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CSBG Archive

Meta-Messages – Gerard Jones Explains Why Hal Jordan Became a Hard-Traveling Hero

All October long I will be exploring the context behind (using reader danjack’s term) “meta-messages.” A meta-message is where a comic book creator comments on/references the work of another comic book/comic book creator using the characters in their comic. Each time around, I’ll give you the context behind one such “meta-message.” Here is an archive of the past installments! If you have a suggestion for a future meta-message, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com.

Reader Ben M. sent in two suggestions involving Gerard Jones and Denny O’Neil’s Green Lantern/Green Arrow run. Here is the first one. Today, we look at how Jones came up with an explanation for why Hal Jordan became a Hard Traveling Hero in the first place!

Green Lantern #76, as we all know by now, is based on the notion that Green Arrow wakes Green Lantern up to Lantern’s naive take on the world….

They then begin traveling the country discovering America.

In any event, the last issue before Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams revamped Green Lantern, John Broome wrote a story involving Green Lantern going to Qward to rescue his girlfriend of the time, Olivia Reynolds, who, unknown to her at the time, had a powerful psychic ability known as the U-Mind. Hal kept it secret from her. That is why the Qwardians kidnapped her – to power some new mysterious device…

Anyhow, decades later, Olivia and Hal had re-kindled their romance only for her (and her U-Mind) to be taken advantage of again.

Here, in Green Lantern #39, Gerry Jones reveals that the events of Green Lantern #75 had effects no one knew about at the time…

Amusingly enough, in Green Lantern #47, Jones has Green Arrow mock this revelation….

Interesting stuff.


Thanks for featuring this, Brian. I always thought it was interesting that Jones developed such specific (possibly over-specific) explanation for the famous Hard Travellin’ Heroes thing, but then still showed the other side of the theory with the Green Arrow conversation.

When Emerald Twilight hit a few issues later, Kevin Dooley (I think) intimated in the letter column that the drastic change of direction had taken place in part because Hal Jordan was always such a hard character to write in an interesting way. I know a lot of people don’t like him, but I liked Gerard Jones’ Hal Jordan. I thought he was interesting – heroic but evidently flawed.

Not getting this one. It’s surely just a writer ret-conning in an explanation for past events – Jones doesn’t appear to be making any meta-commentary on the work of O’Neill and Adams.

Yeah, Hal won’t suffer any bad judgements ever again!

Cut to two issues from now when he kills the entire GL Corps.

The content of #47 made Emerald Twilight especially galling to me. We had just had an account given of Hal being calmer, more stable, and psychologically stronger than he had been in ages. And *that’s* the moment for him to have a complete psychotic breakdown? We should have had months worth of hints that he was starting to crack; instead we’d had just the reverse.

Seems pretty cool thanks.

F#@ker on Earth. This gets weirder by the minute.

Thank you Jeff and Jacob for making laugh out loud….That was classic!

Not getting this one. It’s surely just a writer ret-conning in an explanation for past events – Jones doesn’t appear to be making any meta-commentary on the work of O’Neill and Adams

Even if you don’t think the first part qualifies, then certainly Jones having a character make fun of his own idea works.

I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one, Brian. It just seems to me Jones was writing Ollie in character (a bit of an arse) and challenging Hal
Anyway, I like meta-commentary. I just don’t think this is an example of such.

Ollie is commenting on Jones’ past story. It does not matter if it is in character for him to do so or not. He is commenting on Jones’ past story. Thus, it is a writer having a character comment on a story by a comic book writer. It is the very definition cited in the beginning of the piece.

And this is ignoring the fact that the first half of the bit works, as well. Jones has Hal saying things to himself like, “I never would have reacted like that,” which is a commentary by Jones on what O’Neil wrote.

was hoping this issue of green arrow and green lantern would show up on this list. for loved how green lantern wound commeting on how out of character he felt. johnes take on neils handling in its own sort of way. plus also loved green arrow mentioning a past story.

Man, Hal really has a habit of having his past actions explained away by mind control of one kind or another, between this and Geoff Johns’s Parallax retcon.

I’d think all those blows to the head would be a simpler explanation.

OK, was John Broome familiar with Wilhelm Reich, and that’s why it’s Ergono energy, an anagram of Orgone energy that Reich was a proponent of? Or did Gerry Jones see that and that’s why they talk about “Wilmryk” in the one part? Either way, no wonder Hal was involved with her!

Wow, awesome! I apologize for this being unrelated, but I just became the 2,000th person to “Like” CSBG on Facebook! Can we get a special post or something, Brian?

I thought there was a bit in there about the Lenglyns, which looks to me like a shout out to Len and Glynis Wein, but I’m not sure if that’s got any relevance or a meta message.

. . .Yeah, no. I’m relegating this revelation to the same bin I keep “Mopee The Heavenly Help-Mate” in.

Okay, looking back, I now see that even earlier articles say we have to get up to 3,000 before we get extra content. But I’m still proud of being #2,000!

It definitely is cool to hit 2,000 Facebook followers!

I don’t see any contradiction between #39 and #47. Both stories leave it ambiguous and imply that Hal Jordan would rather believe that his brain was altered by space rays than admit that someone calling him a hypocrite made him question himself.

I like the art on the last one.

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