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Five Goofiest Moments in Green Lantern #36-40

Every week, I’ll examine the five goofiest moments from a five-issue stretch of a particular comic book series. Here is a list of the moments featured so far.

This week, we look at Green Lantern #36-40, written by John Broome and penciled by Gil Kane and inked by Sid Greene.

As always, this is all in good fun. I don’t mean any of this as a serious criticism of the comics in question. Not only were these writers certainly never imagining people still reading these comics decades after they were written, great comics often have goofy moments (Kirby/Lee’s Fantastic Four is one of the best comic book runs of all-time and there were TONS of goofy stuff in those 100 plus issues!).

HONORABLE MENTIONS

I love the formality of this challenge from an alien to Green Lantern in #39….

“I didn’t want to confuse anyone by my usage of the phrase ‘The Greatest Fighter of All'”

One of the consistently goofy aspects of early Green Lantern stories is how so many things popped up that had yellow “bases” to stop Green Lantern’s ring. Like the “yellow radiation” of this room…

The idea of a bad guy using toys to commit crimes is not a bad idea, but it is pretty funny to imagine that a bouncing toy can get into her office, snatch the tube from her hands, and she doesn’t even notice until it is gone….

#36 had a couple of awesome quotes from Hal. The first one…

“Anyone who can work a toy like that” just sounds so dirty.

Here is the second one…

Golden Age Robin just stopped by to tell you your pun was stupid, Hal.

5. Glad there’s a rule for that…

In #40, Krona is about to destroy the universe (he has possessed Alan Scott’s body). The editors decided they needed to point out that Hal cannot, in fact, survive the destruction of the universe…

Hilarious.

4. Peeping Hal

Another consistently goofy aspect of early Green Lantern stories is all the powers the ring gives Hal. Including, apparently, telepathy (which would have come in handy about a gazillion times in previous issues had Hal had the ability)…

Also, “minds-drop” doesn’t make sense as a mental version of eavesdropping, does it?

3. “You only told me to let you know if a bus hits you, not if the bus is headed towards you…”

I love how uselessly specific the ring’s help can be, like in #37….

best of all, it can’t prevent Hal’s hypnotic state because a yellow object was used to do the hypnosis!!

“Sorry, Hal, I can’t stop these bullets – they were fired from a yellow gun.”

2. So why doesn’t he do this, like, every single time he is confronted with yellow force fields, etc?

In #36, the aforementioned radiation is keeping Hal from entering the room with the bad guys in it, so Hal uses his ring to TURN HIMSELF INTO A ROBOT, as a ROBOT won’t be affected by the yellow radiation…

For serious!? And that’s not even the goofiest thing Hal turned himself into in this installment. That would be…

1. Signed, sealed and delivering a kayo punch!

As shown before, Hal was hypnotized into writing letters giving away top secret information (and unbenown to the bad guys, some of that info includes his identity as Green Lantern), so he figures…why not TURN INTO A LETTER?!!?

That shot of the giant letter throwing a punch is so amazing that I can hardly believe it really exists. I think I need to use that panel somehow in the future.

26 Comments

The whole yellow limitation in GL’s ring was always so dependent on the needs of a particular plot. If we want to get picky, how could GL even operate under Earth’s YELLOW sun? And could GL be stopped by a pitcher of lemonade? Or a plate of scrambled eggs? Lemon curry?

Would cowards be impervious to Hal’s ring?

BTW, the scientist in the very first panel looks like Richard Nixon.

Is there some in-story reason why Hal doesn’t look anything like himself in those hypnosis panels used for Goofy Moment #3? What’s up with his hair? Is it a disguise? Has he been transformed somehow?

The only thing dumber were the contrived ways they came up with to limit or stop the Martian Manhunter’s powers. Once, a meteor shower came in between Earth and Mars, which somehow blocked J’onn’s powers. Once, a meteor from space emanated a radiation with a similar structure to fire, and so while the meteor wasn’t burning, it still weakened the Manhunter. Dear lord.

Boy, it’s a good thing that alien lady was thinking about her origin story right when Hal tried to read her mind.

Love that last story for it’s sheer craziness. I can so see him shouting nutty things as he changed. Form of a robot! Shape of stationery! That said I read it as a child and loved it, the idea the ring could do stuff that neat made it very cool.

Turning himself into a robot…..I can’t even comment on that;it’s that goofy.

Gil Kane also sometimes drew Chronos, the Atom’s archfoe, with an unmasked face that looked strikingly like Richard Nixon’s. I’ve no idea if it was deliberate or not, though it was certainly deliberate when Neal Adams drew a pair of one-shot villains from Green Lantern/Green Arrow to resemble Nixon and Spiro Agnew.

The goofiness is almost too much for even me to bear, but that is some very creative goofiness.

Those stories may be goofy but that Gil Kane art more than compensates. Wow

Wow… even Bob Haney would be hard-pressed to match those last two on his best day!

Another goofy thing is how Hal has to keep the ring facing him in order for them to “talk” to each other.

Can’t argue against the art, for sure.
The whole “yellow” thing is indeed bizarre…so, if the bullets aren’t yellow or gun isn’t yellow but the they are shot from inside a yellow cab, GL would be helpless? What if the manufacturer of the guns used yellow work uniforms in the factory? Sheesh…
But it gets worse when the restrictions get more specific. One fine example is Benjamin by Peyo (of Smurfs fame), about a boy who is superstrong…except when he has a flu. That kid has the worst immunity system ever, for sure enough he catches a flu in every story.

Brian, the credits at the top of the column are from last week’s edition!

talk about goofinest in some of the early runs of gl. after all always thought that his power ring not working on yellow was really kind of goofy. plus the power ring able to change hal into things like a letter. or a robot because of the weakness not to mention the power ring allowing hal to read minds once again the early silver age including with green lantern was sure goofy

Great stuff, but I wish you’d add issue numbers so we could know where these scenes appeared and which writer was responsible.

God, I love this. I rather miss the yellow weakness now, if I recall, Ollie managed to use mustard against Hal once. Mustard!

Brian, the credits at the top of the column are from last week’s edition!

Oops! Thanks, I intentionally took the formatting (since the creators from the last GL issues are all still here), but I forgot to change the numbers (and take out Fox). So yeah, this is all John Broome and Kane/Greene.

s there some in-story reason why Hal doesn’t look anything like himself in those hypnosis panels used for Goofy Moment #3? What’s up with his hair? Is it a disguise? Has he been transformed somehow?

Nope, just an odd choice by Kane/Greene.

I know I say this like every week, but GOD I love Golden/Silver-Age over-explanation. Whether in an editor’s note or (even better) in dialogue, it’s almost always hilarious.

“That animated toy– must have leaped behind me– grabbed the plan out of my hand– and kept on jumping!”

Yeah, that’s exactly what I do when I’m by myself. “My God! The carpet is wet! I must have bumped my glass– causing it to fall off the table– and the water to spill out of it– and soak the floor!”

Gil Kane really seemed to be obsessed with finding ways to incorporate as many side profile and 3/4 profile butt shots of Hal as humanly possible. Is it just panel selection or is this a thing with him? I know it’s a small sample size but it definitely looks like more thana coincidence!

wetstereorebel

March 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm

I think Hal’s messed up hair is due to the fact that he’s writing the letter in his sleep. He’s got bed-head.

That’s almost an idea for a new column Brian.

Unusual Likeness of comic characters, that one of Hal is unrecognizable. I had to re-read it a few times as I thought it must have been another character who had stolen the ring and your text was incorrect.

Even got an idea of the title “Unusual Likeness of Being!” :)

Oops! Thanks, I intentionally took the formatting (since the creators from the last GL issues are all still here), but I forgot to change the numbers (and take out Fox). So yeah, this is all John Broome and Kane/Greene.

Oh okay, this makes much more sense now. When I complained about the credits earlier it was because I wanted to know which stories were Broome and which were Fox. This being all-Broome makes a lot more sense, because Fox’s work was usually much better than this..

Be fair, Omar; the cook was a dead-ringer for Agnew — but a chubby-cheeked 10-year-old telekinetic GIRL was supposed to be Nixon? Neal Adams is good and crazy, but that’s beyond good’n’insane!

Wow, #’s 1 and 2 are incredibly goofy. So is Hal using his power ring to make it rain in #3!

Also, yes, the 10 year old girl was indeed supposed to be Nixon (and the janitor Agnew) so sayeth Dick Giordano in the introduction to the Green Lanter/Green Arrow TPB.

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