Showcase Presents: Green Lantern, Vol. 1

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9781401229467: Showcase Presents: Green Lantern, Vol. 1

Originally published in single magazine form in Green Lantern 1-17, Showcase 22-24.

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Review:

Green Lantern is a perfect subject for DC's budget-priced Showcase Presents series because the hero made his first appearance in Showcase in July 1959. Volume 1 collects his first three appearances in Showcase (22-24) as well as the first 17 issues of his own book. alternating between one and two stories per issue. Hotshot test pilot Hal Jordan is selected by a dying alien as one who is both honest and without fear, thus deserving of wearing the power ring that enables the wearer to fight crime and injustice. In these issues, we meet Hal's boss and love interest, Carol Ferris, who Lois Lane-like only has an eye for his alter ego, Green Lantern; Hal's mechanic and confidant, Thomas "Pieface" Kalmaku; the all-powerful Guardians of the Universe, the source of the ring's energy; renegade Green Lantern Sinestro; the weaponers of Qward; and neighboring GL Tomar Re. Stories are by John Broome, with art by Gil Kane and Joe Giella, plus a few contributions by JLA stalwarts Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson. While the Showcase Presents' black-and-white format is a reasonable tradeoff for this much material (526 pages) at this low price (under $10, even cheaper than most Showcase volumes), it turns out to be a significant disadvantage for GL, considering how often the plots rely on the use of green and especially yellow. --David Horiuchi

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4 Up This collection of black-and-white reprints is devoted to the earliest adventures of the second incarnation of the classic hero. Originally depicted as a crime fighter with semi-mystical powers bestowed by a meteorite's green flame, the handsome hero was then reimagined as a fearless test pilot who uses his extraterrestrial power ring to fight against espionage and science-based villains. Over time, the stories' focus shifted to strange creatures and other sci-fi staples, and then further evolved into what is now recognizable as a traditional superhero comic, complete with a recurring arch nemesis, super villains with parallel powers to that of the hero, and guest appearances by popular characters from other DC titles. The artwork is sharp and clean and it's easy to see how Gil Kane, one of the artists, gained his reputation as a fine draftsman. The lack of color is disappointing, however; so many of the stories rely on green and yellow rays, vibrant alien skin colors, and the like. The classic exposition makes the action clear, and the content is undeniably fun, charming, and intelligent, proving its undeniable influence on the subsequent 30 years of graphic storytelling. Benjamin Russell, The Derryfield School, Manchester, NH
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