Friday, January 11, 2008

Green Lantern Corps #211: Pink Elephants

The other day, while reading a copy of Green Lantern Corps #20, Mr. Sea looked up at me and said, “They’re opening a bar on Oa? So what happens if you get a bunch of Green Lanterns drunk?”

Ah. Longtime Green Lantern readers already know the answer to that question. Which reminds me -- Wow, New Year’s Day came and went without any mention of a certain little gem from Green Lantern history. Time to make up for the oversight and examine Green Lantern Corps #211, from 1986, which definitely answers the question of what does happen when a bunch of Green Lanterns get drunk.

First, a little background information: During DC Comics’ initial Crisis of Infinite Earths, many members of the Green Lantern Corps lost their planets and sectors, and they were given leave to serve where they chose. A few alien Lanterns -- Katma Tui, Kilowog, Ch’P, Salaak (whose name is spelled “Salakk” in this particular story), and Arisia -- chose to team up with Hal Jordan and John Stewart, forming what became known, for a time, as the Green Lantern Corps of Earth:

Guy Gardner was included with the group -- sort of. For various reasons he didn’t earn any friends among the Corps during Crisis (and Hal ended up flat-out HATING Guy). However, back on Earth, Guy did help a few Corps members with a situation in Russia -- so he was kinda welcome in the GLC citadel headquarters outside of Los Angeles. (The GLC citadel, by the way, was situated in a very woodsy and mountainous region, and somewhat resembled a ski lodge.)

Green Lantern Corps #211 begins at the GLC citadel on New Year's Eve. Hal Jordan (who more or less functions as the GLC leader) has all of the GLs on duty so they can "fix the mistakes the drunks are sure to make." It should be pointed out, though, that despite supposedly being on duty, for some reason Hal is the only Lantern running around in civies (including his bomber jacket) instead of his GL uniform.

Guy Gardner is giving Hal a hard time, saying that everyone needs to "loosen up ... like the resta' the world!" Hal and the other GLs blow him off, though, so Guy decides one way or another he's going to make them loosen up.

The scene abruptly shifts to a party in L.A. that's being attended by Kari Limbo. Kari Limbo is a very talented fortune teller who also happens to be an ex-girlfriend of both Guy Gardner AND Hal Jordan (see Green Lantern History #4: Hal's Gals for more information). Kari is still carrying a torch for Guy, and she also feels kind of responsible for him, but Guy really doesn't want to have anything to do with her anymore.

At any rate, Kari suddenly leaves the party without giving anyone an explanation.

The scene shifts back to Guy, who is standing outside of the GLC citadel and consulting his ring for "equivalents for alcohol" for the aliens ... "stuff I can mix with water an' make come out tasteless, to get everybody in that citadel drunk on their butts."

Sure enough, Guy spikes the citadel water supply. The Green Lanterns must be a pretty thirsty bunch, because in no time at all, ALL of them consume some of the water, and one by one they all become completely plastered.

The first victims are Hal and Arisia. Both of them drink up while Arisia is trying to convince Hal that maybe they should go party and leave Salakk to monitor things, pointing out (quite rightly) that Salakk's rather-grouchy alien race isn't exactly known for partying. The point very quickly becomes moot, though. After a couple of swigs of water, Hal and Arisia are utterly blotto, and it quickly becomes obvious that they're very, er, friendly drunks. (Really, it shouldn’t surprise anybody that Hal, in particular, is that type of drunk.)

While Hal and Arisia are all over each other like frolicking otters, Salakk staggers into the room. No surprise, grouchy ol’ Salakk turns out to be a mean drunk. “I can beat any Glan’ern inna house--!” he yells -- then he promptly falls flat on his face and passes out:

“Le’s g’outta here--!” says Arisia.

Hal and Arisia manage to get their paws off each other just long enough to stagger out of the citadel and head toward the woods, laughing the whole way. They stagger past Guy Gardner without even noticing he’s there. When Hal and Arisia are just out of sight, they start foolin' around, rather noisily, in the trees. Guy smirks and mutters, “Happy New Year, Jordan.”

Guy walks into the citadel and encounters Ch’P, who appears to be a happy drunk. The cute little critter is singing and dancing around.

“Gardn’r!” Ch’P calls to Guy. “Hey, ya came back! Heyyy! Wanna dance?”

“Sorry, Ch’P,” Guy replies. “My dance card’s full!”

“S’too BA-AD!” says Ch’P. “I’m drunk’sa -– drunk’sa-–“

“--Skunk!” Guy finishes for him, which Ch’P apparently finds hilarious:

Guy walks away from Ch’P and happens upon Kilowog, who is one very depressed drunk. During a previous incident in the Soviet Union involving several Lanterns, Kilowog lost someone he thought of as a friend. In his drunken stupor, Kilowog is blaming himself for his friend’s death. His way of handling his depression involves sitting on the citadel steps and repeatedly punching himself in the head:

Lastly, Guy spies on John Stewart and Katma Tui, who are stretched out on a rug in front of the fireplace and being very romantic drunks -- and having trouble pronouncing the world beautiful:

Katma: "Booful!"

John: "Booful?"

Katma: "Byoo-ti-ful! Be-YOO-tee-ful! Full of be-TOO-teeee!"

Suddenly, John proposes to Katma: "Marry me, Kat-lady!" Katma accepts, and the two give each other a very romantic kiss -- much to Guy's disgust:

Guy turns away from John and Katma -- and runs into Kari Limbo! It seems she's come to the citadel because she sensed that Guy was up to mischief. While lamenting a previous failure to "restore" Guy to the way he'd been during their relationship, she suddenly produces a syringe and jabs Guy in the neck with it.

Guy reels backward: "What was ... that--?"

"It came from the water tap," Kari replies. "You tell me!"

"Well ... Whadd' I care" says Guy, who's now as drunk as the other Lanterns. "I'ma one wannda party inna firs' place--! An' you -- Kari Bimbo! You gonna watch me get silly now--?"

"No!" says Kari, taking a drink of water so she's as drunk as Guy. "We're -- we're in this -- togedder--! To-geth-er!"

Guy stomps off and leaves Kari, and Hal and Arisia both stagger back in from frolicking in the woods (yes, they're both fully clothed):

Kari turns around, and Hal instantly recognizes her -- and he and Arisia both have one of those "Oh-CRAP-ex-girlfriend" moments. Kari hastens to assure Arisia that it isn't Hal she's after.

“I don’ wan’ HAL ‘ny more!” Kari tells Arisia. “B’lieve me –- I’m drunkanuff ta tellya the truth! Don’ wan im!”

“Oh--“ says Hal, no doubt feeling a blow to his pride. “Well--!”

Kari starts crying about Guy. While Hal and Arisia try to calm her down, John and Katma walk into the room.

"Hey, guys!" says John. "Dunno whatcher talkin' about. But we've got great news, you all! GREAT news!"

“John has asked me to marry im' -- an’ I said Y-E-S!” says Katma.

Suddenly, everyone is interrupted by Ch’P, who makes an abrupt switch from happy drunk to depressed drunk. VERY depressed drunk. He starts bawling his head off. “I lost my WIFE!” he cries. “I lost my WIFE an’ my FRIENDS an’ -- an’ -- my whole SECTOR--! BAWWWWWWW!”

Kilowog stops punching himself in the head, crawls up to Ch’P, and awkwardly tries to pat his hand (awkward because Kilowog’s hand is bigger than Ch’P’s entire head). “I know, GL--" says Kilowog. “I KNOW! I lost MY frien’, too, in Russia -- n’ I lost MY sector, jus’ like you!”

Overcome with sympathy, Katma Tui and Kari Limbo both rush toward Kilowog and Ch’P.

“I lost half of m’sector--!” says Katma Tui.

“An’ I lost my man--!” says Kari.

All four collapse on the floor together and fling their arms around each other -- and suddenly there are four depressed drunks:

John, Hal, and Arisia all stare at each other, utterly confused.

“What’s goin’ on here?” asks John.

“Gar’ner!” says Hal. “It’s gotta be Gar’ner!”

“Le’s GETTIM!” Arisia snarls.

The three of them rush outside, where Guy is hanging from a tree branch and laughing his head off.

“Wha’dja doodawuss --?” Hal demands.

"I madeja party hearty, wimps!" Guy replies. "You always wanna tell me how human y'are 'n' how limited I am! Well I'll showya who's limited!"

Guy jumps down to the ground, whereupon Hal immediately blasts him with his power ring.

"G'wan!" Hal yells. "Show me. You d'generate, d'gusting --! Show me wha' kinda Green Lantern you are, once 'n' f'r'all!"

"You bet!" Guy yells back. "Oh, you bet! I was just hopin'--!"

Suddenly, all of them get blasted off their feet by a bolt of pink energy that comes down from the sky: KRAKA-DOOM!

"We're unner attack!" Arisia yells.

Hal, John, and Arisia all gang up on Guy and tell him to get rid of whatever is making them drunk. Grudgingly, Guy uses his ring to clean them up ("Instant Prohibition," plus Hal is finally in uniform), and then all four Lanterns fly upward and encounter ... pink elephants?

Yes, the Green Lanterns are being attacked by pink elephants. Flying pink elephants that appear very alien and very grouchy.

"Your year ends, and so do your lives, Green Lanterns!" says one of the elephants.

The four Lanterns start battling the pink elephants, all the while exchanging insults with one another (well, okay, Hal and John are insulting Guy -- and vice versa).

Meanwhile, Arisia (usually the most observant member of the Green Lantern Corps of Earth) is the only Lantern asking where the heck the alien elephants came from and why they're attacking. Then one of the elephants yells, "Die, John Stewart, die!" -- and Arisia pieces everything together. The pink elephants seem very familiar to her:

"Oh my god--!" says Hal, finally figuring out what Arisia already knows. He immediately turns to Guy. "What did you use to get Salakk drunk?" he demands.

"Salakk--?" says Guy. "Hell, I dunno!"

Yes indeed, it turns out the alien pink elephants are being generated by drunken Salakk's ring while he's passed out on the citadel floor. (Note: In older stories, it wasn't unusual for Green Lanterns to be able to generate ring forms in their sleep, or generate ring forms in colors other than green.)

Guy aims a beam at the citadel to wake up Salakk. When Salakk comes to ("SNFF! SNRRT! FRRAGH!"), the elephants disappear.

Later, in the citadel, the Green Lanterns are "restored to sobriety." All of them have terrible hangovers ...

... and all of them want to kick Guy's butt across the cosmos:

For his part, Hal kicks Guy out of the group once and for all, saying he doesn't want Guy around them "ever again!" Guy retorts that the Justice League wants him, so he's going to join them. Hal doesn't believe him -- and then Guy leaves, claming he's going to lead the Justice League.

They're both wrong. Guy does end up joining one of the most colorful incarnations of the Justice League, but he certainly doesn't become the leader.


SallyP said...

Heh. This is one of my absolute favorite issues. It was funny as heck, and what's more, they were all so beautifully IN CHARACTER throughout!

Of COURSE Hal and Arisia would make out! Of COURSE Salaak would be cranky! And so on and so on. Besides, if it hadn't been for Guy's little stunt who knows WHEN John would have gotten up the courage to ask Katma to marry him? But does he ever get any credit? Noooooo!

I did love the part where Hal is mildly insulted after Kari Limbo says she doesn't want him any more. Hee hee! This is Guy back at his most obnoxious of course, but still neither Hal NOR John ever figured out a way to handle him. Oddly enough though, Guy and Kilowog become fast friends pretty soon after this.

I am still wondering about the whole spelling issue of Salaak's name. It USED to be Salakk, but now apparently they have changed it.

Sea_of_Green said...

Yeah, Guy deserves a lot of credit for indirectly helping many Lanterns with various situations. Heck, in addition to helping out John and Katma here, he also helped Hal to get laid! But does Guy get any credit for that? Noooooooo ...

SallyP said...

One of the things that I've always found to be a hoot, is that Kari Limbo is STILL chasing after Guy, while he's made it very clear, that he can hardly stand to breathe the same air.

Guy may have been brain-dead and completely nuts, but he was still a lot smarter than Hal when it came to women.

Sea_of_Green said...

I always thought Kari Limbo, in general, was a major pain in the patootie. I mean, really, the only reason Hal had a relationship with her was probably because she was puttin' out -- even though she whined about Guy the whole time she was with Hal (hence the reason I ABSOLUTELY LOVED it when Guy called her "Kari Bimbo"). Chick had issues, that's for sure.

SallyP said...

Oh yes, the "Kari Bimbo" line just cracks me up. Guy is absolutely right about her, she waited about two whole minutes after she learned that he had supposedly died, before making a MAJOR play for Hal. Hal of course fell for it, because he's stupid. Pretty, but stupid.

And I'm SURE she was putting out.