Sunday, May 18, 2008

Green Lantern #35 (1965): "The Eagle Crusader of Earth!"

Here's one of the weirder and goofier Hal Jordan tales, folks. It gives new meaning to the words, "It's a BIRD! It's a PLANE ...!"

One day, a lowly sheepherder is out in the country, tending his sheep and trying to brew a pot of coffee. SUDDENLY:

That's right, folks -- Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan is apparently trying to get himself a lampchop dinner. Look at him go!

The sheepherder actually has to fire a rifle into the air to scare off Green Lantern. SCOOT, you ornery critter!

Flappity, flappity, flap!

Ah, but it appears that our crazy, arm-flapping super-hero is being followed:

"Green Lantern's mind trapped inside the feathered body of a great golden eagle -- while the mind of the eagle inhabits the figure of the great crusader?!" gasps the narrative. "How could such a thing ever happen?"

(Hey, it's HAL JORDAN. Anything can happen as long as Hal's involved. Anyway ...)

Earlier that day, Green Lantern was summoned by the governor of California and filled in on a problem involving a town called Medusa. Apparently, people in the town were suffering mental blackouts in which they found themselves in the bodies of animals (dogs, cats, birds ...) for an hour, and then were suddenly themselves again -- but without remembering exactly what they did while they were animals.

The governor says people think they've been "hexed" or experienced a "voodoo transmigration of souls," and he wants Green Lantern to figure out what the heck's going on.

Hal agrees to help and flies off:

Poof! Suddenly, Hal's an eagle! And the eagle, in HIS body, is out chasing sheep!

Once the sheepherder chases Green Lantern away from the sheep, though, Hal flies over some men in a car -- who ALSO start shooting at him:

Turns out the bad guys are spies who have stolen microfilm for one of those typical Silver Age ultra-secret government projects that will help them "rule the world!" Mwaaa, ha, ha, haaaaaa!

As an eagle, Hal, without being noticed, is able to overhear what the baddies are planning -- and of course, he's having none of it:

(I don't even want to think about what Hal's doing to the bad guy's face in the following panel.)

Uh-oh -- look out! Da birdy's gotta gun, and he ain't afraid to use it!

(That's right, kiddies -- Hal Jordan has no qualms about using a gun. It might be another reason why Batman doesn't like him.)

Hal grabs the microfilm and flies away. BUT THEN:

Hal flies back to the bad guys, and proves once again that he DOES have a sense of humor where using his power ring is concerned:

Hal nabs the bad guys and recovers the secrets they stole. Readers are then treated to a classic Silver Age, long-winded, pseudo-science explanation as to why animals and humans were switching bodies -- and this is only PART of the explanation:

... but, of course, Hal kept his memories because he was flying the entire time -- and, besides, he has a power ring.

Uh, HUH.

Then Hal pays a visit to the sheepherder to explain what happened.

That's all well and good, Hal -- but nothing quite beats seeing you diving at sheep and flapping your arms like an idiot. ;-)

Art: Gil Kane; Story: Gardner Fox


SallyP said...

Thank you Sea! You just made my day. I had always suspected Hal of being a bird-brain, but I never really considered it literally. But the scans of him flapping his arms and chasing the sheep had me howling with laughter.

Oh, and the eagle/Hal shooting at the spies was just icing on the cake.

Sea_of_Green said...

You're welcome, Sally. Seeing Hal flapping around like that is always good for a giggle. :-)