hal, might be time to invest in a helmet… Or some glasses. That wall just came out of nowhere right?

I remember an old silver age JLA book where a tile fell from the ceiling and knocked Hal out. Funny stuff.

What a dumbass. And this is supposedly the “greatest GL ever”? I don’t think so. Mr. Green Boxing-glove doesn’t hold a candle to Gardner or Kilowog. Hell, even Rayner made better use of the ring.

Oops, that last Anonymous was me.

Thanks for this.

The “Hal Jordan gets banged over the head” thing is hilarious once you notice it. It has gotten funnier as DC has aggressively pushed the idea that Hal is the most awesome superhero in their universe. The guy just a doofy quality that does not go away.

I keep waiting to hear Lady Blackhawk mention that Hal knocked himself unconscious during a certain notorious three-way.

I’m beginning to think Parallax may easily be explained by brain damage from too much head trauma.

This is fantastic! This image always gave me great joy…


… now I have these to add to my amusement. Thanks, Brian!


There was another time I remember, Hal was afraid that Carol was going to ask him to marry her, I think it was because it was a Leap Year. Anyways, he made a giant monster as a distraction so he would have to leave. He ends up getting hit in the head with a remote control airplane, which knocks him out. The monster continues to go on a rampage until Green Lantern comes to and “saves” the day. I always thought this was the epitome of assholeness: create a monster so you don’t have to talk to a woman, get knocked out by a remote control airplane, and take the credit for saving the city from a menace you created. This is the best person the Guardians could find? Also, even professional sports will make you retire after so many concussions!

Travis Pelkie

July 4, 2011 at 12:53 am

Ah! Ed’s comment reminds me of what post the Leap Year/women asking men to marry bit that led to me mentioning Li’l Abner’s Sadie Hawkins Day! I couldn’t remember where that came up, but it must have been in the Goofiest moments!

And then the next week Brian featured Sadie Hawkins Day on the Legends Revealed column.

Hmmm. Take what you have gathered from coincidence.

I just want to note the pioneering research done in this field by Scipio over at The Absorbascon.

I was SO sad he didn’t hit his head in the movie *sigh*….

Source of the “Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast” episode where SG wages battle against a celing tile that fell on his head?

I really like that. It keeps it clear that GL was still a rookie hero.

This reminds me of the Tarzan series. I couldn’t count the times Tarzan was struck unconscious by a bullet grazing his forehead.

Does this mean that his eskimo airplane grease monkey friend Pieface was just a hallucination brought on by concussions? Jumping Fish Hooks GL!

Emanuel Ravelli

November 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm

How could you overlook JLA 110 where Hal slips in the bathtub and whacks his head, resulting in John Stewart’s first appearance with them?

I think this happened a lot to the Greatest American hero.

Let us judge not our heroes by the badness of their asses but rather by the desperate lengths to which editors will stoop to temporarily nerf their colossal abilities. The fact that so many writers resorted to this asinine, borderline-slapstick tactic speaks volumes about Hal’s power level. Also, the fact that almost none of them bothered to write conflicts in which Hal’s willpower or fearlessness slackened in the least speaks volumes about the writers’ creativity.

I’m going to chalk it all up to Hal having his own Mxyzptlk-type character who just adored the sounds his noggin made when bouncing off various objects.

Damn, and johns felt the need to resurrect him why? Lol

It’s good enough for Fred Flintstone and it helped him be a womanizer, a con man, a thief, a get away driver, okay maybe it was bad for him in other contexts.

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